Kate Havnevik: 4 To Watch

Music Reviews Kate Havnevik
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Kate Havnevik: 4 To Watch

­­­­­Hometown: Oslo, Norway

­­­­­Fun fact: When she was just 14 years old, Havnevik put her classical guitar and piano training aside to join an all-girl punk band that performed at an illegal Oslo underground club called Blitz.

­­­­­Why she’s worth watching: Electronic-pop avatar Moby liked Havnevik’s voice so much that she was invited to write lyrics and melodies over a couple of his tracks, and she’s virtually provided the soundtrack to ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, with seven of her songs having been featured on the hit show.
­­­­­For fans of: Björk, Dido, Imogen Heap

“Electronica unplugged” may sound like a contradiction, but it’s not Kate Havnevik’s style to let anything—especially lack of a better word—put limits on her music. Her debut full-length, Melankton, is heavily electronic, but she books almost as many acoustic shows as she does with a full digital ensemble.

“The song has to be solid,” she says. “That comes ?rst. When you add electronics, it’s like a bonus; it can make the music really special, but the song has to be there ?rst.” Her method is to compose music that will sound good with or without the “bonus.” The result? The classically informed compositions and Havnevik’s powerfully sweet voice mesh perfectly with synth textures and electronic beats.

“I call it classictronica, a mix of classical and electronica,” she says. “With the right amount of each, when it’s balanced, they ?t very well together and complement each other.” It also gives her the ?exibility and freedom to transition and stay in control of her art.

“I have my own home studio and I just work on my music (which is issued on her own label, Continentica Records). I wanted to be my own boss. I’ve had friends who had deals with major labels and they were pressured to make music that was not right for them. You are thinking about what they want you to not doing it for yourself.”

While Melankton is Havnevik’s ?rst solo album, expect to hear more from her soon. She has an untitled project and an acoustic album, Embla, waiting to be ?nished and the resources to complete them whenever and however she wants. “I just have so many ideas in my head,” she says. “I want to be able to do them all.”