June 19;Norwegian blues musician, Monica Heldal has quietness about her persona, like an alabaster doll who lives in a music box. And when she talks about her music she says, “My father plays music and so it came to me very naturally. I taught myself how to play guitar and later I attended music college, so it happened gradually over a period of time,” says the singer-songwriter who was in town for the third instalment of The Ode To The Blues, an annual festival at CounterCulture that commemorates the birth anniversary of Robert Johnson, the father of the blues.
Her lack of clarity about what she wants to do is age appropriate and reflects that she is all of 21.
Monica seems a feather that drifts in the breeze still unsure how seriously she wants to pursue music, “Being a musician is a dream and I am releasing my first album in September, I hope people like it. I love what I am doing right now and I’ll be happy to keep doing it. I don’t have to be big I just want to make a living,” she smiles. She has a style and method of playing that she believes sets her apart, “I use my fingers as picks, finger-picking, it came more easily to me. I found strumming hard but it worked for me because finger-picking is a different sound. With this, I play a mix of blues, roots, folk, I pick out elements of country and make music.”
Monica writes her own songs in English, she says, “Sometimes it is really easy and sometimes I really need to push it out.” Personally she likes acoustic sounds, “There is something organic and natural about it.”
Her long artistic fingers, are adorned with a Claddagh ring — a traditional Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship. We float away from the music and discuss the symbolism of the ring and love, the time she spent in Ireland and how she found her way back to Norway. And about India she loved what she saw and is sure she will be back.