Ina Wroldsen is one of pop's guiding lights.
As a songwriter she has delivered some impeccable hits, working with The Saturdays on their golden run.
Infectiously talented, Ina kept back some of her most personal, most emotional ideas, building them into a solo vision.
It's a vision she is continuing to unfurl, with her gilded single 'Haloes' online now. Co-written with Steve Mac, it aims to "capture that moment of euphoria you feel when you are in a crowd of people and everyone is just having a wonderful time, being human together..."
A golden moment, 'Haloes' will be followed by a quick trip to London's Camden Assembly on October 24th for a headline show - grab your ticket HERE.
Clash caught up with Ina Wroldsen to uncover her Influences...
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Jewel - 'You Were Meant For Me'
When I was a little girl, I used to come to the shops with my mum and she would let me go to the record store and listen to albums while she did her shopping.
I was 11 years old when on one of these trips, I pressed play and Jewel's first album 'Pieces Of You' came hook, line and sinker - into my ears. “You were meant for me...” started playing. “I hear the clock, it’s six am, I feel so far from where I’ve been. Got my eggs and my pancakes too, got the maple syrup - everything but you.” I started crying and someone came to ask if I was OK... I was more than OK. I was gut-wrenchingly in love.
“I called my momma she was out for a walk, consoled a cup of coffee, but it didn’t wanna talk” - I could see the scene in my head. I can still recite those lyrics. I told my mum I had to own this album, she bought it for me and I worshipped it. Jewel wrote casually about everyday things and I had never heard such vulnerability and life in a song before.
Jewel was the start, even though I had no idea at the time, of this precious thing that became a part of who I am. My songwriting.
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Alanis Morrissette - 'All I Really Want'
When I first heard Alanis, I cried again. Two reasons:
1. I could never learn to sing like that.
2. I could never learn to write like that.
My mother told me to stop crying and start practicing. She said; “even Alanis was a little girl once, get cracking Ina...” 'All I Really Want' had an anger and a directness that I had never heard a woman express in music before. “Do I stress you out? My sweater is on backwards and inside out and you say how appropriate...”
I came home from school and sang that whole album every day for a year. I remember I got it for Christmas. Alanis remains one of my biggest inspirations to this day. She was ground-breaking with her aggressive lyrics and song technique. She is one of my absolute heroes.
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Britney Spears - 'Baby One More Time'
'Baby One More Time' came out when I was 12. I was in sixth grade (Norwegian school) and it really was not cool to like Britney Spears. Luckily, I had a little sister, and I spent my allowance and bought Britney’s debut album 'Baby One More Time' as a present for her... She didn’t get much of a chance to listen to it.
I secretly loved everything about that record. The production fitted her voice like a glove, the hooks were relentless, and that huge chorus was stuck in my head like the piece of bubblegum my mum had to cut from my hair that very same year. (It was traumatic... what can I say?)
There was no way of cutting out this piece though. I have loved Max Martin and his magic ever since. Musically, he is a king of kings. In my humble opinion.
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Tori Amos - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'
Before you all go off the rails here, I know this is a Nirvana original. I know. I loved Nirvana, I spent all my confirmation money on grunge and new punk records. Green Day, Nirvana, Korn, Skunk Anansie, The Offspring, Garbage and Radiohead provided the soundtrack for my teenage years.
I heard Tori's version of this song when I was about 16 and this rock record that I thought I knew inside out, was suddenly transformed into something very dark, twisted and ominous. I think I listened to Tori Amos and Tori Amos only for a full year after. Her 1992 album 'Little Earthquakes' to me, is a world treasure. It should be on that UNESCO list. She continues to be maybe my biggest musical inspiration.
Some days, I crave her version of 'Enjoy The Silence' so much my belly aches. Most days, I listen to 'Silent All These Years' at one point or another and 'Cornflake Girl' and 'Crucify', 'A Sort Of Fairytale', 'Me And A Gun'... I love everything.
It’s almost sacrilegious choosing a cover as the Amos song that influenced me, but Tori’s 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' opened a whole new book to me. I read it again and again and again.
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Rihanna - 'Pon de Replay'
I heard this record for the first time whilst getting ready for a label showcase, in a crappy hotel room back in NYC in 2005. I been at this for a while... I didn’t get the record deal, but I came home armed with new ammunition. I had to learn to write songs like this one.
I remember listening to 'Pon de Replay' for months, dissecting every bit of the song. So simple, so “easy”; So. Bloody. Hard.
I went on to re discover and study old Destiny’s Child records, 'Full Moon' by Brandy, Keysha Cole and of course, a new found and very empowering Beyoncé. I am ashamed not to include 'Irreplaceable' in this list, but that came out a year later and I was already in deep by that point. I did listen to it on repeat the whole summer though. So much that the girls in the clothing shop I used to work in, banned it from ever being played again in the store.
But I digress. I think, in my early career as a songwriter, every single record I wrote, I wrote subconsciously for Rihanna. 'Up' performed The Saturdays was the first attempt, 'Impossible' (performed by Shontelle and later James Arthur) got the closest to her.
I have yet to have the honour of hearing Queen Ri singing one of my records. It’s ok, a girl can dream. I like to say goals instead of dreams really. Dreaming is for sleeping, goals are for working towards. Gotta stay awake for that you know.
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'HALOES' is out now.
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