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Interview with game-changing alt-pop singer-songwriter Hanne Mjøen

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 Image credit: Fabian Fjeldvik

With concepts of good and bad added into the mix of her latest track ‘Hell With You’, alternative pop musician Hanne Mjøen’s latest single shimmers alone with its lyrical intensity. Released via Physical Presents the track follows a different route from its commercially successful predecessor ‘Sounds Good To Me’, calling to mind the work of pop music game-changers like & Sigrid. The singer has mentioned the struggle of identifying and producing pop music that she could feel represented her ideologies about life and being a musician in the 21st century. ‘Hell With You’, co-written by the songstress, is a clever play on words and the perfect pre-breakup anthem to leave you feeling less alone with your thoughts. 

We chatted with Norwegian musician Hanne Mjøen about her latest banger.

Stream/Download ‘Hell With You’

Tell us about your highlights for the year

Releasing music, finally! It’s been almost two years since I released a Hanne Mjøen original, and it feels good to get back out there and share what I’ve been working on the last year.

How does ‘Hell With You’ differ from your previous releases?

‘Hell With You’ is a bit special to me; it’s darker, meaner in a way, and more honest than I’ve ever been. I had lost the drive to do music around the time we wrote it, but this gave me the kick and inspiration I needed to do my own project again. It was too honest to give away, and the perfect amount of alternative vibe mixed with pop.

If you could paint a picture of your sound, what would it look like?

It would probably be a pretty chaotic picture, I think people would define it as abstract art. The colours I would use would be cold, dark and a bit hopeful; Blue, black, white, and dark green. I think you would have to look at the painting a couple of times before finding your meaning of it.

What are the 5 albums and artists that have influenced you the most?

Body Talk – Robyn

Skin – Flume

So Sad So Sexy – Lykke Li

Bloom – Troye Sivan 

Like I’m a Warrior – Emilie Nicolas

What other artists do you really like at the moment and why?

Robyn is my all-time favourite artist, she’s so honest and her melodies are undeniably great. I believe in everything she sings. I love her soundscape, and she is the queen of the genre  “Crying on the dance floor”. Her confidence is so inspiring, a true icon.

How did you get to your first gig?

I went to a music school, and after releasing some songs I gathered two talented friends from there and asked if they wanted to play live with me. This was very early, but I gathered some friends and did a set for 30 minutes on a 50 cap club. It was really fun and made me want to do it again.

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that no one would expect.

When I was 12 I was a football player/goalkeeper.

What do you consider your biggest achievement so far?

This must be ‘Sounds Good To Me’. I feel like the song came out of nowhere, and it was the song where I found myself and dared to be me. All of a sudden it had millions of streams, and people recognised me for it, which felt absurd and good. It gave me a lot of confidence as both a songwriter and an artist. That is the song I felt was special and turned out to be it too.

 How did you come up with the lyrical concept of your new song?

“Heaven is for girls who play nice” had been in my bank of ideas for a while. And writing with Karl Zine in 2019 we got a vibe, and it felt right to finish the idea with him. I don’t remember where it came from, but I’ve always been a fan of opposites like heaven and hell. The lyrical line: “Feel it when we talk and don’t communicate” was written at a time when I recently had walked out of a relationship. I wanted to write about what it was like falling out of love while still being in the relationship and wanted to describe my inner dialogue in this period of my life. I haven’t really heard a lot of songs about that phase before, at least not that honest and straightforward as we wrote these lyrics.  So it felt like there was a song that might be needed, and might mean something for someone.

Famous last words?

Thank you for getting to know a little bit more about me. If you want to get to know me more you can find me on Instagram(@hanne.mjoen), Facebook or TikTok <3. 

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