AURORA talks new single ‘Cure For Me’: “Why is it so difficult to let others be themselves?”

The Norwegian singer-songwriter on her empowering new single, "playful and sensual" new album and the viral success of 'Runaway'

As AURORA returns with new single ‘Cure For Me’, the Norwegian phenomenon has spoken to NME about the song’s empowering origins – as well as the viral success of her song ‘Runaway’ and her “playful and sensual” new material. Watch our video interview with AURORA above.

Having shared the title track to the soundtrack of The Secret Garden last year – following on from recent singles ‘Exist For Love‘ and ‘Into The Unknown’ from Frozen 2 – ‘Cure For Me’ is the first taste of what’s to come from the follow-up to 2019’s ‘A Different Kind Of Human’.

Speaking to NME about the track, the Norwegian singer-songwriter described it as “a very fun little guy” – despite it coming from a much darker place.

“It’s quite a strange song. I think some people may really like it and some people may not,” she said. “Like always, I got inspired by a really huge, dark and horrible thing that happens in the world. The first seed of inspiration came from thinking about the countries where it’s still legal to do conversion therapy for gay people and lesbians. I just thought that’s so pointless. The first idea was me saying, ‘I don’t need a cure for me – just let me live, man!’”

She continued: “Why is it so difficult for people to just let others be themselves? Then I thought that it could mean many other things. People tend to believe quite quickly that something is wrong with them if they’re not like the people they see in front of them. It’s so sad that it doesn’t take much for us to really doubt ourselves.”

Following AURORA’s breakthrough 2016 debut ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’ and the two-part follow-up ‘Infections Of A Different Kind (Step One)‘ and ‘A Different Kind Of Human (Step Two)‘, fans are now awaiting news of her new album. While remaining tight-lipped about the details, AURORA did tell us that it doesn’t sound too much like ‘Cure For Me’.

“[‘Cure For Me’] has something in common with the album in that I’m experimenting with new things and new sides of me,” she said. “It’s easy for me to make a really ‘AURORA’ album – that feels like nature and mother earth. That comes really naturally to me. So I’m really enjoying doing something different. This is my third and a half album, and it’s about time in my mind to just play around and do something different.”

She went on to explain how the record would not so much be dealing in “doom, gloom, COVID and horror” and would be “more playful and fun” while still “representing a lot of things that bother me with society and our history”.

“It’s quite sensual actually, and very much about the dark, the light and the absurd combination of the two,” she said. “To me, music has always been very serious and no fun. I always write about really serious things, and I can see myself standing on stage every night for an hour and being really sad all the time.

“I just wanted to make an album for myself that had a bit more cheekiness and wildness. I’m very excited to share the album with you. It’ll come out this year.”

AURORA, 2021. Credit: Isak Okkenhaug
AURORA, 2021. Credit: Isak Okkenhaug

This follows the recent re-emergence of her 2015 single ‘Runaway‘, which recently shot up the charts around the world and amassed hundreds of millions of daily listens following its viral success on TikTok. However, AURORA said that she is unfazed by the statistics, and is instead just happy to see the track “living its best life, like a teenager, running around out there, touching people and being happy”.

“It’s very hard for me. I don’t see the meaning in numbers,” she admitted. “I don’t have the possibility to understand what they mean in terms of success. I don’t get a rush out them – I wish I did. It’s a very hard question for me to answer without seeming ungrateful, because I am very honoured that people have let ‘Runaway’ into their hearts.

“The world is going through a lot right now with COVID, and it’s clear that in some countries they needed a song like ‘Runaway’. I’m very happy that the song can be a friend to those who need it, because it has been a friend for me for all these years since I wrote it when I was 11.”

AURORA did, however, admit that she was relieved that ‘Runaway’ was the song that caught the world’s attention, and not her early single ‘Conqueror’ – a song which she publicly disowned in the documentary Once Aurora for its overly pop leanings.

“It’s very funny that you say so, because I have thought about this so often,” she told NME. “When I can’t grasp that I should be excited about it, I always think, ‘At least it’s not ‘Conqueror’’ – then I would probably have died of pure unhappiness.”

She added: “I like the song more now, but haven’t played it live for five years. I stopped after 2016 and said, ‘I’m never going to play this again – ever!’ Back then with all the seriousness in the music, I was like, ‘I can’t write about love, stupid’. Now I’ve embraced it.

“When I start touring again, I will start playing it again – because it is very fun. I just needed a five-year break from the song.”

AURORA, 2021. Credit: Isak Okkenhaug
AURORA, 2021. Credit: Isak Okkenhaug

‘Cure For Me’ by AURORA is out now