AURORA tells us all about ‘Queendom’, her fans, meeting Katy Perry and empowerment

AURORA tells us about her hold and "instinctive" new album

AURORA has announced her return with new single and video ‘Queendom’. Check it out along with our interview with the singer below.

The Norwegian singer-songwriter is set to release the hotly-anticipated follow-up to her acclaimed 2016 debut ‘All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend’ later this year. As well earning a devoted cult of fans and racking up millions of views on Youtube for singles including ‘Runaway’, ‘I Went Too Far’ and ‘Running With The Wolves’, she also charted in the UK with her cover of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ for the John Lewis Christmas advert. She also recorded a popular cover of David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ for the sitcom ‘Girls’.

Now after storming Coachella 2018 this weekend, she’s offered fans her first taster of the future with her bold and pulsing new single ‘Queendom’.

“I think it represents a really important message,” AURORA told NME about her new single. “My new album has a wider perspective than I had on my first one. The world has a lot of good and bad in it, but as I say in the first verse of ‘Queendom’, ‘the underdogs are my lions, the silent ones are choir – the women will be my soldiers, the weight of life on their shoulders’.

“But it’s also for men, the planets and everything. It’s a very important start of my new chapter.”

Asked about the dramatic new video, she said it was “about celebrating all the differences in us. It’s about celebrating the women and the children and animals and the men also. The quiet ones and the introverts, where they can sing and be seen. It’s about the shy people and the lonely people and I hope it can be a place where we can come and be lonely together and then not be lonely anymore. Queendom is a place for all of us.”

AURORA releases new single 'Queendom'

AURORA releases new single ‘Queendom’

Lyrically, what is the rest of the album is dealing with?

“A lot of different things. It depends on the way that people listen to it, I guess. For it’s about a thousand different things. It’s about the world and it’s about people. A few of them are quite abstract and I think you can find a different meaning, depending on what you need. But others are quite concrete and direct.”

Would you rather keep things veiled and open to interpretation?

“I love explaining things. I find it exhilarating to finally be able to point people towards the little metaphors and through all the beautiful things that inspire me. It’s a very interesting thing to go through, but I prefer that people find their own meaning. That’s the beauty of a song – they can mean a thousand things from day to day. I just want my songs to be a best friend for people who need it.”

AURORA returns in 2018 with 'Queendom'

AURORA

So is it all very personal and ‘in the moment’, or have you also been inspired by the various horrible world events of late?

“I take everything quite personally as a human. Things towards humans, towards women, and also towards animals – I take it all very personally. Look at the way that the ocean is getting full of plastic and you find whales with thousands of tonnes of plastic in their bellies. I take everything personally. We are all one organism with many different lives and dreams. Even if you aren’t the person going through it, doesn’t mean you don’t take it to heart.”

I heard you showcase a lot of the new material at a gig in Hoxton earlier this year and it sounded dancier and more direct. How would you describe the sound of the new album?

“That’s always a difficult one. It’s hard to find one good word to describe it, but it’s just very emotional. At certain times it’s quite light on its feet and makes me want to dance and let go, but at the same time I’ll want to cry in the middle eight or first verse. It’s a journey. I guess it’s ‘native pop’, if you’re looking for a genre. I’m very inspired by old Norwegian folk music, Native American poems and singing. So it’s native but pop at the same time.”

When you were putting your first album together, you were young and on the rise. Now, you’ve had millions of streams and have millions of crazed fans. Does that alter the way you think about writing?

“It has changed me a bit. I’m even more stubborn that I was before because I’ve experienced my crowd all over the world. I’ve looked into their eyes and held their hands and I’ve really learned how important it is for them that I stay me and do the music that I’m meant to. It’s made me more instinctive. It’s all about ‘the belly emotion’, as we call it in Norwegian.”

You call your fans your ‘Warriors And Weirdos’. They are very ‘dedicated’, bordering on religious. What do you think it is about what you do that inspires that?

“I don’t know. I’ve been asking myself the same thing. Sometimes I question why I deserve for all of these people to be so loyal and patient. Why do I deserve all the love they give without having met me? But I guess they have met me through my interviews, and how I speak to them in everything I do. I’m very human and I speak about emotions and allowing yourself to be disappointed in yourself – and that’s OK. Many people have felt the same things about being an underdog in life, or an introvert or feeling a bit strange. Many of my fans have that in common with me, which I think is very beautiful.”

Aurora, live

Aurora, live

So how does it feel when huge stars like Katy Perry or Troye Sivan come along and say that they’re huge fans too?

“It is surprising to have a toe in that world which seems so far away. But it’s also very natural. Katy Perry is a woman who really loves her music. I realised that when I met her – she’s comes alive when she listens to a good song. It makes sense because she’s also very human too.”

How do you measure success these days?

“I think about success as a way of me to grow into the tool I’m meant to be in this world. It’s changed me in one tiny way where I’m learning to deserve the capacity I have. I have a big capacity in my body to care about many people at one time. I’ve realised that I need to expand that more and more – because my fan base is also expanding. I need to make my arms a bit longer, my voice a bit louder and everything else a bit wider.”

So do you have any expectations for this record? Do you care about sales and venues and all that?

“Oh no! I just want people to either love it, or hate it – or just live with it for a while. The most beautiful thing that they could do for me is to analyse it with the heart and not the mind. I want them to go into it and feel what it might mean because I spent a lot of time on it.”

You’ve recorded huge covers of Oasis and Bowie. Do you hope to do any more in the future?

“Not yet. It’s something that comes after I’ve emptied the need to make my own thing. You get that after making an album. For a little while you’re happy about having emptied yourself, then I would go looking for a way to recycle music again. There are these songs by the older generations and we have to help them not die.”

Aurora tour dates and tickets

Her upcoming UK tour dates are below. Tickets are available here.

Wednesday October 10 – MANCHESTER Academy 2
Thursday October 11 – LONDON O2 Forum