Karpe Diem challenges our spiritual and collective greed with their melodious and confrontational rap. Aurora is the latest comet in the Norwegian pop firmament and dispenses beautifully a lack of conformity which society badly needs.
When two of the country’s frontline banner bearers for youthful intensity and intelligence perform for an audience of 6000 in the Archbishop’s Courtyard during the St. Olav Festival, well, we just know that it will be an evening that will go down in history.
For the past few years, Karpe Diem have been the poster boys for a much scorned genre which is at last about to become socially acceptable. Nevertheless, Chiraq and Mahdi have set a standard with uncompromising songs where they constantly confront our complacent, streamlined society. They shake their fists in every direction and are acutely aware of the extent to which they can influence young listeners. There is very little bling bling and consequently more content and meaning.
Karpe Diem are not Mammon’s errand boys, they are the nemeses of greed and gluttony. In a series of singles released over the last few years, they have criticised aspects of our society. In the song Lett å være rebell i kjellerleilighen din (Easy to be a rebel in your basement flat) they take to task both official and individual attitudes to refugees.
– It’s about dehumanising people who are different, whether it’s ethnicity, culture or race. It’s how you refer to other people, using pest metaphors like ‘cockroach’ or saying that they ‘swarm in across our borders’, that reminds you of Spanish slugs, says Magdi to NRK, commenting on the reactions to the text.
Karpe Diem constantly release new songs and come to St. Olav Festival with an arsenal of up-to-date hits with a message.
19-year-old Aurora Aksnes has entered the Norwegian music branch at record speed, and has spellbound everyone from her contemporaries to grandparents with her mystical and divinely charming pop songs, which contain traces of soul, electronica and folk.
She was six years old when she came across something which set the tone for the rest of her childhood: an old, partly defective el-piano was retrieved from the attic. For hours on end she sat at the piano and taught herself to play. Gradually, she began to understand that she could use more than just the black keys. She began at an early stage to compose songs, and when she was about nine she also started adding words to the music. She has never learned to read music, but writes songs in her own special way. That involves using other forms of artistic expression, even though the music is generated by her own feelings.
– I always make myself a cup of tea, and then I sit on the floor and close my eyes very tightly. Then I start to paint. I try to express what I feel in colour. Then I go over to the piano to find the tune, and when that’s in place, the words come quite quickly. I make music because I so passionately want to. It’s what supplants emptiness in my life. It’s my way of dealing with things, she explained in an interview with Aftenposten K.
This delicate girl with the expressive face has been acclaimed by the internationally famous star Katy Perry and by a corps of critics in unison. And this even before she has released a single record!
This evening appearance in the Archbishop’s Courtyard with Karpe Diem, may well be the concert that ‘everyone’ will be talking about next year.