From first feeling starstruck to an early music crush, Ivan Ave takes us through his most memorable musical firsts.

Renowned for his lyricism, Ivan Ave is the Norweigan MC blending an eclectic range of influences into his own distinctive sound. Having grown up in Telemark – an area known for its picturesque mountains and folk music heritage – the artist found his own references in the R&B records he discovered via his sisters. Later moving to New York and finding fresh energy in new environments, Ivan developed a vast soundscape of influences from hip-hop to 70s jazz and soul.


Having been releasing music of his own for almost 10 years, this week sees Ivan drop his fourth studio album: All Season Gear. Recorded through the pandemic, it’s a record documenting the highs and lows of lockdown life – and all of the everyday emotions that evolved through it. From questioning to healing, the free fall of chaos to falling in love, it’s an album grounded in feelings we can all relate to. Observing the overwhelming stimulation of our hyper-social information age, All Season Gear finds a pocket of stillness within it.


Taking a moment to reflect on the journey so far, Ivan looks back on some of his musical firsts – from realising he wanted to be an artist to almost giving it all up.

First track you ever made?
I don’t remember what it was called, but my friend Pedro and I entered into a youth talent show with a song about making all the girls dance.
First song you released officially?
Officially, I think it was the title track of the ‘Hands’ EP, with Fredfades.
First time you realised you wanted to be an artist?
Watching my sister’s Michael Jackson VHS, mid 90s.
First gig you went to?
Probably Looptroop Rockers.
First artist you remember loving?
At one point in my childhood, I had a big crush on Norwegian singer Herborg Kråkevik.
First time you felt like giving up?
I have given up several times, I just keep coming back to it. I remember quitting pretty seriously, right before I made a song called “Portals”, which was the one that ended up connecting me with Mndsgn, back in 2014 or so.
First time you felt starstruck?
Meeting Raphael Saadiq in his studio complex in LA.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?

Scoring both goals in the kids vs adults football match, at a summer camp in 2000.

Stream Ivan's latest release below: