Growing up in Ålesund, Norway, Sigrid’s first foray into songwriting came after her brother invited her to perform with him – but on one condition. “He told me that I could do a song but that it had to be an original one,” she recalls. “I was forced to write a song in two weeks. That sort of started the songwriting thing…”
Signing to Norwegian indie label Petroleum at just 16, she soon decided to move to the coastal city of Bergen, opting to stay away from Oslo and its hub of big record labels. Despite shying away from the mainstream nature of the city, however, Sigrid’s sound is still unashamedly pop. ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, her first single since signing with Island, is a musical behemoth complete with raspy vocals and an aggressive chorus with pop hooks that wallop you around the face.
While ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ was borne out of a difficult songwriting session where she felt her voice and opinion was being diminished by the individuals she was working with (she politely describes it as “very difficult”), the experience hasn’t put the 20-year-old off working collaboratively. “I learn so much from other songwriters and producers,” she gushes. “It’s so nice to share experiences, but also new ways of thinking. I have a thing where, if I usually do my verses one way and someone comes in and suggests something different, I think it’s amazing. I evolve as a songwriter.”
“I think I’ve developed into making music that feels 100% me.”
Does she ever get self-conscious bearing her soul with complete strangers? “The beautiful thing about writing sessions is that you can click with a person 100%,” she assures. “I think it’s cliche for every songwriter to say, ‘Oh, I get to talk about my deepest emotions. This is my therapy.’ But it’s totally true. You get to talk about your feelings and where you’re at in your life in that moment. It’s really nice.”
This is echoed throughout her debut EP. Whether it’s the aggressive nature of ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, the anti-fuckboi anthem ‘Plot Twist’, or dismissal of sycophants on ‘Fake Friends’, there’s something intensely relatable and wonderfully frank about her music. The collection’s only soft moment, ‘Dynamite’, a song about the difficulties of balancing work and love, isn’t saccharine, but falls into that category championed by Adele: realistically devastating.
“I think I’ve developed into making music that feels 100% me,” she announces. “Four years ago, I wasn’t as sure as I am now as to what I’d like to make and what pop music I liked. So, I guess I’m just more me.”
“But give me a year and who knows what I’ll be making.”
Sigrid’s debut EP ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ is out now.
Taken from the May 2017 issue of DIY. Subscribe below.
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