NORA is a girl who has always been herself. Growing up in Norway it was just her and her mum, and her mum never wanted her to shy away from who she was.
“When I wanted to wear an outfit to school but was too afraid cause [of] what people might think, she basically forced me to and said, “If you like it and you want to wear it, then that is all that should matter”,” NORA says at the top of our chat about her brand new EP. “And that is NORA.”
NORA is always herself. As a songwriter, woman and human being.
NORA continues, “I would say I am a chameleon who doesn’t like to be put in a box, and definitely would be described as all shapes and sizes of weird! A fighter for the underdogs! Something I thought was a bad thing growing up, that now empowers me!”
NORA is someone who never does anything half-heartedly, always jumps both feet in, is passionate about things she cares about, is unfiltered and 100% unapologetically herself!
“If you would ask who is NORA the artist Vs. NORA the person, however, I would say at the core they are the same but in many ways NORA the artist is an alter ego, or the “better reflection”, someone I aspire to be,” NORA continues in our chat. “She takes less sht and always stands up for herself! She’s just such a Boss Btch, with a big B! sound. It’s weird to say because I am her obviously… But my goal is for those two NORA’s to one day merge into one because NORA the person is definitely still too nice at times! [laughs]”
The inspiration for the namesake comes from why she was named NORA in the first place. “I was named after the character Nora in the play ‘A Doll’s House’ by screenwriter Henrik Ibsen, one of the most controversial plays of the 1800s, where NORA chooses herself, something that created turmoil and outrage all over the world,” NORA tells CelebMix. “Ibsen was a true feminist ahead of his time, and he chose the name Nora for this character as it means light, enlightenment and future in all languages in the world. Basically, what he was trying to achieve, being ahead of his time, how Nora stood up for herself and what ‘A Doll’s House represents is everything that embodies NORA, the quirky pop princess and songwriter. With this being my birthname It didn’t make sense to me to have any other artist name.”
Congratulations on the release of your debut EP. How does it feel to look back upon it now that you’ve completed it and it is out?
Thank you so much! Oh Gosh, it feels surreal atm to be honest. I don’t think I have properly been able to take it in, and it will probably take me a few days to truly “feel” that it’s out there!
The fact that everyone can now listen to basically an EP that in many ways is like my diary – a massive journey I’ve been on. Looking back, I feel proud!! I feel damn proud actually! The oldest track on this EP was written all the way back in 2018 and the plan was for this EP to be out in 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen!
The fact that I didn’t give up, being a completely independent artist, funding this myself all the way and that I was able to make this vision I had come to life how I envisioned it from the start! I’m not just proud of myself, but I am so proud of thanks to the creative team I have had on this project, especially Laurie who I sometimes swear just was able to dive into my brain and pull out exactly what I had in mind the whole time!
I still can’t believe to this day that we shot ALL looks and artworks, visualizers and music videos for the 3 singles as well as the EP in 9 hours! But that just proves that with the right people, anything is possible! In many ways looking back upon it now and especially listening to the track ‘Other Guys’, it almost feels strange, and also a bit sad because that hurt that I felt then I can’t feel now you know? Still, I know how it felt.
I also feel proud of NORA, the girl who started this journey, and how strong she was starting to write these songs, without even realising she was taking back her power. All she was doing was just writing from the heart, without looking into what this truly would mean for her in the future.
Did you learn anything about yourself whilst looking back upon your debut EP and reflecting on the hard work, and time you put into it?
I’ve definitely learnt that no matter how low or overwhelmed I feel when it comes to my music, it will pass, and maybe I also need to be better at telling my closest when I get stuck inside of these dark clouds for no reason.
I have always been an emotional open book, and I can annoy my friends time and time again about some stupid boy. But when it comes to these dark moments I can get as creative, doubting myself, my music and my path –it’s way more important to talk about that with your closest!
I’ve definitely learnt that I need to always follow my gut instinct and that it was the right decision to redefine my music and my sound in the way that I did – going into the studio with no plan! And to not be too hard on me, to take a step back if I get stuck on a song, and not give up on that song if I truly feel like there’s something there.
The track ‘Baby Bitch’ is the perfect example here. For the longest time, we just couldn’t crack the code with this one, but I kept saying to Connor (Aka. Boypolar), one of my good friends and who I wrote this song with, that there is something there worth fighting for! Never give up, as cliché as it sounds! [laughs].
What is ‘Boring Personality Disorder’ about and what does the EP’s title represent to you personally?
‘Boring Personality Disorder’ is what I would describe as a “diagnosis” in this modern dating world and our society today. It’s about how saturated the world we live in is nowadays, and how hard it is to find a genuine connection with someone as we live in a time where people get “bored” way too easily, and the grass is always greener with dating apps and toxic masculinity ruling with an iron fist.
The EP is also very much about how it feels to be a woman today, and just an underdog in general! One thing the EP is about at its core though is finding your light and carving your own way on your road to self-empowerment! To be a bad B and to see your own worth. Personally, for me, the title represents a few things.
First of all, what I first mentioned with this dating culture we are finding ourselves in nowadays. I don’t think I am alone in this when saying that dating in 2022 is HARD! I am just bored of how many times I’ve found myself in the same situations or relations over and over again. Toxic relationships, ghosting, creepy entitled guys, people who steal your light, gaslighting. I am just bored of the whole thing and it can truly start to feel a bit lonely after a while feeling like you’re the only one that is looking for something genuine.
The other side of the title is a bit darker, and in no way diminishes mental health and people who struggle with it. However, for me, the title represents a different side to it. Unfortunately, in my life, one thing that has been a constant is that I’ve had a tendency to fall for what you could call “a lost soul”. This is a very personal thing to me as I have been on the other side of this, being with someone who struggles with mental health but then uses it as a weapon. Gaslighting, guilt-tripping, just feeling eventually like you’re walking on eggshells and there’s no room for your own feelings. You start walking down that dark road with them and slowly but surely you find yourself sacrificing more and more parts of yourself.
I am not saying this is the case with everyone, but some and it’s an important subject to face when talking about mental health. I lost myself in the middle of it all and it is something that has shaped me into the person I am today in so many ways.
I read that your EP is about your journey through womanhood. Is exploring themes such as heartbreak, toxic relationships, dating, hook-up culture and those sorts of notions where you want to take your music?
Absolutely! What’s the saying, write what you know, right? I can definitely see myself writing more songs on these topics and making more projects revolving around this – I already have!
Heartbreak and dating have always been a big part of my life. Some might even say I’ve always been a bit boy-crazy! [laughs]! So it’s absolutely a place where I want to keep taking my music. However, there are many things I am passionate about in this world and I mostly where want to keep taking my music as being a voice for the underdogs, a true feminist and empowered woman!
There will definitely be songs with heavier and different topics in the future… But I do also find it so fun to be in the “girl boss” energy though!
Does your debut EP still represent what you wanted to say at the start of the creative process, and how was that reflected in the final version?
Definitely! When I began this journey, I wasn’t aware that this would become an EP. My main goal was just to “become more of a bitch” as weird as it sounds! But I don’t think I was as aware of the fact that this whole process would follow me through, like a best friend holding my hand whilst I was on my road to self-empowerment and enlightenment!
I would say the final version reflects the core. That I wanted to be a more badass version of myself and find back to my inner strength, but it just became so much more. Representing somehow both my past and my future!
What was your creative process like for your debut EP, and was that any different to how you went about working on previous material as a whole?
The creative process was simply [to] go into the studio, don’t think, just feel it and write! It was actually how I found my new sound as I threw everything I had previously done out the window and decided to start over.
It all started with Bad Man in 2018 and after having ‘Bad Man’, ‘Boys Getting Bored’ and ‘BPD’ I realized I wanted to make this an EP! I then wrote ‘Other Guys’ and for a long time, I tried to change the title to something on B as I am very stubborn and I wanted all the track names to start on B for some bizarre reason! That’s just the way I am when I get my head stuck on something.
However, approx. 2 years after writing these I then wrote ‘Baby Bitch’ that just started with the title! Which is a very different way from how I wrote all the others! ‘Baby Bitch’ was also written over zoom, as well as ‘Feels Like’! So the EP itself got created in many different ways. Some were in the studio from scratch with no plan, others over zoom with a whole plan on what we wanted to say!
I do try to change it up with how I write and who I write with as much as I can! Back in the day I would write all on my own and then take it to the studio, now this EP taught me that what I truly love is working from scratch bouncing ideas in the room and creating something together! My main rule when writing all of these tracks was “if you think its sick, follow that gut feeling”.
Was there any material left off the new EP you wanted to include but didn’t for any reason – lyrically or sonically?
That is such a good question! And I can actually say no!
Everything I wanted on this EP is in there… If I think back to other lyrics or anything I can’t really remember what they were, so they must’ve not been that important then I guess. [laughs].
What would you like listeners to take away from your debut EP – lyrically, story or message-wise – now that it is out?
I would like them to take away that the most important person in their life is themselves.
To ALWAYS choose their own happiness and to make the hard choices like leaving someone that is not good for them.
To never settle and to find their inner Bad B*tch.
What I am hoping for with the EP is that they can get some sort of nudge or motivation to walk this road to self-empowerment with me! And hopefully that they also like my music and want to hear more!
Now that your EP is out, is there anything else you have to say as an artist and want to touch on through your music?
Oh absolutely! I always have something to say!
I think I want to touch a bit more on my vulnerable side for sure… Make some more ballads. I’ve also always been very passionate about unfairness in the world, ever since I was a little girl and I think there will be some topics related to that in the future.
I do for example have one song out about all the different bullies in the world that I really hope to release in 2023! I promise this, I will always have something to say as an artist!
What can your fans look forward to coming up next?
Coming up next is my show in Norway on the 10th of November at JJ Live at Ingensteds in Oslo! Which I’m super excited about! There might also be a little music video for other guys in the works as well as a bunch of little vlogs and behind-the-scenes from the making of the EP and just my life in general as an artist!
In 2023 there will also be lots of new music coming, exactly when is not decided yet but I’m trying to get something in the works for an early 2023 release! Definitely, some girl power bangers once again to look out for in 2023!