Aurora (singer)

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Aurora
AURORA 2015.jpg
Aurora performing in 2015 at Green Man Festival in Powys, Wales, United Kingdom
Background information
Birth name Aurora Aksnes
Born (1996-06-15) 15 June 1996 (age 22)
Stavanger, Norway[1]
Origin Os, Hordaland, Norway
Genres
Occupation(s)
Instruments
Years active 2012–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.aurora-music.com

Aurora Aksnes (born 15 June 1996), known mononymously as Aurora (stylised as AURORA), is a Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer. Her debut EP Running with the Wolves was released through Decca Records in May 2015,[4] receiving widespread approval from online music blogs and national press. Later the same year she provided the backing track for the John Lewis Christmas advert, singing a cover of the Oasis song "Half the World Away". This cover appears as a bonus track on the deluxe version of her debut studio album, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, which was released worldwide on 11 March 2016.

Her music is characterized by a dreamy, emotional and sophisticated pop, but still very catchy and direct; in the instrumental sections there are electronic, orchestral and folk elements. She has sometimes been compared to Susanne Sundfør, Emilíana Torrini, Florence and the Machine, Eivør, Kate Bush, Lana Del Rey, Lorde and Bjork.[5][6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Aurora Aksnes was born on 15 June 1996 in Stavanger, Norway. She has two older sisters, Miranda, a make-up artist,[8] and Viktoria, a fashion designer.[8][9] She grew up in Os, a municipality in Hordaland close to Bergen. She began creating melodies at the age of 6, and began writing lyrics at the age of 9. Songs like "Running With the Wolves" and "I Went Too Far" were written in this early stage of her life.[10]

Aurora has mentioned she has been in relationships with men and women.[11]

Career[edit]

2012–16: All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend[edit]

Aurora's first track "Puppet" was released in December 2012, followed by her second, "Awakening" in May 2013.[12] Her first single signed to her labels Glassnote Records and Decca Records, "Under Stars" was released in November 2014,[13] and "Runaway" followed in February 2015.[14] "Runaway" achieved success in the UK on streaming service Spotify, reaching 1 million streams after just 6 weeks. The track was also received positively by various online music blogs and national press such as the NME.

Aurora performing on 14 December 2017 in Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway.

Her second single, "Running with the Wolves" was released in April 2015 and received attention from national BBC stations Radio One, Radio Two and 6Music.[15] The excitement surrounding the young songstress propelled her onto the festival circuit and she appeared at renowned summer festivals such as Way Out West, Wilderness and Green Man Festival.[16][17][18] Aurora's third single, "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was released in September 2015 and has received continued support in national press, on national radio and popular online music blogs.[19] She has played a sold out headline show in London and supported Of Monsters and Men at Brixton Academy in November 2015.[20] Aurora recorded a cover of the Oasis track "Half the World Away" for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert.[21] Her next single, which came after "Half The World Away", was released in January 2016, titled "Conqueror" and a music video was uploaded the following month. Her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend was eventually released on 11 March 2016,[22] receiving generally positive reviews from critics. After releasing it, she went on to embark on her European tour, making a number of visits to the UK in between. She featured in British band Icarus' song "Home" and released a cover of David Bowie's Life on Mars.

On 14 March 2016, Aurora made her American television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing "Conqueror". Aurora soon after performed the track on Conan.[23] On 25 July 2016 she performed her cover of "Life on Mars" on The Howard Stern Show. The following night on 26 July, she performed "I Went Too Far" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

2016–present: Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1)[edit]

On the day of releasing her debut All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, she said that it was "the first album of many" that she has planned. As of 12 May 2016, after coming back from her European tour, Aurora announced that she was ready to begin writing and producing more material, which will eventually form her second studio album. She has said in a Facebook event that she has 15 demo songs and has written 1,000 songs/poems. Since the announcement, Aurora has released "I Went Too Far" as a single, and a music video for the track was released on 4 July 2016. According to Aurora, her second album was expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2018.[24]

Between April and August 2018, the singer released two singles, "Queendom" and "Forgotten Love", which were going to be included on her second studio album.[25] [26] Aksnes recorded the album during her stay in France in January of that year, and the production included the producers Askjell Solstrand, Roy Kerr and Tim Bran, with Aksnes herself also involved in this aspect.[27] Some of that new material was anticipated in live performances, including festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella.[28][29] While maintaining some of the themes and stories of the previous album, this production would mark the first time that Aksnes makes inclusion of political and sexuality themes in her songs.[30] Most of the new inspiration for those came from the interaction that she had with her fans during her first musical tour.[31] The music video for "Queendom" saw its release in May 2018, and it included a message to her LGBT fans; such message was portrayed by Aksnes herself kissing one of her female dancers, during what was described as a "big kissing party" that shows that "every type of love is accepted and embraced" in the singer's "queendom".[32] On September 28, 2018, Aurora surprisingly released her second album, Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1), and "step 2" is supposed to follow either 2019 or 2020. The album features eight songs,[33] and the title itself comes from the eighth track included on it, which Aurora declared as "the most important song I've ever written".[34] Shortly after the release, the singer and her band went on a musical tour that started in Manchester, UK.

Influences[edit]

Aurora has said, "I don’t have radio, I don’t have iTunes, I don’t have Spotify. I just have some LPs at home and a few CDs. I don’t like listening to music, it’s just like noise, when you’re doing different things. I like it in a train or in an airport, because then the other noise is worse".[11] She has largely recognized Enya, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen as her influences, who have always been present in her life.[35]

Lyrically, Aurora stated "none of my songs are about me (just 'Lucky' and 'Runaway' from the first album) or my own experiences, but everything is the world’s experiences." For example, "Queendom" was written "after I visited Brazil and some places where I realised the political status around same-sex love was really bad. I just thought to myself 'okay, the world sucks, so I’m going to write this song and make a new world for us.'"[11]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
NOR
[36]
AUS
[37]
GER
[38]
IRL
[39]
UK
[40]
US
[41]
NL
[42]
All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend 1 51 24 66 28 150 17

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
NOR
[36]
Running with the Wolves
  • Released: 3 May 2015
  • Label: Decca
  • Formats: Digital download
Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1)
  • Released: 28 September 2018
  • Label: Glassnote
  • Formats: Digital download
7
[43]

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
GER
[38]
IRE
[44]
POR
UK
[40]
US
Alt

[41]
"Puppet" 2012 Non-album single
"Awakening" 2013
"Under Stars" 2014
"Runaway" 2015 48 All My Demons Greeting
Me as a Friend
"Running with the Wolves" 72
"Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)"
"Half the World Away" 22 11
"Conqueror" 2016 32
"I Went Too Far"
"Winter Bird"
"Queendom" 2018 Infections of a Different Kind (Step 1)
"Forgotten Love"
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released.

As featured artist[edit]

Year Title Album
2016 "Home"
(Icarus featuring Aurora)
Non-album single
2017 "In Bottles"
(Kölsch featuring Aurora)
1989

Other appearances[edit]

Year Title Album
2016 "Life on Mars" Girls, Vol. 3 (Music from the HBO Original Series)
2017 "Scarborough Fair" Deus Salve o Rei (Theme from the Rede Globo Original Telenovela)
2018 "Baby Mine" Disney’s Dumbo (2019) Musical Theme for Initial Trailer Release

Filmography[edit]

Short films[edit]

Year Title Role Production
2015 Into the Light Herself Kasafilms
2016 Nothing Is Eternal Herself The Fader
2018 Once Aurora Herself Flimmer Film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role
2017–present Creeped Out Narrator

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organization Award Work Result
2015 EBBA Awards '16
by Eurosonic Noorderslag
Album of the Year: Norway Running with the Wolves Won
Public Choice Award Aurora Nominated
2016 Spellemannprisen '15 Årets Nykommer (Newcomer of the Year) Won
Gramo scholarship Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Norwegian Act Nominated
GAFFA-Prisen Årets Norske Album All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend Won
2017 Spellemannprisen '16 Popsolist (Pop Solo Artist) Won
Årets Album Nominated
Årets Musikkvideo (Music Video of the Year) "I Went Too Far" Won
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Best Song/Recording Created for Television "Life on Mars" (Girls: Episode 505) Nominated
  • 2014.4.8: A scholarship of 50,000 Kroner from the Festivalen by:Larm's Forbildepriser ("Exemplar Prize")[47]

Usage of songs in popular culture[edit]

  • Norwegian film De nærmeste used Aurora's "Awakening".
  • Aurora recorded the song "Baby Mine", which was featured in the trailer for the live-action remake of the 1941 Disney film Dumbo.
  • Her song "Conqueror" has been included on:
    • The soundtrack of FIFA 16,[48]
    • The tenth episode of season 3 of the Norwegian TV series Skam.
  • Aurora recorded a cover of the Oasis track "Half the World Away" for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert.
  • Aurora singing "Home" appeared in the 2016 Netflix film XOXO.
  • In January 2017, "I Went Too Far" was featured in the season 6 trailer for Girls.
  • Her version of "Life on Mars", originally performed by David Bowie, was used at the end of the Netflix original documentary, The Rachel Divide.
  • Her song "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was used in
  • On 24 December 2016, it was revealed that she would be contribute to the sci-fi thriller film Alien: Covenant with her version of the song "Nature Boy", which was written in 1947 by eden ahbez and first recorded by Nat King Cole the following year.
  • Her upcoming single "Queendom" was used in the debut trailer for the video game Unravel Two at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2018.
  • "Running with the Wolves" was featured in:
  • Aurora recorded a cover and a video of the English folk ballad "Scarborough Fair" in Brazil to be used as opening theme in the Brazilian telenovela Deus Salve o Rei.[50]
  • Her song "Through the Eyes of a Child" was used in the background of "The Chosen", the 12th episode of season 4 of The 100.[51]
  • Her song "Under Stars" was used for:
  • She rerecorded her song "Under the Water" in Simlish for use in the video game The Sims 4's "Vampires" expansion.
  • Her song "Winter Bird" was used in
    • The trailer for the movie Equals in 2015;
    • Season 5, episode 8 of the Australian TV show Wentworth, broadcast on 23 May 2017.[52]
  • Her song "Runaway" was featured in the series finale of the television series The Following.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aurora Aksnes". Brak. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Ilana. "Listen to Teenage Songstress AURORA's Deft Debut EP". Noisey Vice. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  3. ^ https://www.femalemag.com.sg/lifestyle/aurora-singer-laneway-festival-optin/
  4. ^ "Aurora Announces Debut EP Titled Running with the Wolves". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  5. ^ https://houselist.bowerypresents.com/2015/05/28/aurora-stuns-rough-trade-nyc-with-gracious-talent/
  6. ^ https://sentireascoltare/recensioni/aurora-running-with-the-wolves-ep/
  7. ^ https://www.baeblemusic.com/musicblog/3-15-2016/10-artists-youll-like-if-youre-a-lana-del-rey-fan.html
  8. ^ a b "Saman mot toppen". Magasinett.no. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Despite color: Up and coming: Designer Viktoria Aksnes". Despitecolor.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  10. ^ iamAURORAVEVO (14 December 2015), AURORA - Into The Light, retrieved 20 June 2016
  11. ^ a b c O'Flynn, Brian (2018-09-13). "Aurora interview: 'None of my songs are about me'". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  12. ^ "AURORA - Awakening". SoundCloud.
  13. ^ AURORA - Under Stars (Audio) on YouTube
  14. ^ AURORA - Runaway on YouTube
  15. ^ "Running With The Wolves". BBC Music.
  16. ^ "Way Out West » AURORA". Way Out West. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Aurora - Wilderness". wildernessfestival.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Aurora". Green Man Festival. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  19. ^ Butler, Will. "Check out chilling 'Murder Song' from Norwegian singer, Aurora". gigwise.com.
  20. ^ "Of Monsters & Men hit the road with Highasakite & Aurora!". 24 November 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  21. ^ NME.COM. "Norwegian singer Aurora covers Oasis' 'Half The World Away' for John Lewis Christmas advert – watch". NME.COM.
  22. ^ "AURORA announces debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend". Thefourohfive.com. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  23. ^ "Aurora guests on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon". NBC. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  24. ^ "Interview AURORA par Aurora France - #AskAuroraFR". YouTube. Aurora France. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  25. ^ "Queendom - Single by AURORA". iTunes Apple. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  26. ^ "Forgotten Love - Single by AURORA". iTunes Apple. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  27. ^ "Aurora interview: I want to fight for everything that can't fight for itself". Standard.co.uk. May 4, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  28. ^ "AURORA advances its album with 'Queendom', which seeks "a place for all of us"". Jenesaispop (in Spanish). April 17, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  29. ^ "Aurora fez um show místico e cheio de amor no Lollapalooza 2018". Capricho (in Portuguese). March 26, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  30. ^ "AURORA On The Themes Of "Queendom Come", Performance Anxiety And Teasing Her Upcoming Album". BUILD LDN. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  31. ^ "Coachella 2018: AURORA Talks "Queendom" & Her Sophomore LP". Idolator. April 17, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  32. ^ "Enter norwegian dreamer aurora's queendom in her intimate new music video". i-d (Vice). May 2, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  33. ^ "AURORA tells us about her surprise 'empowering' new album 'Infections Of A Different Kind – Step 1'". NME. September 28, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  34. ^ "An Interview with Aurora". Live in Limbo. September 28, 2018. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  35. ^ Christopoulou, Danai (August 28, 2018). "What You Should Know About Norwegian Pop Singer Aurora". The Culture Trip. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  36. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  37. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2 April 2016). "ARIA Albums: Zayn Has the No 1 Album in Australia". Noise11. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  38. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Aurora Aksnes". German Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
  39. ^ "AURORA". chart-track.co.uk. Chart-Track.
  40. ^ a b "AURORA". Officialcharts.com. Official Charts Company.
  41. ^ a b "AURORA - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  42. ^ "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend by Aurora - Music Charts". Acharts.co. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  43. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 40 Album uke 40, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  44. ^ "Discographie Aurora Aksnes". irish-charts.com. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
  45. ^ "Certified Awards" (To access, enter the search parameter "Aurora" and select "Search"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  46. ^ "IFPI" (Enter "Aurora" into the "Keywords" box, then select "Search"). International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  47. ^ "Forbildepriser til kvinnene i musikklivet". News. Norsk musikkråd (online) (in Norwegian). Oslo: Norwegian Music Council. 8 April 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  48. ^ "FIFA 16 Soundtrack". easports.com.
  49. ^ "Music from The Flash S3E22". Tunefind. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  50. ^ "Aurora records video for Scarborough Fair". Gshow (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  51. ^ "Music from The 100 S4E12". Tunefind. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  52. ^ "Music from Wentworth S5E08". Tunefind. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Emilie Nicolas
Recipient of the newcomer Spellemannprisen
2015
Succeeded by
Astrid S
Preceded by
Susanne Sundfør
Recipient of the pop artist Spellemannprisen
2016
Succeeded by
Cashmere Cat