Interview: Siv Jakobsen on the magic behind Nordic Mellow

Siv JakobsenSiv Jakobsen is something special. Her beautifully constructed debut album, The Nordic Mellow, was self-released back in August 2017 to rave reviews, including a vigorous nod from DrunkenWerewolf. Since then, Jakobsen's occupied a corner of many-a folk fan's heart, and not just because she's so charming in person. Now, she's poised to wow British audiences with a series of performances in support of her full length.

"I really wanted to take my time and make sure I didn’t rush-releasing the record," Siv explains, calling from her home in Oslo. "Once you release something it’s out there and you can’t take it back or do it again. I wanted [...] to make sure it was done the way I wanted it to be - [to] work with the right people that I felt comfortable with, and make sure there was a good team set in place so that when it was released, there was room for it."

Immediately demonstrating her knack for playing the business game on her own terms, Siv admits she's particular about how her music is handled: "I spent quite a long time trying to figure out how I wanted to release [the album]; whether I wanted to release it on a label or whether I wanted to release it [myself].... And if I was going to release it on my own label, who was I going to work with to distribute it, and that kind of thing."

Ultimately, Siv launched the appropriately named Nordic Mellow Records to create her debut, something she says she's "very proud" of... But she couldn't have released internationally without a little help: "I have a really amazing distributor who’s gone above and beyond with what they do for me, and they’re doing some of the things that a label would sometimes do."

"But," she pauses, "I do a lot of the label work myself, so I have several different hats. I’ve got my label boss hat and I’ve got my artist hat that I put on throughout the day. It feels very empowering to do it that way. It’s a nice thing to be able to prove you can do it yourself."


"DIY," she clarifies, "doesn’t have to mean you’re [sacrificing] anything. It just means I have full control of my music – when it’s released, what’s released, how it sounds. Ultimately I have the last word, and that’s a very empowering and liberating thing. Sometimes I do think, I’m just one person! Sometimes I feel stretched thin but at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way at this point in my career."

Having the gumption to form your own label, pull together professionals from multiple different countries and backgrounds, record a stellar album, and release it to the success seen by The Nordic Mellow, is quite clearly not a normal attribute. There's still teamwork behind the project, however, and Siv namechecks producer Matt Ingram and UK PR Ellie Jones as people who she's hand-selected to work with.

The crack team she's compiled has certainly had a positive impact on her work: "It was a collective decision [...] to not rush [The Nordic Mellow] in any way and make sure it felt like the right time [to release it]. It was a really good decision. It allowed me to prepare mentally and physically for releasing it, and for the touring. Just enough that I felt really ready and anxious, but not annoyed that it was taking too long."

Looking ahead to her tour, Siv claims the "UK has been so warm to me, and I feel like I’ve been welcomed with open arms [by] other artists. You hear all the time that the UK is a difficult market – but it’s more that the UK has its tastes, and I happen to be lucky enough that my music has resonated decently!"

"It’s the same over here [in Norway] you know," she continues. "Some music doesn’t resonate over here but it would do in the UK. I think it’s just a matter of finding your market, and I’m very happy that the UK has been such a nice market for me to be in."


As for her live shows, she laughs, admitting she "love[s] playing for UK audiences because they’re always so responsive but also quite polite. I’ve always been a fan of moving because I tour so much. I think it can be a very helpful thing as a human being to visit new places - to put yourself in a place where you don’t know anyone to figure out who you are, because you’ve got no one to reflect back on you except yourself. You’re met with yourself. Whereas if you stay at home you’ve got all your friends and family and you kind of see who they see, rather than who you actually are. For me, that’s been a really fundamental thing in my songwriting. I’ve moved around and I’ve lived in different places and met myself in the mirror."


One Response to “Interview: Siv Jakobsen on the magic behind Nordic Mellow”


    1. Interview: Siv Jakobsen on the magic behind Nordic Mellow – Live List - 06/10/2017

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