Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Meeting Norwegian Trio KEiiNO
Keiino photo credit: Martin Myklebust
Winner's on the public vote at Eurovision 2021, Norwegian trio KEiiNO has been riding high ever since.
Having re-released their stunning debut album, OKTA
, as a deluxe edition featuring some of the highlights of their new releases, they close 2021 with the optimistically titled single,A New Beginning
With Australian tour dates already announced for later this year, here at The Yorkshire Times, we are hoping that UK tour dates from the trio will be announced very soon. To see if there is any possibility, our Arts Correspondent, Jeremy Williams-Chalmers,
caught up with the band...
Hi KEiiNO, first of all, how are you all?
Hi! We're good thanks! Excited about our new music video and looking forward to getting started recording new music and go on tour. If everything goes as planned, we'll be touring Australia at the end of February, where we'll also perform during their National Selection for Eurovision Song Contest.
...but a UK tour with a dancing crowd is on top of our wish-list!
2021 has been a big year for you all, both with solo projects and collaboratively. What have been your personal highlights?
in January was definitely a huge moment for all of us. Especially that people all over the world were excited for our returning to Melodi Grand Prix. And after months with restrictions and no concerts, we finally got to go on a tour in Norway in June.
We travelled in a tour bus which made us see some of the beautiful nature our home country has to offer.
Solo-wise, Tom had a project with his husband (and KEiiNO-lyricist) Alexander Olsson where they wrote 9 songs inspired by queer-stories for a special concert in his hometown. And Alexandra really proved her diversity as a singer becoming in the major TV-show Stjernekamp
('Battle of the Stars') where she finished second. She had so much fun and got inspired to look into other genres than pop.
You've just released a deluxe edition of OKTA - what prompted the re-release?
We felt 3 of our singles from 2021 worked very well with the overall sound and feeling of OKTA, so instead of having them on our second album we added those on the deluxe-version.
Your latest single, A New Beginning, has just been released. Tell us a little more about it...
A big finance company asked us and a bunch of other Norwegian artists to find 12 less established artists and make a song they could put in their Christmas calendar, and they'd pick up the bill.
Keiino x Peder Elias
We found Peder Elias on a shortlist and was fascinated by his voice, so we invited him for a session. We wanted to write something other than a Christmas song, so we made one about going into something new, like a new year. It's about letting go of the old and starting over.
Some, as we sing about in the song, will try to break out of a pattern. Others may want to be more structured. I guess the three of us fall into the second category.
Who would your dream collaborator be?
We all love Lady Gaga, so to record a song with her would be a dream come true!
Is it sonically an indication of what is next for KEiiNO?
Peder Elias Credit: Guro Sommer
Not as a main direction, no. As it's a collaboration, we felt the sound should be somewhere in the middle of Peder Elias and us. We have been and will be experimenting with our sound on singles, but we'll make sure to honour the "original" KEiiNO-sound that many of our fans love as well.
Is a sophomore album in the works?
The way people use music nowadays and the way income from streaming is distributed makes releasing singles on a regular basis the only way to survive.
Unless you're Adele or someone else with a massive promo-budget behind you, you just can't afford to bundle a lot of new songs in one launch. When that is said, like with OKTA there will be a new album containing unreleased songs at one point this year.
You narrowly missed out on a return to Eurovision - did you watch this year's contest?
Of course we did! We are huge Eurovision fans, and we think 2021 had a lot great songs and artists!
If so, who were your stand outs?
We absolutely love Måneskin! But Go_A and Barbara Pravi were also amazing.
The question everyone wants answered is would you consider a return to the Eurovision stage?
We have a lot of things we'd like to do over the next years, and an ESC-return is on that list. Although it's highly unlikely, when ABBA returns with an album after 40 years I guess anything can happen.
Lastly, you have already announced Australian shows for 2022. Can we expect to see you in the UK any time soon?
We'll hopefully know more about the prospects of touring in Europe in a few months time, but a UK tour with a dancing crowd is on top of our wish-list!