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Photos // Willa Wathne

Seven Minutes in Heaven comes fast on the heels of the critical and commercial success of Torine’s first EP “UNHOLY’’. Telling the story of her life in black and white with little room for shades of grey, the EP describes Torine’s early years spent trying to figure out her own identity amongst a family caught between religion and drugs. In her own words. “The burial of the person I used to be”. Now, the pop-punk princess takes a big step into the future with new music this fall. The music reflects her evolution to where she is in life now – a person who speaks to those who are usually not spoken to and writes songs about girls the exact same way that boys do. And most importantly, normalizes it.

The handcuffs from the past are gone. Torine feels more liberated than ever. Free to explore herself both lyrically and musically.

Despite her young age, the 23-year-old from Arendal, Norway has built an impressive artistic CV. Torine’s music career started as an ambitious 16-year-old when she auditioned for Norwegian Idol. Five years later she has established herself as a rebellious, honest, and vulnerable artist who creates music for outsiders who thrive outside the box. With over 200 million streams under her belt and successful tours in both Europe and Asia, Torine has proven that she has a voice, stage presence, music, and identity that qualify her for a place among the stars. Torine is especially excited about her upcoming U.S. Touring dates.

Check out our interview with Torine below:

What makes Torine authentic?

Writing music isn’t something I just woke up one day and decided out of the blue I wanted to start doing. It’s more something I can’t stop doing. I grew up in a very religious household, started singing in the crunch choir at the age of four and was leading the church band at 12. I actually think that’s what shaped my love for messy guitars and loud drums. I wish I was cool enough to say blink inspired me to do rock stuff, but I wasn’t allowed to listen to anything not Jesus related my entire childhood. 

My childhood was very chaotic, with a complex family history affected by both drugs and religion. This obviously translates into my music to this day. 

Staying true to my artistic visions, creating the music I want and not hopping on every trend as they pass by is also a big part of it. Although it can be tempting to follow trends, I find it important to tell my story my way. I have a desire to make a positive impact through my music and often use my songs to address things that are important to me. The songs I write are a reflection of who I am, what I’m feeling, and the questions I have about everything between heaven and hell. It’s very personal.

Do you think your music has evolved from your 2022 debut EP, “Unholy” to your new pop banger, “7 minutes” – what has inspired the growth?

I do think my music has evolved. It’s still me, but it feels a bit happier. Probably because I am happier. “UNHOLY” told the story of my past and how I got here, while my new songs represent the liberation. And with that liberation I can write even more raw and honest.

Another reason for this development has for sure been the empowerment of taking rein over my own project again. Last year I broke up with my manger, who really limited me in what I could talk about and how things should sound. Now, I have the freedom to do what I want, try unconventional things, push boundaries, and evolve my music in whatever direction I want. And not always play the safe cards, but do things that scare me a little. This isn’t just a musical change, but a change in my heart. I’m seeing things through a different lens than before. 

Your music is really interesting, Scandi is known for it’s pop perfection, but your pop songs lyrically have darker tones, can you share your writing process with us?

The songs I write are a reflection of who I am and what I’m feeling. And I don’t know why, but somehow, even tho I’m happy – I’m always a bit sad. I think that sadness is both at fault for my sense of humor and the moods of my songs.

I started singing in the church band when I was just four years old and did that up until I was a teenager. Then, when I was 16, I participated in the Norwegian Idol, and people from my church got together and prayed I wouldn’t go through. It sounds crazy, but in their eyes I was drifting away from God. I eventually broke out of the Christian community, and felt very lost and confused. I started questioning if everything I’d learned about forgiveness and love was all a lie. I dyed my blonde hair black, moved away from my hometown and started writing songs about how I felt. I had so many questions about heaven and hell and all in-between. This eventually turned into my debut EP “UNHOLY”.

My actual writing process often start with an idea whilst doing something completely random like walking my dog or driving my car. I’m singing out loud wherever I am. My brothers think it’s super embarrassing, haha. I often record whatever melody and gibberish words that come up on my phone to remember, and then go in the studio to finish the idea.

About a year ago I met a producer named Joki. He was the first person I’ve worked with who really understood what kind of sound I wanted. He didn’t try and make my lyrics happier, he just followed the vibe. Suddenly all of my dark thoughts and heavy emotions fit on to a pop track too. And there have come some awesome songs out of that!

What inspires you outside of writing and performing?

My mum is my biggest inspiration in life. Before I was born, and even during the pregnancy, both my mum and dad suffered from heavy drug addiction. I actually had to be detoxicated as a baby. My dad is still struggling but the moment I was born my mum turned her life around.

She has a very unique way of existing in life. She doesn’t really care about external factors like money and fame and she’s always told me I should aim to be the kind of person I want to meet. She really built herself up from the ground and today she’s got her dream life. That inspirers me.

So if I’m feeling a little uninspired I can just be around my mum. She is the best story teller with the craziest stories. My grandfather was a priest, and I guess it’s true what they say about the priest’s daughter being the worst, haha. She is also my biggest fan and no matter how much we may disagree on a lot of things, she is always standing at the front row of my shows singing out every lyric.

In 2022, you had a big dance-pop hit with Alan Walker, “Hello World” what was that experience like collaborating with him? And are there any other folks you would like to collaborate with?

I first met Alan through some mutual friends in 2016 after his hit “Faded” came out. He needed someone to sing at his live shows, and in 2021 he invited me to tour with him. We traveled to China, India, Italy and Germany and a lot of other cool places. Everyday I woke up felt like a dream, and I promised myself that one day I’m gonna have my own shows like this.

After the tour he sent me a track he really liked and I just responded with a top-line. That became “Hello World”. Felt pretty cool releasing a song together after having worked together for quite a while. Alan is a really nice guy, and it’s been such a fun experience collaborating with him both in the studio and on stage.

In thoughts of collaborating with others  – this may be super far fetched, but if we pretend for a second it’s not – I would love to write a song with Doja Cat, Princess Nokia, Machine Gun Kelly, Charlie XCX or Pink Pantress. But the absolutely wildest dream collab would be with Avril Lavigne. My mum hated that I liked her music, which made me love her even more (obviously). I’ve actually done a podcast just to talk about Avril and we even play «Sk8er Boi» at most of my shows. So that would be a full circle moment for sure.

Who is your fan base and what do you want it to look like?

I wanna be a voice for the outsiders and people who never really fit in. I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere myself, so I want to create a sense of community where we can all just be ourselves, together. I honestly consider my fans my friends and I text with them almost everyday. Each and every one are important to me, and all I want is for my music to connect with them they way they need it to. For some that may be screaming to “see you in hell” after fighting with your ex, crying to “if there is a heaven” when you feel misunderstood, but to know you’re not alone, or dancing to “7 minutes in heaven” when you’re super in love and just want soak in that tingling feeling.

Baring in mind I just want everyone to feel free to be themselves, I’m guessing most of my fans and future fans are hot, maybe a little bit delusional and someone has probably called them a problem before. I think they have a very specific kind of humor, very ironic and was raised over the internet  by Paris Hilton and Lana Delray. Just like me.

Tell us about the hot video for “Seven Minutes in Heaven” and why you chose that as your first new single? 

I wanted the video to be funny and unapologetic. I always get super goofy when I’m in love and I wanted the video to mirror that. So we tried to incorporate a lot of humor. It was important that it felt like me, whilst telling the story of how it only took me 7 minutes to figure out I liked girls. So in the video you’ll find me up in the sky in a cloud outfit inspired by sexy Jutsu in the tv series Naruto. Her superpower is to seduce people. You also get to meet my good friend Sine, who represents the girl 7 minutes was written about.

Growing up in a religious family, I always suppressed that I liked girls. Even though I always kinda knew, I was told things like being gay is a decease and girls who likes girls are just confused. I think my mum low-key knew though, cause I wasn’t allowed to close the door to my room with boys or girls, haha.

Then, last year started dating a girl, and I told my mom. She handled it well and that was a very big deal for me. For the first time in forever I didn’t feel like I had to hide anything. So in celebration of that we went with “7 minutes of heaven” as the first single of this new chapter. 

The video is very pro LGBTQ+ what message do you want your music to have for the queer community?

Through my music I want to send a message of inclusitivioty, love and support. I want to sing about girls the same way boys do and I want my shows to feel like a safe space. If you feel a little alone you can listen to my songs and remember that you’re not. The most important thing I’ve learnt on my little journey in life is that God looks to the heart and that he dosen’t love you any less no matter what you do. He actually created you the way he wanted you to be. 

Style influences for the video feel early Katy Perry Teenage Dream was that intentional?

For sure! I was definitely inspired by her video for “California Girls”, and I hope everyone who sees the music video for “7 minutes” get a nostalgic feeling. I find a lot of inspiration from the 2000’s and 2010’s in general, and watching music videos was basically my hobby as a kid. I especially love the videos from that era. Again, probably because I actually wasn’t allowed to watch any of them, haha.

You have an upcoming tour in the US, is this your first US Tour? And what do you want fans to take away from the experience?

Yes it is! This will actually be my very first trip the US ever. I’m so grateful FRENSHIP wanted my band and I to come along. We’ll be playing some unreleased songs that I’ve never played live before which is exciting. It’s always fun to record and make the songs, but the real magic happens when we preform it live. So getting the opportunity to not only go on tour, but to tour the US, in front of a whole new audience, feels huge.

I hope fans will love our show as much as we love performing. I want them to be left with a buzzing feeling of loving the music and wanting more. I hope they feel included and like they belong and that they can’t get my songs out of their heads. I hope they’ll want to follow along for the ride both in streaming and though social media. Me and my band are stoked to play and hangout with everyone who show up<3

What’s up next for Torine?

I have some new songs coming out that I can’t wait for the world to hear. I’ll also be spending a lot of time in the studio working on new material. I’m playing shows in Norway, have the FRENSHIP tour in the US in November, and hopefully will get the opportunity to travel even more.

I dream about my song being number 1 on Billboard and playing stadium shows everyday, but my manager Mike tells me I need to have some ice in my stomach. This is a Norwegian saying about having to have patience, haha. But that’s what I’m working for every day and that’s where I’m going.



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