At an age when most young people are starting their first jobs, Norwegian alt-pop sensation Hedda Mae will soon complete a trilogy of brilliant EPs.
Her new single “Another Stranger” may someday be studied in music schools as an example of a perfect pop song. The verse and pre-chorus build beautifully to an unforgettable chorus and an equally catchy bridge at the end.
Although Hedda’s music draws comparisons with Silk Sonic – and even with Seventies greats Earth Wind & Fire and Chic – she brings a special freshness to every song.
Many are predicting that Hedda Mae will be the biggest Scandinavian star since Tove Lo first became a global headliner. She’s turning strangers into lifelong fans.
“Another Stranger” is so perfect from beginning to end. What’s the story behind this song?
Thank you so much! I actually wrote “Another Stranger” three years ago, and it’s kind of terrifying to release it after all this time. However, it’s a song that still means a lot to me, and it’s a song I still relate to today. It’s about how relationships come and go, and I remember writing it after seeing a person I once used to know, realizing that I’d rather go hide than walk over to catch up. It’s so weird how people who once used to play a big part in your life can turn into total strangers, moving on with their life somewhere else. You go from knowing everything about a person to knowing nothing at all – and maybe you don’t want to, either. The fact that you used to mean a lot to each other slowly fades away, and life is messed up like that. That has definitely been one of the biggest wake-up calls I’ve had in my early adulthood.
Did you work with producer Benjamin Giørtz on “Another Stranger” – and when will the new EP get released?
I for sure did! It’s actually one of the first songs we ever wrote together, and so are some of the other songs that are on the upcoming EP. It will be released this fall, and it will be the last in my trilogy. So excited!
Do you have a big tour planned this year to promote the new EP?
We can’t finish off a trilogy of EPs without celebrating, can we? I wouldn’t say a big tour, but I do have some shows planned. I can’t wait! I just came back from a little EU tour, and it definitely got my hopes up for some more shows outside of Norway before the year is out.
You grew up in Bergen, Norway, one of the “greenest” cities in Europe. It even has Europe’s tallest all-wood skyscraper. What was it like growing up there?
I don’t think I can talk about Bergen without becoming sentimental. I miss that city so much! All the mountains, my family, the vibe, the people. I had a happy childhood there, which I’m super thankful for. However, I kind of lived in a bubble until I graduated high school, and I think it’s been super healthy and important to me getting to experience other environments. I definitely want to move back in the future, though. The city’s got this chill vibe to it, both within the music industry and in general. It’s special, really.
Your debut EP had songs like “Carry On” and “Madness” that sounded like tributes to Seventies greats Earth Wind & Fire and Chic. Are they still some of your favorites…and what current artists do you really like?
They are definitely still some of my favorites. I think “Carry On” is one of my all-time favorite songs I’ve ever written, and Earth Wind & Fire is a spot-on reference. Each EP I’ve made has had its own list of musical references, but if I were to mention some of the current artists that I look up to it would be Bruno Mars, Junior Senior and Anderson .Paak.
Who are your favorite Scandinavian artists?
There are so many amazing Scandinavian artists out there these days, and it’s hard to only pick a few. But I for sure am a big fan of Sigrid and Metteson, as well as Zara Larsson, Boy Pablo and Beharie.
Do you have dreams beyond music, like acting in movies?
Right now I’m happy just doing music, but if I were to do something else I think I’d want it to be related to show-business. Maybe acting actually would be a good idea. I do have the worst poker face ever though, so I would probably need to take some acting classes first. I also thought about studying medicine, but I don’t think I could ever juggle doing both music and saving lives at the same time. Maybe my music can save lives. That’d be a cute compromise!
Photos: Jack Alexander // Story: Larry McClain
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