As you’ll undoubtedly have heard by now, this year’s John Lewis advert – which is intended to raise awareness about people spending Christmas alone – will feature a cover of Oasis’ beloved 1994 B-side ‘Half The World Away’. What you might not know is that the song is sung by Aurora, a relatively unknown 19-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter. But who actually is she? We spoke to Aurora and got some answers.
How did the John Lewis advert come about?
It was quite a random thing. I was playing a show in England in July, and I think one of the guys from John Lewis was there at my London show and apparently they liked something about me and my band and later we got a mail offering us to record this song – and we did! I really liked the song, so I said yes.
When did you actually record the song?
Just a few weeks ago. We did the last recordings of it one week ago, so it’s very fresh and new!
Were you aware of the song before you were asked to record it?
No, no, I wasn’t actually.
So what did you think when you first heard it?
It’s a beautiful song. The lyrics are very good, so I thought, ‘This is something I can sing; I can stand for these words because they’re beautiful words.’
How did you put your own personal twist on the track?
It’s more me – it’s a bit slower and sounds a bit more sad.
Did you know who Oasis were?
Yes! I’m not a massive fan, but I am a fan, definitely. One of my producers who did the song with me is a really big fan and has been since he was nine, so it was really huge for him. He was happy.
Would you like Oasis to reform?
Yes definitely! That would be fantastic! I never saw them play live – but I have seen many clips on the internet and they look great.
‘Half the World Away’ is also the theme tune to a British comedy called The Royle Family. Have you ever heard of it?
No I haven’t, but I love British humour, so I think that I would like it!
You’re yet to release an album – when’s your debut coming out?
It’s done and ready – the music part, at least. It will be coming out in March. I’m very excited. It’s emotional and a bit folk-pop, but I can be a bit dark!
Katy Perry is a fan of yours – how did it feel when she tweeted about you?
It felt very strange. I woke and saw my phone almost exploding with all these messages and tweets. It was quite mental, but it was just nice of her to take her time to do that for me – she knew how much it could impact my career. She’s given me a push and I’m very grateful.
Have you met her?
Yes – she came to one of my shows in LA. She was very kind. We had a talk and she told me to not quit and to take care of myself most of all.
Who are your favourite artists?
Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. They’re my biggest heroes. I love everything about Leonard Cohen; his lyrics and his voice. He seems like a really clever man and Bob Dylan does as well. He’s just really cool. Bob Dylan is like an alien on this earth and I love him! I cried when I saw him play live because I was so close to him.