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  • David Bentley

Featured artist – ARY. What happened to the Norwegian songstress with the Caribbean roots?

Back in 2017 I reviewed an up and coming young Norwegian singer-songwriter by the name of Ariadne Loinsworth Jenssen, or ARY as she is known professionally. Shortly afterwards I saw her performing at the Reeperbahn Festival out of the side of a converted double decker bus, the N-Joy bus as it is known and to a sizeable crowd. It was quite touching; she was so overcome by the numbers of foreigners that knew the words to her songs that she burst into tears.

At the time she was quite easily pigeonholed as electro-pop and there were quite a few of those around. Even so there was something about her which marked her out. The song I’d reviewed, ‘Already There’, came at the subject of love from a different angle and with contemplative lyrics. There was no wailing and sobbing over lost romances and broken hearts. Instead, the young Trondheim-raised songstress embraced the concept of love, lust and the brief encounter-style affair for all it is worth. “There’s no need to comfort me; for I go where he goes, and I know what he knows; I’m already there…”

A previous song, ‘Childhood Dreams’, which has clocked up some 15 million Spotify streams, went so far as to analyse her own development as a songwriter and performer and brought her to the attention of music media playlist compilers across Europe. In fact, in a vote to select a top ten ‘Ones to Watch’, a group of 38 Norwegian insiders comprised of ‘tastemakers’, festival bookers and music journalists were unanimous in their praise; they all agreed Ary was the most promising new artist to come out of Norway in 2017.

It was quite easy to discern her individuality even then and perhaps because of the influence of her Caribbean roots. I believe her grandmother is from Trinidad. She might not be FKA Twigs, who has a similar lineage, but she’s the nearest Norway has to her.

But then she mysteriously vanished. It was only when I compared another artist to her quite recently that she popped into my head for the first time in three years. According to a magazine article published in June of this year she became disillusioned with the pop world, seemingly unhappy with how her sound was being “shaped” by other producers (she is a producer herself). In another article she revealed that she had recently lost her twin brother, which must be a huge wrench for anyone.

Resulting from this, she released her first entirely self-produced single in June, which she wrote and performed on her own, called ‘Oh My God’ and her first under a new record deal with Island. It is quite different to previous releases and she described it as “the start of a new era”, marking the firsttime she started making exactly what she wanted, without thinking about who’s going to hear it or if or where it’s going to live post-release.

Since then she’s gone quiet again and she’s not particularly active on social media but we can at least be content to know she’s still around and hopefully there will be more to come from her in the future.

Two videos here. The first is of ‘Childhood Dreams’ from 2017.

And the second is the aforementioned ‘Oh My God’, which is tasty. Not sure about the video though, it looks like she’s been watching the videotape in ‘The Ring’.

Find her on Facebook.


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