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Bertine Zetlitz

Bertine Zetlitz

Welcome to Oslo, Capital city of the currently burgeoning Norwegian music scene, and home to one of the country¹s most promising exports, Bertine Zetlitz. Whilst shunning the traditional pop and metal that has carried the nations red and white flag for years, Bertine has created her own unique sound that showcases her songwriting expertise, amidst a backdrop of electronic expansiveness and pop hits-to-be¹s, that is neither far away from the blissful brooding Downtempo of Royksopp or the complex melodies and lyrical exploration of A-ha. Now with three native Grammy¹s already under her belt, and the release of her third album ŒSweet Injections¹ imminent, Bertine looks set to be the next Nordic export to cross over on a global scale.
 
ŒSweet Injections¹ was recorded entirely over the space of one month with world-renowned producers Howie B, Magnus Fiennes (All Saints, Morcheeba), and recent bootleg bandit turned electronic master-brain Richard X (Sugababes). Created far away from tranquillity of Norway, but instead amidst the bustling streets of London, where thanks to the "amazingly well organized" tube system, which gets a nod in the albums credits, Bertine was able to shape what is surely her finest body of work to date.
 
"Howie lives and breathes the music he makes, which was very inspirational. Music talks to people in a universal language. When you¹re a kid in Norway, you look up to people in the "big" music industry in London and America, and when you become a part of it ­ you realise that the potential for ideas is limitless," she says. "London is a very crowded, noisy place. But it¹s nice to be somewhere else to concentrate. It was a very focused and intense month." The album also marks the first time that Bertine has written with other collaborators. "I think it¹s important that each song has a different content. Not just contemporary sounds. This album is a nice mixture of stuff. Some is weird, and that¹s what gives it more life. Lyrics are very important to me, despite it being pop music."
 
ŒSweet Injections¹, takes its title from the content of the album, " Sweet songs that get under your skin," she laughs, "there are definitely sinister undertones to my pop songs." "Everything is based on experience. Songwriting is like putting life through a vacuum cleaner, it goes in and comes out more refined. People aren¹t necessarily interested in my feelings, but they can be about situations and events that happen." This is reflected in tracks like ŒLet Armies Loose¹ and ŒFor Fun¹ where brooding suspense meets pulsing electronics to spectacular results.
 
So what about her work with Richard X ?, a man already tipped for infamy in his own right, "It was never a calculated thing, it was done before any of the stuff really blew up. He was really down to earth, we just recorded the tracks at his flat in Tulse Hill," she adds. The product of their collaborations was ŒGirl Like You¹ and ŒSo Beautiful¹. The first of which has already been the first smash hit single taken from the album in Norway, which incidentally debuted at number one in the sales charts. These tracks mirror the albums title sentiment, both gripping you like the purely addictive electro disco numbers you would expect from the two.
 
 
Bertine started on her musical journey at a young age, penning her first numbers aged just 12. After emerging from a more classical route and music college, she began to concentrate on her long-term fantasy to become a singer songwriter. Turned on by the music of Tracy Chapman, her tastes had broadened and developed with her years, into wider pop spheres, particularly the work of Annie Lennox, who still remains a notable influence on Bertine¹s music. Her debut album ŒMorbid Late Night Show¹ was released in 1998, followed by the Tore Johansson (Cardigans) produced ŒBeautiful So Far¹ in 2000, both to critical acclaim and commercial success.
 
Despite her tender years, Bertine has already been invited to and performed at the 2000 Lileth Fair
 
Tour alongside such female musical luminaries as Sarah McLachlan, Chrissie Hynde, Suzanne Vega and Sheryl Crow. "It was an amazing experience, that has really helped me develop as an artist, seeing and performing alongside people that I have admired for years is a tremendous boost, as well as being onstage in front of 60,000 people."
 
Her plans to tour ŒSweet Injections¹ begin with a huge extended jaunt around Norway, followed by a quest to conquer the unknown. She will be joined by amongst others, three members of nu-jazz revolutionaries Jaga JazzistŠand as always with Bertine- be prepared for the unexpected. A soupcon of sugar, spice and a touch of Clockwork Orange thrown in for good measure.
 
ŒSweet Injections¹ is the sound of a new, more confident and worldwise Bertine, coming to terms with her own desires for sonic exploration, and musical evolvementŠ"It is possible to mix pop music with mysterious content. It makes it so much harder to categorize and so much more interesting. For now my plan is to continue to explore electronics and my own world through music." Be sure to watch this space.

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