Sigrid’s Excellence Hit Us Harder Than a ‘Sucker Punch’ [Q+A]

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Photo Credit: Deanie Chen

Just like in the movies, it was love at first listen. There’s something otherworldly about electro-pop goddess Sigrid, which is probably just the fact that it doesn’t seem possible for someone to be as talented as her. There’s absolutely nothing “Basic” about Sigrid. Just click shuffle, and you’re in for an emotional rollercoaster. One moment you can be sobbing on the floor to “Dynamite” and within three minutes, you are jumping around your room, screaming into your brush to not kill your vibe.

Right before our favorite Norwegian pop princess headlined a sold out Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, she sat down with us to discuss the important things in life: memes, the Sims, and cats.

OTW: So, you’re flying a lot, touring a lot, are we ever forgiving Air France?

Sigrid: Oh, nice one! Air France… I’m sure they’re nice people and doing their job good other times, but we were unlucky that one time which inspired me to do the song [“Sight Of You”], as you know. Haven’t forgiven them yet, no.

*if you don’t know the song, go listen, but the lyrics are “airline lost my luggage, still got all this weight”

OTW: Do you think they’ve heard “Sight Of You”?

Sigrid: Uh, no. I hope not. I’m sure they’re nice people. Thinking about it, I don’t know if we ever got our luggage actually. Maybe it’s still in Nairobi?

OTW: What?!

Sigrid: What happened was we were in France. It was a crazy weekend. We did three countries in three days, for summer festivals, and we played one gig somewhere in France. We were then going to Holland and then our luggage was sent to Nairobi! Never been there, I don’t know why they sent it there, and I don’t know if we ever got it back, maybe it’s still there. It’s an adventure for the luggage!  

OTW: On tour, what’s in your tour survival kit? (That isn’t stuck in Nairobi)

Sigrid: Actually, Caspar’s luggage is still stuck in Europe. It keeps happening to us. But what I need… woolen socks. Very important to me to stay warm. I need my band. I need warm clothes. Jeans, t-shirts, Converse. That’s really all I need.

OTW: With all these festivals that you’ve been playing, you have been making so many fans’ summers. What has your favorite fan interaction been?

Sigrid: There’s been some tattoo stuff going on, where people have tattooed lyrics. I remember one time after a show someone came up to me like, “Can you sign this paper because I’m going to tattoo it?” and I’d already started and I have shitty handwriting, so I felt the pressure of that. And she actually tattooed it after! It’s incredible and really really cool that people tattoo it. No pressure! You don’t have to tattoo my lyrics! 

But then there’s Nina. When we played Glastonbury, she was front row, but I felt like the green Hulk that show. I didn’t even recognize myself and I think if someone tried to touch me, I probably would’ve snapped because I was so full of energy. I was just running around, and I completely blacked out in a way. I was having the best time. Nina was there in the first row, and I noticed her and thought she had such good energy that really reflected over the rest of the audience. I didn’t know she was being filmed that much because I can’t see the screens. When I got off the stage and saw that she was all over the place, it was really fun and exciting that she became a thing. We met up with her a few weeks later at another festival, and it was lovely to meet her and the family. They’re very cool and protective of her. It’s a lot when you’re that age and getting that much media attention. I hope she’s well now, she’s probably back in school now.

OTW: That’s such a cute story! How does it feel transitioning from festival season to playing your own headline shows?

Sigrid: Honestly, really fun. I’m a little bit nervous for tonight, but in a good way. I love being a little bit nervous before a show. This is the first headline show we’re doing in months. We just came from the last festival in Germany, four days ago.

OTW: Aren’t you exhausted?!

Sigrid: No, not really. I had a proper vacation before all of this.

OTW: With all the meme pictures! The best content.

Sigrid: Yes! Actually before we started this interview we had a five minute break of me and the team watching memes. We are a proper meme family.

OTW: What’s your all-time favorite meme?

Sigrid: Oh that one’s hard. I’m really into videos and just really good content. Have you seen that video of a guy who’s like “I’m just hugging him, man” and he’s cuddling with a cat and the cat goes crazy at him? So funny. I’m also really into the “Old Town Road” memes and definitely astrology memes.

OTW: What’s your sign?

Sigrid: Virgo, my birthday was last week!

OTW: Happy really late birthday! Is that why you were on vacation?

Sigrid: Yes! I was on vacation with my sister and getting some really good time off and I’m getting some time off after this too. Treating myself!

OTW: Revisiting that cat meme, if you had to live with only one of these things what would you choose: Sims or cats?

Sigrid: Oh my god! Hard hitting questions here. Whoo! I can’t live without cats. I just really like seeing them in the streets.

OTW: Speaking of Sims, we heard “Don’t Kill My Vibe” on there! What has been the craziest place you’ve heard your songs?

Sigrid: It was played on the radio in Japan, which I think is SO cool because that is one of my dream places to visit. That was really exciting to me and I really hope we get to travel there one day.

OTW: When you’re touring what do you miss the most from home?

Sigrid: Norwegian food. You know how it is when you’re traveling, you miss that one quirky food from home. There’s this one Norwegian cheese, Jarlsberg, it’s my favorite cheese. This is not an ad, I’m not sponsored by them. It’s just my favorite cheese. And all my family of course. And my friends, but I have my friends here with me, the band!

OTW: Have you had any good food here yet?

Sigrid: Tacos! I love the taco trucks, they’re great. Our band is obsessed with tacos. It’s been a lot of tacos now for a few days. It’s a taco rehab for me.

OTW: Do you find touring stressful?

Sigrid: It’s not too bad. The touring is a really nice thing to do. When I released the album in March I was on tour and I was nervous about touring at the same time as release week, but it turned out to be a really nice thing. You have the same rhythm, that I’m not used to otherwise. You play at the same time, you’re on the bus. I love the tour bus. I sleep so well on it and I have my friends there. You get into a proper rhythm and it turns into like going into your office. Obviously sometimes it’s a bit stressful, but I really love it. It can be brutal, but let’s talk after this tour is finished. Maybe I’ll be exhausted.

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OTW: Hopefully not! To prevent that, what do you do for Sigrid self care?

Sigrid: Water, sleep, good food, chill. I don’t know those things. I hang out with the people I really love: my family, my friends, my band, my crew, my team. I try to chill as much as possible, and I love being in nature when I get the time.

OTW: Going back to your album, what is your favorite song off of Sucker Punch?

Sigrid: This is kind of a boring answer, but honestly “Sucker Punch.” It’s the title track and in a bigger picture the title really sums up all of my music, and all of my life. The past three years have been one big Sucker Punch, so that song really means a lot to me. I love the production on it, I love the lyrics, I love the melodies, and I had such a great time writing it. I think that means a lot to me. Every song is really personal to me and I connected with the memory of writing it. If I had a great time writing in the studio, it’ll automatically be a song that I love a lot.

OTW: What does the writing process look like for you?

Sigrid: It really differs from who I’m working with. It’s usually the same of playing on the guitar or piano, then you start singing, and sometimes I’ll start humming. It’s hard to explain because you’ll hum melodies that are a bit boring, but then you suddenly get something out of nowhere. Then you keep working with that and hum your way into a good melody. Sometimes I’ll sing some kidding lyrics, and if you stop thinking and take your brain out of the writing process and just sing whatever feels natural in that moment you get a good line. Sometimes you have to work a bit harder than that too. It is a really fascinating thing to me. This sounds so cheesy, but I feel really humbled to be doing this. Songwriting is the closest I get to magic. It’s a really cool environment because I only have very few people in there with me. It’s only me and one or two other people and you create something that hasn’t been made before. It’s weird to know that an hour ago you didn’t have this and then an hour goes by and you have a song that no one has ever heard, it hasn’t been written before, it’s completely new, and it’s probably inspired by so many songs out there, but this mix is completely new. Ugh! I love!

OTW: What’s the best spontaneous thing that’s happened in studio?

Sigrid: “Sucker Punch” was from a Google search! I write down ideas all the time and I found “Sucker Punch” randomly on Google. I thought it was a really cool word and could see it as a good title. I had it in my notes on my iPhone for months and I tried to bring it up in sessions like, “hey guys this is a good idea,” but no one liked it. Then suddenly we made a song out of it, with Martin Sjølieand and Emily Warren. It was cool because I had it in my notes, and knew what the word meant, but I didn’t know what it meant to me until something happened that felt like a sucker punch.

OTW: Not only are you writing your own music, but you featured on your brother’s album too! Do you think he’ll ever be featured on your music?

Sigrid: I don’t know. He’s a really busy guy. He’s doing a PhD at the moment on media sociology, so I don’t know. I don’t know how many hours he has every day. It’s incredible. He’s studying and working and doing a lot of other things, but he has a lot of fun making music. It’s been an honor to be on that album. We’re very close.

OTW: Besides your own, which albums have you had on repeat?

Sigrid: I’ve listened to a LOT of Post Malone, the new record that came out last week. I love it The track with SZA is amazing… whew that’s a good one. I really like Lewis Capaldi. He’s great. OH and The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online RelationshipsAlso, Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You. I LOVE Lizzo.

OTW: Taste! What’s your favorite Lizzo song?

Sigrid: I love “Good As Hell.” Also “Truth Hurts,” obviously.  

OTW: Lastly, who are your Ones To Watch?

Sigrid: I’m listening a lot to Clairo at the moment. She’s really cool. There’s one song, “Bags,”  that is so beautiful. Another one, Naaz. She’s from Holland and she has this song called “TAPED” and has worked with some of my really good friends from Bergen, where I lived before. She’s like pop music, but a bit indie. Then there’s this Norwegian band called Konradsen.

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