Harald Austad is the colorful and fashion forward multidisciplinary Norwegian artist you may have seen on your insta feed with his viral supergraphic art videos. Proving that he really does do it all when it comes to art and music, his album is self produced and he impressively plays every single instrument. As a multi platinum Norwegian grammy winning music producer and songwriter, Harald has worked with the top artists in the country behind the scenes and is finally ready to step into the limelight here in America. Harald moved to LA with his wife and fellow artist Margie Plus. They are both on a mission to color the world with their uplifting art & sound and have worked on many creative projects together. As his true muse on and off screen, Margie directed ‘California’ and also starred in it as his love interest. The video is an homage to their new home state and is the first single from Harald’s upcoming album. With an iconic keytar in hand, the vibes are giving Tame Impala, Pink Floyd and Beach Boys modern day brainchild. Having a flare for everything 1970’s, the music is full of melodic tunes and instruments that
have an ode to the past but feel brand new at the same time. This is definitely a catchy bop you will have stuck in your head all summer long.
What made you take the leap from producing music to becoming a solo artist?
I started out as an artist but quickly ended up working more as a producer & songwriter for others. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of hundreds of projects with great artists but now I felt it was time to make something unique of my own. This is a one-man-band passion project and I play all the instruments, write, produce, record and release everything by myself. I wanted to create something timeless and found a sound that was different than the pop & hiphop I’ve been producing up until now. It was liberating to make music with no expectations.
Describe your music in your own words?
My music is melodic & synth driven with a retro psychedelic feel and an alternative pop sound. It’s inspired by Pink Floyd and Tame Impala with cerebral vocals in falsetto and several keytar solos.
Why the Keytar?
The keytar is obviously the coolest instrument ever made! Wildly underappreciated and sadly forgotten, I felt I could be the one to give it a renaissance. It gives the look of a guitarists but the sound of a synthesizer, plus it has a somewhat retrofuturistic and funky appeal that I really like. Honestly not sure why more people aren’t using them.. what’s not to love?
What is your song California about?
The song is my homage to California. I originally moved from Norway to New York but after living in Los Angeles the past few years I wanted to capture the sound of the west coast. It takes inspiration from classic surf songs but has layers of emotions only found here, in this endless summer.
What inspired the music video for ‘California’?
I wanted to show a day in my life in LA. I took a trip to classic spots like Santa Monica & Venice beach and of course had to capture a shot in the palm lined streets. The elements was vibing with the song because the waves was crashing into the rocks in sync with the music. It’s an explosion of colors with a vintage feel, just like the song.
Your wife Margie Plus directed the video, what is it like both working together and being married?
You both make it look so easy! I am so lucky to be able to work together with my muse and wife! Usually, I am the one producing her projects, but this time she took the reins and filmed the whole video. She has a great eye and was able to
capture my vision perfectly. I also wanted to feature her as both my wife and vixen as she is the most
important part of California to me.
You also paint in addition to making music. How intertwined do you think your paintings and
music are? How is your art similar to your music?
Art is decorating space. Music is decorating time. In the end they are both frequencies and just different ways of expressing myself. I do have a love for 70s Space Age and retrofuturism which I feel ties together my paintings and the songs. But even though both the art and music has retro elements, my goal is to continue where the era left off and take it to the future
How has growing up in Norway influenced your music?
Norwegians have an acute sense of pop melodies and Scandinavia has fostered many of the biggest producers & songwriters, from Stargate to Max Martin. I fell in love with hiphop when I first heard it at 14 and combined it with my melodic and more classical upbringing. This led to me making songs for several artists in Norway, landing Norwegian Grammys and platinum singles and albums. Now with my solo project, I’ve been leaning into the classic rock music I listened to growing up, to try to make something different than the pop & hiphop I’ve been making before.
California is the first single from the upcoming album and sets the tone for what’s to come. First up after this is a remix of California, before releasing more singles and videos throughout the year. This is just a musical appetizer and I can’t wait to give you the full tasting menu.