Music

Anna of the North is Taking her Music West

Just after her first tour in the United States with LANY, the Norwegian singer prepares to drop a second album.
Reading time 5 minutes

Photography by Danilo Lauria

Styling by Yael Quint

A communal wave of chicken skin hits the crowd gathered to hear Anna Lotterud (AKA Anna of the North) perform in the USA for the first time as she sings the opening lines of "Sway," acoustic.

It’s just an intimate set at SoHo House in New York City, meant to be for music industry and media folk, but Anna’s invited a number of lucky fans to join her—over Instagram DM, no less—and they are swaying harder than anyone else in the room, ornery in their desire for her energy.

She bops and boogies her way across the stage, a 26-year-old young woman from the suburban town of Gjøvik in Norway on the up-and-up, taking this moment in stride.  

American audiences might recognize the chicken-skin inducing vocals in question from Tyler, The Creator’s “911/Mr. Lonely.” In fact, in the summer of 2017, Anna was supposed to make her TV debut on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show alongside Tyler and Steve Lacy, but visa problems ahead of the taping had her holed up in a hotel room instead. Still, it’s her favorite collaboration to date.

“I wouldn't have been here without the people who have supported me,” she explains later. “The gig without them would have been something different.”  

“It's really huge for [Tyler] as a big artist that could collaborate with whoever he wants to, that he's the kind of guy who'll choose his friends,” she says. It’s cool that he brings emerging artists “into the light.”

Shortly after her Colbert appearance fell through, Anna released her emotional debut album Lovers, the title track of which was recently featured in teen Netflix film, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Now she's fresh off a tour wih LANY—her first one in the United States—and hard at work on her second album (coming soon) but it’s a different experience this time.

“I’m at the place where I also go and do sessions, and write songs when I'm maybe not much in the mood,” she explains.

“I like the quick process, it's like when you're actually feeling, you get this idea in your head and you just need to get it down and you do that and it works. Of course, I wouldn't trust everything, it's not like that.”

What she means is she thrives off those magical, rare sparks of organic creativity: “I like those moments where you're on a train or you're at home or you're watching a movie or you have some feelings because of something that's happened, and then you make it into music—write it down and do something about it.”

There’s an honesty about Anna that subverts the industry machine’s manufactured polish. Maybe it’s her natural Scandi contentedness or maybe it’s just that she rolls without pretense. She cuts her own hair; she styles herself for shows; she says what she feels. After her SoHo house set, Anna departs the stage, with drink in hand and a message to the crowd that it’s time to party. She spends the rest of her time fluttering around the space, talking to her friends and her fans, knocking back a few, and chilling in the most Northern European sense of the word.

“I really hope that organic is what resounds and people find me interesting as an artist and that I can be a support for people,” she says. That's the thing with social media I feel that’s really positive, the fact that, whoever you are, you can find someone that you could look up to and that's for you, you know what I mean? I really hope I can be that person for someone.”

If you ask Anna-of-the-North-lovers, they’ll probably tell you she’s succeeded so far.

Credits

 

Makeup: Tatiana Donaldson

Hair: David Colvin

Digital Director: Jane Gayduk

Photography Assistant: Eric Van Nyatten

Styling Assistants: James Vazquez, Tine Ridder-Nielsen

Producers: Yael Quint, Jane Gayduk

Production Assistant: Seungjoo Kim

Special Thanks: The NoMad Hotel NYC

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