6 next gen norwegian musicians you need to know
Even sicker than your average ice cold Scandi pop.
About a month ago we went to Bergen, "the city of seven mountains", on the west coast of Norway for their version of The Great Escape, Vill Vill Vest. Fun Bergen facts include: it birthed warrior weirdo Aurora, pop dream Sigrid lives there, and it rains a lot. Get the picture? It's a supportive little city surrounded by totally inspiring nature and rain so prolific that there's nothing to do but stay inside and nurture your innate musical talent. Magic. The next generation of pop stars, rappers, producers, and DJs we discovered at the festival was impressive and as such, they're slowly but surely being picked up by major labels and dangled in front of your foreign faces. Get there first with our handy guide to the scene.
Jimi Somewhere, 19, Hønefoss
Young Jimi has been writing songs for as long as he can remember, but it was meeting his best friend and producer Milo Orchis in eighth grade that made him take it seriously. At 16 they moved in together, developed their sound, and began working on Jimi's debut EP MEMORIA, which is out now. Melancholic and sweet, on lead single Escape -- incidentally the first song he ever completely finished -- the rosy cheeked teen sing-raps about wanting to run away with his girlfriend (who sings backing vocals for his live shows) and stay with her forever.
"I want to be the guy that shows the Norwegian music scene that everything around the music is just as important as the music itself," Jimi told i-D over email. "The videos, the artwork, the live show. You have the opportunity to create a whole world, you know?" Kid knows what he's talking about, and so does serial underground music celebrator/hit girl/actress Chloe Grace Moretz, who shared his track The Beach with her millions of Twitter followers, proclaiming, "This wow." With a new single, Waking Up, out today, Jimi reckons his music would be the best soundtrack for " Kings Of Summer or Paulo Alto. Something coming of age with a summer feeling." And, with its warm shimmering synths and apathetic vocals, we totally agree. FFO: Yung Lean circa now.
Fanny Andersen, 22, Oslo
Back in spring of this year, blogger turned burgeoning pop idol Fanny played her first show ever at London's Hoxton Bar & Kitchen and completely slayed. "That's when I quit my old job so I could focus on music 100% and it has been the most amazing ten months of my life." Watching her perform live (something we've done at least three times now) is pretty fucking special; giving her all both physically and emotionally, she's simultaneously vulnerable and all-powerful, with an attitude rarely found so early on in a career. Fanny's new single Not A Toy -- seriously catchy and out now on Island -- has been hailed as an anti fuckboi anthem and warns potential suitors that she is not to be played with.
"There's so much amazing Norwegian hip-hop right now," Fanny says. "I think my dream would be a collab with Karpe Diem. They've been the biggest hip-hop duo here for a decade. They have a way of talking about important stuff like politics and immigration and still make a number one hit. So inspiring." On a mission to do the same, we can't get enough of her empowering pop.
dePresno, 21, Bergen
When dePresno was 17-years-old, his brother convinced a then horribly shy songwriter to record a song on his phone, "in case I died." That year, his Christmas present was a studio session with a producer in Bergen, and that producer is now his manager. Thanks bro! Describing himself as "The Norwegian lovechild of Ed Sheeran and King Krule," our new pal has an impressive voice and a song inspired by SATC. While we were in town, we had deep and meaningful rooftop chats with him, danced around his manager's office with him, watched some bands with him and can confirm that he's very nice. Best known locally for his drunken dancing to Party In The USA, dePresno (his middle name don'tcha know) is currently collaborating with Astrid S and appreciating how small and insanely beautiful his city is. Less so, how depressing and rainy it can get. His EP, Last Of The Romantics, is out now.
Hi Tom, 25, Oslo
Hi Tom! We like your cool band Rytmeklubben. We remember that awesome mix you guys made for us and the time you DJd our mate's BEAT party at The Ace Hotel back in summer. We might like your solo project of "noisy love songs" even more. Your new track 365 (featuring LuvOcean) that you describe as "a serenade for the environment that is best played out loud and in public," is 2k17 heaven. So far we've just been listening on headphones but we endeavor to do better. "I found this drum sample on my computer named 'hi tom'," you told us. "I felt like it was speaking to me. Tom means 'empty' in Norwegian, so for me, the name is about greeting the void in a friendly way."
We loved it both when you decided your music would best soundtrack '80s post-apocalyptic anime Angel's Egg, and figured that, "so many songs would be made if I could have Sigrid and Future Daughter in the same studio. I think we would make either 30 second long intense pop songs, or a sci-fi opera made for VR." And we totally got it when you confirmed our suspicions that, "there are both very talented pop writers,and more leftist, experimental acts and artists coming out of Norway right now - things are brewing." We'll look out for your forthcoming EP on NLV Records and urge readers to do the same.
Gerald Ofori, 16, Trondheim
We didn't catch Gerald Ofori's set at Vill Vill Vest -- but we should have. Just take a look at his new video and try to tell us otherwise. Born into a family of musicians, he hopes to stand out as a Norwegian rapper with an international outlook, notably performing in English. Gerald thinks that his music would be a good soundtrack for "a dark high school thriller… something like Coach Carter? You know where there's a montage of the lead character trying to get his shit together? That."
Probably best known as, "the 16-year-old guy who made that song about an an$wering machine", we can see why that's the case -- it's an impressive debut single. "I make music you can either dance or cry to. Though, in a jackpot situation you're doing both I guess? Which is tragicomical in a mainly comical way." If he could collaborate with any other Norwegian musician, it'd be "the rapper Cezinando. He's one of the greatest songwriters I know; everything about him is so inspiring for me… and he's REALLY tall in real life, it's crazy. Wonder The Boy and P-Flow are also fantastic rappers -- we're working together on a future project." Gerald Ofori's Missed Calls EP (we're sensing a theme here) is out in January on Attack Music.
Kjartan Lauritzen, 22, Balestrand
Well, this video's a game-changer isn't it? Kjartan Lauritzen (real name: Per Áki Sigurdsson Kvikne) is the Norwegian common name equivalent of John Smith, we have been informed. The class clown started studying music production four years ago and so far, so good. So good in fact that he sells out huge shows, someone made a comic book about him, and he's part of Vibbefanger, a collective currently shaking up the Bergen scene with not just their musical output, but a series of festivals and concerts across the country.
During Vill Vill Vest, Fanny and Depresno took i-D to a party at the impressive Red Bull-sponsored Vibbefanger studio, which is where we met Kjartan. "I feel like I make music that is very far away from everyone else," he told us. "I make pop, trap, techno, and whatever else I like, while others stick to one genre. I'm also the stupid, funny, weird guy." Please note: we don't speak Norwegian (we just let the funky music do the talking), so we don't know why Kjartan mentions Steven Avery of Making A Murderer at the start of Nyte D above -- the really cool slow-mo car smashing perhaps? Hopefully no murdering?