Ane Brun’s fourth studio album It All Starts With One was released earlier this month to widespread acclaim and praise; a gloriously emotive and compelling affair that ensures her talents as a musician will be further known upon these shores.
On her recent tour of the UK I had the chance to meet Ane, but due to an illness I could not. My father kindly stepped in to meet the Norwegian singer instead; assuring me she was affable and charming, happily answering the questions put to her by FFS.
For Folk’s Sake: Hi Ane, it’s nice to meet you. How’s the tour going?
Ane Brun: It’s going well. I’ve just got a cough though.
FFS: Will that affect the singing?
A: I don’t think it will but it is irritating.
FFS: And how are you finding London?
A: I like being here. I’ve been here two days but I think it is stressful for a longer amount of time.
FFS: With your music I understand you have collaborated with many artists over the years, and I was interested to see that you have been working with First Aid Kit.
A: Yeah. They have been around for quite a few years now as well, in Sweden.
FFS: And where do you call home, Norway, Sweden?
FFS: But you were born in Norway?
A: In Molde, yeah.
FFS: I was looking at the scenery and the mountainous backdrops recently, do you miss it all?
A: I miss having nature there, of course. I don’t miss the small towns though, as I like living in a big city.
FFS: I understand you moved around a lot when you were younger. In Barcelona, you were studying law and Spanish. What made you decide on music in the end?
A: It just happened. It choose me, I think more than I choose it. I was playing more and more and more and it took over.
FFS: I know you have had success back home. Are you trying to broaden your success? You have recently been on tour with Peter Gabriel in America, are you well-received when you travel?
A: Yeah, absolutely. You always try and broaden your success because it’s your livelihood, right.
FFS: Yeah. And your new album, would you say it’s a change in direction?
A: Yeah, it is. It doesn’t feel so dramatic to me because it has been a few years since I did my last album. And I’ve been and done a lot of stuff so it sounds like hearing something else.
FFS: The first single from the album, (‘Do You Remember’) is quite upbeat, was that an obvious first choice as a single, do you think?
A: I wanted it to be a summer song, so it was released in summer first.
FFS: Eye-catching video too.
A: Yes (laughs).
FFS: I understand there is a short film as well?
A: Yes, It’s coming out next year. It’s the next part/chapter. The one you have seen already is chapter three and chapter four is coming out. The song is worship. So the whole film is four songs.
FFS: Who are your musical influences from the past? Did you grow up with music in your family?
A: Yeah, I grew up with my mum who is a musician and a teacher.
FFS: What sort of music do you listen to?
A: I’ve listened to everything throughout my life, classical, jazz, folk – anything.
FFS: Any musicians that influence you now or albums that you may have listened to recently that appeal to you?
A: I think I listen to all kinds of stuff but I don’t get directly influenced by them. It is very indirect I guess. I listen to mostly varied stuff. I think I am more in touch with me and my stuff so I don’t know. But I listen to music every day, all different kinds.
FFS: And how do you relax away from music? Any hobbies you have or is your music all engulfing?
A: Mostly when I come home I try to keep my relationships going with my friends and family. I suppose just being social. I try to read – I read every day. The last two or three years I have been quite active doing political stuff and stuff to do with the environment, because that’s worrying me.
FFS: I understand you did a concert concerning climate change (No More Lullabies).
A: Yep. I’ve done that and I will do that more.
FFS: And one of the songs from the album, ‘One’ highlights the Arab Spring.
A: Yeah, it’s a song about any initiative actually. It was inspired by the Arab Spring but it is actually about human initiative as a whole.
FFS: Do you feel politically motivated that way? Or have you always been more political?
A: It has happened over the last three or four years.
FFS: Has it? Well that is probably a worldwide thing with a lot of young people; with all that is going on it’s bound to happen. What’s next after the tour?
A: Home. For a rest.
Words: Adam Lowe (and his Dad)