What is your names?
My name is simply Hilma Nikolaisen. Nothing more, nothing less!
What is your genre of music?
I must say it depends on what project I am working on. My previous album Mjusic was a so-called ((neo) psychedelic) rock album. Now, I am currently feeling quite wild, exploring acoustic terrain with my new album Heritage.
Give us a little bio about you.
I used to be in different (trashy) bands from an early age, growing up with numerous siblings with a variety of musical needs and ambitions. Later, from 2005 I was busy playing bass in my brother Emil´s band Serena-Maneesh, which lasted for about five years. I left the band in 2010/2011 and got myself a proper education, a degree in Social Work. The very day I finished my final exams I found it urgent to write my own songs and explore a solo path. My debut album Puzzler was released in 2016, followed up by Mjusic in 2018. An exclusive live album vinyl was released June 2020, and here comes Heritage! I find them very different from each other, but I can definitely see the connection between them as well.
What made you go into music?
My father was some kind of a troubadour, played the organs in church and had a lot of guitars laying around everywhere in our house. As mentioned, I have many sisters and brothers, and the three older siblings were busy doing different music from early on. Playing music was the most natural thing to do. Besides, we did not have a television set.
Who are your influences?
I think I’ve been listening to 60´s and 70´s recordings the last decade. Todd Rundgren, Burt Bacharach, Sergio Mendes. Of course that sound must have influenced me in many ways. I get a feeling that great melodies had a main position in that period of time. I am a sucker for magic melodies. A lot of nylon string guitars going on, like Joao Gilberto. Sade, Pat Metheny, Gøran Fristorp
Are you signed?
Yes, in Norway my three studio albums are released on the underground label Fysisk Format. They mainly focus on punk/ hard core/ alternative music, but they hold quite a wide range of genres.
You released your new album ‘Heritage’, tell us more about the album.
To me it is a new and very different experience compared to my previous albums, in terms of song writing, performing and vocally. In many ways I had to start from scratch, step out of my comfort zone and experiment on how music works, these current songs, more or less unplugged. It felt like it had to be like this, bare and bold. An interesting process, indeed! In the beginning it felt rather frightening, everything so transparent and in many ways, frail. But that was in itself the core of the idea, grasping the new ideas in ways I haven’t explored before. I learned quite a few things by doing it this way.
Describe each track in two words.
Maybe Today (Satan): Meditative flute
Seven: Family matters
You Pt. II: A cappella nylon
Heritage: Nylon salutogenesis
Untitled (Where Are You Now): Ghosty clarinet
Season Blue: Cinematic piano
New Kids: Oslo´s Picasso and Roland CR-68
Time-Out Interlude: Harpeleik lullaby
All In (Into The Outset): All in!
What was the writing and recording process like?
The writing process started out with no specific goal in mind. A few songs appeared more or less coincidentally, exploring an acoustic nylon string guitar. I found them interesting to work with, so I kept going and more songs came along as I went further into the acoustic atmosphere. It was in fact a surprising and enlightening process. I managed to stay on that intuitive path throughout the recording process, going back and forth trying to maintain the veracity.
Will we see a music video for any of the tracks?
I hope so! I love the way the visual dimension can add something fresh, and potentially open things up. A very good friend of mine makes music videos, and it’s been way too long since we hung out. A music video project would be the perfect occasion.
What else can we expect in 2021?
I’ll hopefully get to play live shows, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, Armageddon/ Covid wise. I’ve also started working on new material lately, trying out new things with my dear fellow guitarist, Eirik. The new chapter appears to be very different from this Heritage project, on the very other side of the spectrum. Exciting!
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect?
An EP might be my next move, but I’ll wait and see what songs will come up.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Oh.. I hope I’ll be making music, if the fire is still burning!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
For this Heritage project I´ve stuck by a Stay close! mantra. It’s been a core value to stay on the acoustic path, to keep things warm, explicit and direct.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Gigs? Live music? Concerts? What’s that again?
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Oh yes, indeed! I don’t like the spam vibe, but I am trying to keep a decent flow on Instagram and Facebook. I will keep you posted on more or less relevant updates often enough!