20-year-old Astrid S, short for Astrid Smeplass, is the latest Norwegian star to cause a blink on our radar. Her initial breakout came with competing on Norway’s Pop Idol in 2013, though her love for music started years before that. However, you may recognize Astrid as the singer behind “Hurt So Good” — a song that charted in 21 countries worldwide on iTunes and has reached over 120M streams on Spotify.
Born in a small town in Norway (with less than 1,000 residents), Astrid had always been one to show an interest in music and instruments. By the age of six, she had already started learning how to play the keys on the piano, and started singing and writing music as a young teenager. At 16 years old, Astrid realized that she would have to move to a bigger city to pursue her passion in the arts, and therefore made her move to Oslo.
Once in Olso, Astrid competed on Pop Idol. How did she decide to audition for the show, you may ask? It’s all indirectly thanks to John Mayor, who Astrid says “inspired [her] to buy a guitar.” Once she did, she claims it “made [her] want to do the audition.” Astrid even goes further, saying:
“John Mayer is the main reason why I wanted to do music. It’s weird because my music isn’t similar to his music but he’s one of my biggest inspirations and I think he’s amazing”.
Astrid did not go on to win the entire competition, but, she did make it to the Top 5, which in itself is a great accomplishment! Besides, she says she has learned many things from her experience:
“Most importantly, the ability to handle stress. I really got to know myself. Now I know how to handle stress and what makes me feel focused […] I’m really glad I did the show. I’ve got a lot of good experiences from it.”
Once her experience on Pop Idol came to an end, Astrid landed herself a recording contact and released her then single, “2AM”.
Astrid S – “2AM”
When it came time for the MTV European Music Awards in 2015, Astrid had not only been nominated for “Best Norwegian Act” but went on to win the title. Bonus: Labelmate Shawn Mendes is the one who presented her the award! When asked how her win made her feel, she responded with:
“Crazy, I did not expect it! There were so many good artists in my category and I never expected that to happen. It was really cool, I have it in my room; you know that might be the only time I win that award and it’s really cool to be the first Norwegian to win it. It was really really cool and I appreciate people voting for and supporting me.”
Awwww…we love how humble she is!! ❤️️
Keep the good things coming…once 2016 hit, Astrid was asked to be the support act for Troye Sivan on his European and North American tour dates, to which she accepted. HOLLAAAA!
“We are on the same label. They reached out to me and said this up-and-coming artist, Shawn Mendes, was going to have an album and if I wanted to be on the album. So I went to a studio in Oslo and recorded the vocals and they were really happy — and that’s how it came together. I remember after he released the album I got a ton of new fans. His fans are so great and supportive and they included me in a way. The same way with Troye fans, it’s so good to have them help me get new fans. Their fans are so amazing. I’m really happy we got to do the song together.”
Over the years, Astrid has certainly evolved on her musical side. When speaking of her older tracks, she says she remembers writing darker songs, but that now, she is writing “a lot more pop,” which can be seen through her song “Breathe” specifically.
Astrid S – “Breathe”
On the song, she says:
“It’s just very sweet and is about how someone takes your breath away because you’re so in love with them. For me, I really wanted to put it together in a way that shows it’s about moments or experiences. Like, how being on stage can take my breath away. It’s just about that lovely feeling of being overwhelmed by someone, or something, in a very good way.”
We loveeeeee. 😍
On her future, Astrid says,
“I’m not interested in being famous or being known. What I’m passionate about is the songs and how people can relate to them. How people from different cultures or religions or genders… a song can bring so many people together. When you’re doing a concert, there are so many different people. In that moment all that matters are those lyrics, and those melodies, and the song. People are shouting it out and they forget about everything.”
YES GIRL YES. 👏👏👏
Her newest album, “Party’s Over”, released on June 30th is a killer! Take a listen below:
Astrid S – Party’s Over
PLUS, Astrid is going on a WORLD TOUR. Check out the tour dates here & see if she’s heading to a city near you!
What do you think of Astrid? Let us know by commenting/reacting below or tweeting us @umusic!