A new sensation has taken center stage. Her name is Julie Bergan and she’s behind the mesmerizing vocals of Alan Walker’s global hit, “Ignite”, and the R3HAB dance hit, “Don’t Give Up On Me Now”. She has begun her solo ascension with the massive “Kiss Somebody”, which served as the perfect soundtrack to this year’s Valentine’s Day. It also helped propel her to be the most streamed artist in Norway. She now sets her sites on global domination.
With Julie’s buzz growing like wildfire, we decided to sit down with her to discuss her sound, career, and what’s on the horizon. After our interview, it’s pretty clear that she is no one-hit-wonder, but a budding star with a rich story and an unwavering sound that will define the commercial sphere of music. Here is CULTR’s interview with Julie Bergan:
How would you describe your sound/music for someone who has never heard it before?
I would say that my sound is pop music but it’s really energetic and it hits pretty hard. It has huge vocals, huge production, and generally really dance-friendly. It’s very easy to dance to!
Favorite song to perform?
There are always different songs I like for different vibes, but one of my favorite songs is “STFU” because it’s really instant. I can feel the high energy from the beginning and it has a fun choreography to it. It’s always fun when the crowd is screaming “shut the fuck up” and “get the fuck out”, [hah]. It’s the song for the past year I’ve used to open my shows so it always gives me that “okay, now we’ve started!
Your favorite performance of all time?
I have so many different ones… there’s a few festivals that I’ve always dreamed of performing at, like when I performed at Coachella or some festivals in Norway. There was this TV performance I did and I just really loved how we sold that performance even though I was all alone on stage, it felt really huge and I got a lot of great feedback so I was really happy with it.
I saw your performance with Seeb at Idrettsgallaen (“sports gala”) on YouTube, what can you tell us about that?
It was a lot of fun. It was the day after the song was released and I was obviously really nervous because it was the first time doing it properly. I always put a lot into my live performances, so we brought elements from the music video to the TV performance as well – a lot of the lighting, and I brought my dancers and the choreography and to recreate the music video vibe a little bit. It was a lot of fun and it was cool to perform the song for so many people so early on.
It also features a choreographed dance routine and you have featured dancing in quite a few of your music videos. Do you have a background in dance? Did you always envision dancing to be a part of your artistic vision?
I started dancing when I was pretty young because my older sister did it, and then it kept being my hobby. I went to a dance high school as well, so I did that a lot growing up. I love moving around to music, whether it be energetic music or calmer music. It’s like an extension of telling a story without even using words so you can just use your body. Every time I have a new song I usually just listen to it and try to feel what I’m feeling inside and express that with my body without even saying anything. That’s how I find the energy in the song and figure out how I’m going to perform it live.
Biggest inspirations? What inspires your music?
I have two parents that are music teachers so I’ve grown up listening to a lot of different music. I think that in general there was a Swedish artist when I was young that kind of started the spark in me, her name is Amy Diamond. She was a young pop star, I think she was 12 when she released her first album. I was always listening to Britney Spears, Shakira, Rihanna, and all the different boy bands, Shania Twain and Michael Jackson, stuff like that, but when I heard this Swedish young girl that was so close to me it kind of like started something in me like “okay maybe I can do this as well!”. That was a big inspiration for me to start taking this for real, I was probably around 11 at that time. That’s when I decided to be an artist.
How has growing up and living in Norway influenced your music?
What I think is really great about growing up here is that it’s smaller, and maybe not that much pressure. You’re free in your creativity. You don’t have the same competition or have people meshing with you or with other people. With Norwegian music, specifically pop music, we have nice melodies here and there’s a lot of space – it makes you kind of calm, and you have more time to figure out who you are and what you want to do. It’s not the same pressure as being a product of anyone else.
With the success of Kiss Somebody, can you describe the feeling of or what’s it like watching a song take off and be a hit?
I always try not to have too high of expectations, of course it’s really important that I love something if I’m going to release it, but it’s kind of crazy when you see the numbers and radio listings because it’s hard to realize “okay what is that and how many people are there actually.” When you go out to perform live and people know the lyrics to your songs it’s like the greatest feeling in the whole world. It’s when you realize that people actually listen to and like my music.
You have an upcoming EP, what can you tell us about that?
It’s a little more club-oriented. I always have hard-hitting songs with hard-hitting lyrics. This is pretty playful and fun too. It’s perfect for the summer!
Keep your eyes peeled to CULTR for more updates on Julie Bergan and the inevitable release of her upcoming EP. We will continue to watch as her star continues to grow. To stream her smash hit “Kiss Somebody” scroll down or follow the link here.