Public Republic random header image

Artist of the Week — Thea Hjelmeland

June 25, 2012 by · No comments

Interview by Dessislava Berndt with the Norwegian singer and songwriter Thea Hjelmeland

Thea Hjelmeland; by Vegard Fimland
Photo: Vegard Fimland

Thea, you are touring this year with Bernhoft. How is it going so far?

I just came back home to Norway after having toured with Benrhoft for 2 weeks in Germany and Switzerland, and then 1 week in France. It went over all expectations! He should out almost every venire, the audience was very welcoming and curious.

It is a very special role to play the support; the audience does not know your music, I am alone on stage with simple string instruments, and my music is lower and quieter then Benrhofts, who puts tracks on tracks of guitars and bass and rhythms upon each other.

I met a lot of beautiful people and had great feedback and new fans. I am very inspired and looking forward to returning to all of the countries; especially Germany and Switzerland, where I had never been before and never played.

Thea Hjelmeland; by Vegard Fimland
Photo: Vegard Fimland

What are your plans after the tour?

I have concerts in Norway this summer, and also an art-exhibition with a good friend mixed with a concert. Art, music and performance.

I will take some weeks off to relax and practice, make new music and get ready for the autumn. It has been quite hectic since last autumn, but especially since January. I released my album in February, and have not been home for almost four months.

Jarle Bernhoft was one of the producers of your debut album and played several parts on the record. How was the work with Bernhoft?

Jarle has been a friend of mine for many years, and it was a pleasure to work with him. He has an incredible musicality; all the instruments he plays, and his voice. To bring my music to him and the other producer was comfortable because of the way they approached it with respect and together we made a beautiful album that I am very proud of.

How did you get into music?

I’ve always done music – always sang, played piano since age 7, drums at 11, and guitar at 13 and grew up in a family with musicians. It has been a very natural element for me to express myself, have fun and to play with emotions and harmonies. I was always very curious and knew at an early age that this was meant to be for me.

In addition to vocals, you play mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukulele, piano and percussion. You are only 20 years old. How is this possible?

I am 25 now, but even at 20 I was able to do so. I started early, and I have always been attracted to different sounds. The string instruments makes me want to sing, and after I started with guitar I made a song on every new string instrument I found and more, so I have to bring them with me.

What is the source of your inspiration?

So many things. It changes all the time… elementary things often.

It is a combination of inside and outside, expression and impression. What I have inside of me and what I experience. Of music, art, the daily life, people around me. I am inspired by how other people express themselves, and I am inspired by the force humankind can show in different situations.

What are your other passions?

I love to dance! And to draw! And to express myself in other art directions, or explore others expressions.

Thea Hjelmeland; by Vegard Fimland
Photo: Vegard Fimland

What’s your life philosophy? And your daily routine?

This too can change but I try to tell myself that every day is what you make it into. What does not kill you makes you stronger, but you should take time to reflect and breathe.

My daily routine depends on where I am. If I am touring it’s the rhythm the tour manager decided, haha;)

At home I try as much as possible to have a “normal” routine and work from one time to another, get up early, maybe do some yoga, work, make music, write, record, write emails, have a lunch break, work more and then end the job in the afternoon. But mostly I sit up half the night doing the same too. I guess it is partly because I have a lot to do, and partly because I enjoy my job so much too.

Who or what affects your personality and your music?

My personality is affected by my life, what I experience and how I take it, I guess.
The music is affected by that, and also by what I listen to and how I want to work with the music. All is a result of choices made.

Thea Hjelmeland; by Vegard Fimland
Photo: Vegard Fimland

Which was for you the most surprising experience working with other musicians?

It is always exciting, fun and sometimes a bit scary to work with other musicians with your music. They have their own preferences and their way of playing. You have yours, and also your own opinion and wishes for what your music should sound like. I like to share, and I feel that I grow by playing with other musicians. It is important to play with different people.

What surprises me often is when it works so well I can’t even believe it myself. It is a beautiful moment to share!

What are you dreaming about?

I dream about things for my own life, a new album, bigger audience, more touring but most of all, a more peaceful world. I am terrified by all the horrible things humans can do to each other, and I hope there is enough love in the world to stop this… I feel helpless and wish I could do something.

Thea Hjelmeland’s Website

Thea Hjelmeland is a twenty four years old singer and songwriter from Førde, now based in Paris. Her debut album entitled “Oh, the third..” was released February 2012. The record was recorded in ØRA Studio in Trondheim, produced by Jostein Ansnes (Kristin Asbjørnsen, Dadafon) and Jarle Bernhoft, who also played several parts on the record.

Hjelmeland also plays mandolin, banjo, guitar, ukulele, piano, percussion and more. She describes her music as blues and acoustic pop. Thea Hjelmeland sang a duet with Lars Vaular on his album “Helt om natten, helt om dagen” and has contributed vocals and mandolin to number of tracks. She’s currently working on projects with Melissa Laveaux (CA) and MaJiker (UK).

Edited by: Lauren Sophie Kearney

Related posts ↓

No comments so far ↓

  • Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!