AMANDA DELARA IN TØNSBERG, NORWAY AT SLOTTSFJELL FESTIVAL, JULY 2017. PHOTO: VICTORIA STEVENS.
HOMETOWN: I grew up in Nes, Norway. It’s a farmer’s place, kind of, but there is civilization there. [laughs] It’s really nice. I love Nes.
AN INTRODUCTION: A new spin on high-power pop with traces of Delara’s Persian heritage.
THE REBEL EP: I’ve been working on the EP for about a year, and the process of choosing the songs went really naturally, because the EP has this one theme and there are only specific songs that can fit into that theme. [The concept] came pretty early, because I’ve always been thinking that we don’t have artists like me in Norway, not in a female version; that’s why I felt like Rebel was a good name for the album, because I kind of feel like a rebel myself and I feel like the songs are a bit rebellious.
AN ACTIVIST AGENDA: I wanted people to think [because of my visuals]. I wanted it [touches chest] to affect people. I wanted people to feel something, whether it was hate, or, “Why is she showing bombs and war?” or, “That’s a good thing. Continue what you’re doing.” That’s why I had to have strong images. Right now, for this EP, it’s really important [to be socially conscious]. But I can admit that I’m also the type of girl who can write love songs. It depends what I feel, but right now I’m just a 20-year-old girl and I sit with a lot of questions, so that’s why it came out. Maybe if I get heartbroken suddenly I’ll be doing love songs—you never know.
THE NORDIC INFLUENCE: To be honest, I don’t know how, but I know that living in Norway has definitely influenced my music, because it’s a really peaceful country and I get space to think and observe the world. I’m also Persian, so I kind of get the best of both worlds and get to reflect.
MUSICAL BEGINNINGS: None of my family members really [do music,] but my brother, he would play saxophone and guitar, and my mom bought me a piano because she saw me playing on a piano at a friend’s house. She was like, “Okay, we’re buying that piano!” That’s where it all started. My last year of high school, I had management at that point, but I was still unsure, “Do I want to do this for the rest of my life?” But then I understood that, “Yes, this is what I want to do.” I love science and I love to know things, but becoming a doctor—which was my original plan—didn’t feel more right than doing music. That’s when I knew that I wanted to do music.
A CHALLENGE: Sometimes when you’re a solo artist it can feel a bit lonely. I don’t know why, but it feels that way. That’s when it’s nice to have good people around you, good management and everything, so I’m good.
PARENTAL ADVICE: My mom is a good critic. She’s not like, “Oh, that’s good,” to every song. She tells her opinion, and I think it’s important to take her advice because she’s also a target group—I want to touch everyone in society. [She told me] that you shouldn’t attack people in your lyrics. You should be objective, but at the same time get your meaning across. But don’t be like, “I hate those people. I hate those people,” because then those people that you’re criticizing, they won’t understand that you’re criticizing them.
CURRENT INSPIRATION: Right now I’m reading a biography of Adele, because my A&R, he gave me this book. It’s really helpful, because I feel like I have a lot of the feelings that she had when she was starting with music.
WHAT’S NEXT: I’m working on a lot of new songs that will come out, and I’m going to do some festivals—I’m really looking forward to that. Also, my own headliner show at Parkteatret in Oslo on the 4th of November.
SOME FINAL WORDS: Listen to my EP. Tell me what you think.
REBEL (SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT NORWAY) IS OUT NOW. FOR MORE ON AMANDA DELARA AND UPCOMING TOUR DATES, VISIT HER FACEBOOK.
For more Norwegian acts to know from Slottsfjell Festival 2017, click here.