One of the biggest break-out stars of the last couple of years, Sigrid had a chat with us recently about her new single 'Don't Feel Like Crying' and how she keeps sane while touring the world.
What's the new single about?
Sigrid: 'Don't Feel Like Crying' - it's about going through a break-up... that can be difficult. But also, it's a positive song. In thinking of how you should pick yourself up, get your shit together. Just think - move forward, try to stay positive. It's not helping matters by laying down and crying; I t's not going to help the situation. You just want to go out and have a moment of fun with your friends, and that's what it's about.
How much are you looking forward to 'Sucker Punch' being released?
S: Oh, so much. This is one of the songs off that album, and I'm really proud of it. Obviously this is probably one of the... What I'd call "pure pop songs" from the album, but I can promise that there's a lot of different stuff on 'Sucker Punch.' There's some really quirky and straight-up pop songs, and I think it's a really good blend. I think it reflects my taste in music really well. It's a pop album that is coming out, but I think "pop" is such a broad genre and I don't just do one thing of the pop side, I want to do everything in between. Yeah, I'm really excited about it!
Have we heard your favourite song from the album yet?
S: Ah... Actually I do think that 'Don't Feel Like Crying' is one of my all-time favourites, I love that song. I really do, and I had so much fun writing it. But there's another one too, that's going to be on the album - and it's completely different.
So, Sigrid, as you're from Norway, one of the Nordic countries, have you ever had the chance to meet any of the big female singers like Robyn, Lykke Li, Bjork etc?
S: Oh! I haven't met one of those, though I love their music. I think they're brilliant, and of course have been a huge inspiration to me growing up. My mom is a big Bjork fan. But I've met a couple of other acts. I've met MO from Denmark, she's wonderful I love her music; she's a really really nice person too. I know Astrid S pretty well, she's Norwegian. She's great, I love her new single. Off Bloom are really good... I haven't met Tove Lo yet.
What is it about the Nordic countries and the absolute powerhouses that you produce?
S: I don't know what it is to be honest. I've thought about it before... I guess having English as our second language might have something to do with it. We grow up with a lot English and American popular culture, like when I grew up there was a lot of MTV, iTunes, and later there was Spotify. I guess because English is our second language we went to listen to melodies before lyrics. At least for me personally, I find it easier to go first for the melodies, which creates hooks, and then my favourite thing to do is create vocal hooks. Lyrics are so important to me, everything I write needs to have a meaning. But I always listen to the melodies first, that's just how my brain works.
How is the Norwegian music scene right now?
S: It's so good. Everyone before me has done so many different things, like the metal scene in Norway is amazing. Rock scene, electronic, the rap... There's so many good stuff coming out of there. There's a really good rap scene for mixing rap and pop and some organic rock influences - it's very interesting.
So, you are just dominating in everything.
S: Pffft, I dunno. But there's a lot of good stuff coming out, I'm very excited for it.
You've been to Ireland a number of the times the past couple of years - what is it about the Irish audience that you keep coming back for?
S: It's one of my favourite countries to tour, I love being here. I think everyone is so friendly, I think it's the country where I feel the most welcome. You're just open to new people, and I feel like I always have a good chat with people here too. I also think the time I fell in love with Ireland was the time in Donegal when I filmed Other Voices. I had the absolute best time, and that crew was such a small crew they took care of us so well. It was like the middle of nowhere but it was one of the best nature scenes I've seen. We had an acoustic session in a kitchen for some weird reason, we played in a church... It was just wonderful. Then I met that crew again at Electric Picnic, it was for a secret gig with only 50 people capacity, and it was one of the best times I've ever had. I even got a whiskey with my name on it! And then we played another great show at EP. I have a video of me performing 'Strangers' and it is just brilliant. And actually... One of the songs off 'Sucker Punch' is inspired by that show.
You've had an amazing 2018, what's the plan for 2019?
S: Touring. We're back in Dublin to play the 3Arena in November, but before that I'm doing Sea Sessions, touring with The Coonas, touring with George Ezra, and touring with Maroon 5, and then tonnes of festivals this summer... and stuff I can't talk about.
James Blake recently said mental health to an artist while they're touring is extremely important. You tour a lot, and you will this next year - what do you do to ensure you're doing okay?
S: It's definitely something to be aware of, and I'm happy people are talking more about it. Because it is a lot of pressure, it is. It can be very stressing, and it's a lot of early mornings, often you don't get enough sleep. But I think my band are one of the most important people to me. They're real, and they're some of my closest friends. And I love how they're a good mix of like, not really giving a f*ck about whatever is going on, no matter what, they act the same. We're doing this because we love music and we're a group of friends that love hanging out together... But then on the other side they're like "ahhhh this is so f*cking cool! It's the perfect mix. My whole touring crew is so brilliant, they're such a good team. That's one thing that's important - another is getting enough sleep! It's so important. If I don't get enough, yeah I get moody. And also, off days are off days. And it's easy to ride that wave and keep going, and working working working, but it's so important to take time off. I'm not gonna do this for two years, I want to do this for a long, long time. It's like a marathon, not a sprint. And I'm so excited for my debut album, I hope it'll be the first of many.
Have you got any advice for anyone in a small town in Ireland who's at their wit's end and want to get into music?
S: I actually think for me, coming from a small town in Norway was an advantage. I didn't have record labels outside the doorstep. I had the opportunity to work on things for myself for a very long time. It was a much slower process, which I think is very nice. I also took a break in high school from the music industry, to focus on my education. When it comes to music, I think you've got time, there's always time. You should never rush things, always have quality in what you're doing, and only release stuff that you really love. Because promoting stuff you don't like must be horrible. I'm opinionated, and my team let me control what I put out, it's so great. But my advice would be to take your time, and don't rush into anything. And always take days off! And also have fun. It can be quite serious, this whole music business, and it's a job, and that's something to remember too.
Have you got a favourite TV show?
S: Ohh... Hmmmm... 'Big Little Lies' is one of my favourites, 'The Queen,' and 'Mad Men.' But if we're talking films 'Lord of the Rings' - I love fantasy. I really like 'Star Wars' and 'Harry Potter' too.
Anything you're looking forward to watching this year?
S: Oh yes. 'His Dark Materials' the new BBC series based on The Golden Compass books - I am gonna watch everything of that! I also loved 'A Star Is Born' this year, the songs are so, so good. There was a Norwegian biopic movie about Sonja the figure skater ('Sonja Henie'), and you should definitely watch that.
'Sucker Punch' will be the debut album from Sigrid, and is due for release on March 8th. Her newest single from the album 'Don't Feel Like Crying' is available now.