Norwegian musician Aurora shines light on the darkest corners of folk


Aurora - Credit: Archant

The 19-year-old, who has over 13 million music video hits online and a sold out show in Hoxton, tells Alex Bellotti about a rollercoaster year.

Amongst the plethora of young singer songwriters trying to make a name for themselves, Aurora stands out immediately, even just for the name alone. Not only does it suggest a mononymous presence in the mould of Madonna or Bjork, but it also hints at the mysterious, electric and yet natural elements also evident in her music.

The Norwegian singer – full name Aurora Aksnes – has enjoyed a rollercoaster summer, playing a host of festivals including England’s Green Man, where she picked up plaudits for her icy brand of electro acoustic pop. Tonight (Friday), she will be playing to a sold out crowd at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen; it is only when she speaks of how she’s found the last few months that you’re reminded she is still just 19-years-old.

“It’s been very fun, but very strange because I’m usually always at home in the summer during the school holidays,” she says.

“I always miss home when I’m out travelling, but I always miss travelling when I’m home for too long. After three days, I’ll want to go out again, so it’s a good mix between the two and I’m quite happy with things as they are.”

If the fact that her show tomorrow is sold out comes as a surprise, a quick glance online will explain why. Since the release of her debut EP Running With The Wolves earlier this year, Aurora has clocked up over 13,000,000 hits on her music videos, with songs such as bloggers’ favourite Runaway and her new single, Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1).

Beyond her continuing live commitments, eyes will now be on Aurora’s debut album, which she is putting the finishing touches to before a release early next year.

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“It’s hard to make an album, because you really want it to be perfect,” she explains. “I think I speak for everyone when I say you’re never done with an album, there’s always more you can do.

“I like to listen to each and every song and I want them to feel how they are meant to be; I don’t want to make them fit into a certain genre. You have to listen to what they ask for and what they want to be. Songs have personalities, I suppose.”

Inspired by artists including Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, the precocious musician started writing songs at the age of nine.

Although initially reluctant to share her songs with the world, encouraging words from her mother allowed her to gain enough confidence to build up an increasingly large – and intense – fan base.

“It’s always scary to perform and show everyone what you’ve been doing secretly for so long,” she admits. “I didn’t even want to be an artist; I just wanted to write songs for myself like a diary.

“My mum came to me when I was about 16 and I kind of knew after a while that I’d have to show someone. She said it would be almost selfish not to share this music; she felt it could be therapeutic and help people, and that was what made me change my mind. If it can be of any help, I think you have to take that chance.”


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