Growing up in Beiarn, a small village in Northern Norway, she longed for bigger cities and more people. - "Don’t get me wrong, I love the village. The mountains and the forests and the river. It is absolutely magnificent, and I recommend everyone to visit and see it for themselves. But I became restless, and I couldn’t figure out where I fit in. I still struggle with that, even though I live in Oslo.”
Moving to Bodø at the age of 16, she studied dance at Bodø VGS. Why not music? -“This was actually a stupid mistake, and although I am very happy for the three years I studied dance, I do sometimes wish I had taken the opportunity to study music after all. My mom and I missed the audition for the music studies, and I got in on my second choice, which was dance. A month after school had started, I was offered to transfer to the music-class, but I said no, because of the great social environment I had been introduced to in the dance-class. And I still have contact with these wonderful people, and dance gave and still gives me a lot of happiness.”
Trondheim was the next stop for you, where you decided to study to become a teacher. What inspired you to do so? - “Well, I guess I always kind of felt that if I was going to have any of the “ordinary” professions, I would have to become a teacher. I love learning new things, and if you spend time with children and youth, you learn something new every day. After school I finished my studies, I worked for two years with a lot of inspiring kids and colleagues.”
Do you ever miss being a teacher? -“Both yes and no. Besides the kids and the colleagues, I miss having a very strict routine each day, and making very visible progress with the kids. Like, when you see someone light up because you helped them find that last piece of the puzzle, that is priceless. And the connections you make. Also priceless. So yes, I do miss it. On the other hand, I feel like I can still make a difference by making music, and that I might be able to reach a larger number of people than I would being in a classroom. I have no idea though. Let's just see where this goes.”
Photo: Ida F. Kampenhaug
Inger-Katrin has always loved music, and from before she was born she was surrounded by it. - “My mother managed a children's choir from long before I was born, and she still is. I participated as long as I lived in our village, and I came back several times to help host weekends with dance, photography and music. My father played numerous instruments, and our basement had all the instruments needed for band practice at one point. Drums, guitars, basses, different types of brass instruments. And I even played the electric bass for a while, but I was only ever half decent playing the bass.”
But she took her time deciding whether or not to go for a career in music. - “I think I was very caught up in the way of the world, if you will. Everyone is supposed to finish school, study, get a job, find a guy, buy the apartment, have kids and so on. I struggled with this for quite some time, and I really thought I had to do that, and in that exact order. However, I’ve always been quite restless, and for once, I listen to my gut”.
After watching a concert performed by an acquaintance in 2017, she went straight home and applied for music studies at Westedals Oslo ACT, now known as Høyskolen Kristiania. This is where she met the talented musicians you hear playing on Keepsafe, and this is where she started to build her career.
About songwriting and Keepsafe
Inger-Katrin is passionate about both storytelling and truth-telling, which is a contradiction. -“I write a lot of songs based on feelings I’ve had, but sometimes the situations described in the songs might not be my own”.
However, on her debut album Keepsafe she is brutally honest. -”The making of Keepsafe was very difficult. Not that the songs were hard to write, it was more that they wrote themselves. I have previously struggled with mental illnesses, and at one point I was forced to confront the issues I had been trying very hard to forget or leave behind. And that is reflected in the songs on Keepsafe”.
Luckily she found the silver lining in her chaos, which she is eager to share with the audience. -“If you are not going to listen through the entire album(which you should, because it is a pervasive story), there are two tracks I recommend: Silly Mind and Keepsafe. I would say that these two are unbelievably important to listen to if you have a troublesome relationship with yourself. If there is one thing I want the audience to take from this album, it is that you are the most important person in your life, and that you are full of undiscovered treasures. You just have to find them. There might be some heavy digging at first, and sometimes it seems like there is only dirt and mud to be found, but I promise you, you will find something wonderful buried deep within.”