Get To Know: Ina Wroldsen
We're getting to know the incredibly talented Norwegian artist in this week’s introducing interview...
You’ve undoubtedly heard Ina Wroldsen’s work without even realising it. She’s been in the industry for years, writing for artists such as Shakira, Britney Spears, Tinie Tempah, Anne-Marie, One Direction, Little Mix and more.
Remember ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, the massively successful collaboration between Calvin Harris and The Disciples? Well Ina both wrote and recorded the vocals for the song in one take as a demo, and Harris decided to keep her vocal track rather than using anyone else.
Now it’s her time to shine at the forefront. Ina Wroldsen’s new EP Hex is a diverse electropop project where her sound ranges from ‘Remember Me’ taking stylistic influence from opera to ‘Sea’ with its electronic progressive vastness and impassioned vocals.
Hex shows her breadth of skill and shows that she's used everything she's learnt from her long run as one of the most prolific contemporary pop songwriters to take her first steps into the limelight boldly.
Watch the enchanting Norwegian landscape contrasted with gothic imagery in her music video for ‘Remember Me’ and then Get To Know Ina Wroldsen in our introducing interview below...
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
My name is Ina Wroldsen. I write songs because I absolutely have too. I love all kinds of music and I sort of think of myself as a musical schizophrenic. When I write music, I like to tell stories. That’s what’s so alluring about song writing to me. I used to write songs for other people, but lately I have been telling my stories myself.
I come from a small town in Norway called Sandefjord, I lived in London for almost ten years, but I missed the sea and the mountains, so now I am back where I belong.
2) Describe your sound in three words…
This is a tricky one, because what I like the most about music is the freedom of it. I don’t want to be locked in any certain direction.
I want to write about things that matter to me, by freeing up the shape of the concept, so that other people can find their message in my songs.
But in three words: storytelling, melodic, free.
3) Who inspired you to start a career in music?
I have been singing and making up melodies for as long as I can remember. Like I mentioned earlier, I come from a small town in a small country and its only recently that people from my neck of the woods has started making it outside of Norway. When I was growing up, it seemed almost impossible. I remember being 14 and hearing ‘Unforgivable Sinner’ by Lene Marlin, and I realised this girl from cold Northern Norway had actually breached the boarders. I then realised it might not be so impossible after all, and picked up a guitar.
4) Who are your biggest musical influences?
I am influenced by all music. From Beethoven to Regina Spektor, from Abba to Queen, From Tori Amos to Avicii.. I just love good melodies and great stories. Lately I have been obsessing on Cardi B, but at the same time, I'm driving my family mad listening to Maria Callas arias..
5) Tell us about the writing and recording process for your new single/album…
My ep Hex is all about my homecoming. Both to Norway and to my inner self. I wrote 3 out of 4 songs in my studio in my house, with producers I regard as close friends. Every song is an emotion that I had at that time.
I don’t really have an explanation as to how I write songs, they just show themselves in my head, and then I sing them.
‘Sea’ is about the joy and pleasure I felt from being back home next to the ocean again. ‘Sea’s emotion is a sense of belonging.
‘Remember Me’ is about remembering who you are and the feeling of triumph you get when you realise you are free to do whatever you want. I have been trying to break the part of me that wants to perform my own songs for so many years, and so have some other people. ‘Remember Me’, to me, is about revenge.
‘Mine’ is about that human desire to “own” another person. We love someone, so we demand they be “ours”. I suppose ‘Mine’ is mostly about control.
‘Mother’ was written in a time where I was desperate to find myself. I was in the middle of moving countries, I was scared of staying in London and I was scared of leaving it. ‘Mother’ is about just following your heart no matter what.
6) What can we expect from your live shows?
You can expect to see someone on stage who loves what they do. Whenever I am up there, I always think how grateful I am to be allowed to do this. And musically, I like to stretch myself as far as I possibly can. My main goal is to make you feel something.
7) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
My biggest highlight so far, must be my first tour, in Norway last year. I was so petrified people wouldn’t show, that I didn’t want people to tell me how many tickets we’d actually sold. The feeling of walking on stage seeing a full house is something I will carry with me, always.
8) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
Well, I don’t really get starstruck, I usually keep a cool head, but when I saw Beyonce two meters away from where I was standing at a Roc Nation Grammy brunch a couple of years ago, I almost had to reach for my asthma inhaler. It was pretty embarrassing, but also totally amazing. She is a queen, and one of my biggest idols. Her voice control is out of this world.
9) What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
‘Erlkönig’ by Schubert. It’s the most intense piece of music I have ever heard.
10) When can we see you live?
Well, I am playing a few festivals in Norway this summer, and we are planning a London show this autumn. Please follow me on social media for updates on live gigs, new music and general bulls**t...
Thanks for talking to me!!
Need to be introduced to more upcoming artists? You can check out last week’s Get To Know with Snail Mail HERE.