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Agnes Obel

  • Danish musician
  • Born October 28, 1980

Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel (born 28 October 1980) is a Danish singer, songwriter, and musician. Her first album, Philharmonics, was released by PIAS Recordings on 4 October 2010 and was certified gold in June 2011 by the Belgian Entertainment Association (BEA) after selling 10,000 Copies. At the Danish Music Awards in November 2011, Agnes Obel won five prizes, including Best Album and Best Debut Artist. Citizen of Glass, her third album, received the IMPALA Album of the Year Award 2016. Agnes Obel's song "Riverside" was featured on the Spike TV series The Mist in Season 1, Episode 2, “Withdrawal“.


I've heard from other artists that people are a little bit more reserved in Northern Europe, which comes across at concerts, where the audience may be quieter. So this means less hecklers, but maybe it also means that people may not be as open about how they felt. I'm not so sure this is especially true of Denmark, but it's what I've heard.




The best thing about Berlin was that I got to be surrounded by people who pursue their ideas for themselves.




I don't have a daily routine at all.




I love Denmark. But it is a very safe place, and it is easy to let the state look after everything for you.




When I started working on my own music, I didn't have the chance to record in a big music studio, so I had to record everything myself.




Feelings such as loneliness, longing or love are sometimes hard to put into words; maybe that's why we all love music, because it resonates with something we can't share.




Even though music is something I travel around doing, it is also a very private thing. A sort of escapism.




What I discovered in Berlin was this immense freedom because it felt like you could start any kind of project and nobody would care... and that's what I sort of adopted to my own.




I used to get very nervous before a concert. It's okay when you are in a band. You can kind of disappear. But when it's just you... yes, that was difficult. I would not say it is easy now. But when you do it for a long time, you do learn to cope.




With 'Philharmonics,' I had to do a lot of interviews, and it was like I was corrupting something. In many ways, I've said everything in the song. And either I can't go back to what it was because it's changing when I play it, or I still haven't figured out what the song is about.




I don't have the feeling of being motivated by anger, revenge or frustration.




I learned that music should be fun and should be a way to express yourself - that there aren't really any rules.




I'm not into having a pedigree dog.




I really believe it's not bad to look back within music. I don't mean retro, but using your own memories to make a song because our memories are what make us who we are.




Sometimes I feel like a melody doesn't have anything to do with me, but it's just something that comes, is accumulated from me playing on the piano, and then this little creature just appears.




My parents were very relaxed about music.




I'm very happy that I got introduced to music only as something you got pleasure from.




The piano and the singing are two equal things to me - maybe not inseparable but very connected. You can say they are like two equal voices.




I love the conversation between film and music.




My mum is a big collector of art.




I have a difficult relationship with jazz. My parents really love it, and I went to a school where jazz was considered the best thing ever, so I had to leave it be for a long time. But now I'm rediscovering it. I'm approaching jazz in a different way.




It's always difficult to know if a song needs more than piano, and I worry about my tendency to go in a sparse direction.




The orchestral or symphonic music never interested me.




Everything that has a spare piano is 'like Satie' and everything with strings is 'filmic,' Sometimes I get annoyed when they say my stuff sounds 'like Satie'. No, it doesn't. At least, I don't think so.




When I was in bands, I always liked the demo best.




I don't have a classical-music mentality. I haven't been taught that way, and it doesn't fit my character, either.




I wish my parents had been more strict and made me learn more instruments.



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