Posted on August 22, 2012.
Photo by Taylor Winn
Our artist of the month for August, Siv Jakobsen, along with fellow Berklee student Maddie Rice, will be leaving in September for a tour in Norway – a tour that most Berklee students only dream about. Not only will Siv and Maddie be performing throughout one of the most beautiful places in the world (including a performance in front of 1,500+ people) but they will be representing our school with every performance and clinic they do as well. Nevertheless, Siv isn’t our artist of the month solely because she’s going on an incredible tour. Siv epitomizes what our artist of the month series is all about: Berklee students who are truly dedicated and overwhelmingly passionate about their music, above all else — and Siv is just that.
Check out our interview with Siv below!
Photo by Veronika Morscher
Berklee Groove: How did you get your start in writing and performing?
Siv Jakobsen: I started ‘performing’ when I was about four years old when I joined a local choir and I’ve been doing it ever since. I got into solo performances in high school when I studied at a performing arts high school in Oslo. I started exploring and writing my own songs in high school but it wasn’t until last summer that I really started to get into it. I decided that I would just write whatever came to mind for a while, to take the pressure off. All of the sudden, I was a singer-songwriter.
BG: Who are your biggest influences as a musician? Do you identify with any specific genre?
Siv: Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun is one of my all-time favorite artists and probably my biggest inspiration for songwriting. I also really admire Ray LaMontagne, Corinne Bailey Rae, Laura Marling, and Brandi Carlile – amongst so many others. I grew up listening to a mix of classical and traditional Norwegian music, as well as soul and blues, which has had a definite impact on my songs. If I were to specify my music with a genre, it would have to be what my friend Raven Katz described as “ethereal folk with an edge.”
BG: Do you have a specific method or process that you go through when you write?
Siv: My songs usually start with me having some sort of a “song seed,” as songwriting teacher Mark Simos brilliantly calls it — a little guitar part, a lyric, or melody line which sets me off into writing the song. The mood of the song seed usually shapes where I end up going with the story. Before I start crafting the song further musically, I usually map out what I want the story to be.
BG: How did you and Maddie Rice start playing together?
Siv: Maddie and I met when I was going to perform one of my songs in the Women’s Musician Network concert this past spring. She ended up playing guitar for my performance and we’ve been playing together ever since!
BG: You and Maddie will be traveling to Norway to represent Berklee. What was the process like being selected for that? What will you be doing there?
Siv: I contacted numerous offices at Berklee inquiring about who I might talk to about representing Berklee. A few meetings and a five-page proposal later, we were set to go. I think it’s all about being proactive and professional, proving that you have something to offer. In Norway, we’ll be playing gigs around Oslo and the surrounding areas, and we’re also doing clinics at some performing arts high schools and after school music programs. We’ll also have time for some sight-seeing – I can’t wait to show Maddie all the sights!
BG: How does it feel knowing you’ll be performing in front of 1,500+ people in Norway at the end of September?
Siv: I don’t think I’ve quite realized it yet that that’s happening. I’m so thrilled that someone back home thinks that it is worth it to fly me back to play that gig. I am so also really nervous. I don’t want to mess up with that many people watching!
BG: How else has being a student at Berklee helped you in developing a career path for yourself?
Siv: I think Berklee has made me realize more about what it takes to be an artist. When I came here, I hadn’t really thought it through. All I wanted was to be a professional singer but I had no idea how to make it happen. Being able to study so many different areas of music has made all the difference to me – from music business to songwriting to freakin’ instrumental afro cuban jazz. I would have never been able to study all of this anywhere else. More so than helping me develop a career path, being a student at Berklee has helped me figure out what I want to do as a musician.
BG: What are your ultimate goals as a writer and a performer in the future? Where do you see your career heading?
Siv: As of right now, I am focusing on my own career as a singer-songwriter, but I would really like to write for other artists in the future. My dream is be able to live off of being an artist; writing, recording and performing my own music on a full time basis.
BG: Do you have any advice to aspiring musicians?
Work hard and, I know this sounds so cheesy, but believe in your own talent. Also, if you’re a singer, learn another instrument! I just picked up a guitar a year ago, and it has opened up so many doors for me, including helping me become a songwriter.
Photo by Veronika Morscher
For more Siv and Maddie, check out these links below:
Siv Jakobsen Official Website
Siv Jakobsen Music – Facebook
Siv Jakobsen Music – YouTube
Maddie Rice Official Website
Maddie Rise Music – YouTube
Siv + Maddie Tour Blog
For information on how to apply to become The Berklee Groove’s artist/band of the month in the future, please email email@example.com.