Sigrid Solbakk Raabe is a Norwegian singer-songwriter. She has released two studio albums, Sucker Punch (2019) and How to Let Go (2022), both of which charted in Norway and the United Kingdom. She has also released two EPs.
Years active: 2013–present
Born age: 5 September 1996, 27 years old and 0 months, Ålesund, Norway
Sun Sign: Virgo
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5 ft 3 in / 160 cm
Measurements: 32-24-34 in /
Bra size: 36B (US) / 80B (EU)
Genres: Pop, electropop, synth-pop, scandipop
Instruments: Vocals, piano, guitar
Sigrid Solbakk Raabe was born in Ålesund to Håkon Raabe and Anette Sølberg Solbakk on 5 September 1996. She has two older siblings, a brother, Tellef, who is also a musician, and a sister, Johanne. At her first performance, in kindergarten, she had to be pulled off the stage after crying. She began playing the piano at age 7 and began singing at age 13. When she was 13, she performed a version of Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit“. In her early youth, she planned to become a teacher or lawyer or journalist, thinking a career in music would be too uncertain.
In her first year of high school, she realized that music was more than just a hobby. When she was 17, she and her sister Johanne started a band called Sala Says Mhyp, which was named after their late cat, Sala. After finishing high school in Ålesund, Sigrid moved to Bergen for its indie music scene, living in a shared flat with her brother and friends. She was a college drop out.
At the age of 16 she wrote her first song, “Sun”, after her brother, Tellef Raabe, who is also a musician, told her to stop performing cover versions of Adele songs at performances and challenged her to write a song that she could perform at one of his gigs. In 2013, she released “Sun” as her debut single. The song received airplay on Norwegian radio stations. She signed to Petroleum Records the following year and performed at festivals such as Øyafestivalen.
In 2016, in partnership with Martin Sjølie, she wrote “Don’t Kill My Vibe“, inspired by an incident where a producer belittled and patronized her in a songwriting session. After executives at Island Records heard the song, they immediately signed her to a recording contract. On 5 May 2017 she released her debut EP which was named after the song. The EP charted in Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In the spring and summer of 2017, Sigrid performed at The Great Escape Festival, Roskilde Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Latitude Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. She was also a part of The Sims 4: Parenthood soundtrack with the Simlish version of her song, “Don’t Kill My Vibe”. She is also featured on the 2017 Justice League soundtrack, performing a cover of Leonard Cohen‘s 1988 classic “Everybody Knows“.
In January 2018, Sigrid was announced as the winner of BBC Music Sound of 2018. On 10 February 2018, she was a guest presenter for an episode of The Playlist for CBBC. In the same month, Sigrid won the Newcomer of the Year award at Spellemannprisen. On 11 July 2018, Raw, her second EP, which features 5 tracks was released.
On 8 March 2019, Sigrid’s debut album, Sucker Punch, was released. The album consists of 12 tracks, including five songs released prior to the album. In 2019, Sigrid toured with Maroon 5 for the Red Pill Blues Tour in Europe, was the support act for George Ezra‘s tour across the United Kingdom, and headlined a tour in North America and Europe. Sigrid contributed a song, “Home to You” for The Aeronauts soundtrack. She was listed in Forbes “30 under 30” for European Entertainment in 2019.
Sigrid’s second album, the 12-track How to Let Go, was released on 6 May 2022.
Sigrid’s songs are underpinned by anger, melancholia, and disappointment; she says that it is easier to write about frustration than about having a nice time. For her love songs Sigrid cites Bonnie Raitt, Coldplay, Adele, Lykke Li, and Robyn as influences.
Sigrid is a brand ambassador for Gore-Tex. While filming a commercial for the brand, she met Nikolai Schirmer, a professional skier from Tromsø. They dated, but the relationship had ended by June 2022.
Music was always part of her childhood
“I’m very close to my two older siblings – my brother and sister – and they sort of influenced the music I listen to. I remember we had a lot of Joni Mitchell and Neil Young playing as we were growing up but the first artist I discovered on my own was Adele.”
She writes her own tracks. In fact, the songs released on her debut EP, Don’t Kill My Vibe, are just the tip of the iceberg
“Before Don’t Kill My Vibe dropped, I was doing writing sessions for years. I was actually in London almost every week in 2016 meeting with producers and songwriters, so I have around 50 or 60 demos that didn’t make it to the EP.”
While she works hard, Sigrid also enjoys her down time
“I do love to work. The months after the EP dropped, around March and April, were quite mental but the last month has been quite chill. So yeah, I do get time off. I spend it with my family, my friends, my band – I go hiking, I try to cook. Although I’m terrible at cooking.”
Like all of us, Sigrid had childhood dreams to play at Glastonbury Festival. The difference? Instead of singing in a shampoo bottle pretending to be on stage, she actually did it.
“Glastonbury was crazy, it was one of my childhood dreams. It was honestly great and so surreal. The difference (to Norwegian festivals) was in the crowd, though. I guess Norwegians need alcohol to properly get into songs when they’re at a festival. Norwegians can be a bit shy. Whereas in the UK and other Europeans, they’re just crazy crowds to start with.”
Her parents are super supportive of her career in music
“While my parents never forced me to do music, and it was always just the thing I did on the side, they were super supportive. At the end of high school, they did encourage me to pursue it fully, saying I would regret it if I didn’t try it.”
She never considered writing or performing in Norwegian, blessing us English speakers with a good dose of Scandi-pop
“My big heroes growing up didn’t sing in Norwegian, even though surprisingly, I almost only listen to Norwegian music today. There’s so much good stuff coming out of Norway at the moment.
“Maybe it’s because of my accent. People from different villages speak differently in Norway and my accent is considered really harsh, which makes me sound way better when I sing in English. I always say everything sounds better in English.”
She fulfilled one of her (and our) life goals: helping create the soundtrack for The Sims
“My older sister and I played The Sims every day growing up. We were the biggest gamers. We have all the expansion packs, so when we’re home for Christmas and summer vacation, we still play it.
“Anyway, I was in the car with my American manager and he asked: ‘What’s your biggest dream?’ And I said, ‘I want to be in The Sims one day’. And I guess he took it a step further and just made it happen.”
And because of it, Sigrid can now sing in Simlish
“I went into the studio in Bergen, Norway and I recorded the Simlish version of ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’.
“It was pretty difficult. I know the song so it wasn’t that hard but it’s essentially a new language, so of course it felt a little odd. I think the words actually mean something as well. I think Simlish is a real language.”
She’s a fan of the cliché
“I know how it sounds, but I’m seriously having the time of my life.”