SIGRID: Don’t Kill Her Vibe
Photography + Creative Direction / Angelo Kritikos
Interview Story / Freza Palermo
Makeup / Alison Christian using NARS and Glossier
Hair /Lauren McKeever using R+Co and Croc
Graphic Art / Gary Coutts
Earlier this year, Sigrid released her Don’t Kill My Vibe EP, named after the single that has all our favorite music sites singing their highest praises. Co-written with producer Martin Sjølie, Don’t Kill My Vibe has been billed as “the ultimate millennial empowerment anthem”. The powerhouse track earned her an enthusiastic nod of approval from Elton John and Lorde, landed her a spot on Apple Music’s coveted ‘Up Next’ list, and has since been streamed more than 17 million times on Spotify.
Though Sigrid considered a career in law growing up, she changed her mind once she finished school and moved to the Norwegian city of Bergen, where she lives today with her brother. “The Bergen scene is great!” she gushes. “I’ve been so lucky to get a glimpse into the jazz world of Bergen, through my band who attends the Grieg academy. They’re great musicians – check out Kristina Skyberg, MODI and Set One’s Cap!” Once in Bergen, Sigrid chose to pursue music full-time, linking up with producers and flexing her writing muscle.
Though Don’t Kill My Vibe became a viral hit almost instantly, the track is just the tip of the iceberg. The EP pulls together all of the singer-songwriter’s favorite influences which include “Coldplay, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Robyn and Max Martin” tying them all together with her bellowing, textured vocals. Her lyrics run the emotional gamut – swerving confidently between subtle notes of indignation, melancholy, and resignation – but each track showcases the young artist’s brilliant and auspicious songwriting chops.
“When it comes to writing sessions, I find it very important to talk about what the message of the song is. That’s how me and Martin Sjølie made Don’t Kill My Vibe. We just talked about how I felt during that previous writing session that is the inspiration behind DKMV,” she explains. “I had a lot of notes on my phone about this idea, but I didn’t find the exact words to get my message across. Martin and I got more and more into the song, and the drumbeat he worked on made me more and more excited. Suddenly I was so full of energy that I shouted “Don’t kill my vibe!” We looked at each other and went, “Ooooooh, yep. We’re using that one.” Sigrid and Sjølie kept those demo vocals from that lightning bolt writing session on the final track.
There’s so something so necessary about Sigrid’s voice and lyrics right now. “You shut me down, you like the control / You speak to me like I’m a child,” she sings sweetly, before her self-restraint vaults into the roaring chorus: “You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?” In today’s embattled cultural climate, there are few things more affirming than listening to a young woman recognize her value and stand her ground. The emboldened, won’t-back-down lyrics (“I’m young / I don’t care / I won’t quit”) read as both a challenge and an affirmation.
The impact of Sigrid’s message hasn’t been lost on listeners. “People have been sliding into my DMs saying how much Don’t Kill My Vibe means to them, and how it’s about their personal relationship to their ex-friends, their exes, their co-workers. It means the world to me that my music can mean a little bit for someone else,” says the singer. When asked whether she has any advice for young creatives for whom DKMV really resonated, she dispenses it with a thoughtfulness and grace that betrays her age. “I’m only 20 years old, and there’s a lot I don’t know. But this goes out to everyone: I think it is important to listen to what’s going on around you. It may inspire you more than you think. Sometimes you won’t have the answer, no matter your age, and that’s cool! But most importantly: listen to yourself. You have a voice, an opinion that matters and a fully capable brain with a lot weirder and cooler ideas than you might think.”