Mag Britt Andersen is undoubtedly one of Norway’s most famous artists, and perhaps especially among children. She released a number of children’s albums – several with the late Trond Bronn.
This year, Andersen is related to the success of TV 2 “Every Time We Meet”. On Saturday, it was her turn to be welcomed into the show.
Working with young musicians in their mid-career now has been so inspiring. I think it’s very fun and exciting to be a part of. It’s a vitamin injection, Andersen tells Dagbladet.
Without revealing much about Saturday’s episode, we can say that more surprises await viewers. Jarle Bernhoft translated one of Andersen’s songs into English, and Arif wrote about one of Andersen’s children’s songs.
– I think all the explanations were very nice, and what you notice is that all the artists did it with love with the one they are going to pay tribute to. This is what makes it so cute. Andersen says you have your day and you can sit back and enjoy yourself and get one great translation after another.
During the first show that aired last week, Andreas “Tex” Hauckland was praised during the show. And Andersen tackled Tex’s “Angel, Don’t Go.” Tex was visibly affected, and Andersen was just a few meters away from him.
– I think he was special. When you play at concerts, the audience is very far away. If they cry or have tears in their eyes, you don’t see them because they are so far away. Here we saw the reactions to each other well.
– A little scary
In March of last year, she was asked to be on the programme. After a quiet year without concerts due to the Corona pandemic, she made no secret of the fact that it was one of the reasons she said yes.
I’m starting to yearn to go out and play again, not least to meet people. If I were to say yes to “every time we meet,” Andersen says, now is the time to do it.
– Then I had a very good time preparing for the songs. I think it was a little scary to say yes too. But I am very happy with that.
His music career begins
The thing that helps explain why Mag Brett Andersen’s investment in music goes back to childhood. She was born in 1956 and grew up in Soukaria in Totten – a “very small place” that she describes as having about 2,000 residents at the time.
Mom was at home when the kids got older, and she focused a lot on being there for the kids. Father worked in an installation company, and the job also affected family life.
– The job required a lot of him, but when he was at home, he was very present with his music. He played and sang a lot for us. Andersen says I have many good memories from both.
In her childhood, they sang at school every day, and she also sang in children’s choirs. The father played at several venues in Totten, and 11-year-old mag Brett Anderson participated and sang.
When she was 14 years old, she participated in a singing competition in Gjøvik. Bruno’s band listened to it from Gjøvik with, among others, Viggo Sandvik, later known from Vazelina Bilopphøggers. Andersen ended up becoming Bruno’s vocalist. She rehearsed with them one day a week and played concerts on the weekends.
– It was a very interesting band to sing and join, I worked with them for several years, before I decided to do something more difficult in my life: get a permanent job.
Andersen’s idea was to return to the dream she’d been dreaming of since she was five: to be a nanny.
The choice should lead to the turning point in her career.
She started working as a kindergarten at Ullevål Hospital. Coincidentally, actress and lyricist Trond Bran gave birth to children in the kindergarten where she worked. The two met in kindergarten when Brænne had to pick up her children. At that time, Andersen released the two solo albums “A Little Wonder” and “It Swings in Me”.
When the two met, Brænne had heard Andersen’s solo recordings, and had come up with lyrics for what would later become the success of “Balloonvisa.” He wanted Andersen to write the melody, and she did – with “appropriate results” as she describes it herself. So the tune was given to her husband, Jer Holmsen, whom she soon married 40 years ago.
With that, the collaboration began, and Balloonvisa was played on the radio every day, after Brænne sold the single on NRK for 25 kroner each.
In 1985 they released the children’s album “Did You Hear It?” The following year they released the album “People are weird”. The collaboration resulted in 100,000 records sold and appearances on Barne-TV.
The turning point
She has no doubt that the collaboration with Brænne and her husband was a turning point for her.
– That was when it got really fun. Our plan has been so much fun with all the kids’ records and kids TV shows we’ve made. It was very fun. Trond and I said to each other several times “how lucky we are to be allowed to work with this which we think is so interesting, and there are so many who love it”.
She says the goal was first and foremost to entertain the kids, but they also wanted to make something of interest to them.
Andersen says “balloon songs” address important matters that are relevant to our society today, and to the world in general for that matter.
– So many beautiful memories
Almost nine years ago, her dear friend and colleague of many years passed away. Trond Braun passed away on March 16, 2013, at the age of 59. At the funeral, Andersen and her husband, Geir Holmsen, performed the Balloon Song.
While filming Every Time We Meet, Andersen thought a lot about Brænne. Some of the songs that were performed were written by Brænne and Holmsen.
Then I thought, “What experience would Trond have to see and hear these songs sung by these artists?” I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I’m still thinking about it. I have many good memories from the cooperation we had for many years.
She describes the former friend and colleague as a “very warm and cheerful guy”.
– He had a bit of a weird sense of humor in many ways. He was sarcastic and joked a lot. He was always in an insanely good mood. We were constantly meeting for lunch to talk about new projects. He was very easy to work with and good at writing.
She says Bronn was very good at writing the stories she told him as poems or words.
– He was so powerful that he was able to convey what I told him so well. It really lived up to everything we talked about and put it down on paper. Working with him was a lot of fun, after all I worked with him for as many years as I did.
– He feels lucky
After a career spanning over 35 years, Andersen said that over the years she has received a lot of good feedback from her fans. And it doesn’t end there. In recent years, she has collaborated with her husband Geir and author Lars Sabi Christensen on the project A Quiet Place.
– I feel lucky that we accomplished what we did. Andersen says there are often three generations sitting in the hall during concerts, and you can’t get better reactions.
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