A fragile beauty and humble as you like, we cozy up with Anna of the North to discuss her Scandinavian roots and journey so far.
There’s something rather otherworldly about Anna of the North, she has a graceful demeanor that makes you feel lucky to be in her presence. Her quiet confidence has got her far with a career in graphic design and the production of a stream of visually stunning and vocally arresting music videos.
Perhaps Anna’s small town upbringing has provided the grounding for her success. Having come into our consciousness with debut track “Oslo”, we’ve been addicted to her dreamy Scandipop sound ever since. We manage to pin both her and her producer Brady down in Shoreditch.
Tell me a little bit about growing up…
Anna: My school was 700 meters from my house and there were 20 people in my class. When I went to high school my whole world opened up because I realized there were a lot of other schools and then moving to Oslo you always know someone that knows someone that knows someone.
And you went to Melbourne and that’s where you found your producer. What else changed for you there…
Anna: I was studying in Oslo then I worked at this clothing store as a manager and I just remember standing there like “Oh my God. I need to experience something more.” I wasn’t really into travelling, I had a boyfriend and my life was really good but I just remember I felt there was something that needed to go away. When I first arrived in Melbourne, I remember standing at the airport and everything was so huge and I didn’t know where I was. I brought my guitar and there are so many new experiences for meeting so many people. Being homesick inspires you to be more creative. I met some of Brady’s friends and I played some guitar for them at a pre-party then went to see his show. It’s a bit of a cliché story.
What would you describe your genre of music as?
Brady: I like to think of it like this: I don’t know what the genre is but there are some great pop songs that have been written and the production side of it can sometimes be a bit tongue in cheek. Most of these songs are folk songs. To me it sounds Scandinavian, I call it Scandipop.
Anna: We don’t want to confine ourselves to one genre, we’d prefer to stay open minded.
What inspired your songwriting for The Dreamer?
Anna: Brady wrote The Dreamer. When we met in Australia, he played me some of his old songs and The Dreamer was one of them. I was like “That’s amazing!” and so we did it in my style.
Why Anna of the North?
Anna: When I was in Melbourne everyone called me Anna from the North, from Norway. It’s pretty natural.
Have you modelled in the past?
Anna: I modelled a little bit in Nylon.
Brady: When I first heard Anna’s voice I was like “Great!” But when I first saw her Instagram I was like “Oh definitely!”
You have a lovely sense of style. How do you get dressed in the morning and where do you shop?
Brady: She has a drawer full of oversized white t-shirts. That’s the first thing and then dress around that.
Anna: I need to be comfortable.
Brady: Like Steve Jobs comfortable.
Anna: A lot of my clothing is from Scandinavia and Norway. They know style and everything is so clean.
Brady: Everyone does graphic design and they’re all really good at it. Everything’s clean and simple and everything looks immaculate. It’s such a great place to go people watching.
You weren’t always going to be a singer. What other profession did you have in mind?
I was working for a graphic design company and then the music happened and everything happened at the same time.
Do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Anna: I’m so nervous before I go onstage. I’ve only ever done ten shows. People say maybe you should drink a beer or something! We started doing some yoga actually. We have this app. We had so much fun on stage after doing it.
Photographer: Ida Friske
Words: Elinor Sigman
Anna’s new single is out now on Honeymoon.