Spot Festival

Aurora Borealis

Katy Perry has tweeted about her, and she is signed by the label known for letting down The Beatles. Next week she’s coming to Aarhus to play at the SPOT Festival.

By Marthe Vee, Jutland Station

Aurora never thought she would be a musician. She did not even think her music was good enough to share with anyone.

“I’m really surprised about people actually listening to my music,” says the 18 year-old girl from Bergen, Norway.

It all started two years ago, when one of her friends put her music online without her permission. The Norwegian media started noticing her, and suddenly she was asked to play for the Oslo-based festival for newcomers, Bylarm. Aurora’s band was put together only a month before, and this would be her first “real” concert. The result? A packed house and two scholarships worth 70,000 NOK –  given out to young and talented songwriters.

A lot has happened since then. The girl, still pursuing general education, had a dream about being a physicist, yet she took a break from her studies to work full time with her music career.

It payed off. After her performance at By:Larm, she got signed by three record companies covering both Norway, the US, and several parts of Europe. One of them is Glassnote Records, the record company most famous for not signing The Beatles, where she has a deal of releasing four albums.

“This year has been very weird. I think it’s odd that people show up to my concerts, voluntarily, just to listen to me perform”, she says.

And they do indeed show up. Aurora has already played at several Norwegian festivals, done a show in Berlin and New York, warmed up for Jessie Ware – and all that even before the release of her first album, which will come September this year.

One day in March she woke up to a bunch of notifications on her phone, new followers and messages. She went to check the local newspaper, and saw that Katy Perry had tweetet about a local artist. That artist was her.

“It was crazy. I tweetet her back, saying thanks, and she wrote me back, telling me that she believed in me and that I should keep on shining”.


Quitting school and starting a whole new life as a pop star was strange, she says, but she has support from her family and especially her two sisters, who sometimes join her on her concerts. In fact, it was her mom who convinced her to share her music in the first place – telling her that it could help others.

“Sometimes I get really nice messages from people telling me that my music is helping them. It’s a really nice thing, because I need to know that someone else also needs my music”, she says.

Usually her songs are about sad events – happening to herself, but mainly to others around her.

“I’m a really sensitive person, and I easily notice when people around me are hurting. Writing about it is a way of processing things happening in my life, either to me or to others”, she says.

Aurora is a storyteller, inspired by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. But she does not like to tell people what her songs are about, rather she wants people to imagine for themselves. Sometimes she even hides the message a little bit. The inspiration for her newest song, Running with the Wolves, came from watching the news.

“Humans do a lot of great things, but we also do terrible stuff. This song is about distancing oneself from all the technology and materialism, and just run with the wolves for one night”, she says.

When she is not singing or dancing, she loves to read – one of her favorite books being Harry Potter.

“I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I have the need to picture that things are a bit different than they are – that there exists some magic in the world”, she says.

“What character would you be in Harry Potter?”

“I think I would have been Luna Lovegood. At least, that’s what everyone tells me”.

Although Aurora is traveling around the world, and is predicted a promising international career, she hopes to still live in the outskirts of Bergen, Lysefjorden, where she grew up.

“I hope to live here among the mountains and the ocean. It’s really quiet and nice here. I don’t like cities and big crowds of people,” she says and adds:

“But on stage it’s fine. I’m there for a reason.”

Aurora is playing at the SPOT Festival, Saturday 18.45 at VoxHall. 

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Marthe Vee is a Norwegian journalist, and currently the culture editor for Jutland Station.