Norway’s latest import hopes to rock the US

Ida Maria performed on The Late Show with Jay Leno on April 20, 2009.

Ida Maria performed on The Late Show with Jay Leno on April 20, 2009. Photo: islandrecords.com.

NEW YORK – No offense guys, but singer Ida Maria is hoping to please women, not you.

By MESFIN FEKADU, Associated Press

The Norwegian rocker, who released her debut CD, “Fortress Around My Heart,” last week, says she makes music that speaks to women.

“I don’t mind guys coming to my concert, it’s not that, but I really want to do music that can speak to girls, (that) could have an open conversation (with them),” she said in a recent interview. It’s not that the 24-year-old doesn’t want men to enjoy her music, it’s just that Ida Maria feels there’s a lack of female voices in the music industry — and she hopes to fill that void. “I’ve been a girl all of my life and I’ve been looking for music that is made for girls, performed by girls and that talks about girl issues. It’s just not enough of it out there,” she said.

Ida Maria grew up in Nesna, a university town in Norway with a population less than 2,000. She says her upbringing and environment inspired the way she wrote the songs on her CD. “I had a wonderful childhood, it was very much nature — a lot of clouds, a lot of climbing in the mountains and out fishing with my dad (and) I’ve written lyrics that are honest, and I think that’s just a cultural thing (because) of where I’m from,” she said.

Ida Maria has already seen some success in the United Kingdom with her first single, “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” which reached the top 20. She’s also headlined a sold-out tour there and now is hoping to duplicate that success in the United States.

Her newest single, “Oh My God,” is getting a boost since it’s been featured in CW’s hit series “Gossip Girl.” “That was cool, but I never watched the program myself,” Ida Maria acknowledged. “I don’t watch much TV, but I realized that a lot of people watch it so that’s a good thing.” Ida Maria says she recorded “Fortress Around My Heart” in 10 days while touring through LondonSweden and Norway. “Some of the songs were demos so we were just happy with them so I just put them on the record. It was really like a quick, get-it-out-of-the-way kind of thing,” she said.

Though Ida Maria’s CD fuses alternative rock and metal, she says she’s mostly influenced by soul, blues and jazz, name-dropping Miles Davis and Diana Ross as favorites. But Ida Maria’s dad may be the singer’s greatest influence. “My dad’s been playing in all these different bands, (and I’d) just come to the rehearsals instead of him finding a baby sitter for me. We would sit in and listen to soul bands,” she said.

For more information about Ida Maria click here

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