Cultivating a flair for melodic bubblegum licks and glacial synths, Annie Norbye, the Norwegian-born singer known to many as SKIA, has absorbed as much as possible since studying music in Liverpool.
Describing her style as “conversational and melodic scandipop, with hints of jazz-hop and soul” the 25 year-old singer’s songs glitter in a way that frequently nods to her influences: Violetta Zironi, Maye and Julia Church. “My music is mainly influenced by current affairs, but I often get very inspired if I hear a melody or song that just hits the spot, or watch a really good movie,” she says. “Anything that triggers my emotions, really.”
Watching a live video of Beyoncé’s I am…World Tour was the guiding light into her love of performing, Skia knew from then it was what she wanted to do. “I watched it over and over until I knew every riff to every song and loved the way it was played live,” she recalls. “I realised pretty early on that I enjoyed writing poems and melodies as well, so being a musician has always been the dream, but Beyoncé really sparked the performance gene in me and made me want to put on full shows with lights, costumes and dancers.”
It’s already been a busy 2020 for the Oslo singer, having released four tracks from her upcoming EP Apricot, yet Skia has approached it all with an openness centred on connecting to others through her music. “It’s a great way to share emotions with strangers” she tells us, “it’s also a really great outlet for me emotionally and a nice way to always get the last word.”
Recording for her EP took place in early 2019, where Skia met with fellow Norwegian Emilie Krogh in Melon Studios to perfect the shimmering electro-pop sound she was after. Locating a consistent theme knitted throughout the EP, she explains how the last two years of her life are reflected in this body of work. “Apricot is a big mix of confidence, feeling lost and letting go of old love,” she says. “It consists of seven tracks, and it’s a mix of up-beat pop tunes (IDWTAI, Anyone, Selfish) and more laidback, emotional ones (Not Anymore, Ferris Wheel),” she adds. “The first and last song (Lost, Apricot) are little a cappella tracks that serve as an intro and outro for the EP.”
Having only played her debut gig in the Kazimier Stockroom earlier this year, Skia notes her eagerness to continue performing once the lockdown restrictions have lifted. Making the most of this situation, the singer has joined in the quarantine-live approach and released a video of what she pegs as her “favourite song to perform” titled Emotions. “The band just really vibe with it and everyone gets their time to shine,” she says. “It’s like 60 BPM and it’s the perfect mix of relaxed and sexy.”
Keeping herself motivated by writing and hiking while she spends her time in Olso with family during isolation, Skia hopes “releasing new music will give people something to listen to and hopefully relate to.”
A singer with all the accoutrements of stardom in place, Skia’s pop-driven mindset ushers a new wave of musician into Liverpool’s thriving scene.
Apricot is out now.