For fans of Shawn Mendes and Charlie Puth, comes a stirring emerging talent from the heart of Scandinavia. Introducing Norwegian rising star jens, who has been making waves with his shoulder-bopping brand of funk-pop that’s big on dreamy synth soundscapes, irresistibly catchy hooks and propulsive upbeat rhythms.
To be enjoyed best in the last of the summer sun, with his brand new EP “Call Me Back When You Get A Moment”, jens is cementing his positioning as a Scandi sonic muse to add to all your playlists pronto.
A pop-songwriting tour de force – prepare to have opening track “Nocturnal” and “Tough Love” on repeat, while “Wish I Was Right For You” will have you firmly in your feels – if the EP is anything to go by, 2020 is going to be a big year for jens.
We caught up with him below…
Hi jens, how has the pandemic and the uncertainty of this year impacted your music and art?
Hello. Well it has of course impacted the live scene to the point that we have had to cancel or push all the gigs we had lined up for 2020. I’m also finding that not being able to travel impacts my writing to the degree that I’m writing less now than I did a year ago.
The social distancing bit has actually not been a problem. I’m fairly found of being alone so I’m basically just watching the world around me starting to live like I always have.
How did growing up in Norway influence you sonically? Who were your musical heroes?
Growing up on the west coast of Norway can be a bit boring to be honest. The weather is awful half of the year so there were really not that much to do outside. I have this not-scientific theory that being bored can be good for your imagination. If my theory holds true I have the awful west coast-weather to thank for having a fairly vivid imagination, that I am now using in my songwriting.
One of the perks of having older siblings is that you get exposed to a lot of different artist and genres. Freddie Mercury and Queen were my biggest musical heroes from fairly young age. I have this memory of a ten year old me singing along to “Fat Bottomed Girls” in the backseat of my parents car, and forcing them to put it on repeat over and over again.
How would you describe your genre?
My genre is pop, but with a little zazz. Lately I have been reflecting over the fact that I haven’t had a clear vision for my songwriting other than wanting to write songs I like. I think my discography so far might reflect that naivety. I have noticed that my lyrics are often theme- or story based, and I love using big metaphors as much as I like being straight forward.
Congratulations on your EP “Call Me Back When You Get A Moment” – how long has it been in the making?
Thank you! The EP is sort of a reflection of my songwriting up to this point. The first song on the EP, “Nocturnal”, is also the oldest. I found it fitting to have one of the first song I wrote after being signed opening the EP. The rest of the songs I love that I’ve written over the last year and a half.
What were the biggest challenges in putting it together, especially at a time like this?
I have a wonderful theme both at my label and at my management so putting the EP together has been a fairly OK process. For me the biggest challenge has been keeping my nerves in check. I am normally not nervous when it comes to releasing music, but this is my first EP and I want people to like it. So I would say that I am a fair bit nervous thinking everyone but my mom will hate it. Haha.
What is the EP about, as a collection of songs? One experience in particular, or a journey?
Every song on the EP is kind of a time capsule to me. They all reflect, in some way, a space in time or a period of my life. As an example, I wrote “Johanna” at a time last year when I just felt fed up and wanted to pack my bags and leave. “In or Out” is about a period of time growing up, where I really didn’t have any friends.
The tracks have such a feel-good vibe – what do you hope listeners will take from it?
Writing music I always hope that my songs will resonate with people in some way. Whether it is the lyrics or the music, I just hope that the songs can be more to people than just a blip on the music radar.
You collaborate with K-pop star Youha on it – how did this come about?
I am so proud to have Youha onboard as a feature on “Wish I Was Right For You”. When I first released the song last year we were trying to find a feature, but didn’t find any a perfect fit. While putting together the EP the idea came up to include a bonus-version of the song and that it would be fun to bring along an artist with a different language. When I was shown Youha I was just blown away by her singing and immediately said yes. She did such a great job and her singing really gave the song a whole new dimension.
What’s next for you and what are you excited about in 2020?
While the world continues to be uncertain because of COVID, it is not that easy to plan for the feature. The only thing that is certain is that I will continue to spend as much time in the studio as possible, write more music both for my own project as well as for other artists.