Norwegian teens graduate school of rock

By Jack Hastings

The future of the Norwegian music industry is in good hands as the younger generation begins to take over. Daniela Reyes, Sivert Sivertsen and other teenage rock stars are actively working to make meaningful music that is both skillfully crafted and audibly pleasing.

Singer-songwriter Reyes is a force of nature. The 18-year-old songstress displays both the innocent and the mighty in her songwriting and performances.

Daniella Reyes Holmsen lives in Asker, Oslo. She is a young music sensation, inspiration for kids and future for women in Norway. Reyes started playing the accordion when she was five years old and continued to be interested in music since then.  

“I can express myself with music in a way I can’t with other things,” Reyes said.

Geir Holmsen, Reyes’ father feels proud of his daughter’s achievements.

Reyes’ parents adopted Daniella from Columbia when she was two months old.  

“We think she has defined her own way,” Holmsen said. “For us it is not very important that she is popular, it is important she enjoys playing music and it’s nice to see that she is starting to be very good.”

Music runs in the family as Holmsen is a music composer and professor of music and Reyes’ mother is a singer. Reyes also recently got accepted into the prestigious Norwegian Music Academy and her parents are in full support of whatever she aims for.

At this year’s Musikkfest in Oslo, Reyes was playing the AKKS stage at Arbeidersamfunnets plass.

“This is a stage we have been booking since 2009,” Aria Rødseth, organizer of the AKKS stage, said. “We’re scanning the field for really cool artists that we believe in. That’s who we are putting on the stage.”

“Always women and always female instrumentalists are important because those are the role models we want to put on stage,” Rødseth said.

Among the concert’s attendees were two of Reyes’ classmates, Lea Somner and Ronja Sulber.

“We are in the same music class and she’s always been doing music and doing her thing,” Somner said. “She plays many different instruments.”

“Yes, guitar, bass, drums and lots of harmonies,” Sulber said.

When Reyes is not performing with a backing band, she will build a song from scratch using loop station, a software that allows musicians to record each individual track of a song so that they play on top of each other. Through this, Reyes creates lush soundscapes with her voice and guitar.

“It was really different than anything I had ever heard before,” Somner said.

Although she has not formally released any music yet, Reyes is in the beginning of a rewarding career. Reyes has performed at various other festivals outside of Musikkfest, including OverOslo and MiniOya.

Reyes is not the only teenager receiving success in the Norwegian music industry. Sivert Sivertsen is an 18-year-old musician and songwriter creating jazz and soul-influenced pop music.

Although Sivertsen is now performing with a band, he began writing music own his own and released his first song “Thinking About” at only 11 years old.

“I’ve been a solo artist for about four years,” Sivertsen said. “I formed the band as a musical gathering for my friends to come and play my songs and then we just got asked to play here at Musikkfest.”

In October 2016, Sivertsen released the band’s debut single,which hit 100,000 plays on Spotify within three months and peaked on major Norwegian charts.

Both Sivertsen and Reyes will continue to make promising music as they head further into their music careers.