Introducing: Highasakite

Ingrid Helene Håvik of Norwegian indie-folk quintet Highasakite chats inspirations and the Norwegian music scene

PHOTO: Tonje Thilesen

PHOTO: Tonje Thilesen

Norwegian indie-folk troubadours Highasakite, named after an Elton John ‘Rocket Man’ lyric, are about to set off on tour supporting Of Monsters and Men in the UK, turning campfire singalongs into skyscraping anthems. Amidst their last minute preparations, Munisha Lall talks to vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik about her favourite authors, the Norwegian musical sphere and her love for vinyl.

Hi Ingrid, thanks for taking you time to talk to Nouse. So how is it all going so far?

Good, thanks! Working hard in the studio these days.

How do you go about cultivating the perfect live performance?

Nothing special, really. I feel that it’s kind of developing itself.

In songs such as ‘Iran ‘and ‘Hiroshima’, is there a specific feeling you aim to evoke or, for you, is it up to the listener to interpret your songs in their own personal way?

A little bit of both. They are about my feelings and thoughts, but I want the listener to interpret them in their own way.

What are your thoughts on your upcoming UK tour supporting of Monsters and Men?

Really looking forward to it! We’ve never been to most of the cities.

Is there anything specific that inspires the song-writing process?

Literature, especially Nils-Øivind Haagensen, Phillip Larkin and Pablo Neruda.

The Norwegian music environment is one which I am not personally familiar with. Can you describe how Highasakite has been received nationally, and do you feel that you’re conforming or deviating from any sort musical trend?

In Norway I would say that we are quite well known. We got two Norwegian Grammys for this album and it’s been on the Norwegian album chart for 92 weeks in a row now. That’s a Norwegian record, by the way!

There are a lot of up and coming Norwegian acts at the moment. Many of them are actually educated musicians, which seems to be a growing trend.

The way in which artists and listeners are interacting is fast changing. What are your opinions on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, as well as the revival of vinyl? Do you think the changing availability of music is a positive for Highasakite?

Yes, definitely. Silent Treatment was the most streamed album on both Spotify and WiMP/Tidal in 2014 here in Norway, and the availability has helped us a lot. At the same time I am also a huge fan of vinyl!

What are favourite songs to play live, and why?

“Lover, Where Do You Live?” – I like the way it surprised people half way through.

What has been one of the biggest challenges for the band so far?

Making music. We are five different people with our own personal opinions and we all want to make the best music around. It takes time and much hard work.