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MEET: Sigrid, Norway’s Next Global Superstar

Posted on October 05, 2018

Sigrid’s soaring vocals, killer fashion sense and earworm pop anthems make her a contender for Pop Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

She’s only 22-years-old, but Sigrid has already managed to crush the charts in Norway, the United Kingdom, Croatia, and more. Now she’s ready to take on the rest of the world.

With an artillery of talent, there is no shortage of reasons why Sigrid is one to watch. Her vocal range is disarming: the soft-spoken verses found in songs like “Strangers” and “Don’t Kill My Vibe” can flip into powerhouse choruses without warning. It’s this chameleon-like adaptability that has Graham Norton calling her “one of the most exciting pop stars at the moment.”

From the picturesque Norwegian town of Ålesund, Sigrid grew up surrounded by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, thanks to her parents’ love of singer-songwriter music. She started piano lessons at the age of seven, and transitioned into covering songs by artists like Adele and Coldplay.

When Sigrid was 16, her older brother Tellef invited her to open a show with only two weeks notice. He required her to compose original material for the concert. In this period, she wrote “Sun”, which not only wowed the crowd, but found Sigrid recording the track and submitting it to the Norwegian version of BBC Introducing. She was selected, and labels started calling and knocking on the door.

It was a tad overwhelming for the then-high school student’s first written song to become her breakthrough track.

“It was just so hard to find time for things. I couldn’t do shows. I couldn’t do promo. I had a history test to revise for!” she laughs.

At 18, she moved to Bergen, a key city in Norway’s emerging music scene. In 2016, she signed her deal with Island Records, and released “Don’t Kill My Vibe” the following year.

“I guess the key thing that’s always inspired me is really well written pop songs,” she says. “Playing piano and singing whatever comes naturally is the best thing for me.”

“Don’t Kill My Vibe” and its monstrous hook showcases both her vocal prowess and skill for penning biting lyrics. It was birthed after a frustrating writing session with older men.

“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.”

The track evolved into an EP, released in May 2017. Her characteristic raspy vocals caught the attention of ears across the globe, landing Sigrid spots on iconic festival marquees including Coachella, Reading and Leeds. Her live show is a sight to behold: Sigrid lets her inhibitions free, and her infectious energy is passed onto the audience.

“I like the challenge,” she laughs. “People sometimes stand with their arms crossed and if I can get them to move then I’ve won.”

Follow-up single “Strangers” carried the torch, peaking at #1 in Scotland and Croatia, and in the Top 10 in Norway and the United Kingdom. Pitchfork called the music video one of the best of January 2018.

This past summer, Sigrid released another EP, Raw, showcasing a more personal side of the singer and embracing a mellower mood.

She follows that up with “Sucker Punch”, a track that feels quintessentially Sigrid: arena-claps, subwoofer-defying rumbling bass, slick pop melodies, and above it all, a powerful voice tying it altogether.

It ushers in a new era for the Scandinavian singer, who has shown so much skill and adaptability thus far, but still has plenty of cards up her sleeve.