Norway has a relatively small population, but surprisingly many singer-songwriters. Many of them write and sing in both Norwegian and English, while some even write in their native Sami language. I am making a list of my favorite musicians who sing in Norwegian. I have chosen them for the quality of their texts (just dig it and try to understand what they are saying 🙂 ) as well as for their melodies.
- Isák (band)
Isak‘s lead singer is Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen, who won Norwegian Idol. She is the first Sami person to win the competition, and her band mixes traditional joik singing and electronic music. Totally recommended especially in concerts!
One of my favorite Norwegian artists, Cezinando sings almost exclusively in Norwegian with a mix of slam and rap. He writes deep texts that I recommend for anyone to read and learn Norwegian with. He reached fame after his song “Håper du har plass” was featured in SKAM. He is half Portuguese half Norwegian. He won two P3 Gold awards for his work and was nominated for European album of the year award. Kristoffer Robin is one of my favorite songs by him.
Karpe (used to be called Karpe Diem) is a rap group from Oslo which has had huge success for around 20 years now. They have won 8 prizes for their music in Norway, and have recently released their new album which is much talked about in Norway this year.
This one of my favorites by them, but they are so many to choose from.
4. No. 4 (band)
The trio No.4 has wonderful ballads and texts in a music mixing pop and jazz, like this song which is a love letter to the geography and landscape of Norway. “I have never seen a moose”.
Hkeem is a young singer from Stovner, in Oslo. He reached fame at a young age, around 20, with hits such as Fy faen and Ghettoparasitt. Fy Faen has been listened to around 50 million times on Spotify, not bad for a song in Norwegian, a language spoken by 5 million people. Fy faen is a swear word, read here to know more.
Hkeem is Norwegian but his parents are originally from Nigeria and Ghana and he sings in Norwegian about how it is to grow up as second generation immigrant in Norway. He is a master at writing catchy melodies and texts and he won Spellemannprisen in 2017.
Moddi has millions of listeners on Spotify. He comes from Senja in the North of Norway and sings in both English and Norwegian.
7. Mari Boine
Mari Boine is a Norwegian Sami singer with international fame, who signs modernised joik in Sami as well as songs in Norwegian. She has won many prizes in Norway including Spellemannpriser.
8. Eva Weel Skram
Eva Week Skram got famous with Norwegian Idol and was part of the band Eva and the Heartmaker, which won Best Norwegian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2011. This song is not hers, but her interpretation of it has become very famous in Norway.
9. Valkyrien Allstars
Valkyrien allstars is a fantastic band to see in concert, mainly doing traditional folk music using traditional Norwegian instrument hardingfjele. They received many prizes in Norway.
10. Kristian Kristensen
He reached sudden fame with Norwegian X Factor and has become a favorite in our family. He comes from Harstad in Northern Norway.
11. Sondre Justad
Sondre Justad comes from Bodø and the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway and has received many Norwegian prizes for his music. He sings in Northern Norwegian dialect.
There is so much more Norwegian music to listen to: Lillebjørn Nilsen, Ingebjørg Bratland, Bendik, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Vamp, Odd Norstogga, Ole Paus only to name a few.
In English, many names known internationally:
Aurora reached world fame several years ago. She is now officially a superstar in Norway for her music and her personality.
Jonas Alaska is an artist I have been following for many years. He sings only in English, and writes both his melodies and texts. He won Spellemannspris in 2011.
Sigrid is famous for reaching 4th place in UK Album charts with her song Sucker Punch. She has performed on international shows such as The Graham Norton Show. She mainly sings in English, and comes from the small town of Ålesund on the West coast, and writes all her songs.