- SALUTE: I understand you’re quite new to the UK Nora – you grew up in Norway right What was it like?
Yeah, I grew up in Norway. I was born in the oldest city in Norway, Tonsberg, where I lived for for 8 years. It’s not far from Oslo. My mum has done music and acting for my whole life, she’s a very creative soul. When I was growing up she was in a couple of bands, she was in a theatre group, and a choir! It was a very creative household, there was always stuff going on. I can remember going to rehearsals with my mum, her tours and everything. So yeah, I developed a passion for music very early on.
- SALUTE: How did you get started making music?
Well, I first performed when I was 5! I dabbled in middle school with writing my own music and I was part of a little band with my neighbour who played guitar. I started writing my own music properly when I was about 17.
I was heavily into musical theatre, but then I surprised everyone and decided to do a classical music degree for three years. My background is classical. From the age of about 13 I’ve had classical vocal training. When I was 16 I started studying on a music programme that was heavily classical.
In 2010 I was introduced to Jazz by an amazing Jazz singer who coached me at college and that is where it all started in terms of writing and finding my own voice as well. I was pushed into classical but that wasn’t the way I wanted to go in the end. It wasn’t until I came to London that I really got a chance to write music that I felt was really my sound.
- SALUTE: What kind of music did you grow up on? Was there much of a local scene or did you find a lot of stuff through the internet?
I found it difficult finding musicians to work with and hang out with in Norway. When I graduated I did gigs with my teachers. A lot of wedding gigs and function gigs. Also I did a lot of solo gigs with backing tracks. I did do a lot of stuff but there wasn’t a scene that I was a part of and I didn’t perform a lot of my own stuff. It was more cover gigs and some cool events. I would find out about music outside of that repertoire on my own. I did have a band for a bit but we didn’t really do much before I left for London. I did draw a lot of inspiration for music that I would get online. I was obsessed with Lana Del Ray for a while. That was the start of my electronic vibe of writing.
- SALUTE: Nice, Lana is cool, why did you move to London?
I thought that I should go into musical theatre after at college. I felt that London was so big, it was a bit intimidating. Then one of my best friends called me up one day and asked ‘shall we move to London?’, I was like actually London was always in the back of my mind so I was like why not?
After spending 10 hours on the internet I found BIMM and shortly after I was on a plane, by myself, going to London. I did the audition when I arrived.
- SALUTE: Amazing, how was your time at BIMM?
I’m done with my BA now, so I was at BIMM for four years. It’s been really a musical family since I moved in with some of the other BIMM students. Being able to play and sing together till 4am has been really inspirational for me. It’s been amazing!
- SALUTE: With the course did you develop much on the technical side with production?
I’ve learnt a lot more about what my I want for my sound but I’ve also come to peace with working with producers. That’s definitely my process now, when I write songs I work with a producer first and then with my band. Mostly I focus on my vocals and lyrics. I’ve been working with a band since 2014/15. There’s been quite a lot of changes over the years but we’re a great trio now and we’re finding our process for recording as my sound is becoming more electronic.
- SALUTE: How’s it been since your single came out last year?
It’s been good. I’ve been working on a new five-track EP this year but I didn’t want to rush it with the release. It’s going to be coming out January 2018 so that I can develop my campaign and do my videos. The songs are there so we’re working on finalising the tracks. I recently did a song for a soundtrack for a short film and I’m working on some music videos for that too. These days the projects are stacking up on each other so I’m just trying to balance it. I am working with a designer, making music for his debut clothing launch.
- SALUTE: Sounds exciting! How is it managing all of the projects at once?
Geez (laughs), that’s a good question. I’ve been gigging and doing functions. More recently I was travelling back and forth to Norway for my auditions for The Voice. I went back and forth 5 times just as I was going into my final exams! It all ended well but it was very stressful. I’m not the best person with time management so I found it really helpful to combine my own music as much as possible with my university work, that helped a lot with getting it all done.
- SALUTE: How did you find out about SALUTE and what do you think of the initiative?
Doing everything DIY myself, I know that we need some help so I think SALUTE is great. I got a message from the UMA’s about the competition.
- SALUTE: I noticed the ensō symbol in your design for your name. Does Zen Buddhism play a big part in your life?
Yes it is. It’s good that you noticed that. I wanted to get my logo done, and I actually made it myself. It took hours and hours of research. But basically, to sum it up, my name ’Nora’ means light and enlightenment. Henrik Ibsen wrote a book called ‘A Doll’s House’ and the main character is called Nora. The first word I tried to say was light in Norwegian so light seems to be my vibe. I found the ensõ symbol and really loved it. The triangle is all about transcendence. My music is very honest and is about my journey, all my music speaks to enlightenment and transcendence.