Ane Brun is one of the highly talented Scandinavian exports braving the waters to bring their music to the UK and beyond. A great songwriter, guitarist and vocalist whose music should be a must on everyone’s play list. We caught up with Ane to find out a little more about this particular Scandinavian.

R13: Your first experiences of performing were as a busker - did that feel like a baptism of fire, as an artist?
AB: It was definitely a challenging start. It was a great way of throwing myself out there. Still, I have never really been scared of performing in front of people. A few months after the busking experience, I started playing my own songs for people, and that was a bit scarier than playing covers that almost no one had heard before.

R13: How did you go from a busker to writing and performing your own music?
AB: It felt like a natural progression to start writing my own stuff after a while. I’ve always had a need to express myself creatively, and now I had found a tool to do that. When I started performing my own stuff, playing music got a totally different meaning to me. And I got even more inspired than I was before. I didn't really have big ambitions of becoming a full time musician; I was still studying in the University on my 5th year when my first album came out. But as I started my own record company, and the album suddenly was released all over Europe, I didn't have time or energy to finish my studies, and it became a full time job just like that! And I loved it! And still do.

R13: You started playing music a bit later than many artists. Was it hard to take the leap of faith into a career in music?
AB: My last answer kind of touched this question I think. But I can add that it was all new to me. I didn't have any close friends who had been touring musicians or record company owners, so I had to learn by doing. And sometimes it was rough. But looking back I am very thankful for having done that journey, since it’s made me more prepared for challenges now.

R13: You've mentioned that some songs take months or years to finish. What inspires you to finish them?
AB: It can take time to let an idea grow in me. And I might struggle with finishing some lyrics or the music for a song, and then suddenly one day it comes to me. It sometimes has to mature for a long time so that what started in my subconscious floats up to the surface.

R13: How do you think your music has evolved with your own life experiences?
AB: It has given the songs and the lyrics a deeper and wider meaning.

R13: You've mentioned before that you wanted to keep music as a hobby so that it couldn't get ruined for you. Has it been difficult not to be affected by the pressures and demands of the music industry?
AB: I feel that I’ve been dodging a lot of these "pressures and demands" since I’ve been my own boss all the time. I’ve never been in the position that I’ve had to do something that someone else has decided for me. And I have little contact with the major label music industry, apart from when I collaborate on i.e. distribution.

R13: What made you decide to run your own label?
AB: First of all my ambitions as a musician at the time were at a level of just wanting to record my songs and be able to sell them to my fans. I had no huge dreams of touring the world or becoming famous. So after talking to a couple of record companies, and realizing that it would be just as slow and hard to get a record deal as everyone had told me, I figured I could use that energy putting it out myself. I spend my student funding and a composer’s scholarship to pay the first bills, and luckily my album sold quite a few copies so I could stay in business. I have never regretted my choice to start my own company. It has given me freedom to decide where, with who, how and when to express myself creatively. Especially the when, has been important. There are a lot of examples of talented musicians and songwriters gone disillusioned while waiting for the record company to let them release their music.

R13: Your duets album shows you have many talented artists as friends. How do you think having the support of those friendships has helped or affected you?
AB: It has been very important. Inspiring, helpful, fun and very educational.

R13: You've travelled a lot with your music. Has that ever been tough to deal with?
AB: This is the toughest part of the job. But I love it and hate it at the same time. I’m really thankful for the opportunity to see so much of the world, and at the same time it’s hard to keep up a normal everyday life at home and on tour.

R13: You're set to play the Hotel Cafe during your USA tour. Do you think community-building places like that are as important for the art itself, as they are for the artists?
AB: Yes I do. My experience of such places are very positive.

R13: What are the first things that you want to do as soon as you get home?
AB: Meet my closest friends, sleep in my own bed.

R13: What is it you enjoy the most about being an artist?
AB The freedom of my job, and the possibilities I have to express myself creatively and to develop as an artist.

R13: What are your future plans?
AB: Touring, making new music, recording, as long as I still enjoy it as much as I do now.