Norwegian newcomer and mystical-pop fairy AURORA appeared on the surface of music with a big boom when her tune Running With The Wolves hit viral platforms earlier this year. With only 18 years she composes and writes her own material. Mysterious enough to be curious about a closer look behind the dark forest. What you find is not another product of the big machine of pop, but a young girl, who carefully observes her environment. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION talked with the dreamy artist before her set in Berlin, which had to be moved to a bigger venue due to the high demand for her performance.
Your first EP Running With The Wolves was a critical acclaim. Now you are about to release your first longplayer in 2016. Do you feel some kind of pressure when you think about listeners opinions?
Yes, I think I do. But still, I’m just happy that I have made an album. You know, I’m just proud of that. I still write songs for my own sake, not to make anyone else happy. So I think it will be fine. Of course I’m a bit scared now. And it gets more and more scary.
Have you already finished working on it or are you still in the process while being on tour?
It will be finished by the end of this month…
And is there alread a name for it?
[With wide opened eyes and a silent voice] Oh not yet. I don’t know.
When it comes to the themes of the album, what can we expect from it? Will it be close to the EP or do want to move into different directions?
Well, every song will be quite different. I think it will be kind of schizophrenic. Both, lyric-wise and production-wise. Very different, because each song is going to be a different story, a different thing. But it will be me. It will be even more me.
You said stories, what inspires those stories? Where do the ideas come from? Is it life, music?
[Thoughtful] Well…people. Just my family and people in Norway and all around the world. Happy ones, and those who experience very bad stuff. A lot of different people. So there are many many stories you get inspired by.
Do you think your homeland or hometown were big inspirations for you as a musician? The way of living is often to be called as quite different than in the UK or Germany, for example, where you also worked.
Yeah, it’s different. I love Norway, I love the people there. Well, I love all people [laughs]. I am inspired by everything back home. I observe a lot and I write about it later. So I observe and then I write.
You are talking about your writing process. You were doing it since you’ve been ten years old. By now you are 19. Do you remember a certain situation or a specific moment were you felt you’ve improved in your skill of writing lyrics and to turn them into songs?
I don’t know. I’m still working hard to be even better. I don’t feel like I’m the best I can be, yet. When you have a goal, for me, it’s when I want to write the perfect song for me. I want to write a perfect song for me. And when I work on it, on my goal, it becomes hard sometimes to feel the progress. I think my vocab…vocabulary?! You see! [laughs] It’s getting better. At least better since I was nine.
Let us get a bit more behind the writing. By now you got signed by a major label.
Yes, I’m signed to Universal Music and Glassnote.
I’m sure you’ve met lot of interesting artists there. Do you like to connect with them to write a song or do you still like working solo?
I like to write on my own. But I’ve been travelling a lot around, trying to write with different people. I think it’s weird because it’s easier for me to sing, to tell my stories. I know where they came from. I need to know why it is this verse, what it means behind all this words. It’s important that I feel that the song is my own. Right now I find it a bit hard, but I have many things to learn. So…
…you would be open to do it?
Yeah and I have been trying as well. Running With The Wolves? I wrote it with a girl called MICHELLE [LEONARD] and Nico here in Germany, here in Berlin actually, what’s great.
Did you know it was used here in a commercial?
Yeah, of course. That’s really great!
‘I never wanted to enter the stage – I wanted to write’
One of your fans is KATY PERRY. At the moment she is one of the biggest stars on earth. Can you image being as big as her one day? Do you like that idea?
[With hands on her cheeks] Oh no, I would like to keep it small! Well, I don’t know what happens or what will happen…but it must be really hard to be her.
It’s definitely hard work!
Oh yes, but amazing and hard. And difficult. And beautiful. At the same time. I hope to be able to do music as a job, without having another one on the side. So I can focus on the music. But I also hope to be able to go out. To restaurants and so on…
So would you discribe it as another goal to reach as many people as possible with your music?
Well, no. I never saw it as a goal when I was a child, either. I never wanted to enter the stage – I wanted to write. To write songs, to draw and to dance – and those were my hobbies.
One of my songs was supposed to be a gift for my mum and dad for christmas. Then one of my friends put it online in Norway and I got good feedback. And that was how this thing started and I was found by my main management and the management here, in Berlin, as well. After that things just happend really quickly.
Do you have the feeling that due to the music you are missing some other things which are happening normally at your age?
I don’t know…yeah…a bit, maybe. I mean, I do many things now that people my age aren’t doing. There are also many things I couldn’t do or should have done by now that I’m not doing. But still, I’m very happy and my band is amazing. They are my new best friends and they’re like a family, so it’s fine. I also fit more together with a bit older people, more calm people than…
Other 19-year-olds running around, going crazy?
[Laughs] Yeah, like that. So it’s ok. … You know…I miss it sometimes.
So how does a day off look like for you? When there is no work?
If I have a day off…then I usually draw or just play piano. It’s my hobby and my job. Making music is my hobby, performing is the job.
‘Be the voice of the voiceless!’
And besides music as a big topic in your life, are there any other things, maybe even social or political issues, which concern you at the moment?
Oh, yeah. All over the world there are things to be concerned about. That’s what might be great about becoming a person people will listen to, to affect the world in a bigger way that you can’t alone. Which is very nice. It’s a good motivation. I don’t really want to get famous, but at least I try to do as many good things as possible.
It all has to come from heart.
Oh yes. But I really care about animals. I don’t use fur. It’s very important that we treat them right, they can’t speak out. So be the voice of the voiceless!
What does hope and passion mean to you?
Hope is the most beautiful thing. It’s very fragile, because if you believe in something, in that hope, that’s quite strong, isn’t it? It’s like the last thing you have. That’s hope. I hope everything works out fine. If you don’t believe in it, then there will be no hope. You still believe that everything’s going to be ok, even if noone is telling you that. And…children! Children are hope! Like, you see them and you really think that everything in the world is good.
Passion is…emotion. Everything that can express them. Emotions. That’s passion. To dance, to sing, to write music, to draw.
Again the drawing! Now I have to ask: will the world see those paintings of yours one day?
I don’t know yet. Maybe. But at the time I’m painting a bit morbid stuff…like…you can see what we do to animals. The way we treat them. It might be quite hard to…yeah, it’s quite complicated. So, maybe. Hopefully one day I don’t need to be on the cover of my own songs. You know, right now I have to show people who this person behind the music is. One day I might be able to use my paintings as the artwork.