Aurora Aksnes Says Music can Save the World

AURORA, born Aurora Aksnes, is such an ethereal character with an ageless gaze, you could believe her to have emerged into our world from a fairy tale, not the fjord-locked Norwegian coastal city of Bergen. Passionate, kind, self-possessed, and with a voice both liltingly dreamy and resonantly powerful, she makes the case for love and interconnection with her new album, “Infections Of A Different Kind – Step I”. In this month’s special dialogue, AURORA shares her inspirations.

Parvati Magazine: Your love for nature is beautifully woven into your new album’s sound and lyrics. Growing up in Norway, did you always hold this awareness and appreciation for your surroundings? How have your travels, and touring through so many landscapes, influenced your worldview and your music?

AURORA: I love the space and silence Norway offers me. I could not live without it. As a child, this was my most solemn place. And it still is. My music is a way for me to translate all the magic, emotional travels and self-reflecting one can get whilst being in nature into something you can carry with you into the busy world.

Parvati Magazine: “Infections Of A Different Kind – Step I” is written, performed, and largely produced by none other than yourself! Did you take on this endeavour in order to keep your unique sound intact, and allow your full personality to shine through?

AURORA: Yes, absolutely. I’ve had more time now to discover myself more as a producer. And it’s been such a wonderful travel. I’ve had many good people I’ve learned from in my way. Some of them only good things and some of them through arguments. Sometimes It’s easier to do things yourself. Luckily through my journey, I’ve found good people to work with. And I am so happy for that.

Parvati Magazine: “Queendom” is a powerful anthem that seems to speak to inequality, be it gender or sexual orientation. Was this song inspired by personal struggles or past experiences?

AURORA: It was inspired by my fans. Their stories and struggles. Political movements. Things happening in Brasíl, USA, France… I just wanted to create a home for all of us. Where we ignore everyone trying to kill what is so beautiful and good. But focus on the few people that are fighting for what they believe in.

Parvati Magazine: The extraordinary choir, instrumentals, and lyricism of this album are melodically ethereal, yet a fierce response to troubling times. Why is such empowering music essential today?

AURORA: I really think music can save the world. It’s something we all can understand. Something we all feel. It’s like an instinct. Music speaks to all of us, and it’s important that the words say something. Because I’m convinced that in its core—music is really meant to be a tool to help. And I really want to be a part of that.

Parvati Magazine: How much of this album was driven by recent political strife? I’m thinking in particular of songs like “Churchyard” and “It Happened Quiet”. Was it your hope to have this album act as a voice for others?

AURORA: I’m really into the concept of being a “voice for the voiceless” because that is such an important thing to do. And also I hope to send ideas to people who might find themselves in abusive relationships without even knowing it. Lots of people out there choose not to leave situations where they are treated badly. It happens at home, at work, at school in politics and the music industry.

Parvati Magazine: Your compassionate ethos radiates through your lyrics—expressing thoughts on self-love and the importance of people helping one another. Whether it be in the comfort of their own homes, or on the dance floor with Claptone’s vibrant remix of “Forgotten Love”—who do you hope to give strength and encouragement to with this album?

AURORA: To everyone of course. Everyone who needs it. Whoever you are. Just as a reminder that you are not alone. That you can change what you dislike and accept what you can’t change.

Life is a strange thing.

Often compared to the likes of Bjork, Aurora Aksnes, otherwise known as AURORA, is a Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer. Before her latest album “Infections Of A Different Kind – Step I”, her debut EP “Running with the Wolves” was released May 2015. “All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend” was released worldwide in 2016.