Meet Sigrid: The Pop Star Who Wrote The Ultimate Millennial Empowerment Anthem

Photo by Francesca Allen

Don’t kill her vibe

If you’ve been paying attention to the pop world lately, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about a song called “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” The bold bop comes care of 20-year-old Norwegian singer Sigrid. Hailing from Ålesund, Norway, Sigrid was only 16 years old when she wrote her first track in two weeks, and then performed it with her brother at a local show.

Through song, Sigrid emits empowerment. Her first single, “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” is about not getting the respect you deserve, something Sigrid feels like resonates worldwide, especially with millennials. And Sigrid’s second single, “Plot Twist,” (which came out last month) is an anthemic banger that explores what happens when you finally get over someone. 

Splitting her time between Bergen and London, Sigrid just dropped her debut EP, Don’t Kill My Vibe, via Island Records. (Last week, we had her break it down track-by-track.) Before she becomes the next pop sensation, we caught up with Sigrid about getting respect, the Norwegian music scene, and making people feel "something" with her music.

 How did you come up with "Don't Kill My Vibe"?
Don’t Kill My Vibe was made in a writing session, by Martin Sjølie and I, after he’d asked me what I’d been thinking about lately. I started talking about this earlier writing session that was quite difficult. The song is about the feeling of not being respected as a person, and I think that’s something that speaks to millennials. 

How does Norway's music scene impact you?
Well, both my brother and my sister, who have the most brilliant voices I know, are very musical. Plus, my brother’s an artist, so my family has been really important. Apart from that, the Norwegian music scene is quite small, so everyone knows everyone, and I love that! Bergen, where I live now, has a really good music community, and everyone plays in 10 different bands. 

Who are some Norwegian artists you look up to? Who is cool in the pop scene there? 
Where to begin? [I look up to] female artists like Aurora, Astrid S, Amanda Delara, Julie Bergan, Ane Brun, Hanne Kolstø, Dagny, Fanny Andersen, Emilie Nicolas, Jenny Hval, and Susanne Sundfør. Then, we have Lars Vaular, Karpe Diem, Blood Command, Hajk, Highasakite, Great News, and Bloody Beach. Okay, there are loads.

What's the message behind "Don't Kill My Vibe"? How does it blend in with other music that you've made?
The message [behind the song] is to speak up. I wrote the song, together with Martin, because I was so pissed at myself for not speaking up in that previous writing session. Most of the songs I write are full of power, and I’m suspecting it may come from my love for grotesque Renaissance art and the Eurovision Song Contest. But, then again, there are always a couple of raw and vulnerable songs, and that’s an important part of me, too.

What was the first song you wrote? 
That would be a song called “Sun.” My brother was playing a show in our hometown Ålesund, and I was still living there because I was in high school. Anyway, he wanted me to join as a backing vocalist and perform a solo song, but he wouldn’t let me play Adele. It had to be an original song, and I really wanted to play with him, so I wrote a song in two weeks.

How did Norwegian culture influence your music?
The lyrics in my music are really just me talking about life, but, I guess, nature can provoke those feelings. When you’re surrounded by majestic Norwegian nature, it’s very easy to start thinking about stuff you don’t have time to in everyday life. 

You released an EP. Tell me about it. What were you listening to when you made it?
I’m so excited and terrified at the same time, but mostly excited. I was listening to the same stuff I’ve always been listening to, like Coldplay, Neil Young, Adele, Joni Mitchell, Ellie Goulding, Kings of Convenience, Robyn, and Fleetwood Mac. Then I added music like Grimes, Skepta, Maggie Rogers, Hajk, and more.

Do you like getting comparisons to Adele, Lorde, and Florence Welch? Or do you want to stand on your own?
I’m just blushing now. They’re some of my favorite artists, so I can’t say anything other than I’m very flattered. 

Is Sigrid your real name? 
Yes! I remember I hated it growing up, ‘cause it’s an old Norse name only grandmothers are called. But I love it now. Thanks, mom and dad! 

Which musicians influenced you?
Joni Mitchell, Adele, Florence + the Machine, Neil Young, Robyn, Grimes, Ellie Goulding, Lykke Li, Nelly Furtado, to name a few. 

How do you want to change the pop scene?
My goal is to write catchy songs that make people feel something. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Probably in a studio making new music. And I do hope I’ll have a cat. 

What's the most important lesson you've learned as a musician so far?
Collaborating is the best!

Photos by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for WE Day, Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

He also thought Lana Del Rey telling him he would be guillotined was a compliment, so we don't think he understands women

In a new memoir called Then It Fell Apart, singer Moby alleged he had a relationship with actress Natalie Portman when he was 33 and she was 20. But, in a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Portman set the record straight, saying that his description of their relationship is false and contains other factual errors, that makes his behavior seem even grosser than it already did.

Not only did Portman say that the two didn't date, but that he also misrepresented her age. "I was surprised to hear that he characterized the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school," she said. "He said I was 20; I definitely wasn't. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18."

She says that they met when she went to one of his shows: "He said, 'let's be friends'. He was on tour and I was working, shooting a film, so we only hung out a handful of times before I realized that this was an older man who was interested in me in a way that felt inappropriate."

Portman also stated that she was not contacted to fact check this information, noting that "it almost feels deliberate." "That he used this story to sell his book was very disturbing to me. It wasn't the case," she said. "There are many factual errors and inventions. I would have liked him or his publisher to reach out to fact check."

Another part of his memoir describes a conversation with Lana Del Rey, in which she joked about how wealthy he was. "You're a rich WASP from Connecticut and you live in a five-level penthouse. You're 'The Man.' As in, 'stick it to The Man.' As in the person they guillotine in the revolution." His response: "I didn't know if she was insulting me but I decided to take it as a compliment." This only further proves that Moby doesn't understand women at all, which may explain how he took a couple of hangouts with Portman to mean that they were dating.

Moby has since responded to Portman's statement in an equally creepy Instagram post with a photo of him shirtless with the actress, calling the interview a "gossip piece." "We did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years," he said. "I like Natalie, and I respect her intelligence and activism. But, to be honest, I can't figure out why she would actively misrepresent the truth about our (albeit brief) involvement. He also said that he backs up the story in his book with "lots of corroborating photo evidence, etc." He then ends with this: "I completely respect Natalie's possible regret in dating me(to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn't alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history."

Among many other things that are questionable about his claims, if you have to have "corroborating evidence" to prove a relationship that one person claims didn't happen, you're doing the whole "dating" thing wrong.

Photo by Jerritt Clark / Stringer / Getty Images.

She's been wonderfully honest about the ups and downs of her procedures

There is a good chance that, right now, Cardi B is wearing really something really tight. I'm not talking about one of the pieces from her Fashion Nova collection, either. Instead, she's probably cooing at baby Kulture while swaddled in a compression garment, a necessary part of the healing process after certain cosmetic surgery procedures.

As reported by E! News, Cardi B has had to cancel several performances after her doctor ordered her to rest and allow her body to recover following cosmetic surgery. A rep for Cardi explained to E! that "Cardi was overzealous in getting back to work" and that "her strenuous schedule has taken a toll on her body and she has been given strict doctor's orders to pull out of the rest of her performances in May." This followed an admission by Cardi herself, at the Beale Street Music Festival earlier this month, that she should have canceled her performance because moving too much would mess up her lipo.

Cardi's transparency about plastic surgery is nothing new for her. She has opened up in the past about her underground butt injections, including the financial pressure she felt and the risks she took to get them. She's been open about both of her breast augmentation procedures as well, most recently getting them redone after giving birth to her daughter. But Cardi's transparency about the ups and downs of plastic surgery is still rare amongst celebrities and is therefore refreshing.

And it's not just celebrities who keep quiet about these procedures. The first person I knew to get a butt augmentation was a friend from high school. We reconnected as adults, and I remember going to her apartment after her surgery, and seeing her pace the floor in her compression garment, since it was still too soon to sit and put pressure on her backside. But even in the comfort of her own home, she seemed to speak in a hushed tone about having had the surgery. Before I'd arrived, she just told me she'd had a "medical procedure," and didn't say anything more. This has been the case for other women I've met who have gotten "work" done, including my aesthetician, a colleague who got a nose job, a darling YouTuber with whom I had the pleasure of having dinner; all of them would only acknowledge their enhancements in secret—the shame was palpable, and unfortunate. It's clear that women who get plastic surgery might be celebrated for the results, but there's an expectation that they should keep quiet about it, and feel bad for having made a choice about their own bodies.

So it's no surprise that, in the pop culture realm, people like Cardi are exceptions to the rule. Thanks to the internet, we can easily track the fullness of a celebrity's lips or backside over the course of time without them ever explicitly acknowledging the medical intervention that took place. And while people, of course, have the right to privacy, and should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies without offering explanations, it would still be nice if they opened up, if only to take away the attached stigma that affects so many people. Which is why I hope Cardi's willingness to lay it all out there becomes a trend. No one should have to harbor shame for investing in having a body that looks the way they want it to.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

"In my head I thought, This is how it ends"

Kit Harington almost lost a lot more than the Iron Throne while filming the final season of Game of Thrones. According to an interview with NowThis News, the actor almost lost one of his balls while riding a mechanical dragon.

Harington revealed that the incident took place when he was filming the scene where his character, Jon Snow, takes a ride on Rhaegal for the first time in the Season 8 premiere. Since dragons aren't real (sorry), Harington was filming the scene, where Jon almost falls off the dragon and then swings around to pick himself back up, on a mechanical contraption.

"My right ball got trapped, and I didn't have time to say, 'Stop,'" Harington said in an interview. "And I was being swung around. In my head I thought, This is how it ends. On this buck, swinging me around by my testicles, literally." We see shots of the fake dragon he's riding in front of a green screen, and it does look pretty terrifying.

Luckily, his testicles remained intact through the near-disastrous event, and he's survived with quite the story to tell to unsuspecting journalists.

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Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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