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Oslo-born SIGRID has been rising through the music ranks, one pop banger after another. With her debut album now on the horizon, she meets Francesco Loy Bell as she gets ready to claim her rightful spot at the top.

Photography by KATIE BURDON



All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear

All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear

All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear

Scandinavia is killing it musically at the moment. With the likes of MØ and Tove Lo receiving universal acclaim, it feels like a very exciting time for “Scandi- pop”. And sitting atop the pile of this new wave of artists, is Sigrid. The undisputed queen of the Scandi- pop sub-genre, the 22-year-old singer from Norway has taken the music industry by storm with her unrelenting slew of unapologetic pop bangers, each better than the next.

Sigrid didn’t always know that she wanted to be a musician, however. During high school, she weighed up pursuing a career as a teacher or lawyer before the itch took over and she began to write her own songs. Her family were musical, putting her on a healthy diet of Joni Mitchell, Chet Baker, The Rolling Stones and Neil Young, and with the help of a teacher at high school, Sigrid started to sing professionally. Now with a BBC Sound of 2018 crown, performances for Kate and Wills and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and a sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire show under her belt, she’s on her way to global superstardom. “It’s been crazy,” she laughs. “It’s been really, really cool.”

Sigrid’s debut album Sucker Punch is sure to continue her trajectory. “I think the phrase ‘sucker punch’ kind of summarises the whole album,” she explains. “All of the songs are pretty hard hitting in their own ways, even the ballads. That’s my favourite type of pop, pop that’s like, ‘Oh that’s a thing,’ and you feel something. That’s what is so good about that genre, so that’s why I chose Sucker Punch as a title.”

The album is an immaculate pop record, a dynamic, digitally-inflected collection of vibrant bangers, and it’s genuinely refreshing to hear Sigrid embrace her position as a pop artist. “My music is pretty eclectic, and I’m very happy to be defined as a pop artist because it’s very versatile,” she highlights. “It’s a very broad genre and I think I can do whatever I want to do within it. My music is quite explosive and energetic and eclectic, but it’s me through all of it! It’s very, very me.”

Sigrid does not exaggerate when she tells me that her “whole brain is in that album”, recounting how she constantly has her iPhone notes and voice record apps to hand for whenever an idea pops into her head. It’s not just the songwriting which is key to Sigrid, however. She gives just as much importance to the production of her songs as to the lyrics, a key element for any pop artist. “I’m so detail-oriented in everything I do that if one piece is not how I want it to be then we can’t do it,” she tells me. “Every little piece needs to make sense, so we spend a lot of time on all of it.” For Sucker Punch, the “we” she refers to are Martin Sjølie and Odd Martin SkåInes, the Norwegian producers who worked on the album and whom Sigrid fondly refers to as “The Martinis”. I ask her if she feels a heightened sense of locality by opting to use native producers. “Yeah, for me that’s where I get the most out, because I’m comfortable and then I feel like I can do anything!” She gushes. “It’s very important creatively and musically that I can do whatever I want.”

All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear

One of the singles from the album, “Don’t Kill My Vibe”, has quickly become an anthem for millennial, and particularly female, empowerment. “I wrote the song in 2016 about a personal experience that I’d had,” she recalls. “I was in a session with someone else and I just felt like my singing wasn’t being treated as well. I wasn’t being respected. Why did they invite me if they weren’t going to listen to what I have to say? I was really pissed off, so I wrote that song later.” I suggest the importance of being vocal about such tales of gender imbalance in the workplace, these stories highlighting the fact that there doesn’t need to be sexual abused involved for there to be a warped, damaging gender dynamic in a situation, and Sigrid agrees. “Definitely. It ruins the self-esteem of people, of girls, of female engineers. It’s not easy, and you shouldn’t be the one to raise your voice higher just because you need to be heard.”

In a similar vein, another hit single from the album, “Business Dinners”, is a wonderful resistance to an industry that tries to mould and change young artists into what they deem they should be. “There are a lot of things involved, so you have to be sure of what you’re doing,” Sigrid asserts. “It’s really hard to know when you’re young and it makes me really angry when people try to take advantage of your young age.” When I ask her what her message to other young artists on the cusp of breaking into the industry would be, she speaks with crystal clarity: “Just wait as long as you can and be as sure as you can of who you are and what you want to do.”

It would be easy to assume, given Sigrid’s confidence, that the singer might have joined the cohorts of young singers in having an unmediated online existence, but this is very much not the case. She speaks firmly when she asserts that: “I have boundaries for what I want to talk about. I definitely think about how much I want to share, and how much I want to keep to myself. It’s definitely something I think more about now than at the beginning, because more people are with me.” She goes on to explain her “difficult relationship” with social media. In an age where the majority of her peers are constantly online, Sigrid makes a conscious effort to not be refreshing her apps every 10 seconds. “[Social media] gives me a lot of confidence sometimes, but it’s also stressful,” she muses. “I think it’s hard to log off, it’s hard to turn off your phone. That’s why I like hiking so much, you can’t be on your phone. You’re busy and you don’t have service.”

Despite this, it’s difficult not to pick up on the glint of excitement running through the singer’s voice as she describes her interaction with fans online and the ever-growing fan accounts she spies, her personal fave being @sigridascats. Talking on a more serious note about the way her life has changed over the last 18 months, she speaks with a combined sense of appreciation and disbelief. “It’s been surreal! I knew I had potential but I had no idea that it would happen this quickly. It’s insane! I’m spending time in different countries all the time and I’m never in the same place for more than a few days. But it’s fun. I’m really happy.”

Though she is never on the ground for too long, Sigrid certainly is grounded. With this in mind, her answer for what her ultimate ambition is does not come as a surprise. “I have a lot of ambitions and goals that I want to keep to myself,” she says quickly before pausing to think for a minute. “But, my ultimate goal is just to be happy with my work and have a good work/life balance. And also to be old and write songs and always love music. That’s my goal.”

All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear

All clothing CHANEL Spring-Summer 2019 Ready-to-Wear




Photography Assistant ALYCE BURTON



With thanks to ARMY & NAVY CLUB

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