New Music Heaven : Sigrid

October 7, 2018
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Sigrid is the popstar you’ve been searching for. She might be from a small town in Norway, but she has a mind, attitude and voice bigger than any other 22-year-old. With a silky-gravel to her Norwegian accent and a smile that often opens into fits of laughter, she personifies ‘cool’ but doesn’t know it yet, and has the world as excited as when Lorde first appeared with Royals. Born and raised in Ålesund, surrounded by sea and mountains, it was as if Sigrid was always fated to drive the ten minutes across to the neighbouring island of Giske and make musical magic in the idyllic Ocean Sound Recordings. The past year and a half has been nothing short of extraordinary. Sigrid’s debut EP Don’t Kill My Vibe was hailed as one of the biggest breakouts of 2017, and was soon followed by the certified-Gold Strangers and 2018’s critically acclaimed Raw EP. 

With Neil Young’s biggest fan for a father and a mother with a deep-rooted love of Joni Mitchell, the importance of great songwriting was instilled in Sigrid from the start, her piano lessons charting a path from the tender age of seven. In her early teens she discovered the likes of Coldplay and Adele, and began learning covers before ultimately deciding she’d rather deconstruct the songs; taking parts from here and there, changing the chords and rhythms, and piecing them back together as her own creations. 

Sigrid’s debut single Don’t Kill My Vibe was written after she was put in a difficult writing session with some older men who, well, killed her vibe. “They made me feel like I was in the way. I totally got that they might not be excited to work with me, but they didn’t have to be rude!” she explains. “I wish I had just told them, but in that moment I chose to back away and write about it later on.” Thank god she did, because the result is a completely addictive pop banger produced by Martin Sjølie, full of playful melodies, a huge chorus and the perfect dose of “hey!”

Sigrid’s Raw EP shows, she says, “not a different side, but a side of my music that maybe hasn’t had that much light on it before. The first EP was quite powerful but this one is a bit mellow and I really, really like it. There are definitely some proper tunes.” She spells out her longstanding message of staying true to yourself on the title track, and the accompanying video reinforces this further. It’s a live version, with a slight twist, that shows the everyday magic of being on tour. “I feel very lucky because I’m having a great time. You’ve got to enjoy it, or what’s the point?” Reflecting on her previous ambitions, Sigrid’s dreams of getting a song on the soundtrack of The Sims (she’s a massive fan) and meeting a kangaroo (her Australian tour earlier this year sorted that out) have already come true. And at the rate her career is unfolding, she’s going to have to think much bigger than that.

Fans will have to wait until later this year for the all-important first album, but their idol is in no rush to finish it. “It’s very important to me that everything I release says something. I’m constantly writing. You can look at the music as numbers, but it’s when you see people’s faces in the crowd and they’re singing back to you and having a good time then it means something,” she says. “I’ve seen groups of girls singing and crying along to Dynamite together, so to see that your songs can mean something to a group of friends, it makes me feel like I’m doing something right.”

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