Norwegian singer/songwriter Sigrid emerged in the late 2010s with an earnest, anthemic style that later incorporated a vibrant, dance-pop sound tied together by her powerful vocals. Offering a fun and age-appropriate spin on polished Scandinavian pop, she followed a pair of EP releases with her full-length debut, 2019's Sucker Punch.
Born Sigrid Solbakk Raabe on September 5, 1996 into a music-loving family, she was brought up in the sunny seaport of Ålesund in western Norway, about 300 miles from Oslo. She was the youngest of three siblings, each of whom had their own musical career. Her sister Johanne was a classically trained singer who had studied in Italy and Spain, while her brother Tellef had tasted indie success at home with his own band. Growing up influenced by classic artists like Joni Mitchell, Chet Baker, and Neil Young, she was taught to play the piano at an early age by her grandmother and guitar by her brother, and for ten years was a dancer, studying several different styles.
After a stint in her brother's band, Sigrid turned her hand to songwriting and launched her solo career in October 2013 at the age of 16 with the single "Sun," which saw her featured on NRK's (Norwegian state television) hip tastemaker show Urørt ("Untouched"). Two further singles, "Two Fish" and "Known You Forever," alongside spellbinding performances at several major European music festivals, sealed her reputation as a talented songwriter and performer. With her rich, versatile voice, she seemed ready-made for pop superstardom, and the ensuing bidding war finally saw her signed to Island. She delivered on the promise with her epic, anthemic debut single for the label, "Don't Kill My Vibe," released in February 2017. Co-written and produced by Martin Sjølie (Ella Henderson, Sam Smith), it was unveiled with much fanfare on BBC Radio 1, becoming their "Hottest Record in the World," and racking up millions of plays on streaming services. The single later landed on her first EP, Don't Kill My Vibe. An equally successful single "Strangers" followed that November.
The next year, the stripped-down single "Focus" -- written and recorded in one take -- was featured on her second EP, Raw. Until this point, her music had a quirky and unpolished quality, but those indie edges were quickly polished as she unveiled a vibrant, buoyant new sound with her hit single "Sucker Punch." Issued in late 2018, the empowering, love-centric track was later featured on Sigrid's full-length debut of the same name. Produced by Martin Sjølie, Odd Martin Skålnes, and Oscar Holter, Sucker Punch arrived in early 2019 and included additional singles "Don't Feel Like Crying" and "Dynamite." ~ John D. Buchanan