Get To Know... Neon Ion
Norweigan singer-songwriter, Natalie Sandtorv, has been releasing ethereally vibey tunes under the act Neon Ion since late 2019.
Making the most of a chaotic 2020, she was among the first to jump at the opportunity to partake in live stream shows, with her April performance at the prestigious Ocean Sound Recordings.
And as if break-out single Bring It Back could get any better, our ears have been blessed with an ephemeral acoustic version, a take on the track which only adds dimension to an already delicious track, showcasing her otherworldly vocals.
We caught up with Sandtorv to chat roots, influence and the entrepreneurial hardships of the music biz.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been making music for?
I'm a singer born between mountains and fjords in beautiful Ålesund, on the west coast of Norway. Music has always been my number passion 1 in life, and I've been doing it since forever, I really can't remember when it started. I studied jazz music in music conservatories in Norway, and in Copenhagen. And I lived a while in Berlin, and really love the art scene there, I still go there all the time both for work and just to get inspired. My solo project is Neon Ion and I just released the album Heart Echoes in May!
At what point in your life did you decide to make a career out of your music, and what influenced that decision?
I remember it quite clearly. I was 19, and I had just finished high school, and started social anthropology studies. After one week, I woke up and totally freaked out. It was as if my body had this physical reaction to me moving in the wrong direction in life. I packed all my stuff, jumped on a bus, and moved back to my hometown for one year of non stop rehearsing, created a band, and from there I haven't done anything else.
What is the main source of influence for your songwriting?
My restless self! I can't be in one place for too long, and I guess I end up in a lot of different situations, experience a lot of different cultures and people. I really love movies and TV-shows that move me, and I can often use quotes or situations from there in lyrics.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself through making music?
That I really love working with other creatives, and that I'm a solo act in writing. I am at my happiest with my band, producer and co-writers.
What is something you wish you’d known when you first got into the music industry?
That it's not just about being a musician, you should also be an entrepreneur. No music career looks the same, so you really have the power to build your very own expression and job. It's both terrifying and amazing at the same time!
Who are some of your favourite upcoming artists from the city you live in?
One of my best friends, multi-instrumentalists, who has also been playing guitar in my band for years, Eirik Havnes, just recently started performing his beat poetry, and it's out of this world! He is really the smartest person I've ever met, and he combines his superman knowledge with words that really hits you both where it hurts, and where it matters.
What would your dream tour & rider look like?
My dream is to just live on the road, tour, and never go home! So I would really want to tour everywhere. Some cities that I long to play in are L.A, San Fran, Milano, Tokyo, and Camp Flog Gnaw and Coachella would be insane! I love backstages, and I love it when they get you cool local stuff and food. So you learn something fun about the place you are in. I've been on tours in Italy where the hosts cooked for me, and that beats a fancy restaurant any day!
If your music was to soundtrack any film or TV show, which would you choose?
Anything by Luca Guadagnino who made Call Me By Your Name and We Are Who We Are.
What’s the bucket list goal for you as an artist?
1.Do this until I die! 2.Work with some of my dream producers, Grades would be amazing 3. Create music that resonates with someone that needs it 4. Tour in the US! 5. To have someone do a cover of one of my songs, that would be really cool! 6. To have my music in a movie and TV-shows 7. Spread love and good energy