No Norwegian singer has been quite as commercially successful as Morten Harket, former lead singer for the wildly popular rock band a-ha, who stepped back into the spotlight this month with a new song. Now he’s gearing up for a new album launch and concert tour, including a performance at home in Oslo.
Harket made the media rounds again in connection with the recent Spellemannsprisen awards ceremony, Norway’s version of the Grammy Awards. Harket has won more of the Spellemann prizes than anyone else over the years, 13 in all including four as a solo artist.
“I don’t think there are any artists who haven’t felt some pride over winning a prize like Spellemann, regardless of what you think about the awarding of such prizes on purely political grounds,” Harket told newspaper Aftenposten. “For me, the idea of such annual awards is something special, and in its place.”
He said he really hasn’t kept track of all his own prizes, which also included nine Spellemanns when he was part of a-ha. The band decided to end their decades-long association “on a high note” in 2010, 25 years after winning their first Spellemann in 1985 after their huge hit song Take on me won fans all over the world.
Harket is focusing on his solo career now, and at age 54, has no plans for early retirement. He didn’t win any new prize at this year’s Spellemann, but he was given the stage to perform his new song Brother, which he says came about in a Norwegian hytte (holiday cabin) on the country’s popular southern coast, known as Sørlandet.
“Right after the end of the last tour, I went into the studio with Peter Kvint (from Sweden),” Harket told Aftenposten. “We’d worked together a bit and things kind of hung in the air between us. When we met for a five-day session at a hytte in Sørlandet, Brother popped up and that song’s identity set the tone for the whole album.”
Harket said he feels like himself again with the music, and that “things are completely different than with the last album.” He said the meeting with songwriter Kvint has “opened new channels for me.”
The song, like so many others, is about love and romance.”What else can you write about, huh?” Harket said with a laugh, but added that it blends in respect and setting limits also.
Listen to a preview of the song here (external link).
The song was released in Norway less than two weeks ago and immediately climbed to the top of the Norwegian iTunes’ list. The album is due for release in March, followed by a concert tour in Norway and Europe. It will include a performance at the OverOslo festival in June.