Sigrid’s career as a performer began with one simple rule: no more Adele covers. The Norwegian singer’s older brother, also a musician, invited her to share the stage at one of his shows on the condition that nothing like “Rolling in the Deep” would sneak onto the evening’s set list. At his urging, Sigrid (whose full name is Sigrid Raabe) had written her first original song in just two weeks. On that stage, Sigrid, then 16, stood with a guitar and sang a song about sunshine and love. “It felt like my coming out as a songwriter,” the now-20-year-old recalls. “That was the first time that I made something by myself, like, ‘Here it is, and I don’t know if you’re going to like it or not.’ ” 

In the ensuing four years, Sigrid has become something of a pop powerhouse. She released her debut EP, Don’t Kill My Vibe (Island Records), this past spring following the success of its self-empowering title track, in which she dares anyone to try to bring her down. Her catchy synth-pop sound surprisingly traces back to writing folky piano ballads among the fjords and mountains of Bergen and her hometown Ålesund. “Production is a new world for me,” says Sigrid. “I always come back to the piano. It’s like home.”

Despite a slew of new experiences and cross-Atlantic travel, Sigrid hasn’t changed all that much. She is still the same girl who, as a teenager, started a band with her sister named after their dead cat, Sala. (“We’re a crazy cat family,” she says.) Stories about being best friends with her band members, her love of talking to Uber drivers, keeping up with her family through FaceTime, and phrases like “teamwork is the best kind of work, really,” tumble out of her earnestly—and believably. Of her music, she says that she “hopes it makes people stop and think and reflect.” And dance, of course.