Vulnerable And Heartfelt Singer Rikke Normann Blew Us Away With “It’s Complicated”
Modern singer-songwriter Rikke Normann has earned a reputation as the most sought after and used vocalist and backup singer in the country and has made a living out of singing for almost 10 years. She has contributed on numerous albums, appeared on multiple events, radio jingles and television shows and was handpicked to sing with John Legend at The Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2017. With the Norwegian go-to voice, Rikke has played almost every venue throughout Norway and Europe and has received international attention for her music, participated in Eurovision and released self-penned music with Norwegian R&B-Trio SiNoR. DIY artist and songwriter with enormous drive and creativity, who spends all her time and money on making music, video’s, writing song and running her own record label “RikkiLeaks” and with the release of her first solo album in 2011 called “Rikki’s Guns”, Rikke received great reviews and a lot of national press attention. Her first single off the album, “Superstar”, entered the Norwegian official pop chart “VG-lista” at number 7.
The music video for “It’s Complicated” helps paint a picture of a complicated world, is extremely creative with different sceneries and lyrics being displayed. With flashes of bus riding, fountains, and city spaces, Rikke has really given us a good look into this life style she is portraying, with herself flashing in and out of frames – it really is a new and unique effect. It is definitely not hard to see why Rikke Normann has international attention and a sought after artist as her style and creativity is hard to beat. This up and coming artist is one to watch for and her music is sure to get stuck in your head. “It’s Complicated” has left me in complete and utter awe of the vocal tone of Rikke Normann and style that she has created with this track that makes me feel like I’m in a modern day 90’s home, with a cup of tea on a beautiful spring day. Rikke’s voice is embedded with raw talent, and a tone that is so unique, especially with the emphasis of particular words throughout the song. The harmonies compliment the melodic parts so beautifully and I found myself singing along with the gorgeous flow of “It’s Complicated”. With a mixture of instruments that add texture to this down-to-earth tranquilizing track that is filled with mysterious sounds that you might miss if you don’t listen closely. “It’s Complicated” is packed with extremely relatable lyrics that are delivered with passion and musical dynamic that is unmatchable.
Make sure you give a listen to "It's Complicated" here, and continue reading for Rikke's interview!
Hey Rikke! Fantastic to chat with you! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you found your passion for music?
I don’t really know how I found my passion for music, I think it just found me :-) I come from a family of no musicians so there wasn’t really anyone to lead the way. There’s only me doing music in my entire family, although my dad has a pretty massive record collection. I think he has around 2000 albums on vinyl! I started hearing songs and melodies in my head quite early on and taught myself to play the piano to get this out. Singing came kind of natural. Songwriting has been my only outlet for frustrations, emotions and a way of prossessing the constant feeling of being different and not fitting in. Remember, I grew up without much creativity around me and people were more business-y, I’ve always felt a bit different.
Today I am a one-woman-production and DIY artist, doing almost everything myself! I’ve released 3 albums on my own label RikkiLeaks, and recently organized and played a solo 40 gig tour all around Norway, with a visit to the UK, as part of my album launch. I’m actually a bit shy and don't always have the strongest belief in myself, so reading back what I just told you, still makes me go “wow, is that me, did I really do all that?” It makes me happy.
“It’s Complicated” is layered with so many different sounds and instruments, were there any that you wanted to use but didn’t and are there any that you had fun playing in particular?
“It’s complicated" (and all of the rest of my album 35) is actually recorded LIVE! It’s a band playing and me singing one take straight trough, without many add ons after, I think only some percussion and backing vocals, they we’re carefully selected though. On this track, less was actually more. We wanted to capture the moment so what you hear is what actually happened in the recording studio that day.
Where was the music video for "It's Complicated" shot and were there any challenges you faced while filming?
The video is a complete DIY thing! It’s shot and fully produced by me and my boyfriend, in and around Oslo, and also on OSL Gradermoen airport on our way to playing a festival. We wanted to capture an indie real life vibe, unpolished and raw, you know like one of those days where your brain feels totally chaotic or in limbo, it's trying to figure out problems and you just wander around and go about your day as usual without really being present. It happens to me a lot and the video resembles one of those days. The challenges in this were technical things, we time lapsed the backgrounds and had to place me in the exact same spot afterwards to be able to cut real-time-me on to the fast moving backgrounds to capture the essence of chaos and stillness in one picture. This vid was so much fun working with! we we’re just improvising and fooling around, and me being me
What inspired you to write “It’s Complicated” and what was the message you wanted your listeners to take from it?
What inspired me to write this song is the fact that we and especially I, keep second guessing ourselves. You know when you’re making choises in your life we often keep asking ourselves if this is the right thing to do, or was that the right way? It doesn’t help that friends and family tell you (often quite determined and loud) what they think you should do. It’s hard to navigate life, and to hear your own voice through the noise from everyone else. The message to my listeners is simple, shut out the noise and listen to yourself. If you don’t do you, don’t do it at all.
What’s next for you in 2019?
Next for me is festivals and gigging and recording new music. I have soooo many things to say right now, so the songs keep pouring out. I even wrote a song one evening inspired by the lovely Kim Chi from RuPaul’s drag race show, season 8. He really pearsed my heart and I’m gonna send it to him when it’s done, like “look what you inspired” <3 I love RuPauls drag race show and the beautiful people in it!