Amanda Tenfjord is one of the newest rising stars on the Norwegian pop scene. She combines catchy hooks with a hint of melancholy. We asked her some questions about her upbringing, ambitions and inspirations. The singer-songwriter and medicine student will perform at SPOT in May – many more acts to be revealed next week.
Q: What made you start playing and writing music?
A: “I started playing piano when I was five. I also played trumpet in the local school band at a young age. It was my family who encouraged me to do it, and I happen to like doing it so I continued. I started taking vocal lessons when I was eight which I loooved.”
Q: What is the first music your remember? And what is the first music you bought? And what music inspires you today?
A: “I remember my dad singing Greek songs to me as a child. He always sang me to sleep, and I didn’t fall asleep easily so he had to sing for me for hours. I think the first music I bought was Hits for Kids, haha. Today I get inspired by all kinds of music! I like old stuff such as Simon & Garfunkel, but from newer things I really like Aurora.”
Q: When do you write songs, how do your get the inspiration? And do you write all your music alone or with your band?
A: “Oh, the inspiration can come anywhere. I usually get inspired by my own life or other people’s words and thoughts, and then I make ideas of them when I shower or when I’m out for a walk or something. I tend to write most when I’m really sad or angry, I guess that’s when I’m most connected with my feelings. I usually write songs with one other person in the room (ed. the producer) who does all the computer-related stuff, and I do most of the melody and lyrics.”
Q: You being half Norwegian and half Greek please tell us if you think both sides can be heard in your songs – and if: in which way?
A: “The Greek songs I grew up with are extremely sad, and also guitar-based. I’ve always liked sad lyrics and acoustic elements, which I think you can hear in my songs. When it comes to the Norwegian side I’m not sure – do I sound Norwegian? I don’t know.”
Q: The Norwegian pop scene seem to explode with confident young, talented female artists at the moment. Can you tell us why you think this is happening? And why this is happening right now?
A: “Yesss, and that’s so cool! First of all I think we are really good at supporting each other! Sharing each other’s music and coming to concerts etc. And also we have a lot of good cultural supports in Norway such as from Music Norway, Norsk Kulturråd, Frifond etc. We also have ”Kulturskolen” which is like a music school, the same place I went to take piano lessons and vocal lessons. I think that’s a great great thing.”
Q: What has been your best live-experience so far – and why?
A: “Last summer we played this magical festival in a small place called Fresvik. And I remember it was 30 degrees Celsius and we went swimming before the gig, and people were lovely and the atmosphere was amazing! I think that was a great live-experience.”
Q: Your have already got international attention – The Great Escape, Eurosonic, Iceland Airwaves, Reeperbahn Festival, the JAJAJA-events – and the international media is taking notice too. What are the next steps for you (apart from SPOT)? What ’s your aim in the coming months – and where would you like to be music wise, say for example in a year from now?
A: “My aim is to have fun and release music that I love. A year from now I would have started on my debut album.”
Q: Do you see yourself as a musician? Or are your thoughts still divided between music and the medicine study?
A: “I see myself as an artist and a medicine student.”