Hanne's dream debut

Last updated 14:15 29/04/2013
Hanne Jostensen
Lyrical love: Hanne Jostensen is grateful for all the help she has received.

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An Island Bay-based Norwegian singer-songwriter has achieved a dream with the launch of her debut album in Wellington last month.

Hanne Jostensen, whose album Watch Over Me comprises a mixture of acoustic and pop, attributed the successful release to an enormous support base.

"My friends and family have been really generous in donating their time, creativity and skills," she said.

"My name is on the cover, but really this is a massive team effort."

Relationships and contacts had built up over time, she said.

"I hoped initially to work with musicians I really wanted to, to start those relationships, and I've done that."

One of those was Norwegian pianist Rasmus Solem, who Jostensen had known from the music scene back home.

Jostensen wrote and sang all five of the album's songs.

Personal experiences were contained in the lyrics, but Jostensen said she wanted listeners to think about their own lives.

"I hope people can take away their thoughts and listen to it from their perspective rather than mine."

Born in Norway, Jostensen came to New Zealand in 2004.

After studying management at Massey University in Palmerston North, she decided to explore her creative side.

"I've always been into music and was just so keen to sing and write songs in a language other than my first," she said.

Listening to songs by good friend and Wellington singer- song writer Steph Casey provided inspiration.

"I was impressed with Steph and in 2009 she encouraged me to attend a songwriting workshop," Jostensen said.

The workshop, taught by Wellington musician Charlotte Yates, was "the best", she said.

"I never learnt so much about writing throughout my whole university degree as I did on those four Saturday mornings.

"Charlotte was just amazing and has been mentoring me for the last 2 years."

It had been full-on since the recording took place at Braeburn Recording Studio in Wellington last December, and especially since the album's release, Jostensen said.

There were daily visits to the post office to send out albums.

Feedback had been positive from friends and family in Wellington and Norway, she said.

Meanwhile, Jostensen said she hoped to continue her work with live gigs and writing over winter.

Traditional Norwegian songs would also be explored in the near future, she said.

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- The Wellingtonian

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