In a world of fake everything, Sigrid is the real deal. Scientists in an algorithmic pop lab couldn’t dream this up, though they’d probably have a go: a 22-year-old musical prodigy who sounds real, looks real and writes about the real stuff, who knows relationships are “not like in the movies; our story’s after the end” (from her certified Gold electro-pop banger Strangers). Her epic songs are both tales of the unexpected and shout-outs to human resilience, her vocal range spanning the powerhouse pipes of Adele to the falsetto thrills of SIA, for whom haunting acoustic tenderness comes as naturally as infectious vocal inflections (“Hey!” “Woop!”)
Through dynamic electro soundscapes, left-field quirks, sing-along chants and innate pop flair, Sigrid thinks BIG – less a pop concept than an invigorating blast of Scandinavian fresh air, a freckle-faced Norwegian in a hoodie, jeans and trainers, whose favourite t-shirt is a comfy white freebie from KLM airlines. Not only the singer, songwriter and arranger of euphoric, progressive pop, she’s smart, confident, uncompromising. No wonder millennials love her.
“I figured out early on that it’s gonna be difficult for me to try and be anything other than who I am,” says Sigrid in her effortless English (with an accent sounding endearingly Irish). “I always said if I’m gonna do this - and I don’t think it’s in the Norwegian blood to be a pop artist! – it’s easiest to be myself and look like myself, where I can recognise myself.”
In the last 18 months we’ve all recognised a stunning new talent: she won BBC Sound of 2018, debuted at Glastonbury, headlined Shepherd’s Bush Empire, lit up festivals across Reading, Roskilde, Coachella and Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend, sang at the Nobel Peace Prize concert, covered Leonard Cohen’s Everybody Knows for the DC Comics movie Justice League, bewitched TV audiences from Later…with Jools Holland, The Late Late Show with James Corden and the Graham Norton Show (Dame Helen Mirren was on her feet), was nominated for Best Artist at the 2018 UK Music Video Awards (alongside Bjork, Christine and the Queens and Florence + The Machine), her streaming numbers today reaching 400 million worldwide. She’s captivated British Royalty, introduced to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a Gala Dinner in Oslo in early 2018 where, she laughs, “I was running between the tables singing Don’t Kill My Vibe!” She’s a natural free spirit, more likely to bound across the stage in her scarlet hoodie than twerk in a fishnet leotard (just like her millions of fans).