Hiya people! 🙂
For today I thought I’d share with you one of my recent discoveries when it comes to Norwegian music, which I’ve found very interesting. Even though I don’t speak or learn Norwegian as such, only Swedish, I do seem to feel some kind of affinity with Norwegian music, and a lot of that music happens to be somewhere on the electronic music spectrum. This also is the case with this artist.
Trollguten (which means the troll boy in English) is Norwegian producer and singer-songwriter Kristoffer Björntvedt (or maybe it’s with the Norwegian ø, I’m not sure as I’ve seen both spellings), who has also made music under quite a few other aliases, playing around with different kinds of electronic music, from electro pop to what they call russ music in Norway which is like a dance subgenre I guess we could say, often with easy-cheesy, cringey or downright obscene lyrics, particularly associated with russefeiring, or russ celebration, that is when high school pupils (russ) are in their last semester of school and celebrate the fact that they’re finishing high school and are now adults so they can drink and apparently often do a lot during that time, but from what I understand it’s also just generally party music, regardless whether you’re a russ or not.
I’m not going to mention all the different names/alter egos/whatchamacallit he’s known as, because with at least one of them (the one that’s most successful and under which he makes the aforementioned russ music) he’s anonymous and doesn’t want people to know who he is. Actually, I wonder if it isn’t a bit of a Pulcinella’s secret because, while I myself happened to come across his less well-known music projects first (which is very fortunate because otherwise I’d probably not be encouraged to delve deeper), there seem to be a lot of people in the interwebs who know only this russ music activity of his, and are wondering who he is, and it doesn’t require any special detective skills to figure that out, there’s even a thread about him on what seems to be a pretty popular Swedish forum. Still, I believe privacy is a crucially important thing so I’m not gonna reveal the secret. 😀 I suppose if any young Norwegian/Swedish folks, will be reading this, they’ll guess whom I’m talking about anyway. Also if I wrote the sort of lyrics he does under that particular pseudonym I think I’d also much prefer to stay anonymous, hahah, although for him it’s apparently not this that’s the reason.
Anyways, the first project of his that I’ve heard of, about a month ago, and that also took off quite well in his country as it seems, was Travelle, and I liked it a lot immediately. It’s maybe not what I’d typically listen to, even when it comes to electronic music, but something about it really spoke to me, and also I really like when people are raw and real with their music like that, expressive but without being overly exalted. And then I learned about his other musical activity, and even though definitely not all of his music spoke to me, I really liked his versatility, I always like that in people, whether it’s in music or whatever other area. And I like it when people who do music solo do everything themselves, as then you can get quite a consistent picture of the mind behind it. Another thing that I always appreciate in musicians that he also is is that he’s really prolific. Sadly, the project he’s most prolific in is that russ one, and he hasn’t done anything as Trollguten in ages, and nothing new as Travelle in couple years either, but I suppose he invests himself most in the russ stuff because it’s simply what people want the most, and so it pays off the most, as he hasn’t got quite as much attention with all the other stuff as with that.
And then I also happened to learn that not only does he make music in Norwegian, Swedish and English, but he also apparently loves languages and can speak German and Spanish. Somehow I would never have thought that this could be the case. Moreover, he tends to speak in quite a peculiar mix of Swedish, Norwegian and English from what I’ve noticed. Mixing languages is fun! And I think it must be all the more fun when you live in a country where people can actually understand you when you do so. 😀 I wish I could do that, but everyone around me is monoglot and they’d think I’ve gone even more crazy than ever. On the other hand, I always used to mix up languages spontaneously and involuntarily when I still used to drink alcohol, so maybe it has this sort of effect on him as well.
I think I might share some of his Travelle music in the future as well, but since Trollguten was an earlier thing and it’s also really really good, I thought we’d listen to this first. He’s originally from near Stavanger in the southwest of Norway, although is currently based in Oslo, and as Trollguten, he sang his lyrics in the Stavanger dialect.
I’m not good at understanding Norwegian by ear, and even looking at the lyrics I don’t get everything so wouldn’t be able to translate it for you, but from what I gather, he/the lyrical subject’s on some trip in the forest with a girl, that would have been nice, except she’s being in a quarrelsome mood or something like that, and wants to leave him, so he’s trying to convince her how bad an idea it is, because they’re deep in the forest and because she’s afraid of the dark, and allergic to birch, on top of that.