Marit Elisabeth Larsen – born on July 1st 1983 in the town of Loerenskog, in Akershus, just outside Oslo, and the capitol of Norway – is a singer, musician and songwriter. She began playing violin at the age of 5, and quit at the age of 8. Her star became known internationally as a member of the teen duo M2M with Marion Raven, her childhood friend. More recently she has pursued her own music career releasing her solo debut album, Under the Surface, in 2006. Her second album, The Chase, was released in Norway in October 2008. The third album, titled Spark was released in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland on November 18th, 2011 and Germany, Austria, Switzerland on December 16th, 2011.
- Early Years:
Born into a musical family – Her mother is a pianist, her father plays the cello in the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. At the age of 5 she began playing violin, and she met her friend, and future co-band member, Marion Raven. They both attended Lørenskog Upper Secondary School.
Other notable alumni of the school is: skater – Johann Olav Koss, journalist – Noman Mubashir, football players – John Carew and Kristoffer Tokstad, artist/model – Marianne Aulie, and football manager – Tom Nordlie.
In 1993, when Marit was 9, she formed her first band with Marion, called Hubba Bubba, named after their favorite chewing gum. Marit played the keyboard and Marion sang – a friend who played drums joined them too. They performed at several infant schools in Lørenskog. During the age of 9 to 11, she took part in a lot of musicals, played on “The Norwegian Broadway. In 1996, she and Marion got to release their first album, which was all made of old children songs. The same year Marit started picking up guitar lessons. As a singer/songwriter, Larsen was a record industry success by the age of 13. Larsen released her debut album “Marit & Marion singing children’s songs” or “Marit og Marion Synger Kjente Barnesanger” with longtime friend Marion Raven at 12. The children’s music project was nominated for several awards, including Norway’s Grammy equivalent. With a healthy success to their credit, Marit and Marion chose to dedicate their efforts to the pop music world.
When Marit started taking guitar lessons, Atlantic Records invited them at their American branch to let them audition and then signed the contract which made them famous as the M2M. They began writing and recording songs: in 1999 their first successful hit were released: “Don’t Say You Love Me”, taken from the album “Shades Of Purple”, which were chosen to be the soundtrack of the first Pokémon movie: Mewtwo Strike Strikes Back! – The album would be released the year later. Even if only teenagers, almost all the songs were written by Marit and Marion. She is best known, and recognized as the lighter haired of the two in the pop duo M2M. Larsen played the guitar, while Marion Raven played the piano, and did half of the vocals and songwriting. After touring the world and producing two albums “Shades of Purple” and “The Big Room” with hits such as “Don’t Say You Love Me“, “Mirror Mirror“, and “Everything“. Larsen, alongside Raven made a guest appearance in the American television series Dawson’s Creek, 100 Light Years From Home episode. The episode also featured M2M performing “Everything“. Sadly, M2M was dropped by Atlantic Records in September 2002.
- Launch of Solo Career:
After the breakup, and separation of M2M, (trade policy by their record label – Atlantic Records/Marit and Marion’s decision to go in different directions) Raven set off on her own solo career, while Larsen took time off from show biz to live a normal life, and to attend school at the University of Oslo. Fan interest was reignited in 2004 and early 2005, and Larsen returned to writing songs, something she’d done for personal satisfaction for years. As she developed a new catalog of material, the next step toward a solo career became clear. Larsen made several appearances in Norway, showing off a darker-haired image and new music with increased instrumental and lyrical scope. In October 2004, Larsen performed three original songs, titled “This Time Tomorrow“, “Recent Illusion“, and “Walls“, on NRK radio, showcasing her skills at both guitar and piano. Naturally, it was met with great success. Larsen also performed live at the highly anticipated by: arm concert in February 2005. It was soon after she announced the launch of her solo career.
- 2005-2007; Under The Surface:
After having written songs for three years looking for a label, Marit finally signed with EMI. During the autumn of 2005 she began recording her debut album, produced by Marit herself and by Kåre Vestrheim, one of the most famous Norwegian producers. “” – Primarily written on mandolin and piano, was released in January, then March 6, 2006. After having written songs for three years looking for a label, Marit finally signed with EMI. During the autumn of 2005 she began recording her debut album, produced by both Marit Larsen herself and by Kåre Vestrheim, one of the most famous Norwegian producers. “Under The Surface” – Primarily written on mandolin and piano, was released in January / March 6, 2006. The first single “Don’t Save Me” began the airplay in radio on January 3, 2006, – entering all of a sudden into the top ten of some Norwegian charts. When it was released into music shops (on February 6, 2006), “Don’t Save Me” jumped at number one of the Official Norwegian single chart only at the second week of sales and stayed for five weeks on the chart. Pitchfork said in its review of Don’t Save Me: “Marit Larsen– “the blonde one” from Norwegian prefab twosome M2M– has publicly deserted her handcuffed history with her solo debut, Under the Surface. The bright, kitchen-sink production on first single “Don’t Save Me” twinkles benignly with a sterile, fjord-pop luster. It throws scattershot percussion– wide drums and handclaps– next to synths, a Stevie Wonder harmonica, and an ABBA piano refrain. Yet its busy sound is meaningfully busy, redeemed in the tug of war between the song’s ebullient veneer and its freighted lyrics. One luscious meme circulating on fan-girl LiveJournals holds that Larsen’s second-person jaunt is aimed at her former M2M partner, Marion Raven. Larsen denies it (surprise surprise), but from her opening couplet (“You say we must move forward/ and I say let’s not go back”), an anxious fatigue masquerades as friendly consensus, an agreement to leave the past in the past. Adorned with quavering mandolins, the chorus embraces the same passive/aggressive duality: Larsen makes her titular request, confessing amongst aspartame melodies, “Our little castle is a house of cards.” Plump with both joy and melancholy, “Don’t Save Me” spills over its unbending pop-song borders into grownup territory, probing the prickly and thorny process of letting go.
The title-track “Under the Surface” was chosen as second single; its video was released on 10th May 10, 2006 and in a month it began the most played song by the Norwegian radios. “Only A Fool” and “Solid Ground”, are the last two singles off this amazing album, but they’ve been released only on radio stations.
On a Saturday, in October 2006 Marit Larsen traveled to India to perform at private events during the state visit of Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
“The plan was that I would only hold a concert in conjunction with the state visit of Crown Prince and Princess. But when EMI in India heard that I was going to hold a concert, they decided to release my album.” the 23 year old told rb.no.
Marit played one event in Mumbai and one in New Delhi, both on October 29 2006, and then returned to Norway on November 2, 2006.
The album successfully consolidated with songs like “Under The Surface” and others. The success of her first work has achieved some international success with appearances at events in Germany and Spain. In October 2006, and the publication of her work to countries such as France, India, Thailand, and United States.
On November 2, 2006, (following her trip to India) she was recognized and won the “Best Norwegian Artist” award at the MTV Europe Music Awards, held at Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. She was nominated with artist Amulet, Elvira Niklaisen, Mira Craig and Serena Manenesh. “Personally I cheered on Serena-Maneesh.” stated a modest Larsen to aftenposten.no. She continued: “When I was in concert with them in the summer, I was completely blown away, they had certainly deserved such an award.”
In January 2007 was recognized for her work in awards such as “Spellemannprisen” (Norwegian Grammy) with distinctions “Best Female Artist”, “Best Song” and “Best Video”. “Best Video” was her first “Spellemannprisen” or “Grammy”.
“This is Andreas Rønning’s video, it was he who had the idea”, Marit said modestly and handed the honor to its manufacturer, upon accepting the award for “Best Video”.
In this category, Marit was nominated along with Bjørn Eidsvåg, Christel Alsos, The White Birch, and Grand Island.
In 2007 Marit Larsen won “Best Pop Act” at the Alarm Awards for “Under The Surface”. She was nominated with Rockettothesky for “To Sing You Apple Trees”, Superfamily for “Warszawa”, and Magnet for “The Simple Life”
- 2006-2007; Elwood Caine:
For a brief spell, Marit Larsen was in a side band called “Elwood Caine” from Oslo, Norway.
They were never signed to a record label and functioned more or less like a garage band, or a side project. There fist show together took place on Saturday – November 25, 2006 at “Det Gamle Bageri” or “The Old Bakery” in Drøbak, Norway.
The band had two original songs: “Hey Hey Hey” and “White Dove” and played various gigs throughout 2006 – 2007.
Their last show together was on November 27, 2007 at “Herr Nilsen” during “Blue Grass Night” in Oslo, Norway.
- 2010; The Chase/If A Song Could Get Me You:
After a one year break, Marit Larsen returned to the spotlight to release her second album “The Chase” on October 13, 2008 in Norway, and in Sweden on November 19, 2008. To quote slant magazine: “Larsen returns with The Chase, another batch of impeccably tailored songs that sound timeless but never too familiar. Continuing to work with the ornate pop sounds that typified her debut, Larsen’s sweet and ever-so-slightly cracked voice flows as beautifully as ever over endearing hurdy-gurdy rhythms and eccentric arrangements that incorporate a number of odd sounds not typically heard on your average modern pop record.” On December 11, 2008 Marit Larsen was invited to perform several songs at the Nobel Peace Prize, held at Oslo Spektrum. Following a sweet introduction from Sir Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson, Marit Larsen, launched into “I’ve Heard Your love Songs” followed by, “Beautiful World” with Dierks Bentley. And – “If A Song Could Get Me You“. Another significant of this evening? An invitation from Jason Mraz (upon meeting) to open for him during his European spring tour in early 2009 The first single off of “The Chase“, titled “If A Song Could Get Me You”, shot to number one on the Norwegian singles chart in its first week and remained for two consecutive weeks.
In mid-2009 “If A Song Could Get Me You” became the first international single from Marit, reached number one in Germany for five consecutive weeks, four weeks on top charts in Switzerland, and succeeded in the number two position in Austria.
In November 2009, Larsen began her first tour of Germany and Switzerland and ended on December 1, 2009.
In November 2009, a Norwegian newspaper VG made a list of the best Norwegian song of the decade 2000-2009. “Under The Surface” was ranked as the best song of the decade and the song “If A Song Could Get Me You” was ranked fourth. Her album “Under The Surface” was ranked as the second best of the decade.
On December 14, 2009 Marit was a guest on Store Studio, where she performed the Christmas song “Vi Tenner Våre Lykter” or “We Light Our Lamps” together with Kråkesølv and Kringkastingsorkestret.
On Saturday March 6, 2010 found Marit nominated for the 2009 Spellemannsprisen’s held at Oslo Spektrum. Marit was nominated for two categories: “Best Female Artist” and “Hit of the Year – If A Song Could Get Me You”
For the category of “Best Female Artist” Marit was nominated along with Ane Brun for “Changing of the Seasons”, Ingrid Olava for “Juliet’s Wishes’, and Maria Mena for “Cause And Effect”. And for “Hit Of The Year – If A Song Could Get Me You” Marit found herself nominated along the side of Maria Haukaas Storengveien for “Hold On Be Strong”, Espen Lind for “Scared Of Heights”, Erlend Bratland for “Lost”, and The BlackSheeps for “Oro Jaska Beana”
The September 12, 2010 poplife Records releases “If A Song Could Get Me You” as the first single from Marit Larsen in UK. From 28 to October 2 Marit Larsen performed in four concerts in China in three different cities to promote “If a Song Could Get Me You“, Asian version, which would bring new songs to this continent. In November 2010 Sony Music Latino edited “If A Song Could Get Me You” in Latin America with a unique track listing for the region, specifically the album was released in the following countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico.
On January 2010, Marit recorded a duet with Belgian singer/songwriter Milow titled “Out of My Hands”. The song was released in March 2010 on the re-release of Marit’s album “If A Song Could Get Me You” even though the song was originally contained in Milow’s album “Coming of Age” (released in 2008 in Belgium). The duet version featuring Marit was released on 12 February 2010 via Milow’s MySpace page and Marit’s YouTube page. On 1 August 2011,
In February and March 2010 Larsen played 12 concerts in Germany. In the summer of 2010, Larsen visited several German television transmitted events ( TV total , ARD Euro Vision party, ZDF television garden, pop stars ) in order to promote her re-released single “Don’t Save Me”, which was published on 30 July 2010.
Marit was later nominated for the Spellemannprisen award as “Hit of the Year”. The second single was “I’ve Heard Your Love Songs” (released on October 27 2008), and another song from the album, “Steal My Heart”, was used in the soundtrack of the Norwegian movie “I et speil, i en gåte”.
The September 12, 2010 pop life Records releases “If A Song Could Get Me You” as the first single from Marit Larsen in UK. From September 28 to October 2nd Marit Larsen did four concerts in China (two in Shanghai – including one at the World Expo in the Norwegian pavilion, and two music festivals in Zenjiang and Jinan) in three different cities to promote “If A Song Could Get Me You“, an Asian version, which would bring new songs to this continent. In November 2010 Sony Music Latino edited “If A Song Could Get Me You” in Latin America with a unique track listing for the region, specifically the album was released in the following countries: Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, and Mexico.
On January 24, 2009, Marit was nominated for two Spellemannprisen’s in the categories for “Best Female Artist” and “Hit of the Year” (If A Song Could Get Me You).
For “Best Female Artist”, Marit was nominated with Ane Brun for “Changing of the Seasons”, Ingrid Olava for “Juliet’s Wishes”, and Maria Mena for “Cause And Effect”.
For “Hit Of The Year” (If A Song Could Get Me You), Marit was nominated with Maria Haukaas Storengveien for “Hold On Be Strong”, Espen Lind for “Scared Of Heights”, Erlend Bratland for “Lost”, and The BlackSheeps for “Oro Jaska Beana”.
In March 2009, Larsen was given the Radio Regenbogen Award “Hörerpreis” or “Handset” then gave a very personal live concert at the Popkantine for her fans.
On October 27, 2009, Marit Larsen was awarded the Honorary Award – Norsk Artistforbund for “Best Norwegian Artist” by her own colleagues in Norwegian Artists & Songwriters Association.
The glass microphone by Camilla Prytz was handed to her by Norwegian Minister of Culture Anniken Huitfeldt, Marit Larsen’s fellow Romerike native in the east country of Norway. She also performed “If A Song Could Get Me You”
On November 24, 2009, VG ( Norwegian newspaper) made a list of the best Norwegian songs of the past decade 2000-2009
2010 found Marit Larsen nominated for two categories: “Best International Rock/Pop Female Artist” and “Best International Newcomer” for “If A Song Could Get Me You” at the 19th annual Echo Music Awards (Germany’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards).
For the category of “Best International Rock/Pop Female Artist” Marit Larsen was nominated with: Pink, Whitney Houston, and Lady Gaga.
For the category of “Best International Newcomer” Marit Larsen was nominated with: Gossip, Lady Gaga, David Guetta, and Milow.
The Echo Awards where held on March 4, 2010 at Masse Berlin in Berlin Germany.
On Saturday, March 24, 2012, Marit Larsen won the Drums.de MUSIK FACH–Award for the category of “Best Album” for “Spark”, hosted at the Festhalle Franfurt. Sadly, Marit could not make it to Frankfurt to accept the award so she recorded a thank you message via video.
- 2011-2013; Spark:
Marit Larsen started to record her 3rd solo album at Propeller Recordings. On 7 October 2011 Marit Larsen announced that the album would be called “Spark” and shortly after embarked on a radio tour in Germany to promote the album and her newly announced single “Coming Home“. Among this brief tour, was a stop at Radio Hamburg where she performed both “Coming Home” and a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You“? “Spark” was ultimately released in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark on 18 November. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria the album was released on 16 of December. Also, on December 16, 2011, Marit Larsen performed “Coming Home” on the finals of Idol Norge – (Norway’s equivalent of American Idol). Marion Raven was one of the judges.
On September 1, 2011, Marti’s music started hitting French radio stations.
November 14, 2011 brought about the release of a Christmas CD by “The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Humanitarian Fund” or “Kronprinsparets Fond“. In collaberation with Garness (A Norwegain Duo), Marit contributed the song “Her kommer dine arme små”to the Christmas project.
On Thursday, December 15, 2011, as a part of the “Vi Tenner Våre Lykter – Kronprinsparets Fond” project, the Norwegian Crown Prince couple, Marit and Garness participated in a Christmas concert. The three performed “Her kommer dine arme små” for the event entitled “Jul på Slottet” or “Christmas at the Castle” in Oslo Norway.
On December 30, 2011, she had a guest appearance on the telenovela “Anna und die Liebe”. On April 7, she joined the music show The Spring Show in ZDF on.
In January 2012, Marit Larsen performed at the DLD ((Digital-Life-Design) conference and performed: “If A Song Could Get Me You“, “Coming Home“, and “Have You Ever“.
On Monday September 5, 2011 – Music Export Norway’s third three-year export program was awarded to Marit Larsen.
Music Export Norway’s third three-year export program. In 2010 Music Export Norway launched a new three-year export program. The program is intended as an export funding program towards individual Norwegian projects, with the goal of increasing the export of Norwegian music.
The idea behind the three year export program is grant partial funding for up to two projects per calendar year. Each project may receive up to NOK 300,000 per year for up to three years. The total value per project can be up to NOK 900,000. This export program is open to a wide range of industry professionals, such as production companies, management, music publishers and songwriters, as well as artists in all genres.
Marit Larsen was very excited about the news:
“This was a pleasant surprise! The timing is also very good, as the new album release and the following touring is just around the corner. I am very pleased that the jury has confidence in me and believing in my music”, she said.
In December 2011, Marit was nominated for the following two Spellemannprisen’s: “Best Female Artist” for “Spark” and “Best Composer”.
For the category of “Best Female Artist” Marit was nominated with Ane Brun for “It all starts with one”, Hilde Marie Kjersem for “Let’s let go”, and Siri Nilsen for “Alle snakker sant”
For the category of “Best Composer” Marit was nominated with Ane Brun for “It all starts with one”, Hilde Marie Kjersem for “Let’s let go”, Rolf Wallin for “Wire and String”, and Synne Skouen for “Call-notes”.
In 2012, Marit Larsen won Drums.de MUSIK FACH-Award for “Best Album” for “Spark”.
- 2014 – Present; When The Morning Comes:
The majority of 2013 and 2014, Marit Larsen has spent, writing and recording for her fourth album, “When the Morning Comes“. The Unreleased album was recorded in Nashville and produced in Sweden.
According to p3.no, Marit has said that drums and piano have become the backbone on the album, really striving to give it the same raw energy that is on display at her live shows.
“When The Morning Comes” The album, which climbed to No. 1 in Norway, was released in the Nordic countries on October 20th 2014. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria it was released on March 27, 2015. In the USA When the Morning Comes was released through iTunes on January 29th 2016.
On Monday morning, July 14 at 12:13, Marit Larsen announced on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the #premiere of her next single entitled: “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”. It premiered on NRK P3 radio on August 4, 2014. It came as a huge and delightful surprise to everyone.
On August 29 2014, Marit played “Shine On Little Diamond” live for the first time on p3 program ”Ruben og Christine” hours after performing “I Don’t Want To Talk about It” in a corner of Eldorado bookstore on Thursday.
The album, which climbed to No. 1 in Norway. And Between 14 January and 14 February 2015, Marit Larsen played nineteen concerts on her “When The Morning Comes Tour” in Norway
On January 1, Marit announced that she was leaving her record label to form her own independent label called “Handbryggrecords”. She spent the next few weeks on designing a logo for her label, and on the January 29th announced one had been completed.
On February 8, Marit Larsen announced the title of the EP “Joni Was Right” as well as the release date worldwide: April 1st. 2016.
Full name: Marit Elizabeth Larsen
Born: July 1, 1983
Origin: Lørenskog, Norway
Height: 5′ 2″
Resident in: Norway / New York, US
Genres: Pop, Folk, Pop-Folk, Acoustic, Country
Occupations: Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Self Producer, Record Label Owner
Instruments: Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Mandolin, Harmonica, Glockenspiel, Zither, Tambura, Domra, Celesta, Percussion
Years active: 1996–present
Atlantic (1998–2002) (M2M)
Warner (2013–15) (Nordic countries)
Sony (2008–15) (other countries)
Håndbrygg Records (2016 – current) (worldwide)
Associated acts: M2M, Marion Raven, Elwood Caine, Thom Hell, Milow, Teitur Lassen, Garness
Zodiac Sign: Cancer