Thursday, 21 August 2014 23:37

Backstage with a one man show

Written by 

The tall Norwegian singer is dressed all in black with his cool trademark glasses and he smiles warmly as he reaches out his hand as we first meet.

The multi-talented musician Bernhoft has just arrived at Fasching, Stockholm for his second visit to the city, the previous was for a private event. His YouTube video C’mon Talk reached over 8 million views, but for many in Sweden, tonight is finally the opportunity to see the 'Prince of Norwegian soul' live.

After appearances on large American talk shows like CONAN, and despite receiving a standing ovation on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, besides us, no other Swedish media seemed interested in speaking with the bespectacled singer. If an artist of his skill and showmanship is unable to make a single sentence in the Swedish press, then it clearly demonstrates the struggle all soul artists face in reaching out with their music in Sweden.

I had already flown to Oslo in 2011 to witness Bernhoft’s talent first-hand. His masterful display of creating live compositions with loops, combined with accomplished piano and guitar skills left me stunned and understandably, he continues to tour extensively to sell out audiences with rave reviews. His soulful voice should not be ignored either.

We did the interview in English; however, Bernhoft is also fluent in Swedish, and as we chat he even gives me an example of his Scottish/ Liverpudlian accent too. Humour is never far away from him as we talk, and I often find myself breaking out into laughter. It's a part of his charm on stage too, as during his shows he can often deliver funny monologs.

When I compliment him on the tracks that are my favourite such as 'Stay With Me' and 'Come Around' he seems genuinely pleased and honoured.

We discuss touring and performing alone and he explains that he does miss his young son and family at home in New York, but for now, he's enjoying each gig.

You can't help but feel Bernhoft treats each show like it might be his last, but he shouldn't worry. Bernhoft is an artist you will want to see again and again and again.

Our Photographer, Camila, was a Bernhoft newbie and hadn't had a chance to research him on YouTube before the event. After his first song she turned to me, wide eyed and open mouthed and asked 'What just happened?'

Photos by Camila Rojas Fritz
Top Photo by Jonas Olson
Video by Sandra Stadelmann
Sound by Gustav Bennegård


Andy Collins

I'm a South Londoner now living in Sweden. I'm also a part-time DJ/ founder of Urbanlife Radio and co-founder of Scandinavian Soul. Music has always been my soundtrack to life and although I listen to everything, soul is always in my playlist.

Related items

  • Petrus Nordh - Break In Half
    Composed, written, produced and mixed by Petrus Nordh, Break In Half is his second EP and it's a fitting point to discover the solo Swedish artist.

    The four-track (excluding the interlude) glides with soulful influences, warm vocal tones and focused delivery.
  • Interview with Andy Pfeiler
    How do you cut down a 2-hour conversation with Andy Pfeiler discussing music and politics, interspersed with bursts of laughter?

    With great difficulty is the answer, but I'm confident the edited result (18mins) works in giving you an insight to this funky Swedish musician.

By visiting do you agree to our use of tasty cookies to enhance your experience?