An interview with Astrid S
A few days before her sold out Manchester tour date at Gorilla, Molly caught up with Norwegian artist Astrid S to talk about
Molly: So you have recently sold out your North American tour, which is fantastic, how does that feel?
Astrid: It’s just a bit surreal, a little bit crazy! It’s really cool and it has been really nice to play in The States and meet my American listeners and supporters.
Molly: What was the highlight of touring in America?
Astrid: I think it’s just the whole package of being in The States and the American spirit that you can do anything. You know, having burgers on breakfast menus and milkshakes three times a day! – the food is so great and the audience is so supportive, they’re kind of outgoing, they sing along to the songs and they dance and they make out with each other!
Molly: That’s amazing! It must be really great as an artist to go somewhere that’s not your home country and have such an amazing response.
Astrid: Yeah! it was great!
Molly: And strangely enough, going from America to Norway, I actually saw you perform at the Roots festival in Bronnoysund this summer! (For context, the Roots festival is a small festival held in a quaint Balmory-esk town on the coast of Northern Norway. Seeing Astrid S there is almost like bumping into her in the local Sainsbury’s)
Astrid: Really?! Wow, Haha!
Molly: Yeah, I was visiting my Dad’s family and we ended up going to the Roots festival, which is how I got into your music!
Astrid: Oh, I’m so excited! Roots was so fun! Cool, so you’re half Norwegian?
Molly: Yes, and after seeing you perform at Roots, I am wondering, what is your favourite song to perform?
Astrid: Probably Such a Boy, its just really, the audience just vibe to it, and it has a cool message that people can relate to and its a lot of fun.
Molly: As a Norwegian recording artist along with Kygo and Sigrid, what would you say is the best thing about being from Norway and being a musician?
Astrid: I think a benefit is that, as a songwriter, I grew up listening to American and British pop. And unlike Germany and France, were not as protective of our language, so we don’t dub TV series. When I grew up I would listen to a lot of American and English pop music and I didn’t really understand what they were saying, so I would listen more to the production of the music and I think that comes off in a lot of Norwegian and Swedish acts, it is very melody-driven. Also, Norway is very sarcastic and a big part of our culture is comedy, nobody really takes themselves too seriously.
Molly: That is such a unique thing in pop and music, to not take yourself too seriously- it’s so refreshing.
Astrid: Yeah, right?! I love the culture in Norway. And the music scene is so small and intimate, everyone knows everyone and we cheer for everyone. We relax and were ourselves and I feel like a lot of the Norwegian acts are very ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ -next-door. We’re reachable, relatable and not on a pedestal or too glamorous and we could be anyone’s friend.
Molly: That’s so true and its a great characteristic of Norwegian artists. What is the main difference between home crowds and crowds from Europe and America?
Astrid: I think the biggest difference is the audience. A Norwegian audience is very different from The States and Europe. Because I think culture is different, it’s very difficult to get people to go to concerts and sell tickets here in Norway. The audience is either very shy and just listen, which doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t enjoying themselves or aren’t having a good time, they just don’t show as much, or they’re super drunk and not really paying attention at all. But its a good challenge. This summer has been great because everyone has been dancing and singing along to my lyrics, even in Norway. Its really hard to capture the Norwegian audience, but its a cool challenge because when you do, its great.
Molly: That must make it feel even better! Like you’ve mentioned, you’ve been performing a lot this summer. Coming from such a peaceful hometown and being launched into a hectic career, what do you do to unwind and relax?
Astrid: I don’t really do anything special, I eat, I sleep, I FaceTime my mum and watch Sex in the City– I used to watched it when I was younger and I didn’t understand what was going on, but now I do. I love it.
Molly: Brilliant. And you’re coming to the UK to tour, is there anything you’re looking forward to do in the UK?
Astrid: I really love British people and I find your humour great, you’re just as sarcastic as I am, you guys get my jokes. I also love the accent and you’re very welcoming, so I feel a lot cooler when I’m in England.
Molly: You’ve collaborated with some pretty big names, Matoma and Blonde, for example, and they’ve really helped propel your career. Who would be your dream collaboration?
Astrid: That would be Khalid. His new album is great. I would love to work with him. He’s just amazing.
Molly: That’s a great choice, his album is so good! Is there anything you can tell us about your upcoming music? Is there an album on the way?
Astrid: I’m going to go back to the studio in January, I’m going to have little break at the end of this year. Then when I go back I’ll just spend all my time in the studio, at least from January until March and make an album, hopefully.
Molly: Would you say you prefer touring or recording?
Astrid: It depends, I think, I like 50/50, So when I’ve been touring for three months, I get a tired of it and want to go back to the studio, and when I’ve been in the studio for three months, I can’t wait to go back out and tour.
Astrid S performed at Manchester’s Gorilla on the 9th of October.