How Aurora impressed Billie Eilish, met Leonard Cohen’s lover and sang her way out of the Norwegian woods – The Telegraph

How Aurora impressed Billie Eilish, met Leonard Cohen’s lover and sang her way out of the Norwegian woods – The Telegraph

“I always knew how to sing,” Aurora Aksnes says in her soft, clear Norwegian accent. “I’m never really tired. I can sing for 12 hours. And have a pint of Guinness. And always sing!

There’s something very special about the 27-year-old singer, songwriter and producer known simply as Aurora. Her music is extraordinary, but in person it is also enchanting: warm, spiritual, intense and slightly otherworldly. She dresses in a colorful, eccentric style and her wide eyes stare into yours as if she’s trying to peer into your soul or let you see into hers.

The youngest of three sisters, she was raised by her mother, a midwife, and her father, a salesman, in western Norway, as a “forest person”, as she puts it, playing the piano , writing songs and dancing from a young age. age. Her intimate, original compositions quickly found an audience online, and at age 18 she signed a recording contract with Decca. Her breakthrough 2015 single, Runaway, has been streamed over 870 million times on Spotify (where she has over 12 million monthly listeners) and over 640 million views on YouTube. Among her first fans was a young Billie Eilish, who has since said: “When I saw Aurora, something in me clicked, like that’s what I wanted to do. »

Although Aurora doesn’t tend to disrupt the weekly singles charts, her atmospheric music has appeared on the soundtracks of countless video games, TV series and films – and she’s the one you can hear singing Into the Unknown, Frozen II’s most irresistible earworm, alongside Idina. Menzel. Or you might know her from John Lewis’ 2015 Christmas advert, for which she invested a rendition of Oasis’ Half the World Away with her signature gentle intensity.

Yet her true talent is most evident in her own poetic songs which range from the intimate to the epic and showcase a clear, high and expressive voice that seems capable of going wherever she wants, in productions mixing folk, classic. , techno and pop. Enya, Björk and Kate Bush are obvious influences, but you can add to the mix the world-funk blend of Peter Gabriel, the bright electronic dance spirit of Robyn and the psychedelic synth of the Chemical Brothers. “It’s very difficult when people ask me what kind of music I make,” she says. “I just like to say I make good music. It’s something I bring from the inside, like a human organ. I am an organ donor!


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