'All I want to do is make music'

Norwegian songwriter

'All I want to do is make music'

For 21-year-old Monica Heldal, music was an accident just waiting to happen. Having grown up listening to her father play the blues, it was only a matter of time before the songwriter in her found the right outlet — which it did, at the early age of 12. 

Now a popular name in the Norwegian music circuit, Monica’s music — a mix of blues, country, roots and folk — reflects a maturity uncommon in her age. 

“Sometimes, I get inspired by something going on in my life or something that I’ve heard or read about. When I’m not inspired, it’s really hard to write lyrics and I’ve to really push them out. That’s when I write something random and a lot of my songs show that,” she tells Metrolife. She adds that her songwriting process involves “making up some nice chords on the guitar, adding some melody and working on the lyrics last”. 

Speaking about her love for the blues, Monica says, “My family’s really into the blues. My father’s a great blues guitarist and my teacher showed me a lot of cool blues stuff. So I just got more and more into it over time.”
 In fact, even before she signed her first record deal, her music was playlisted on national radio. The modest Monica feels that being at the beginning of her musical career, there’s a lot for her to learn. “I haven’t had that much success.

 I’ve been a full time musician for a year and a half now and I’m excited about releasing my new album this autumn. I have got some attention back in Norway while playing at festivals but it’s nothing really big. All I want to do is make music and release albums. I would love to do that all my life but if not, I’ll just go back to school or get a job or something,” she shares.

She is also open to collaborations and has worked with musicians like English singer-songwriter Ben Howard in the past. “If I could choose someone to collaborate with, I’d definitely say Neil Young or Mark Knopfler. I know that’s not going to happen but it’s a fun dream anyway. That would be really cool,” smiles Monica, who is also influenced by musicians like Nick Drake, Rory Gallagher and bands like ‘Led Zeppelin’ and ‘Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’ (CSNY).

On her time spent exploring and performing in the City for ‘An Ode To The Blues’ festival, which she headlined, she says, “I had a great time being in India and some fun days here in Bangalore. It was cool to play at the festival because it was a really good audience that seemed to appreciate such music.”

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