Sigrid Solbakk Raabe, known simply on your playlists as Sigrid, is the Norwegian pop singer who's doing everything right.
Sigrid shot to fame after her song, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, was streamed more than 13 million times on Spotify and dubbed as one of Lorde’s favourite tracks of the month. A single listen was enough to get Island Records on a plane to sign her, leaving very little time for this 20-year-old to get used to her rising fame.
Lucky for us, Sigrid still found some time to tell us about her childhood, playing Glastonbury and recording a song for The Sims’ soundtrack.
1. She was born and raised in Norway, surrounded by some pretty picturesque scenery
“Ålesünd is a small town that consists of five islands, right in the middle of the ocean. It’s a very alpine area, surrounded by mountains. We are an outdoor family, so I used to ski a lot growing up.”
2. Music was always part of her childhood
“I’m very close to my two older siblings – my brother and sister – and they sort of influenced the music I listen to. I remember we had a lot of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young playing as we were growing up but the first artist I discovered on my own was Adele.”
3. She writes her own tracks. In fact, the songs released on her debut EP, Don’t Kill My Vibe, are just the tip of the iceberg
“Before Don’t Kill My Vibe dropped, I was doing writing sessions for years. I was actually in London almost every week in 2016 meeting with producers and songwriters, so I have around 50 or 60 demos that didn’t make it to the EP.”
4. While she works hard, Sigrid also enjoys her down time
“I do love to work. The months after the EP dropped, around March and April, were quite mental but the last month has been quite chill. So yeah, I do get time off. I spend it with my family, my friends, my band – I go hiking, I try to cook. Although I’m terrible at cooking.”
5. Like all of us, Sigrid had childhood dreams to play at Glastonbury Festival. The difference? Instead of singing in a shampoo bottle pretending to be on stage, she actually did it.
“Glastonbury was crazy, it was one of my childhood dreams. It was honestly great and so surreal. The difference (to Norwegian festivals) was in the crowd, though. I guess Norwegians need alcohol to properly get into songs when they’re at a festival. Norwegians can be a bit shy. Whereas in the UK and other Europeans, they’re just crazy crowds to start with.”
6. Her parents are super supportive of her career in music
“While my parents never forced me to do music, and it was always just the thing I did on the side, they were super supportive. At the end of high school, they did encourage me to pursue it fully, saying I would regret it if I didn’t try it.”
7. She never considered writing or performing in Norwegian, blessing us English speakers with a good dose of Scandi-pop
“My big heroes growing up didn’t sing in Norwegian, even though surprisingly, I almost only listen to Norwegian music today. There’s so much good stuff coming out of Norway at the moment.
“Maybe it’s because of my accent. People from different villages speak differently in Norway and my accent is considered really harsh, which makes me sound way better when I sing in English. I always say everything sounds better in English.”
8. She fulfilled one of her (and our) life goals: helping create the soundtrack for The Sims
“My older sister and I played The Sims every day growing up. We were the biggest gamers. We have all the expansion packs, so when we’re home for Christmas and summer vacation, we still play it.
“Anyway, I was in the car with my American manager and he asked: ‘What’s your biggest dream?’ And I said, ‘I want to be in The Sims one day’. And I guess he took it a step further and just made it happen.”
9. And because of it, Sigrid can now sing in Simlish
“I went into the studio in Bergen, Norway and I recorded the Simlish version of ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’.
“It was pretty difficult. I know the song so it wasn’t that hard but it’s essentially a new language, so of course it felt a little odd. I think the words actually mean something as well. I think Simlish is a real language.”
10. She’s a fan of the cliché
“I know how it sounds, but I’m seriously having the time of my life.”