Maria Mena

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Maria Mena
Maria Mena BNN.jpg
Background information
Birth name Maria Viktoria Mena
Born 19 February 1986 (age 28)
Oslo, Norway
Genres Pop, Folk, Rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Voice
Years active 2002–present
Labels Sony Music Norway, Columbia
Website www.mariamena.no

Maria Viktoria Mena (born 19 February 1986) is a Norwegian pop artist.

Biography[edit]

Maria Mena was born into an artistic family. Her mother is a playwright and her father a drummer. Both Maria and her brother, Tony, are named after characters from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Her mother is Norwegian and her father is Afro-Nicaraguan.

Her father played in several bands in Oslo, which influenced Mena to write and record her own music. When Mena was nine years old, her parents divorced. She suffered from depression and developed an eating disorder.[1]

When Mena was 13 years old, she moved to live with her father. She sang and wrote lyrics as a form of self-soothing. "My Lullaby", a song from Mena's diary, expresses her pain from her parents' divorce. After pleading with her father to make a demo, he contacted some acquaintances in the music industry to record the demo. Presenting his daughter's demo to several record companies, Sony Music signed Mena to their label.

In 2002, she released her debut single "Fragile (Free)" in Norway, however it did not manage to chart there. "My Lullaby" was released as the second single and the song reached #5 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. It received heavy rotation on NRK P1, P3, P4, Radio 1, and Radio Oslo. The young singer quickly gained fans and soon earned her first platinum record. After the success of "My Lullaby", she released her debut album, Another Phase in Norway which reached #6 on the Norwegian Albums Chart. Mena made an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman to promote her first international album, White Turns Blue, which debuted at the top position on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart a week later and at #102 on the Billboard 200. She made a breakthrough into the worldwide singles charts that year with "You're the Only One", a single successful in multiple countries. The song was her only single to appear on a Billboard chart, making #25 on the U.S. Top 40 Mainstream. "You're the Only One" peaked at #30 on the Dutch Top 40 and #19 on the Dutch Mega Single Top 100. Two months earlier, in March 2004, Mena had released her second album in Norway. Mellow. Less successful than her 2002 debut, it still managed to peak at #7 in Norway. The second single from both albums was "Just a Little Bit", which was a commercial flop, not managing to chart anywhere.

2005 saw the release of Apparently Unaffected in Norway and several other European countries, fronted by singles "Miss You Love", and "Just Hold Me". A significant success in Norway, the album has earned her three Spellemann nominations, Best Female Artist, Best Hit, and Best Music Video. In the Netherlands, the album was released in June 2006 and charted at #82. It slowly climbed the chart to reach its peak position in its 27th week at #11, as "Just Hold Me" was getting airplay again. "Just Hold Me" was released in May 2006, but then did not chart in the official Dutch Top 40, but did chart in the country's physical singles chart, the Mega Single Top 100, at #27. In October 2006, the song started getting heavy airplay again and this time it did managed to reach the official Dutch Top 40 and peaked at #26. In the Mega Single Top 100, it peaked at #7 in the beginning of November 2006. Mena performed at sold-out concerts in Utrecht and Amsterdam, following the success of "Just Hold Me". The album was at #48 at the Dutch year-end chart, outselling major artists such as Pink's I'm Not Dead, Nelly Furtado's Loose, and Beyoncé Knowles' B'Day. "Miss You Love" was released as the album's second single in the Netherlands and reached #61 on the Mega Singles Top 100.

Maria Mena 2008

On 7 July 2007, she performed at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg.

Having worked on her three first studio albums with Norwegian producer Arvid Solvang, Mena started collaborating with Martin Sjølie in early 2008 on what would become her fourth studio album, Cause and Effect. The album's first single, "Belly Up" had its radio premiere mid-June 2008 on Norwegian radio. Cause and Effect was released on September 17 in Norway. The first international single was "All This Time". The album was internationally released on 26 September 2008. This album garnered her a Spellemann for Best Female Artist.

Mena's song "Sorry" was featured on the third season of US So You Think You Can Dance and "What's Another Day" was featured during the fourth season. She released "All This Time" in the UK on 11 April 2010.

In 2011 Mena recorded her version of Mitt lille land (My Little Country) by Ole Paus as part of a project by the Norwegian TV channel TV2. On 23 July, the day after the Norway terrorist attacks and after requests from her Norwegian audience, Mena uploaded her version of the song to the streaming site SoundCloud. It quickly became an anthem in memory of the victims of the attacks. She contributed to the album Mitt lille land, performing one of two versions of the title track (the other was performed by Ole Paus).

Her sixth album Weapon in Mind was released in 2013, becoming her first album to reach number one in Norway. Even though all three singles of the album failed to chart inside top 20 Norway Singles Chart, "Fuck You" and "I Always Liked That" became two of her best selling singles in Norway, certified 2xPlatinum both.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Certifications
NOR
[2]
NL
[3]
US
[4]
GER PL CH AU
2002 Another Phase
  • Debut album
  • Released: 22 April 2002
6
  • NO: Platinum (30,000+)[5]
2004 Mellow
  • 2nd studio album
  • Released: 1 March 2004
7
2004 White Turns Blue
  • International debut album
  • Released: 20 July 2004
102
2005 Apparently Unaffected
  • 3rd studio album
  • Released: 14 November 2005
6 11 22 56 40
  • GER: Gold (100,000+)[7]
  • NL : Platinum (50,000+)[8]
  • NO : Platinum (30,000+)[5]
2008 Cause and Effect
  • 4th studio album
  • Released: 15 September 2008
4 8 20 43 [9] 13 23
2011 Viktoria
  • 5th studio album
  • Released: 23 September 2011
2 17 18 13 29
2013 Weapon in Mind
  • 6th studio album
  • Released: 23 September 2013
1 14 59 30

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certification Album
NO
[14]
GER NL 40 NL 100
[15]
US
Main
[16]
US
Hot 100
[16]
US
Adult
[16]
SWI AUT FIN
[17]
EU
2002 "Fragile (Free)" Another Phase
"My Lullaby" 5 NOR: Gold (5,000+)
2004 "You're the Only One" 8 29 19 25 86 31 Mellow / White Turns Blue
"Just a Little Bit"
2006 "Miss You Love" 2 19 61 Apparently Unaffected
"Just Hold Me" 2 14 9 7 5 4 52 GER: Gold (150,000+)[18]

SWI: Gold (15,000+)[19]

"Miss You Love (re-release)" 1 73 61 147
"Our Battles" 81
2008 "Nevermind Me" 2 84 76
"Belly Up" 3 4 Cause and Effect
"All This Time" 7 15 6 7 14 7 11 45 SWI: Gold (15,000+)[19]
2009 "I'm In Love" 54
"I Was Made for Lovin' You" 91 20 44
2010 "Home for Christmas" 1 98 NOR: 2xPlatinum (20,000+)[20] Soundtrack: Hjem Til Jul
2011 "This Too Shall Pass" Viktoria
"Homeless" 69 65
2012 "Viktoria"
2013 "Fuck You" NOR: 2xPlatinum (20,000+)[21] Weapon In Mind
"I Always Liked That" 100 NOR: 2xPlatinum (20,000+)[21]
"All the Love"

As a featured artist[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certification Album
NO
[14]
GER NL 40 NL 100
[15]
US
Main
[16]
US
Hot 100
[16]
US
Adult
[16]
SWI AUT FIN
[17]
EU
2005 "Everytime" (Whimsical ft. Maria Mena) The Glow
2009 "Wide Awake" (Sasha ft. Maria Mena) 68 Soundtrack: Lila, Lila
"Konfliktsky" (Jaa9 & OnklP ft. Maria Mena) Sellout!
2012 "Fåkke fly bort" (Madcon ft. Maria Mena) Contakt

Notes

  • 1: The single was officially released in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Austria in 2007.
  • 2: The single was officially released in the Netherlands in 2009.
  • 3: "Belly Up" was only released in Norway.

Awards and Nominations[edit]

As of 2013, Maria Mena had had 11 Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy) nominations, and won one for Best Female Artist in 2008.

Year Award Nominated work Category Result
2002 Spellemannprisen Another Phase Best Pop Solo Nominated
Best Newcomer Nominated
"My Lullaby" Best Song Nominated
2004 MTV Europe Music Awards Herself Best Nordic Act Nominated
2005 Spellemannprisen "Miss You Love" Best Music Video Nominated
Best Hit Nominated
Apparently Unaffected Best Female Artist Nominated
2007 SWR3 Awards Herself Best New Pop Act Won
2008 Radio Regenbogen Awards Best International Newcomer Won
Echo Awards Apparently Unaffected Nominated
Spellemannprisen Cause and Effect Best Female Artist Won
"All This Time" Best Music Video Nominated
Best Music Video Direction 1 Nominated
2009 MTV Europe Music Awards Herself Best Norwegian Act Nominated
Norwegian Music Critics Award Best Female Artist Won
Echo Awards Cause and Effect Best International Rock/Pop Female Artist Nominated
2010 Spellemannprisen "Home For Christmas" Best Hit Nominated
2011 Viktoria Best Lyrist Nominated
2012 Edvard Prize2 Herself Pop Category Won
2013 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Norwegian Act Nominated
Spellemannprisen Weapon in Mind Best Pop Solo Nominated

Notes

  • 1: Nomination goes to director of the music video Alex Herron.
  • 2: Special award given by TONO, copyright organization for musicians and composers in Norway.

North Vision Song Contest[edit]

Year Nominated work Round Point Result
2013 "Fuck You" National (Den Norsken Sangen) 164 Won
North Vision Song Contest 5 61 Eliminated (13th place)
2014 "All the Love" National (Den Norsken Sangen) 235 Won
North Vision Song Contest 7 111 12th place

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maria Mena (I) - Biography
  2. ^ "Norway Charts". Lista.vg.no. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "NL Album Chart & Mega Singles Top 100". Dutchcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  4. ^ US Album Charts
  5. ^ a b "Maria Mena | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  6. ^ "Maria Mena | artistene | Stavernfestivalen 2011". Stavernfestivalen.no. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Maria+Mena)" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  8. ^ a b "Maria Mena Fanclub Nederland". Mariamena-fanclub.nl. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Maria Mena - Cause and Effect - Music Charts". Acharts.us. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.evansabovepr.com/clients/maria_mena/maria_mena.html
  11. ^ http://mariamenaforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4173
  12. ^ "View topic - Switzerland". Mariamenaforum.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  13. ^ [1] | Martin and I just received our gold plaques
  14. ^ a b "Maria Mena - VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958". lista.vg.no. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  15. ^ a b "dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f http://www.billboard.com/artist/309356/maria+mena/chart
  17. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Discography Maria Mena". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  18. ^ http://www.musikindustrie.de/no_cache/gold_platin_datenbank/#topSearch
  19. ^ a b http://hitparade.ch/awards.asp?year=2012
  20. ^ http://p3.no/popsalongen/dobbel-platina-for-maria-mena/
  21. ^ a b http://ifpi.no/component/rstrophybridge/?searchterm=Maria%20Mena

External links[edit]