Somewhere, there are several middle-aged men kicking themselves.
In a writing session with a young musician, Sigrid Solbakk Raabe, they patronised her, talked over her and acted as if her ideas were worthless; she sat there smiling and biting her tongue.
Genres: Synth-Pop, Singer-Songwriter
Based: Ålesund, Norway
Born: 5 September 1996 (age 21)
Years Active: 2013 – Present
For Fans Of: Lorde, Aurora
Best Track: ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ – Sigrid’s belting pop banger was a debut like few others.
Latest Release (At time of writing): Don’t Kill My Vibe (EP, May 2017)
The session did turn out to be important to Sigrid, just not in the way the producers intended. The 20-year-old Norwegian singer has penned a near-perfect revenge pop anthem voicing all the things she wishes she’d said. “You shut me down, you like the control/ You speak to me like I’m a child,” she sings on her breakout hit Don’t Kill My Vibe, before her crystalline voice pirouettes around the killer chorus: “You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?”
The feeling of being spoken down to and underestimated struck a chord. Streamed more than 13m times on Spotify, the song has been billed as “the ultimate millennial empowerment anthem”. A single listen got Island Records so excited they got on a plane the next day to sign Sigrid.
Born in the seaside town of Ålesund, Norway, Sigrid spent her childhood immersed in nature, listening to Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. The first time she was put on stage in kindergarten, with 200 other children, she burst out crying and had to be taken off. Getting involved in school theatre made her bolder, and aged 13 she performed a “terrible, but very fun” version of Smells Like Teen Spirit. In 2013 her older brother, musician Tellef Raabe, spurred her to write her own music so she could perform at a gig with him, and in two weeks she had written a song, Sun, that became her first single.
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Don’t Kill My Vibe, Sigrid’s first EP, released earlier this month, showcases moments of Adele-like heartbreak, catchy choruses and sprinklings of Joanna Newsom and Grimes. Dynamite is an acoustic song about two people growing apart (“You’re as safe as a mountain/ But know that I am dynamite”); Plot Twist is inspired by a boy “playing games”, Fake Friends makes the case for burning bridges. The lyrics are often underpinned by anger, melancholy or disappointment. “I find it easier to write about stuff that is frustrating,” she says. “Writing songs about having a nice time – ‘Oh I’m so happy on tour with my band’ – I’d find it really difficult to write a good song about it.”
Although Sigrid initially planned to become a lawyer or a teacher, she’s glad she took the risk. She now lives in Bergen with her brother and his girlfriend, and spends her time hanging out with the local musicians (singer/producer Aurora is a friend).
- 12.03.18 – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON
- 14.03.18 – O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON
- 17.03.18 – MOTION, BRISTOL
- 18.03.18 – O2 INSTITUTE2 BIRMINGHAM, DIGBETH
- 20.03.18 – LEEDS UNIVERSITY UNION, LEEDS
- 21.03.18 – ST LUKE’S, GLASGOW
- 23.03.18 – ACADEMY, DUBLIN
- 24.03.18 – MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2, MANCHESTER