Interview: NORA – Bad Man

By friends and family NORA has always been described as a people person. She has always been a happy open book who loves a challenge and always have a story or two to share. Probably why her nickname amongst her closest is exactly that “the storyteller”. Something that highly reflects into her song writing.

Hi NORA, how are you today?

Hi guys! Im good thanks. Finally in Norway and able to spend some time at home with my mum, so these days Im sleeping in and just enjoying a bit of a summer break! 

For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your  sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?

I actually want to trademark my sound as quirky pop”
I would describe it as playful and colourful, with no rules or restrictions, and of course with tons of girlpower! But at the same time with a dark duality to it, raw and storytelling and always with some sort of message behind it!

I have had so many influences trough the years, as all of us songwriters have..
But I would say lately with this bold, out there girl power sound I have created, I do find artists like AshniKko, Melanie Martinez, Billie Eilish etc very inspiring as they break barriers in the same way that I’ve always wanted to do with my music, both visually and sonically. 

You were also raised in Norway. Could you tell us how the music scene there has inspired your sound? 

Yes I was! I think for me it was a lot to do with growing up in such a free and creative home that allowed me to explore so many sides of myself as a human and as a creative. But I would also say my many years as a Jazz singer really does shine trough in some tracks, especially when it comes to my love for harmonies and playful melodies! I did music from such a young age and have done all generes under the sun, been a part of so many fun projects growing up in Norway, working with so many great musicians and people that I can’t really pinpoint what it is that inspired the sound exactly. I would say the whole journey has shaped me into the artist I am today. Everything from my classical training to doing backing vocals in studio for rock bands, doing musical theatre, to playing in jazz trios and writing jazz with my own band back in the day. All of that, created the NORA you hear today.

And what has been your most memorable career moment so far?

Oh, that is a good question. But I think the most recent memorable career moment so far was earlier this July, where I performed my songs at the La Dama Runway show. It was just so inspiring! Models in underwear, of all shapes, colours and sizes. Them having that confidence and bravery to just be themselves and showing all the ways a woman is a REAL woman, walking, singing along to my music. As an artist I think its quite clear that this is something I am very passionate about. And being around so many fierce females and being able to combine my two favourite things: Fashion and music, at the same time. Well, it was just magical. 

You have just released your new single ‘Bad Man’. Can you tell us how that track came about? Is there a story behind it?

Funnily enough Bad Man was the first to be written out of all the tracks on the upcoming EP.I wrote Bad Man, when I wasn’t my most empowering self and was actually in quite a dark place, trying to make sense of things trough the aftermaths  of a breakup after a long term toxic relationship, where I was constantly putting them first and ignored the red flags from very early on.
The whole track came about trough probably one of my longest studio sessions ever. It all started with me coming to Wills studio around 7pm where we started chatting about what kind of music we wanted to create, he then said “Oh I know someone who would love working on this with us” And 30 min later, Julez joined us in the studio! We actually didn’t finish the session until 6am! I remember it so well, as Julez and I shared an Uber home and showed the track to the driver, which I think I have a video of somewhere actually!

In many ways, Bad Man was the catalyst in my own journey on finding back to my own strength and self, especially as a woman. As well as the catalyst to my current sound.  I don’t think I even realised it then, but when I was writing the lyrics “little girl with big blue eyes” I was writing it to my current self then, from the future NORA to stand up for yourself and see your worth and of course to all other girls out there who finds themselves in a relationship with someone who has narcissistic tendencies. 

And how would you say it compares to your previous releases?
I would say Bad Man is the darker, more “B*tchy” one of the previous releases.
Maybe even also more honest than the previous ones as well, if that even is possible! Haha! 

I remember my ex had said that he wished I was more of a B*tch, cause then it would be easier to get over me. I guess I got a bit inspired by that and decided to unleash it in the studio. 

Can we expect a new EP, or even an album from you in the near future?

Yes, my new EP “Boring Personality Disorder” is actually around the corner! It will be released late Sept/Early October! Other than that there’s no set plans for more albums or EP’s! But I already have plans for my debut album concept. However, I will probably be focusing on releasing some more music videos and singles before that project comes to life!

The coronavirus outbreak has obviously affected everyone’s plans, but what have you got in store for the rest of the year?
Yes, I did affect all of our plans for sure. However, because of the whole delay in my release that was meant for 2020, this EP actually gained two additional tracks! So as much as it was annoying, there is a silver lining there for me and this project I guess! My plans for the rest of this year is mainly now introduce myself to the world with this EP.  Next single is actually right around the corner, the third single from the EP – Feels Like,coming on the 18th of August! 

 I also have a credit soundtrack that is featured in a documentary that will be aired on Scandinavian TV this fall, so I will also be releasing Cracks, as the track is called 1st September! I also have some cool shows lined up both in Oslo, and in the UK! 

And finally, what is the best piece of musical advice you have ever been given?

Well.. This isn’t actually particularly a musical advice, but its an advice that I got from one of the most important people in my life, and that is my grandad. And it simply goes “Give less f*cks* and you’ll live a great life.

Simply that I need to just go for it and not worry so much! Ive always been an over thinker, and someone who beats themselves up over the smallest things. And therefore this simple, yet so powerful advice really resonated with me! Im actually getting this tattooed at some point in his handwriting in Norwegian so I never forget.

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