Johan Renck

Bo Johan Renck (born 5 December 1966 in Uppsala, Sweden) is a Swedish director of music videos, TV and film. He was a singer-songwriter occasionally in 1991–2001, using the moniker Stakka Bo, and had an international hit with his single "Here We Go" in 1993. Renck later became a television and music video director, and won an Emmy Award in 2019 for his work on the mini-series Chernobyl.

Johan Renck
Born (1966-12-05) 5 December 1966
Other namesStakka Bo
OccupationFilm director, music video director, former singer-songwriter
Years active1991–present[1]

Early life

Renck was born on 5 December 1966 in Uppsala, Sweden, the son of medical doctor and professor Hans Renck and nurse Marina Kylberg. Hans taught at several universities around the world, so the Renck family moved around and lived in Miami, Uppsala, Malmö, Tromsø and Kuwait.[2] He graduated from Stockholm School of Economics with a degree in economics.[3]



While at university, he dated singer and ex-model Camilla Henemark of Army of Lovers, who introduced him to the Swedish music business.[2] He started out as one half of Eurodance duo E-Type + Stakka B, but went solo after two singles,[2][4] continuing to releasing music as Stakka Bo.

Stakka Bo had a hit single in 1993 with the song "Here We Go", which peaked at #13 in the UK Singles Chart.[5] Heavily influenced by the Stereo MCs who were popular at the time, "Here We Go" appeared in an episode of the animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head, in the films Prêt-à-porter, Never Been Kissed, Alien Autopsy[6] and in the video game UEFA Euro 2004.[7]

Due to a very tight budget, he ended up directing the first video for his solo project, and continued making his own videos, eventually directing videos of other Swedish artists such as Titiyo and The Cardigans.[4]

Music videos

He has directed music videos for a number of artists including Madonna's "Nothing Really Matters" and "Hung Up", Kylie Minogue's "Love at First Sight", All Saints' "Black Coffee", Robyn's "Handle Me", Robbie Williams's "Tripping" and "She's Madonna", The Libertines' "What Became of the Likely Lads", Suede's "She's in Fashion", New Order's "Crystal" and "Krafty", Beyoncé's "Me, Myself and I", Chris Cornell's "Can't Change Me", The Knife's "Pass This On", Fever Ray's "Seven" and Bat for Lashes' "Daniel".[8] In 2012 he directed the music video "Blue Velvet" for Lana Del Rey which was also used for the commercial campaign by H&M, as well as the music video for "Wild" by Beach House. In 2015 he directed the ten-minute video for David Bowie's "Blackstar",[9] and "Lazarus" that appeared in January 2016.[10] In 2005, he and his brother Martin directed two videos from Swedish band The Cardigans: "I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer" and "Don't Blame Your Daughter (Diamonds)".

Film and television

Renck's first film, Downloading Nancy, 2008 premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on 21 January 2008 in Park City, Utah.[11] While the movie didn't receive very strong reviews, it generated a call from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. He directed three episodes of AMC television drama Breaking Bad, and moved on to work on one episode of The Walking Dead,[12] Halt and Catch Fire, and Bates Motel.

In addition, Renck directed a fashion art film called Decadent Control for Imagine Fashion that premiered in March 2011. It starred Roberto Cavalli, Eva Herzigová, Kirsty Hume and Brad Kroenig and used fashion from Agent Provocateur and H&M. [11]

He told Swedish magazine Cafe in 2017 that for a while he preferred to direct pilots (Vikings, Bloodline), but now rather works on mini-series, where one can direct all episodes, such as with The Last Panthers. He says he turned down Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones and Homeland. He told the magazine: "And as the director of a TV-episode, you only have around 25 percent of input. There are two kinds of TV projects that I still agree to do, one is television series where each episode is a separate unit, like Black Mirror, and the other is miniseries where you can do all the episodes, as I did with The Last Panthers. But of course I am very happy that Breaking Bad happened, it was very educational and exciting and fresh. Plus, it got such a huge status - people still call me because of it."[2]

In 2019, Renck directed the mini-series Chernobyl, a dramatization of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, for SKY and HBO, featuring among others Stellan Skarsgård, Jared Harris and Emily Watson. Renck won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special in 2019 for his work on Chernobyl.[13]

Personal life

He is married to Elin Renck and has four children.[14][15]



  • Supermarket (1993)
  • The Great Blondino (1995)
  • Jr. (2001)


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Alter.
1991 "We Got the Atmosphere" (with E-Type) singles only
1992 "Numania 1" (with E-Type)
1993 "Here We Go" 4102345156781320 Supermarket
"Down the Drain" 24272264
"Living It Up" 38
1994 "On Your Knees"
1995 "Great Blondino" 15 The Great Blondino
1996 "Softroom" 54
"We Vie" (with Titiyo, Fleshquartet & Nåid) 10 Jr.
2001 "Mute" 20
"Killer" 34
"Love of a Woman"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.


  1. Official website. Johan Renck. Retrieved on 2012-04-26.
  2. "Hemma hos seriesnillet Johan Renck i Brooklyn". 25 April 2017.
  3. Radio, Sveriges. "Johan Renck - Sommar & Vinter i P1".
  4. "Johan Renck hyllad av världsstjärnan för "Chernobyl"".
  5. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 523. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. Videography at
  7. "EURO 2004 Soundtrack". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  8. " - Johan Renck: Q & A - Feb 27, 2006".
  9. Renck, Johan. "Blackstar". Johan Renck. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  10. Renck, Johan. "Lazarus". Johan Renck. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  11. Halbfinger, David M. (29 November 2007). "Coming at Sundance: Personal Explorations and Stories of Survival" via
  12. "Another Director Named – Johan Renck Will Tackle The Walking Dead". DreadCentral.
  13. "Emmys: 'Chernobyl's' Johan Renck Wins Best Directing for a Limited Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  14. TT. "Johan Renck har gift sig".
  15. "Johan Renck har blivit pappa igen". Aftonbladet.
  16. "Stakka Bo - German Chart". Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  17. "Official Charts Company: Stakka Bo". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  18. "Stakka Bo - US Alternative Songs". Retrieved 2014-06-15.
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