Emilie Nicolas – “Like I’m A Warrior”
Over the course of the past year Emilie Nicolas has progressed from the status of unknown music student to being widely recognized as one of the most highly anticipated Scandinavian artists for 2014. On September 29th, her much anticipated debut album “Like I’m A Warrior” was released in the Nordics.
It all started when the 26 year old from the suburbs of Oslo, Norway shared a handful of her independently produced songs on Soundcloud in the spring of 2013. With little background information and just a single photograph to track the artist, whispers of a new mysterious talent quickly became the talk of the town.
The attention accumulated from the modest self-promotion showed her music needed no introduction, and there is nothing random about Emilie Nicolas’ success to date. She has become known for her soaring, powerful vocals and wistful lyrics accompanied by a sparse and somber backdrop of electronic beats. Her musical expression has been praised for being remarkably perfected for her age, and her abilities as a songwriter and performer is turning heads on the international music scene.
It was a cover of the song “Pstereo” by the Norwegian band Dumdum Boys that brought Emilie Nicolas to commercial radio. The song was made on request from a local music festival in Trondheim, Norway, and it earned a nomination at P3 Gull (Norwegian Public Broadcaster award show) where she also performed the single on live television.
Emilie’s second single “Grown Up” is a vulnerable and melancholic song written as a tribute to her father. In Grown Up her tremendous voice reveals its true potential and builds to a dizzying intensity. She draws you in to her emotional universe. It feels so heartfelt and honest it is impossible not to relate.
Where Pstereo is truthful to the genre of electro-pop, “Like I’m A Warrior” unveils a more uncompromising artistic expression and Nicolas’ originality and distinct sound is taken a step further. It plays with elements from house, r’n’b and post-dubstep, and unconventionally combines emotional solitary songwriting with electronic dance floor beats.
Nicolas’ most recent single is the self-reflective and sentimental “Nobody Knows”, which some already had a chance to embrace on Soundcloud last year as it was the very first song Emilie put out as a demo version. Elegant vocal phrasings in perfect balance with the minimalistic bed of synth and percussion have become Nicolas’ trademark. The single earned immediate playlistings on Norwegian radio.
As the three single releases show the vulnerable and softer side of the artist, they find a counterbalance in the tracks “Fail” and “Charge”. A more reckless side of Nicolas is revealed, communicated through mature and fearless lyrics, and a heavier soundscape of deep womblike bass and layers of electronic sound effects.
In between the lines of the heartbreaking “You Put Me Down” and “Let You Out” is a message of authority and great introspection. A temperamental pulse builds incrementally, one gesture at a time ascending towards the extremely powerful moments that occur when Nicolas’ vocal range is explored to the fullest.
Emilie’s strength in front of a live audience is also quite advanced. Her first live show was at Trondheim Pstereo Festival in the fall of 2013. The schooled jazz singer put all doubts aside as to her musical ability. She was a newcomer – but no beginner in the music world. In February 2014 she further cemented her role as a live performer to watch when she drew one of the biggest crowds to by:Larm, an Oslo based festival known for being a showcase for new talent on the Nordic Music Scene. The reviewers unanimously praised the performance for being one of the most noteworthy of the festival declaring her “In a league of her own” (Reviewer NRK – Norwegian Public Broadcaster). Her voice was called “a surround sound system in itself” (Reviewer in VG, Norwegian nationwide newspaper).
Since then it has been a remarkable journey for Emilie Nicolas and the venues have only grown, including live performances at Great Escape in England, Spot Festival and Roskilde Festival in Denmark, as well as Øya Festival in Oslo. She emerged in 2013 as an artist with a clear vision for her music, and the result is an album of great beauty.
All the songs are written by Emilie Nicolas herself, with an exception of Pstereo, where she translated the originally Norwegian lyrics to English. The album is produced by Eivind Helgerød, Emilie Nicolas, Nicolay Tangen Svennæs and Anders Opdahl. Songs are mixed by Lasse Mårtén and Stéphane Alf Briat, mastering by Chris Sansom at Propeller Mastring.