Photo Credit: Sofia Fredricks Sprung
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve never heard of Susanne Sundfør before, let’s change that! The singer-songwriter is a household name in her native Norway and has released 6 studio albums so far. She’s playing some shows in the UK at the end of October so we sat down for a chat about what Susanne likes about the UK, and how she prepares for shows.
Do you have any favourite hang-out spots in the UK that you like to visit when you come over?
I actually live in London, so I have a few favourite spots here. I really like the Peruvian restaurant Andina in Shoreditch. Also, Tina, We Salute You is a cute coffee spot in Daltson Kingsland. I also like to develop my camera films at Aperture in Covent Garden and have a coffee at Better Coffee next door.
You’re playing some really exciting clubs on this tour. That intimacy is great for fans; do you feel the same as a performer?
I do, but I like all kinds of venues. I’ve played on big stages on festivals and as support for big bands on stadiums. The different stages and venues all demand a different vibe from the stage, and on every tour, whether it’s a club or a festival, and it usually takes a couple of shows before you get the hang of it. It’s always an adventure! The nice thing about playing at clubs though is that it’s usually quite dark and dirty, and I love that kind of rawness combined with smoke and mystery. I personally like to go to shows where it feels like stepping into a different world, and so I always wanna be the world on the other side of the wardrobe!
Do you have a pre-show ritual that you use to prepare for a gig?
If I get nervous I try to find a room and have a moment by myself, and just count 20 calm breaths and go through the songs and everything I need to do. It can get a bit hectic and overwhelming just being on tour and always having to do something intense and adrenaline-filled, so to just calmly go through everything you are supposed to be doing on stage can be a great way of getting focused and perform better.
You’ve played some huge festivals this year, do you feel that’s made you evolve the way you play live?
For the festival setup, yes. However, I think the best shows I’ve ever done are actually the ones on the last European club tour. We played really well together, and we were all so focused to make the show and experience as good and positive as possible for everyone, both audience and ourselves. I’m really lucky to be working with really talented AND awesome people.
One of our favourite tracks from Ten Love Songs is Memorial which comes in at just over 10 minutes, was it your plan to create something on that scale or did the piece simply take on a life of its own?
Thanks! I wanted to create a connection between a pop and a classical sound, but as I was writing the string part, it just ended up getting longer and longer, I felt it needed more time to reach a natural end, maybe because the vibe was so emotional and big.
Which are your favourite tracks to perform live?
I really like to perform ‘Accelerate’ and ‘Trust Me’.
What was the first gig you ever went to?
I don’t remember, sorry!
Last gig you attended that wasn’t your own?
I went to see the lovely Aurora at Hoxton Bar and Grill. It was great!
Susanne Sundfør plays the following shows.