Introducing the quirky, passionate, and delightfully independent singer-songwriter Kate Havnevik. Kate comes from Norway but also spends time in London, or travelling with her music. A true global entity hoping for big things in 2009. She completes our interview after her single ‘Show Me Love’ was released on I-Tunes.
1. What should we all know about Kate Havnevik? Are there any hidden talents or interesting facts we should know about?
• I started out as a classical guitar player.
• I am good at baking Norwegian cakes and sweets. I have a sweet tooth…
• I got my first axe when I was 5, chopping wood for the cottage fireplace…
• I love driving cars, boats and scooters.
• I have 3 brothers.
2. Do you remember what first got you interested in music? What’s your background?
Both my parents are classical musicians, both flautists, so it came naturally with my surroundings from the very start. We always had a lot of different music playing at home, classical, opera, pop, jazz and folk, I would hear my mum practice several hours a day, the scales are printed in my head. I started playing flute, in the school marching band, when I was 9 and changed over to guitar when I was 13.
3. What do you enjoy most about the style of music you’re performing?
I enjoy the dynamics, the loud and the very quiet, the fast and the slow. I actually wish to make it even simpler. I also love blending in orchestra instruments, but also strum a guitar while there are electronic blips from the laptop.
4. How does an independent artist on their own record label end up on world tours, in the iTunes chart, and on American television?
To be honest, it was over all expectations! Persistence, talent and a lot of luck I guess.
5. How do you find it running your own record label? Was this always a plan?
No it only became a plan when I was fed up with record labels. It’s a lot of work and sometimes a bit confusing. But it’s good to have all artistic control and own my own recordings. I can do whatever I want with them.
6. Do you have any tips for up and coming singers/songwriters, those wanting to get their music heard or do it all independently like yourself?
Write a lot of songs alone and with other people and play a lot live. Collaborate with others and don’t be too precious about your music. There has to be something in it for anyone who helps out. Never stop or doubt yourself. Be realistic, it is not some kind of fairytale, it’s hard work and it never ends…..
7. What stories do you most enjoy telling in your songs? Is there anything you wouldn’t find that inspiring from a lyrical point of view?
I enjoy writing about people’s relationship to each other, not always in a romantic way, also between friends, family and strangers. How we interact with each other. I also like to create a bit of a dream world, make things feel and look different with words.
I was very stuck with writing lyrics a few years back and did a lot of reading and thinking, and my conclusion was that there is always something to write about. It just depends on how you do it.
8. How does the music scene in London and Norway compare?
London is so much more versatile and a quirky genre of music has a much bigger audience because there are more people. There are many more flavours because it is so multicultural.
Norwegian music scene has improved massively the last 5 years. Lots of new bands and artists blossoming and playing, but I do feel there is a general appreciation of a kind of Nordic jazz in Norway, in the style of Jan Garbarek, the saxophone player.
9. Can you tell us more about the synchs you’ve had on American television? How do you find it sourcing these opportunities?
I have been so lucky to get all those sync’s on US TV. I didn’t even know my music was very good for sync’s until I started getting these requests.
I worked with some very good people who found and created a lot of opportunities for me. It started out pretty much random.
10. What do you enjoy doing outside of music? Do you have any must visit/must do lists?
I do love traveling, which is good because I have to travel a lot with my work
Places I really want to go are at the moment India and China, big places so I will have to plan a trip where I can spend some time. Maybe do some shows on the way. .
I love being by the sea and at sea. My family has a cottage by the sea and it’s my favourite place, the only place I can truly wind down and relax.
11. What can we expect from your second album?
The new album is much more varied than the previous, in tempo, in subjects and flavours. I have also used a lot of guitars as I didn’t have any guitars on the first album, and I used to be a guitar player! I guess the album will be seen a bit more ‘pop’ – if I can call it that. A kind of Havnevik meets Sigsworth (Bjork’s Producer) pop!
It has a very happy song, which is my single “Show Me Love”, a very angry song “Emotional Blackmail” and a very sad song “Tears In Rain”. A rainbow of emotion and melody!
12. In the interests of education, do you have any message for us in your native language, or some interesting facts to tell us about Norway?
• Norwegians are known to be ‘born’ with ski’s on their feet, as we all start skiing as soon as we can walk, cross country skiing that is.
• Norwegians are crazy about being outdoors, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
• The paper clip was invented by a Norwegian, ha ha a funny fact, but paperclips are useful.
• Norway has a royal family: a king, queen, a prince and a princess.
• Norway has only had 104 years of independence from Sweden.
TUSEN TAKK! (Thank you very much!)