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Sigrid – and five other must-see acts from Norway

Right now, Norwegian acts like Kygo, Alan Walker and Aurora are taking over the world with their music. This weekend, say hello to the next batch of stars.

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Today marks the start of the by:Larm festival, the Nordic answer to South by Southwest, turning all of Oslo into one giant festival area teeming with both local and visiting music lovers as well as international A&R-people, all there to check out fresh faced hopefuls while making sure to cheer for those who are one second away from being the next big thing.

They'll have a lot of great stuff to pick from. Norway is a beautiful country, something that is often reflected in the music made here.

For instance, the country's vibrant electronic music scene that is a precursor to today’s electronic pop domination owes a lot to long periods of darkness coupled with amazing experiences in nature – well documented in the film "Northern Disco Lights":

 

Though there is plenty of pure electronic music presented at by:Larm this year too, it is the pop acts that really stand out. They're in good company. Lately the hits have just kept on coming for Norwegian pop music.

Just listen:

Kygo impressing Vin Diesel with his piano skills and writing hits with Selena Gomez.

Aurora conquering any talkshow host you throw at her with her singing and dancing.

Alan Walker's bedroom productions taking him from here to eternity.

Dagny setting dancing feet on fire worldwide with this impressive debut single.

Gabrielle who (with a little help from "SKAM") managed to turn her two year old single in Norwegian into an international hit. Stargate producing hits for pretty much anyone worth listening to, from Coldplay and Rihanna to Demi Lovato.

And Röyksopp? Röyksopp is forever.

But who are the next band of pop music hopefuls set to impress outside Norwegian borders? Here are the must-see acts of this year's by:Larm.

Sigrid

Sigrid has been young and promising for a couple of minutes already – for instance, you can check out this live performance of her 2014 single "Known You Forever".

Since then, there must have come a moment where the 20-year old decided to just floor the turbo pedal on her own musical development – there are miles between her former sweet acoustic piano pop and her current surprise hit "Don't Kill My Vibe", a confident outburst telling someone "that's enough already", digging her heels in, all cradled up in punchy pop beats.

 

BBC Radio 1 made this their "hottest record in the world" recently, leading to millions of plays on Spotify in mere days. No artist is facing greater expectations than Sigrid during this year's by:Larm, so prepare for a packed house both when she takes the stage at Rockefeller Thursday evening and Gamla Friday evening.

Astrid S

🤓

Et innlegg delt av astrid s (@astridsofficial)

Speaking of 20 year old popstars with international success, here's another one. With a sold out European tour, a Norwegian Grammy and an MTV EMA Award under her belt, collaborations with Matoma, AVICII and Shawn Mendes and hits like "Hurts So Good" and "2 AM", Astrid S has in record time turned out to be a comet blazing through the music scene.

 

Her by:Larm concert in Kulturkirken Jakob on Thursday evening will present a rare opportunity to see her performing both new and old material in an acoustic and intimate fashion.

Cashmere Cat

This near-anonymous Halden boy is producing for household names like Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa, as well as for Charli XCX and Tinashe together with Stargate.

Not being the most recognisable face in the room is hardly an issue when the singers on the tracks he puts out under his own name are people like Selena Gomez, The Weeknd and Ariana Grande.

 

His show at Kulturkirken Jakob on Saturday is one of only three European gigs this year

Julie Bergan

 

get you a me, i'm lit 👸🏼

Et innlegg delt av Julie Bergan (@juliebergan)

A good friend of Astrid S who found a following with the catchy "Arigato", and just received praise from Billboard Magazine for the video accompanying her newest single "Blackout". This Friday, she'll also be releasing the official X Games Norway song – hopefully reaching a larger international audience like Alan Walker's "Faded" did for the previous X Games in Norway.

 

Bergan is playing Rockefeller on Thursday evening before performing in a more intimate setting at John Dee on Friday.

Jarle Bernhoft

 

Death by guitar. Guitar by @husemoenguitars. Photo by anonymous person working @sarpsborgavisa.

Et innlegg delt av Bernhoft (@jarlebernhoft)

Hardly young anymore, but Bernhoft and his soul-infected musical project still holds a ton of promise. His performance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show back in 2011 opened eyes and ears worldwide, helping him gather an international following.

 

This January, Bernhoft released a new EP, dubbed "The Morning Comes", which he will be performing during his show at Sentrum Scene on Thursday evening.

Sandra Kolstad

One of our more leftfield – but still catchy – pop acts. When Sandra Kolstad is playing shows all over the world, audiences can always expect experimental soundscapes to go hand in hand with heartbursting choruses, as was the case with her amazing single "Zero Gravity State of Mind":

 

This Autumn, she is releasing a new album, which she will be presenting for the first time during her show at Herr Nilsen on Thursday evening.

Information on festival passes and single day tickets can be found at the by:Larm web page.

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