Written by Rasmus Svebestad
At noon Saturday April 16th I got the opportunity to talk to Sondre Justad. We sat down on a bench outside festsalen, and I began the interview. I started by asking Justad if he had any relation to UKA from before. He answered that he didn’t, but that he had been to Ås once. He had been here on a poetry party, and he told me he had a great impression of the people and the environment here.
And Justad kept telling how great it was that people was interested in and wanted to study, how to make a more sustainable future. We quickly agreed that it was nice that Ås gathered so many green educations and people with interest in the renewable. He also repeated this later under the concert.
Because the miniUKA revue was the day before, I asked him if he had participated in revues earlier. He hadn’t, but he had joined musicals and plays when he was little. We also talked about how he always has loved music, and how it has been to always have a dream and plan to become a musician. We also agreed that he in many ways lives the dream, and is lucky since he can do what he dreamt about being a child.
This dream emerged in Lofoten where he grew up, and he is still close to this place. While he has strong bonds to Lofoten, he also tells how he always has loved to travel and to meet new people. So in many ways, the touring life he has now fits him perfectly, because he gets to do exactly that, to travel and to meet lots of exciting new people. He also says that he and the people in his team has become really good friends, and how nice it is to travel with such a great group.
When I ask him where he gets his inspiration from, he lists a lot of Swedish pop artists, like Markus Krunegård, Veronica Maggio and Håkan Hellström. He also says that he gets a lot of inspiration from his own life to the texts, and he writes about things that has happend and how he feels about it.
He also says that it is important for him to write songs in Norwegian, because it then gets more intimate, natural and believable. He understands that this maybe limit his target group to Norway and Scandinavia.
I finish the interview by asking the cliché question: “If you knew you would die soon, would you been happy with the way you had lived?”. And to this he answered: “Yes, I think so, right here and now.” And after a lovely interview with a nice and reflected Justad, I was really looking forward to what he was going to deliver later that night.
It went rumours already that a little bit over 11 o’clock at night, that people already gathered around the outside of festsalen before Lars Vaular was done, and when he finished his concert, the halls between rosehagen and festsalen was full in an instant. Lots of students was looking forward to a great concert, and when the doors opened 5 minutes over 12, they ran into the locals to «Du stör dig hårt på mig» av Markus Krunegård. The vibe was really good and people were ready for concert.
It was therefore almost electrical when the band and Justad entered the stage, and kicked it off with the song “Lovte dæ”. People clapped and song already from the first beat. He had a good beat through numerous songs, before he chose to slow it down with the song “Tett inntil mæ”, a beautiful song which really made the audience soft. He brought this beautiful vibe to a great Norwegian cover version of Sam Smiths “Stay with me” (“Bli hos mæ”). Afterwards he took the beat up again with “Tida vi bare va”, which again made the audience dance.
And he kept on going like this, until it reached the top with “Nu har du mæ”, which he finished off with a stage dive, where he was carried around by the crazy audience on the first row. After this he said “thank you” and left the stage. But the audience was not finished at all, and not surprising, he was clapped onto the stage again. He kept on going with two songs, where one was his biggest hit “Riv i hjertet”. Now the vibe reached the top, and it was a fantastic ending to the year’s best concert here in Ås.
Photo: Bendik Hassel, Espen Mikkelborg, Kristian Haraldsen and Runa Tunheim