It’s somehow fitting that I should present Norwegian singer Bernhoft with the video of the year award at Katalin in Uppsala, Sweden, where the first-ever Scandinavian Soul Music Award was held in 2014.
The multi-talented soul singer Bernhoft has only just arrived in Uppsala from Malmo. Now, mid-rehearsal ahead of tonight’s performance, we relax backstage before his next interview. This is the second time I have sat with him and it never feels like he tries to be ‘cool’. However, dressed in black with his dark-rimmed glasses, he exudes coolness.
“Ah man, this is great!” he said, admiring the Scandinavian Soul Music Award that he has just unwrapped. “I’ll share it with Mischa!”
Mischa Ying is the director of the winning video “Wind You Up.” The video is a clever and inventive blend of live-action and animation.
and congratulations on your Grammy nomination!
“Thanks! It was a massive pat on the back!”
The day before our meeting Swedish soul singer Tingsek posted a picture of him and Bernhoft in Tingsek’s studio. I asked how this exciting collaboration came about.
“I was sitting at home listening to ‘Restless Soul’ by Tingsek and I’m thinking, ‘this guy has got some fucking skills’ and by coincidence, Magnus contacted me on Twitter and suggested doing something one day. I didn’t really know him but in five minutes we were brothers. So I went to his house for two days, slept on his sofa, and we wrote an original track together. It was nice to write something that wasn’t in my conceptual process.
” I really love Jason Timbuktu Diakité and Damn, who were next door and I’ve done some shows with them before. There’s a lot of creativity in Malmo.”
So will this be a single track or will you be working on additional songs?
“It was definitely something we’d like to do more of! When I move back to Norway, it would be a lot easier.”
You’re moving back to Oslo?
“I’m homesick man. I love New York but it’s about putting down my roots and my family. America is a vast continent and it means I can be away ages, while in Europe I can be away weekends.”
Returning home will be great news to your many home-based fans, and now you’re touring Sweden and working with Swedish artists.
“I’ve felt like the odd one out in Norway for a while but now there’s so many great artists that have this soulful vein in them, so it’s really a shame I haven’t been here [Sweden] more. I will when I live next door.
“Before that I’ll take some time out. I’m looking forward to writing, being creative, and growing my own carrots!”
Carrots? Hahaha! And will you be growing a beard?
“I’m trying man! I still get asked for my ID in America!”