The tall Norwegian singer, Jarle Bernhoft, is dressed all in black with his cool trademark glasses, and he smiles warmly as he reaches out his hand as we 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 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 popular 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 interviewed 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 monologues.
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.
Photos by Camila Rojas Fritz
Top Photo by Jonas Olson
Video by Sandra Stadelmann
Sound by Gustav Bennegård