“I need to sing everyday,” says Norwegian singer-songwriter Elida Høgalmen, who’s just released a new EP and was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
Exactly one year ago we wrote about Elida Høgalmen for the first time. With just three tracks out, she left us speechless. Two of them – “Strangers” and “Winter Sun” – appear on her new EP called “Past“. But the other three are as captivating, whether it’s the tenderness of “Fall #2” or the beautiful eponymous ballad, a real showcase of Elida’s phenomenal voice.
Keeping this new mini-album on repeat, we asked Elida a few questions about this release and more generally about her music, as well as favourite other artists from her homeland.
Where do you come from – literally, but also musically?
Elida Høgalmen: I grew up on a farm in a fjord on the Norwegian west coast, in a really small place called Oldedalen. I think growing up close to the nature has been influencing my music in some way.
If I got bored when I was younger, I could walk outside alone for hours, listening to music on my MP3 player. Then I walked home and taught myself to play a Coldplay or Katie Melua song from Youtube. I loved Youtube tutorials, haha. That was how I started figuring out how chords work, and how music is built up. Later I studied jazz for a while. I’ve been listening a lot to Feist, Arcade Fire and The White Stripes, to mention some.
I make music because I’ve always been into music. It’s just a part of me and I need to sing everyday.
Why do you actually make music and not something else?
I couldn’t make anything else even if I wanted. Besides from making music, I’m not an artsy person.
You have a new EP called “Past“. What was its origin?
“Past” is a very honest album. It’s a collection of some of the first songs I’ve ever written and I never thought I would release them or play them live. I started recording demos in my bedroom in 2012, after dropping out of my jazz studies. They’re written over years – one song here and one song there.
Then I posted them on SoundCloud. I loved being able to record my own music on the computer, not being dependent on anyone else. My friends kept pushing me to get a band and play my music live. Even though I never felt ready I finally started rehearsals with some great musicians in 2016, and we recorded some of the songs in a studio.
What was this whole experience like for you?
I think the process of transferring musical ideas from my mind to the mind of the musicians and the producer is very hard, but also very interesting. You have to balance between being open for input from others, but still stay true to your original ideas.
Is there any kind of listener’s response – even undisclosed – you hope to bring about with this music?
I think tears is the ultimate listeners response. Then I know that the listener is actually feeling something through my music. I love performing for small audiences. I like being able to see everyone and to feel a connection to the crowd.
What is the Norwegian these days as you see it?
The Norwegian music scene consists of a variety of genres. Right now I’m a bit tired of the Scandinavian electro pop sound. I like lo-fi music and unpolished sound, and I’m fond of the underground scene. I love going to underground rock concerts – surf rock <3 – and drink beer.
Photo credit: Maiken Larsen