- Words Isabelle Cassidy
One of Norway's breaking talents, we chat to rapper Ash Olsen about her debut EP and latest single, "DAT THING LIKE ME".
Tipped as Norway’s biggest breaking talent, 21-year-old Ash Olsen isn’t your average rapper. Her rural farm upbringing is a far cry from what she describes as her alternative persona: an American street rapper. Writing lyrics inspired by this countryside upbringing, Olsen is ready to graduate from her bedroom to the big stage.
A breakthrough star in Norway, Olsen has enjoyed a mainstay on national radio and played two packed shows at festival by: Larm. With the recent release of her debut EP ‘VIBE KILLER’ and brand new single “DAT THING LIKE ME”, 2022 promises to bring the artist wider international attention.
Notion chatted to Ash about her achievements so far, musical influences and how she feels her unusual upbringing has informed her current musical process.
Congratulations on your new single ‘DAT THING LIKE ME’ from your upcoming EP! Can you tell us a bit about this single and what inspired it?
Thank you!! There’s not really that much to say about it tbh, it was more a vibe I was on, and just me having fun in the studio.
Your upbringing was different to most rappers. Do you think growing up on a farm in rural Norway has shaped your musical process or been a source of inspiration? How so?
Haha, to me, I feel like it gave me the peace and the opportunity to blast music from a young age without any neighbours getting pissed off.
You’ve spoken about learning English to be able to rap in a second language. What was this like?
Yea when I started recording myself and shit, I always listened back and cringed so hard bc of my pronunciations and my writing. So I had to really learn and study the language for it to sound good and flow right. It was a pain in the ass and many many hours of practice, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!
What’s your process for writing lyrics?
First I start with maybe a melody or a riff or something, then I just hop on the mic and start freestyling. And when I feel like I have something I just keep going off of that and piece it all together.
You’ve talked about hearing Tupac for the first time as a teenager and being inspired to rap for the first time, who are some other of your musical heroes?
Yes! Well My first ever idol was Michael Jackson! But I remember that the first artist that I kind of related to musically was xxxtentacion.
You’re set to perform at P3 Gull (Norway’s equivalent to the Brits), would you consider it a career highlight? What have been some others?
Yea definitely, this is my 5th performance ever since I started this shit, so to me this is for sure a career highlight so far!
Is there anywhere you’d love to perform, or something you’d want to tick off your career bucket list?
There’s not really a specific place but I’d love to go anywhere the music takes me. Something I 100% wanna cross off my bucket list is having a number 1 song.
What are some of your favourite songs to perform live?
Right now it’s probably KitKat because that’s the song most people are waiting for to hear it seems, and the energy just raises like crazy when it comes on.
How would you describe your upcoming EP in a couple of sentences?
Just a first representation of me and my sound.
Finally, what can fans expect from Ash Olsen in the future?
A lot of diversity!