After decisively conquering Scandinavia, magical Norwegian songstress Sigrid turned her attention the rest of world and has since seamlessly shimmied into the alt-pop world to become one of the most sought-after singers in the genre. A talented writer, Sigrid's music acts as a rallying cry for her female audience, with subject matter that is often subtly — and palatably — political. We caught up with the singer, who told us about her happy place and why success isn't everything.
When (and where) are you most creative?
Probably when I'm making tacos in my kitchen. Or in writing sessions with cool and nice people!
How did you get your start?
I started doing covers of pop and rock songs in 8th grade. I would print out lyrics to my favourite songs (mostly by Coldplay, Adele, Keane, Marina and the Diamonds and Neil Young) and make up my own chords to their lyrics. I guess picking all of those songs apart and making something out of it made me interested in making something of my own. So when my brother came back home to Ålesund to do a gig, he said that I could join him on stage for one song – but only if it was an original song. I'd been trying to write for 6 months without any result, and I guess what I needed was a deadline. I wrote "Sun" on the piano in our living room. It's very important to me now that every song I perform also works on the piano.
What are you working on right now? Can you describe any current projects or activities?
We've just finished our first summer festival tour and it has been great. We have shows coming up this fall, and I'm working on new material. Exciting times!
What is success to you?
I have ambitions for my career – but if I were to lose my relationships with my friends and family because of that, then the career wouldn't matter to me. I think what's most important is having a close relationship to the people you care about, and that care about you.
Do critics matter?
I respect every opinion; you can't really hate someone for not liking your favorite band. A review is one person's work, and it can be brilliantly written, or just terrible. So I guess it depends.
Do you think about legacy?
I guess I want people to remember me as a nice person who was really into music.
What advice do you have for someone looking to break into your industry?
Listen to the advice you'll get (!!), but don't ever forget your opinion counts the most when it comes to stuff regarding you as an artist or band.
Did you ever give up (or want to give up)? What were the circumstances?
Give up on music? I did take a break from the music industry in my last year of high school to focus on school because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after I finished. Of course it's not perfect everyday, that's no different to being a student or working 9-16, but I really want this. This is what I love to do.
What trends in your field do you find most exciting / are you most optimistic about? What about your field is frustrating? What would you like to see change?
Well, Frank Ocean is a genius. That's what I'm gonna say about that. Frustrating about my field? There are not a lot of female producers. I love working with guys, but diversity is best for everyone.
How do you plan to build on your success so far? Is there anything you fear will set you back?
I'm just gonna continue writing cool songs with people I like, and perform them with my band. Anything I fear will set me back? Definitely catching a cold, haha. Messes with my voice.
What was the first moment you knew you were going to be able to do this as a job – not necessarily your first big break or success, but the first time you thought, "This is it, this is my career"?
When me and my management started doing meetings with several labels in London and NY (we ended up signing with Island (Petroleum in Norway since I was 17) <3 ). I remember sitting in fancy offices and thinking "shit, this is happening!"
What's been the biggest choice you've had to make in your career so far?
Signing with my wonderful team!! management, labels, bookings agents, publishers – I'm forever thankful.
What is your morning routine like?
Haha, I don't really have a routine. When I have early morning flight, I basically roll out of bed with a yogurt and a banana in my hand before I struggle down the stairs with my often a bit too heavy suitcase (I always pack tons of wool in case it gets cold). My "days off" routine though!! I wake up at 11-ish and make my way to the kitchen. My breakfast is scrambled eggs, dark bread, avocado, orange juice and black coffee. And then I put on Kings Of Convenience on the speakers and I'm in my happy place.
What are you most excited about for the future?
I do hope the political climate takes a huge U-turn. Other than that I hope I'll live to see some crazy new invention that'll change the way we live.
What are you most worried about for the future?
The political climate of 2017 is terrifying. So yeah, that scares me.
What makes a person beautiful? What makes you beautiful?
People are most beautiful when they're having a good time. When it comes to me? I love how my brain works and I love how my body – as everyone else's – is a masterpiece of bones, skin, muscles, veins, nerve systems and so on. The human body is a pretty beautiful thing.
What are you most proud of?
Writing songs I would listen to on repeat if it were another artist singing.
Check out the rest of our Beautiful People here.Photography by Francesca Allen