Songwriters are nothing to find hard these days. But we found someone who brings some fresh tunes to this genre. In his home country Norway, JONAS ALASKA made it quite big within one year only. Now he is taking his songs to other parts of Europe. We talked to him about grabbing hearts, conquering new countries and BOB DYLAN.

It’s your first time at SPOT FESTIVAL and you never played outside of Norway before?
Jonas- Yes that’s right, I just played two shows in Sweden last week to warm up.

How would you describe yourself and your music? Why should people listen to you?
Jonas- That’s always a hard question and I don’t want to sound like a dick. What I like about my music is the honesty. I don’t cover up too much with metaphors and mega deep sentences. I like to post it straight away and tell stories. I hope people find it genuine and hear that it comes from the heart. That’s why I liked to play here stripped down with a trio. A song always has to work just with the guitar, that’s kind of a rule for me.

Are there special acts you are influenced by?
Jonas- Well I can’t hide that BOB DYLAN is my main inspiration especially in the way he writes the lyrics. This is grabbing your heart right away, or your balls. I also like PAUL SIMON and the way he writes melodies and plays guitar. I also used to listen to postrock like TORTOISE or also hip-hop stuff like WUTANG a lot. I was all into that kind of music and then discovered BOB DYLAN and realized that this is what I want to do.

The songwriter genre is kind of overrepresented these days. We liked to meet you because we felt that you are more than a guy with a guitar as many others are. To us your music sounded more positive than other’s songwriters.
Jonas- That’s good to hear because I think so too. Thank you. When people always talk about the depressive stuff, I can never see myself in that. I also talk about depressive stuff but I use major cords.

Since we are called nothing but hope and passion – what comes to your mind when you hear those words? What do they mean to you as a musician and person?

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nothing but passion is absolutely the way how I look at what I do.

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Jonas- Well it’s a good sentence, very cool. The hope part I’m not quite sure about. But nothing but passion is absolutely the way how I look at what I do. I write the songs for myself. I of course love when people like what I do and come to concerts but the core of it is that I want to write a song.
Hope: I just hope the people like what I do.

What do you expect from Spot Festival and what do you think will happen afterwards?
Jonas- I really had not much time to think about it you know. I play a lot of gigs and thought this was just one of them. But after playing here and seeing how many people have showed up I was just getting a good vibe from Denmark. I hope that people are interested in hearing more and I maybe get some more shows here and somewhere else. I’ve never been to Germany for example.

You made it quite big in Norway. When you play outside of Norway, what do you expect?
Jonas- I have no idea because I’m back at the beginning but it feels great. A completely new audience is coming to every gig and I like that. It just comes down to the music, nobody has much opinion about me. It’s just a year ago that nobody knew me in Norway, so I’ll just see what happens.

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JONAS ALASKA
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singer-songwriter / folk
from Åmli, Norway

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