Marie Ulven is a singer, songwriter, and producer from Norway, who makes music under the name girl in red. She just released her debut album in April 2021, but she already has a big fanbase and she’s gotten a lot of critical acclaim from two EPs and singles that she’s released online, including a couple that went gold. The New York Times included her work in their best songs of the year in both 2018 and 2019, and she was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Norwegian Grammys. "Do you listen to girl in red?" has also become code on TikTok, a kind of shibboleth, to ask if someone’s a lesbian. In this episode, Marie breaks down the song "Serotonin," a song that started as a video she posted to her own TikTok in the early days of lockdown in 2020. You’ll hear the original version she recorded on her own, before collaborating with Norwegian Grammy-winning producer Matias Téllez, and later, with Grammy-winning artist and producer Finneas O’Connell, in order to finish the song.
For more, visit songexploder.net/girl-in-red
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You're listening to song exploder, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. My name is Rishi case your way, song exploder is sponsored by Dave's killer, bread. I actually love Dave's killer bread, but they gave me a script. To read so period is attention shoppers we now have taste in the bread, Aisle Dave's killer, bread, that's right, an organic bread, that's no longer a sedative for your tastebuds Dave's killer. Bread is on a mission to make the most of the loaf.
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an affiliates national annual average insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with progressive between June two thousand and twenty and may two thousand and twenty one potential savings will vary discounts and are not available in all states in situations before this episode starts. I want to let you know that there's some frank discussion of mental health issues, including panic, attacks, medical fears and thoughts of self.
there is also some explicit language. Real, then, is a singer songwriter and producer from Norway who makes music under the name of girl in red. She just room
Dave Debut album in April two thousand twenty one.
You got a lot of fans and critical acclaim from two peas and signals that you released on my, including
couple of songs that went gold, the New York Times
included or songs in their best songs of the year for about twenty, eight and twenty ninety last year.
She was nominated for best newcomer at the norwegian Grammys, and this year she won their award for international success of the year,
Do you, listen to girl in red is also become,
and the code on Tik Tok, a sort of shibboleth to ask
if someone's a lesbian in this episode,
marine breaks down the song serotonin a song that started as a video she posted to her own tiktok in the early days of lockdown in twenty twenty
You hear the original version she recorded on her own before she started.
with producer retires tellers and later
with Grammy winning artist and producer Phineas O'Connell, who helped finish the song,
his weary and I am the artist
my girl in red.
and my mom's house is in Horton in Norway,
which is a very small town like an hour outside of Oslo. That's where I grew up. That's where I learned everything.
When it comes to music and the others where I became, who I am so, it was the beginning,
of corn quarantine and I had gone by,
I to my mom, because I was real,
mentally ill and I was completely dysfunctional. So I had stay there. I was
going through some really weird stuff. Like I, I thought
was going to die whether it was from like blood clots or like heart attacks.
it's like all these, like weird health issues, because I just
had a feeling of illness. I
we believed those feelings of illness to be real and
it's really hard being home, also because
I was suddenly leaving my everyday life and also the world was ending. It felt like at least to me.
I know he was a lot of things changing very fast.
I think I started therapy in January or something of twenty twenty, and I
our eyes. I she D, which made a lot of sense, but then I
could no longer meet my therapist, so we ended up doing Skype, calls which weren't really
working for me and then calling on
phone, and I was like, I can't even see you and I do
like you understand what I'm going through right now, I remember
starting thinking of the song, because I just
but to my therapist- and I pretty sure, that's when I realized- I don't want to talk to my therapist anymore.
I was in my room and then I started filming a tik messing around in logic like I always do and
the first thing I wrote was the intro,
that a I record is really cool
guitar thing, and then
like sporadically filming some parts and then ended up just being this
I take thing that
didn't really take over the world, but it was just a beat
at that time, really
Videos are fun to make not necessarily like the editing part, but I think it's more of like the activity of
staying busy with something is good. As
Finally, when you're in a really bad place, it's good to kind of be a little bit distracted when
it's very easy to spiral into your own mind.
I have actually never had us. Stick top turn into a song before
after I made that take talk. I just feel like there was something there I was excited about the guitar. I was excited about this baby.
and I was just excited about the beat
and I started singing like I'm running low on serotonin chemical imbalance, gummy, twisting things
it lies with Madison there's
tell Jeff to these feelings I feel like I learned
about like serotonin in like pop culture? I also actually
talk to my step. Mom
and then she just told me serotonin. Is this thing that
levels your mood and your emotions? Your brain is just like this science project really and we're all kind of
her own testing
rabbit to our own brain
the science project, running by itself,
can hide from the corners of my mind and terrified of what's inside
and then I was
I don't what to do anymore, I'm going to take this to the studio
Creating an album all by yourself is a very daunting task. I knew,
I couldn't do it all by myself, but it was.
Important for me too,
feel like I have full creative control and to not sit in the back of the studio and watch someone do something with
me saying anything but
I don't think it would be as fun to do it all by myself. So
my and person his name is: will he
Texted me and suggested that
As tell us. This guy in Bergen was the right guy for me
in the beginning of the studio version of serotonin.
I started getting like all these, like rap ideas like
faster lyricism. We did that together and made this like darker
universe in this rap part.
me singing over the audio,
from the computer, creating.
I was in a total different head
space, that at that time I was about to get a dog and-
it was summer. I was feeling a lot more hopeful, but we're
dang what had happened earlier that year, I thought-
and to learn x. I wear a lot darker then. Maybe I had anticipated, I got in.
it was the thoughts like cutting my hands off like jumping in front of a bus like how do I make the stop when it feels? Like my therapist said to me, please don't let me go crazy. Put me in a field with daisies might not work, but I'll take them. Maybe when I think back
and I hear those lyrics-
especially hearing me perform them without any
I think playing in the back- it's like whoa, just like girl,
I find it a lot easier to write about things that have
been very hard when there
that hard anymore, especially
now like intrusive thoughts
therapy, I learned that having a
if that does not mean that you actually want to do them, is just a thought.
I thought it's just a thought and
I have to do anything about it. So.
so when I realized that I was like oh shit. Finally, I'm able to say this stuff in a song because the weight of it was kind of lifted
I'm breaking daily, but only you can save me, so I'm capitulate and crying like a fucking baby. That was,
first take and I was like I will never be able to replicate this. Take it's not even
perfectly sung, but like the energies perfect and after we made that the
I started clearing up a lot more and we added a lot of weird percussion like we had. Is it like a bus crashing and then together we really found their very euphoric chorus. The we started out with a forum for Betake De Dah, Dah Dah Dah Dah, and I was like no. No, I don't want to fall on the floor beat so we,
added those two,
make it less. Four. On the floor, like the running kind of beat, instead
but then it took me awhile
how to get the second rap part, because the first rap
lean so heavily on the lyrics and it leans so heavily on the rhythmic parts. It was
hard to get meaningful lyrics and the exact same rhythm on the second part intrusive.
Like burning my hair off like hurting somebody I love like. Does it ever really stop?
control. I lose it incredibly impulsive, so scared, I'm gonna end up doing something stupid and then
I totally lost track of it. We both lost track of it. We ended up making like
thirteen versions of that song, for
long time we were really lost on the entirety of like serotonin.
I felt like I needed just like a fresh set of ears that could just be like oh
Let me try some shit and then we send.
O'Connell, and then he added
more per caution in the rap parts
yeah. He added this really cool, since that gave it a lot more energy that made it so much cooler like Phineas, really clear the path to the dna that I had initially felt. When I made that Tik Tok.
The hiking daily, but only can see me so I'm capitulating climb like a fucking baby Bella. I don't want to be sick. I don't have that data data data data,
the mumbling part is just full on rambling, because I had not written lyrics yet, and I was
the booth- and that was all I could get out- and
I sent that to Phineas and he said what, if you keep them,
rambling in there, like I thought I was
Funny and as I oh
immediately light that idea, because it was so strange and so weird and like I know I was
have fun and the song is so dark, but also being able to have fun in the midst of it all. It's like that way. I.
with my hunt, mental health now is like laugh about,
Certain things so keeping that
are in a song that,
Also in neatly like serious as that was there was a good move but tat one of them.
I don't want to be the guy. I don't have that data data data data
and then it has this gigantic outright,
Oh, that was a timpani.
And I've been using a lot of companies lately
Mathias, said that the timpani are like the
fashion, Sub hit before we
started like using like eight hundred eight
and that's kind of what we were
for the day.
I made this guitar thing that plays the lead, melody there
I doubt that with a bunch of buckles and then Phineas dead. My vote goes with even though it will cause, and it just became the sink. Big release
listening to the outro in the context of the album is in,
the blame moving to me because it
Is this song with so many emotions that, like in the end like I,
wouldn't even put anything else in there, and it just feels like this release and kind of like I dunno.
going to terms with everything that goes on in my head
the actor those my balloon growth. I was
and are talking to a doctor,
that's like an audio clip. My friend recorded after Michigan.
another branch onto my eyes. I'm saying
Can you feel it in your body? If you get a
at in your head or something it felt, like my
heart stopped beating and that my body got really heavy. I had just had a major
panic attack at hotel in Bergen while making the album and hold.
I'm just going to tell my daughter go to bed, like you say, thank you, say: okay, she goes like you say,
Yes, I had just had like a major panic attack and I
did, they put it in the outro because it felt like
okay, here's a song where I've sort of like
been really honest and I've also
maybe added a little few bits and pieces to
make it all sound, okay and good, and here at the
and is like the reality
today. I need to live with all of this shit. Every single day like I do,
get something out of talking to my therapist for four months:
I did learn a lot about myself and I also learned a lot about
mental health and I think,
that's how I was able to go from. I can't go.
Through a day without thinking, I'm going to die to be
well to sing about it and rap about it. And now, if I ever get
I thought like that. I am able to just let go of it and then fall asleep.
Has any to get in the service, even though I am I dont think I'm gonna die every day,
The mental health it just moves around if it's good, then it
somewhere else to eat you alive. I know your serotonin by girl in red and its entirety.
I'm running on steroids, chemical imbalance, gummy, twisting things stable with man, there's no doubt from the Gatt, ensures the thoughts like setting me something invented by mass. Like make my type you saved me crazy, daisies, maybe you'll like baby. I don't know I just intrusive. That's like somebody like you'd stop when there is still time to adapt to it is fairly dates have pursued. It should pay to learn more
visit song, exploder dot net you'll, find links to
buy or stream serotonin, and you can watch the music video
also watch Marie's original tik Tok, where the song first began thanks to square space for sponsoring the show square spaces in all. In one platform that lets you build a beautiful website for your business or your art or you banned. If you want to sell stuff, they ve got a commerce templates. If you want to make a blog, they give you buttons to your audience, can share your posts on social media and you can have multiple contributors seeking work on your site together, check out square space, dot com for a free trial. When you re the launch go to square space, dot com, slash explode her to save ten percent off your first purchase of a website or domain song exploded, sponsored by borrow a new kind of furniture company. Everything they make is designed to
Life easier, the furniture is easy to assemble. The fabrics are stain resistant, the shelves are easy to install and the delivery is free right now you can get seventy five dollars off your first order at borrow dot com, slash song exploder, that's borrow B: U, R, R, o w dot com, slash song exploder for seventy five dollars off, borrow dot com, slash song exploder. This episode was made by me with editing help from Casey deal artwork by Carlos Lerma and music clearance by Kathleen Smith. Special thanks to Phineas and teeny lieberson song exploder is a proud member of radio.
Hope you from PR acts a network of independent listener supported artist owned upon cast. You can learn more about our shows at Radio Tokyo, DOT Fm. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at risk. Your way, and you can follow the show at song explode. You can also get a song explode or t shirt at song exploded, dot net slash
Sure I'm Rishikesh your way. Thanks for listening
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-27.