In Conversation with Astrid S

Astrid S soared her way through today’s pop scene with her synth delights, and along the way has gained herself a rightful and loving fan base. Touring with Troye Sivan alongside her own headline shows, she’s sure kept herself busy over the past couple of years.

Flying back and forth from her home in Oslo to LA has meant having the time to craft her debut record due out early next year, and whilst making the album consumes most of her free time nowadays, Astrid managed to fill us in to discuss the endeavors she’s been up to apace with her rise to stardom…

Life since EP release – tell us all about it?

Honestly, I think every song I’ve put out has done so much better than I ever hoped for. A huge goal for me was to have a number one song in Norway and I’ve ended up with two! I’m nothing but proud of what the EP has accomplished and I’m overjoyed people are connecting to the music

Newest single Think Before I Talk – hard to write?

This was one of the tracks that I actually haven’t written, I usually write them but when this one was sent to me I saw the lyrics and right away felt so much relation to it. The people that know me know that I’m a person that talks before I think [laughs] so I recorded this knowing I was definitely going to make it my own. I’m in love with this one and I hope others feel the same way.

We’re numerous EPs down the line – are we getting close to the debut record?

Definitely! I’m making the album early next year, we’ve already rented the studio in Norway where I’m going to be writing for a solid month, getting the opportunity to collaborate with other producers and exploring an array of sounds. Previously I’d write with a bunch of different people and then pick the best tracks of the bunch, but this time round I’m wanting to dive in with just a couple of people that I really love where we can make a concept record, ten great songs that are connected to each other and tell a story.

Being a pop writer yourself, in your eyes what makes a great pop song?

I think great pop songs always have something new about them because most pop songs today are just so similar and follow the same formula, they’re songs you’d listen to for a month then never want to listen to again. If you go back to the 80s you’d have Queen and ABBA that have all of these timeless pop songs, they have their own sound and identity. What makes them so great is they sound like nothing else out there, that’s what we need more of. I’m really inspired by old pop songs for the album, that’s the direction I’m heading in.

Has writing in the States and away from home affect the way you write music?

Yes, It’s both a blessing and a curse. When I travel to LA it’s very eat, sleep, head straight into the studio and putting all of my energy into the music I’m creating. Sometimes I find that it’s a downside to my writing, as songwriting should involve you being relaxed and comfortable and when I’m home I feel like I’m most comfortable as I’ll have my own bed, I’ll get to do the everyday stuff I’d usually do like strolling along in the park etc.

On the other hand it’s really exciting to travel and gain new inspiration, I feel like I write very differently when I travel as to when I’m in Oslo but often it works out.

What does the music scene consist of in your hometown?

It’s quite small and intimate, so a lot of musicians live close to each other. There’s these two guys I know that live just across the street from me and then 30 minutes down the road you’d find another band. Everyone knows everyone and it’s lovely.

Scandinavian pop is only growing, with artists like Anna of the North and Emilie Nicholas…

Emilie is one of my biggest inspirations in music, I think it’s amazing how she’s been mixing up jazz and pop, it’s interesting and beautiful. And she’s from Scandinavia so the way she draws pictures and landscapes with her music is so cool.

Streaming is ever-growing and stats continue to rise – do the high numbers push you to do even better next time around?

When I see the numbers on the screen I can’t really take it in or understand it, it’s just a number on a screen. It means a lot but I don’t understand it. I always make realistic goals and when I reach them I make new ones for myself because that’s what drives me to be great. I always feel like I’m getting better, I don’t want to go backwards.

It’s really cool to be able to say I have 100 million streams on a song but the most important thing to me is knowing I’m growing, and that I’m so lucky to be able to be in the studio and travel. I want to work my ass off to feel like it’s fair that I’m in the position that I’m in, that’s why it’s important for me to put out better stuff than the previous release each time.

What does it mean for you to have a strong LGBTQ+ following?

It means the world! I want everyone to be included and feel accepted and understood! Music is supposed to be a free space, and I’m so proud to have an LGBTQ+ following. I think that’s the most wonderful thing about being an artist, that I’m able to tour and gather so many people from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs.

Touring up until the end of the year – what tracks will be hearing on the road?

Definitely a mix of old and new, some we’re taking out of the setlist and some we’re bringing in because there’s a lot of new music ready to be played. I’ve been strict with my band and everyone I work with whereas soon we feel like one song isn’t as good as the rest we’ll remove it straight away. It’s a good mix and the setlists are going to vary from each city, it’ll be a lot of fun.

Popjustice chose you as one of the acts most likely to save pop music in 2017 – it’s safe to say you’re doing a good job so far?

I think I’m going to take a break from releasing music I’ve put out so much this year already [laughs], I’m going to put all my energy into making my debut album, it’s a big deal for me and I just want it to be the best it can be. I’ll spend a lot of time creating it and anticipating the day that it’s put out for the world to experience.

Think Before I Talk is out now.
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