New Video!!!!! Hear me sing the “Queen of The Night” Aria from The Magic Flute :D

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I’m really happy about this :):):):):) It is really cool to have reached this point in my singing 😀 If anyone is interested in vocal lessons they can get those here: Bel Canto.

Here are some earlier videos & my first aria recording taken from my #1 Amazon bestselling Album released in 2014. Solveig’s Song.

Show Biz Literature.

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I just finished reading an old book of mine that I’ve previously read before. It’s actually quite interesting to do that as your perception of information has a tendency to change depending on where you are in your life. All of a sudden there are elements that become relevant that were mere background noise previously.

So I read a book about the music industry and I guess I should write a long entry about the experience…….

The truth is though that there isn’t much to write about rock’n’roll and/or show-biz literature. In terms of rock’n’roll auto/bio-graphies they all pretty much revolve around the same topics, in terms of “how-to-make-money-in-the -music-industry” books they present a certain template that is usually outdated at the time of publication due to the “ever-changing” nature of the music scene itself. In terms of general interviews across various elements in show-biz there is pretty much three conclusions one can come to….

  1. Everyone speaks like this: I and William…. Which is incorrect as one should say: William and I. Throughout all of the various interviews included in this book it was consistently done wrong. You put yourself last when you speak about yourself and others, just as if you have guests over you serve them first. If someone asks you to pass something around the table, you serve that person first and then yourself. If someone asks for water for example, it is very impolite to serve yourself first before passing the bottle around….
  2. Out of all of the interviews I read…(517 pages in total)….I was only left with half a page worthy of notes in my tiny “yellow-book,” listing other books recommended in the interviews. This list also included various movies. In other words there was not exactly an abundance of intellectual information.
  3. Artist are generally very out of touch  with their own potential for legacy. One element of art that nobody ever really seems to contemplate or write about is that entertainment is trend based. Each generation has their heroes, which means that my little sister will be largely ignorant of my heroes, just like I will be of my mother’s.

Unless younger generations receive a well-rounded education in culture from their parents and unless young artist protect the legacy of former artists many traditions and composers will simply die out.

For example, if you don’t have musicians who sit and practise their instruments until the cows come  home, classical music and the virtuoso repertory will disappear. Maintaining the tradition also costs, not only due to the hours necessary to become a good musician but because of the maintenance that a musician of a certain caliber has to go through.

When I read my book this time around I googled all the various musicians and performers mentioned and it was quite interesting to see how many of these are irrelevant today.

If anything that you do artistically is of historical value, you rely on music experts doing their homework by going through a plethora of material without being partisan. Usually when rock documentaries or music encyclopaedias are created, there are complaints from fans about all of those who have been omitted. Sometimes it is actually quite glaring who gets left out. Mind you that only signed artists are even considered to be included in any sort of  compendium of music.

My conclusion from reading this work is this: you have to enjoy being a musician in and of itself. It is most probable that your work will be forgotten as only a dedicated “cult” of fans who play your music and inform others of it can keep your work relevant past the generation that you inspired. It is also a good idea to take some advice from the squirrel, yes you read that right. Squirrels have such a bad memory that they keep several “food storages,” to remember where their nutrition is. Therefore it is advisable that musicians invest in a wide vocabulary in terms of their skills. Knowing both how to write music and perform music, knowing how to play several instruments and knowing how to navigate between different genres is needless to say a good way of making sure that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Being a one-trick pony places you in a very vulnerable position, because when the tide turns in terms of your popularity you’ll most definitely be screwed, in lack of better words. It is also interesting to note how rock & heavy metal legends spend the majority of their adult life keeping the memory of their youth alive. Wouldn’t it be strange if a construction worker, or a nurse or a teacher spent a great deal of time getting an employment, only to be active for 2-3 years, only to spend the rest of their life promoting how great they were in those few years they were active?

The life-cycle of a musician can best be described as:

  1. Learning how to play an instrument, which takes several years. If you are to reach virtuosity level you can look at 9-10 years of practising.
  2. Trying to make it. These are the ungrateful years when everybody thinks you suck, besides your first fans and independent bloggers…..until the mainstream media starts mentioning you, then you rock and always did. This can take many years; after discussing it with other musicians we came to the conclusion that most bands have a 3-4 year lifespan. After 3-4 years serious bands usually get to the point where they are “picked-up” by press people who will mention them in their up-and-coming section. Most rock bands break up at this point.
  3. Unofficially making it…..Those who keep on going will experience a gradual increase in their fame/visibility and will learn that the music business is all about how you “use what you get,” meaning that if somebody in the press gives you a good review, you quote it and use it in press releases. Press/visibility can be used to obtain endorsements,gigs, sales, etc; Any tv-appearance is a golden opportunity to “make an impression.” You always have to treat things like they are very important and major because you don’t know when you will get the same opportunity again. You also have to use what you have on your “show-reel” to see if it can open any more doors. Building a good and solid reputation will eventually reap its benefits and hopefully result in the next step which is….
  4. Officially making it…this is the point when you land a major contract or run for your life which a lot of rock musicians have actually done…(which is a very good reason for not being in a band)… A major contract will enable you to re-negotiate your endorsement deals, seek out new sponsorship/partnership deals and allow you to get the “infrastructure” of the establishment. This is the point where you seriously “pimp” out your brand name for the simple reason that you do not know how long you will be commercially viable from a corporate perspective. There are pop groups that only run for 3 years, artist that can only hang in there for one hit, etc; There are also bands who can stay en vogue for a substantial amount of time but they do not represent the vast majority. A great number of the artist mentioned in my book were not interested in making money…this came back to bite them in the ass later when they bankrupted themselves paying medical bills for themselves and/or their family….there is no pension plan when you are an artist and the majority of the individuals/bands mentioned in the book had obviously not thought about……
  5. ….going through a prolonged time of “rainy-days.” Yes that’s correct. If music=trends, then needless to say there will come a time when the music you wrote or performs is out. This issue can be dealt with by either re-inventing yourself, being good with money/investments when things are going well or by having many strings to play on….a great number of the artists interviewed had no idea how to deal with loss in popularity….I’ve heard many stories of artists that were “big once” but then ended up being a starving artist again relatively quickly….there are artist who experience a 10-30 year dip in relevancy….that is quite a substantial part of an artist’s life….
  6. Comeback. The inevitable comeback that so few survive to experience. In rock’n’roll it will happen when you are 50-60 years when finally you win your very first Grammy. Finally your band will be relevant again and you can go on numerous “final tours” cashing in some serious cash having reached legend-status by simply having survived rock’n’roll….but it will not last long…becasue…
  7. Death. Yes, that untimely thing. Over 60% of musicians suffer from mental health issues, mostly  depression, musicians also have a tendency to die younger than the  general population. These are the usual causes of death according to genre → chart. Few can handle being a starving artist, few can handle being an up-and-coming artist, few can handle being a major artist and fewer than anyone can probably deal with loss of popularity, whether it is sudden or gradual. You have to make sure that playing music makes you happy before you pursue the idea of being a rock star and more important than anything: you have to keep in mind that the music industry is a hierarchy officially based on popularity rather than merits, with an unofficial penchant for nepotism/corruption more than anything else. Considering that the output of the majority of artists alive today will be completely forgotten after their death, it could be a good idea to have a more balanced life, unless being a workaholic is your natural inclination.

Awesome Art.

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I came across some cool artwork a while back….I like this: Question Everything.

And here there are some other pics, you guys might find interesting: Political Art

There are many ways in which pictures like this can be discussed. I just find it interesting with art that makes you think 🙂

ps. came across this as well → Punch

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How To Have Fun – According to Moi.

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In Norway we have a saying that loosely translated would go like this: ” You Don’t Have More Fun, Than The Fun You Create Yourself”.

I do believe that I’m the living proof of that statement.

Yesterday I spent 10 hours and 44 minutes working on nothing but music; my aim this month has been to finalize and complete a body of work that I’ve dubbed: “album nr.3”. This is a number of songs that are all of a personal nature and were all written around the same time.

This material is in my opinion the best songs that I’ve ever written and the body of work is unique in that it was all created around the time frame of 2014-2015, with the majority of the material having been written last year.

I have an incredible amount of “backlogged” material; enough songs for a 2nd Metal Album, ( Metal Album Nr.1 will be released whenever I get the mixes/masters), enough material for 2 instrumental albums and lost of songs & ideas laying about.

My usual M.O. is to work on songs over several years, you could pretty much call my previous songs for musical collages. They all have multiple lyric sets usually, and nothing is settled as a riff in one song could go into another and a bridge section could all of a sudden end up as a chorus in another tune. It’s a giant puzzle in motion where I basically just try to find the right combination of pieces.

In contrast it seems that when I finally decided to write personal music that the songs just came to me in very complete forms as a huge creative tsunami. Maybe this is also why these tracks are being prioritized as the vast majority are new songs and I find this new creative process that I’ve been in the receiving end for very intriguing.

If I focus on the ” fun I can create for myself” I must admit that I enjoy myself tremendously, I don’t have words to describe how cool it is to have the gift of creativity. I do believe it is the gift to be the most grateful for, because if you “only” sing/play/perform you will need other people to create for you.

To be able to conceive something out of absolutely nothing is great, great fun and nothing can compare. The coolest characteristic of creativity as well, is that it always finds a way, either you will draw and fall in love with empty canvases and blank books as it enables you to just create out of thin air, or creativity will come to you in the form of writing and you’ll fall in love with an empty notebook and a simple pen.

The truest form of joy though is when you can use the outlet that you love the most which in my case is music 🙂

If I’m going to be brutally honest I’m never sad or disappointed because of something I do, whenever I’m unhappy it is always caused by factors outside of myself.

But if I’m going to focus on just myself and my abilities, such as the 5 songs I finalised yesterday I’m probably one of the happiest people on this earth. I’m profoundly infatuated with the gifts that I’ve been given and I pat myself on the back for having the drive to put in all the hours and the effort it takes to take these talents somewhere.

Then again I don’t know how many artists that are out there who would consider it “fun” to spend 6-8 hour practise routines, for 6 months, only to reach a specific “goal”. I don’t know how many other musicians who would gladly spend almost 11 hours in a day to complete a group of songs, to meet a specific deadline in order to get the work done. The impression I largely have is that people wanna “have a life” as if thought practising or writing is some sort of sacrifice. Which means that the music gets prioritized when it doesn’t clash with a holiday, a nagging partner or going out for a beer with friends, or watching something on Netflix; etc.

If you reach the goal you have in mind, how could the effort you have to invest be considered a sacrifice?

Wouldn’t the disappointment be if you didn’t reach your goal?

And how can you expect to ever exploit your potential if you are not willing to invest the necessary time and effort?

” You don’t have more fun, than the fun you create yourself”

 

 

21 Reasons I Rock \m/

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Sooo, I’ve made fun of myself, made a list of my shortcomings, complained about my Mr.Bean moments, drenched by blog in self-deprecating humour….so maybe it’s time to give myself some praise and write why I rock \m/ If I could find “21 reasons” as to why I suck, I’m sure I can find 21 reasons to be happy, 21 things that are positive about myself.

Oprah Winfrey apparently used to say that everyday you should think of 3 things that makes you happy, so when I grew up my mom would ask us around the dinner table “What are you happy about today?”. This was something I brought with me wherever I went apparently….something I find quite sweet 🙂

So what are you happy about today? And why do you rock?

As self-educating and eye-opening it can be to write about your stinkers, take some time to write or think to yourself  about why YOU are awesome \m/

I shall give it a go 😛

1- I care about what happens in the world and gave away all the money I got for my 18th birthday to an organisation that protects wild life 😛 I’ve never repeated extreme charity such as that, as I need to live too, but the bottom line is, that I believe that we should all help others. Not in order to increase our popularity, but because it is what is right. I’m also an Amnesty International Member and have been so for years. I was trying to raise awareness about Darfur when I went to high school among other things, but didn’t have much luck. I started a zine with a friend of mine when I was a teen that was supposed to raise awareness concerning social injustice where we lived in our local area. We didn’t have much luck with that either. I almost went to India to do charity work when I was in my late teens but ended up not being able to go.

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2- I’m always there for my friends and family. At the end of the day I’m very loyal and  I love to surprise people!

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3-Dedication. I had to learn how to speak Italian when I was six as my family moved to a foreign country. I also had to wrap my head around French when my family lived in France for a year and I also had to teach myself English as I went to high school in America :0 When I started playing guitar I would use an English-Norwegian dictionary to figure out the explanations in guitar magazines since my English sucked 😛

4-Humble. That’s right! Why else would I put myself in the situation of “student” again, when learning classical music on the guitar 😉 I was already an internationally acclaimed musician, but I never let this get to my head as I believe that this will stifle your growth as a musician. I feel lucky that I always get feedback and constructive criticism about my performances and/or writing. This way I keep on growing.

5-I’m flexible and therefore have a good reputation when it comes to working with others in a studio setting for example. I’m as far as you could possibly get from being a dictator. I believe you will only shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t listen to others.

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6-I write my own music. That’s right. I’ve always been insanely creative. I always wanted to be a songwriter and even though I gave up a couple of times as a kid, I always came back to it.

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7-I can sing opera 😛 I’m classically trained and even though I’m not done with my opera education I’m really proud of what I can do already and excited about what I will be able to master one day 🙂

 

8-I taught myself how to play the guitar 😉 That’s right! I didn’t get guitar lessons until I was working on “artist-development” in L.A. 🙂

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9-I had my first art exhibition when I was 13 😛 I didn’t sell a single picture :/ but whatever, the bottom line is that I did it 😛

10-I had something that I had written published by a newspaper when I was 17. This was my first go at writing. I had to have a guitar break as my hand was all messed up after too much playing.

11-I used to draw fashion drawings. I wanted to be a designer. That was my dream from I was 6 years old. I kept on switching between wanting to be an archeologist and dreaming of owning my own “fashion house”.

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12-Even though my visual arts is in the shadow of my music, I love to draw and this is what I’ve done the longest. I even  wrote and illustrated a children’s book. I have plenty of other quirky characters I’ve come up with as I love “designing” characters, if there ever was such a word. If I wasn’t a musician it would have been cool to to have an arts degree and create graphic novels or maybe story boards for movies.

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13-I co-direct my music videos as I “see my music ” when I write it.

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14-I did theater once and loved it. That was the moment I figured that I wanted to be a performer.I love to play the “villain” or be “crazy”.

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15- When I was a kid I was a goalie \m/

16- I also used to do Marshall Arts!

17-When I was 11 I got my first “studded” belt with proper nails, not the flat plastic ones 😛  So no wonder that my current purse looks like this \m/

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18- I love to read and have always been a book-worm 😛

19- I always wanted a Doberman called Lucius and a Westie called Truffles. I don’t have either but I have a bearded Dragon I’ve named after Severus Snape. I would also like to have a white bunny, who I would probably name Draco 😛 I always wanted to own a snake, but after holding several different types I was shocked to see how strong they are, snakes aren’t very social either and try to hide away and escape. I figured that snakes probably aren’t that keen on “being owned” by anyone.

#WorldsCoolestPet

#WorldsCoolestPet

This is my guy \m/

This is my guy \m/

20- I have a very varied taste when it comes to music and there are plenty of things that interest me that have nothing to do with show-biz. I’m obsessed with space for example.

21- My hair looks like this. I cut it short in 2005 and coloured it green 😮 I decided to let it grow to see how long it could possibly get! I’m still curious to see how far down it will go \m/

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I wrote this entry as a contrast to my 21 reasons I suck! entry, something I wrote as a counterweight to my 22 hopeless musicians, when you are a soloartist! entry 😛 I got 3 more “Top List” entries, you can check them out here: 20 Practise Tips For Guitarists,5 Horrible People,20 Badass Women.

 

Messin’ Around!

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I got a book out, both physical copies & kindle copies ❤ ! I wrote and illustrated this children’s book so check it out on Amazon worldwide and/or Barnes & Noble ❤ My book on Amazon! My book on Barnes&Noble

 

How many do you got? 4 of these are limited edition 😛 If you want signed physical CDs you can either inbox me on FB or go here: My store!

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Hmmm….a good reason for inviting more people over 😛 We got this today from our lovely guest Bianca.

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Yeah…I’m on Snapchat…not quite sure what the point of this thing is :/ But this is the place to be apparently 😛

Time for some selfie fails…..

Taking a selfie can be really hard…Its not just done in 1-2-3 more like 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15…

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The conspiracy shot.

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The Zoolander Shot.

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The Bart Baker shot.

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…

trying to look pretty….

Oh shit look 😮 That’s what Christmas used to be about 😮

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Hey Look At Nicole’s Drawing!

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