Updated: May 27, 2020
The Norwegian singer dishes on tour life and wool
It's been quite an eventful year for 23-year-old singer Sigrid Raabe. With the release of her album "Sucker Punch" earlier this year, to her headline US tour, she has undoubtedly kept busy. Her debut album went on to receive high praise from her fans. Her highlight track "Don't Kill My Vibe" sheds light on a personal experience Sigrid was confronted with. While in a writing session she felt highly disrespected and belittled. When on the phone with her mum, she was convinced to push through. And that my friends, is how "Don't Kill My Vibe" was born. The smash hit "Strangers" has racked up a total of 51 million views on YouTube alone. Just recently the Norwegian singer performed on the mainstage of the highly coveted Austin City Limits Music Festival. We caught up with the singer before she hit the stage in Houston's very own White Oak Music Hall.
Ervin: With your US tour coming to an end, what's one of your favorite memories?
Sigrid: There's so many! Obviously the shows. The shows have been really amazing and we didn't really know what to expect when starting this tour. I've been to North America quite a bit before, but this is is the first tour. I didn't know what the response was going to be. A lot of American crowds really listen to the music. They go hard when you want them to go hard, and then they're completely silent for the ballads which is like the perfect combination for us. We've done everything from horseback riding in Oklahoma which was pretty incredible to hiking and we went to a crazy art museum called Meow Wolf in Santa Fe.
What's inside the museum?
I don't know. It's like walking into a fairytale world. It's everything at the same time, very trippy. It's a crazy museum, so cool! Today we went to have tacos with my manager's family. She's from here. So yeah, we've done a bunch of really cool things in-between. It's been really fun to experience all these cities we've never seen before. I've never been to Houston so...
What's a must-bring item you bring with you on tour?
Honestly, wool yeah.
Like a wool sweater?
Yeah, wool in socks, wool in a sweater, wool in underwear! You never know when you're going to get use for those things. It's great.
Here I don't think you'll find much use for wool.
No, no, no. We went to Canada and suddenly it was really cold! Where else was it cold? I can't remember, but there have been cities where it's been really cold. I've definitely packed way too much for this tour.
Just recently you performed on the mainstage at ACL Fest. How was that experience?
That was really cool! It was lovely to be a part of that lineup. It was a really cool lineup. Very nice festival, great crowd. A lot of people came, but it was so hot. Like 36°C (96.8°F) I think. Heat wise? A hard one, but it was really fun. I'm more impressed by the crowd, that they can go through that. At least I had a fan on stage.
What do you expect this weekend? (Weekend 2)
I'm excited! I think it's gonna be so much fun. It's the last gig we're doing before we go back to Norway. It's gonna be the last one, so lots of energy!
With Sucker Punch released earlier this year, what was your inspiration behind the song “Don't Feel Like Crying”?
Well, you can hear from the lyrics. It is a love song but like a sad one. I feel like there's a lot of small things within it too. The concept of it is going through a breakup, and that sucks! The fact that in a more general note it's about... for instance the pre-chorus wallowing in it would be such a waste. It isn't going to fix it anyway, and that's something I've put into my life I guess. It's moving so fast, I hate missing out on things. I don't know, I love what I'm doing so much. I love my life. It's just things happen, shit things happen and great things happen. You just have to take it as it is and try to move on. That's like an easy explanation of the song. I like the duality of the song. That's the one side of me saying "This sucks, but it's fine. Push through get through it. You'll just get shitfaced and then it's another day." Then the hook and the chorus are like "It hasn't hit me yet. I know if I go home I'm going to get upset." You're just feeling that other thing because it hasn't hit you yet. It's going to take a while for it to settle in. I think its something to be said about a breakup, but also other things in life. It's easy to push away difficult things. Just move on and then at some point it's going to hit you. You have to deal with it. It's a lot in one, but that's how I love songwriting. I feel like I have a bit of everything in every song I do. That's just how I deal with things I think. It's never black or white.
It can be interpreted as one thing and written as another.
Exactly. There's always also different perspectives on things happening, different sides, different the way you looked at it when it happened and different now when you're writing about it. That's interesting, how a memory can be different too. That's like what "Strangers" is about.
Really? I kind of interpreted it as a romantic comedy. It didn't take itself to seriously.
Interesting! It's actually quite sad. Well not sad just more melancholic.
I love melancholia. You see so many perfect things in movies or online, social media, everything. You find something, and you hope it's going to be as perfect. Then it's not, it's more realistic. Real has some flaws to it, and that's maybe sometimes hard to admit. It's also like looking back at something, especially the second verse of "Strangers" is a lot about... "Memories in photos. Too easy to rewrite." Photos can mean so many different things when you look back at it. It's just a snapshot. It's just a moment in time, it's not the full situation.
How do you feel about your fans turning you into memes?
Ugh. I love it. They're really funny. I actually really enjoy it. When they're good they're excellent! @SIGRIDMEMES is really great. Really funny account. That person is good! My family thinks it's really funny too!
What was the original concept for the Mine Right Now video? I know that you weren't able to make it on set. It was so iconic to see your director starring as you.
That was pretty funny! It was a long time planning to get to that point. First, we wanted to shoot the video in Iceland. We couldn't do it because of seasonal changes. It wasn't the season for it. So we said okay let's change it. So now we're going to shoot in Bulgaria. I was going to join the shoot and everything, but then I got stuck in airports that day. I had canceled flights, delayed flights and I just physically couldn't get to the shoot. That really sucks you know. Forty people are waiting for you. A whole film crew is waiting for you to get there and deliver and I couldn't deliver my job. It was very frustrating. So it looks really funny on the video, but it really frustrating that day.
I feel like it was supposed to be this beautiful scenic video.
Yeah! Exactly! The whole plot was me running around in cool clothes and having fun. Just doing what I usually do. Then someone had to step in and then Max did it. He was incredible. Apparently, he hates singing and dancing in front of the camera. I think it was a really good challenge for him too. He told me later "Usually I'm the one standing behind the camera directing. Now I had to be at the front of it." I think he did a great job. We met a few weeks later in London. That was when we met for the first time. I think the video actually came out before I met him. Also, something that's really nice, things like this happen all the time during video shoots. People just don't talk about it. There have definitely been things that happened before with my shoots and I've never talked about it. You just release this really nice glossy video. It was kind of funny to show that side of how we do things too.
It was cool to see it from behind the camera, but also in front of the camera.
It was a good mix. They did a great job honestly. So cool that the crew just kind of kept going. I think that's probably one of the best work ethics I've ever seen.
Who do you do listen to before you hit the stage?
Oooo. Actually I don't listen to too much music before I go on stage. This is one of my favorite questions though! Generally though, a lot of country music on this tour. We have listened to so much country music. Luke Combs, Luke Bryan, Kacey Musgraves...
Oh, I love Kacey Musgraves!
Kacey is amazing! I can't remember the rest but we've listened to so much. And then, other favorites like Tame Impala, Rex Orange County, a lot of Norwegian music. What else? Sam Smith, he is incredible. I love the new music he puts out. The acoustic version of "How Do You Sleep?" is one of the best acoustic versions I've heard in a long time. It's incredible. I also love the new House side of him!
Are you working on anything new you can tell us about?
Nothing I can talk about! But obviously that album is not my last album. There is going to be new music, but I need time to be ready.