Hanne Mjøen: “I want to write important songs, songs that make you go “omg, that’s exactly how I feel”.”
Artist Talk: Hanne Mjøen
What is your musical background?
Hi, I’m Hanne Mjøen, I’m a songwriter and artist from Norway. I fell in love with singing in front of people at the age of 12, and when I turned 18 I moved to Oslo to focus on music full-time. After I made the move, I began to regularly write songs and started creating my own sound.
What type of music do you play – genre, expression, mood?
I grew up listening to the radio, so when I started making my own music, it was very natural for me to do pop. I make an emotional, but danceable, kind of electronic pop.
What was your first musical experience?
When I was two years old, I started walking on my toes and singing, something that would remind you of opera. I don’t really remember that, but I’ve always been singing in the hallways of my school, and a teacher picked it up, so he made me sing at the Christmas Ball when I was 12. I remember being super nervous, but while singing, I just fell in love with it. After that, I didn’t want to do anything else.
What are your sources of inspiration – other bands, people, experiences?
I am a huge Robyn fan, I love how honest her songs are, and the fact that no matter how sad the songs are, I still want to get up and dance. I only write songs from my own experiences, because I want it to be real, and song-writing is kind of like therapy for me. I think it’s very healthy to go through your emotions and put them into words. Also, it feels good singing songs that mean something.
What is your ambition playing at SPOT?
My live show is filled with energy, and hopefully, I can transfer that energy to the audience. There’s nothing that feels better than playing live, connecting with the audience and seeing how they react to my music. I also think you get another aspect of the songs live, different from the one you get listening to the recordings.
Have you ever played abroad? – If yes, where and how was it different?
I’ve played shows in London and in Berlin, and I felt like people were listening and paying more attention to me. I’ve played a lot of support gigs in Norway where you really have to work for the attention and “win the crowd over”. It’s a very interesting and important experience because it makes you connect with people. Also, it’s way easier to get people to dance outside of Norway, we’re not really dancers over here I guess?
What is your dream as a musician?
The most important thing for me as an artist is writing and communicating songs that mean something to someone. I want to write important songs, songs that make you go “omg, that’s exactly how I feel”, and songs that can help you through hard times, songs that make you want to dance and cry at the same time. I guess I just want to make people feel something when they hear my music and connect with people.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far?
Last year I packed my calendar with sessions, photo shoots, video shoots, interviews, performances, and gigs all year, I didn’t take any time off, thinking this was my time, and saying yes to every opportunity I got. It ended up with me hitting a wall and cancelling two weeks’ worth of engagements. I travelled home to my mum to breathe, and walk in the mountains. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, take time off, and remember to take care of yourself. There’s nothing you have to do, and it’s okay to say no sometimes too.
Where do see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself on stage in the Californian sun at Coachella playing to a big crowd and stage diving. I’ve always wanted to stage dive!