CREATIVE PEOPLE SERIES: Hannah Agnethe Pold

Her aura is like the feeling you get when you walk through Paris in pink sunset in the middle of May. With the Eiffel tower blinking from a distance and the colors of the buildings reflecting the color of the sky. She is both elegant and eccentric. The next person I interviewed for the creative series is sopran Hannah Agnethe Pold.

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When did you start singing? 

I started singing in a church choir when I was 7 years old. I actually told everyone that I had been on waiting list for the choir from I was 4 years old. Something that was not true, because there was no waiting list. I was really exited about it. I was naturally kind of shy, but in the choir I was really outgoing.

You are studying opera? What made you study that? 

I had a song teacher from when I was 12 years old who was really into opera. So that’s the form I was used to singing and I thought it was really fun. I actually started studying at blindern (University of Oslo) and I knew right away that it was not where I belonged. So I dropped out after a month and started studying music at a county college.

What or who are you inspired by?

I‘m most inspired by everything visual, especially pictures. I actually get more inspired by fresh air than listening to the “best” opera singers in the world. I also get really inspired when I can sing in beautiful languages like french and actually understand the context of the song in that language. It gives me so much more energy and inspiration than singing the most difficult songs and being the “best”. I also find a lot of inspiration in going to concerts. It fills me up and I always become so motivated afterward. Especially when I watch a concert at the Opera, but also places like Øyafestivalen. 

I also like to think that I get really inspired by instagram, but I don’t actually know if that’s really true. Maybe I trick my self to believe that it inspires me, but in reality it actually is kind of depressing. Instagram can be inspiring if you have a balance, but sometimes it can become to much and it is really easy comparing your life with other peoples lives on instagram. Which can become depressing.

You say that you become really inspired after watching for example an amazing concert. Can you describe that feeling? 

Yes, I actually become like you are right now while interviewing me. Filled with energy. It’s like a high because you are doing something you actually like doing.

(ps: click on the image to see the photo series)

Do you have a person or persons that you are really inspired by? Such as a role model or something? 

I don’t know. I think the whole thing with “role models” are difficult because there are people I am inspired by and look up to, but they do things differently than me. I think that it is really important for me to not look at my profession as a classical musician, but rater look at it from a hip hop perspective.

What do you mean by “looking at it from a hip hop perspective”? 

They are so much better at promoting themselves. They want to be seen and heard. In classical music people are more silent and wait for the opportunities to come to them. I think we should have more courage to stand up for us selves and meet the industry in the same way as musicians that do hip hop or pop. Because we can see that they are the one’s who are succeeding now. I also don’t want to be put in a box or that people can label me as “Hannah, the one who sings classical music”. I would rather be seen as a singer, not just a person who sings classical music. That’s why I made soundcloud, so I could reach more people and a variety of people. That’s also why I’m posting videos of myself singing on instagram, because that’s where you reach a variety of people nowadays. We have to follow the trends as well and not get stuck in the same pattern that things have always been done.

I feel like classical music are a really emotional form of music. Do you agree with that? 

Definitely. It’s actually a thing that I notice when I am at a concert and the person singing don’t feel what they are singing about. It’s as much the instrumentalists as the singers. In classical music we learn that we have to show what we are feeling trough the music. My song teachers always says “Remember your voice is the mirror of the soul”.

Do you feel like you have to go into the feeling you are singing about? Like an actor? 

Yes, but I have to remember that I’m not the one who should cry, it is the audience.

What is your dream scenario when it comes to your career? 

I want the be a soloist in the opera. Like an employed soloist at the norwegian opera. That’s my dream and I want to be it here in Oslo. I actually started studying opera because I wanted a job where I could travel, but lately I’ve fallen more and more in love with Oslo. I think I want a life with stability, family and a dog more than I want to live a life on tour. I also have a dream and it is to learn people to communicate. I want to use my knowledge from singing to learn people like actors and politicians to talk and maybe studying rhetoric at the university. I also really want to become a yoga teacher! I actually think that the combination of those three thing could be the most amazing workshop.

(ps: click on the image to see the photo series)

Is there someone who saw your talent early or have been an important piece in you walking down the classical music road? 

MOM. My mom has been the most important person for me. When I was around 14 years old my mom called my song teacher and asked her to be honest about my talent. Like if I was really good or just “really good in my parents eyes” because they were my parents. After that she has supported me 100 %.

That is really beautiful! What does singing mean to you? 

Everything. It means literally everything to me, but at the same time if I had to loose one of my senses and I had to choose one of them I would have chosen to loose my voice. Because I think it is more important to listen and see and smell. There are many ways you can communicate instead of using your voice.

If you had to choose on song as the soundtrack of your life? Which one would it be?

Nuit d’étoiles av Debussy. It is one of the most beautiful songs in the world and it is about love.

Do you have any daily rituals?

I always make a latte for breakfast in the beautiful porcelain cup I got from my mom for my birthday. It is a really important ritual for me to drink that cup of coffee and I like to drink it in bed. When I make breakfast I always make a spread with all my food. It is funny because I have to do it even if I don’t have time for it. I also have to sing at least 40 minutes a day. I do it everyday. I’ve done it consistently the past couple of weeks and because of it I feel like I am in a flow state. I also wish that I had a asana ritual.

What is the best tips you ever received?

It has to be “If you smile at someone and they smile back you have a friend”.

What are your tips for people wanting to go the creative and unconventional way in life? 

DO IT! Do what makes you happy and you will find your way no matter what. Do your best and don’t give up.

Where can people find you?

at hannahagnethe on instagram and Hannah Agnethe Pold on soundcloud.

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