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08 November 2003
Polar Pop from Norway
Source : skandinavien.de [December '99]
Lene Marlin is Norway's most well-known pop export since a-ha. The singer and songwriter originates from Tromsų, and is at present on promotion tour in Germany, as her hits Unforgiveable Sinner and Sitting Down Here are rapidly speeding up the charts in Norway, Sweden and Italy.

Meanwhile she's also won the MTV Award as best nordic artist. Lenes career began in her girl's room before friends and family, who became so enthusiastic for her music that they persuaded Lene into doing a live appearance on their domestic radio station. The tape of this transmission landed with Virgin Records in Oslo, and the 18-year-old soon thereafter found herself in their studios.

With 15 songs written, and two hours of recording time, the record contract was prepared so that she could sign it two months later.

The pleasant Norwegian took herself time for a telephone interview with us. This became a discussion with a completely natural young woman, who coincidentally stands just before becoming an international star.

Hello Lene, how does Germany please you?

- It pleases me well, I've already been here quite often, and the people are nice - like actually everywhere.

Who are your musical models?

- I listen very much to Alanis Morisette, The Cardigans, Cranberries, U2, Heather Nova, Radioheads, Chemical Brothers. Very different music, actually.

Do you also have a Norwegian favourite musician?

- I know many Norwegian musicians. It would be too hard to call a favourite. There are so many fantastic artists in Norway.

Will you begin musical training after the school, or will you continue to care for your career?

- No, I've still not decided anyhing. When I finished school, I was to take a break for only one year. I didn't immediately quit school despite the record deal, because you never know what would happen to the music career. Such careers could be very short, and I am not the one who determines how long I'd be active in this industry. There are the people who decide whether they like my music or not. Up until now I've been very lucky.

Will you move away from Tromsų, to London or Berlin?

- No, if at all I'd be going to Oslo. That's my second home. However, I won't be moving away from Norway.

What does your family say?

- They support me a lot, even if I'm hardly there anymore. They know that my record was a huge dream for me. We all thought that it would never become a reality. I did not expect it. They are very much pleased on my behalf.

Do you write everything yourself? And why in English?

- Yes, I do write everything. I'm very much interested in English; I've read many books, and also films that I've seen. I immediately wrote my first song in English, which came naturally to me. I think in English when I write songs.

Your life has certainly changed much. Have you changed as well?

- My life changed totally. No doubt. That is always somewhat strange, if you were completely anonymous before, and then you're suddenly recognized on the street. However, I have still the same friends. They know that I'm still there for them, even though I'm not so much at home. We phone eachother a lot. That is exactly like in previous times. They say I am still the same, and I like that a lot. Naturally, you also change somewhat when your life changes, but I would like to stay the same.

Will you be doing a tour?

- The most important thing is now in the first time to get my album promoted in one country to another. My appointment calendar is full, and will probably remain that way until sometime next year. Afterwards, however, surely.

Do you personally have a favourite place in Norway where you go on vacations?

- Oh, it's difficult to say. This year I've had no longer holidays in Tromsų or Oslo. I was one time in Greece with my friends, that was class. I would like to do such a thing again soon.

Finally, do you eat Pasta or Geitost (brown cheese made of goat's milk)?

- Pasta is clearly better than Geitost!

Translation by Tef Johs


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