Ole Ivars is Norway’s definitive “Danseband”. In total they have released over 45 records, gotten a ton of music awards, and they have an incredibly large fan group.
The band was established when vocalist Ivar Grønsveen started in the band The Tainix. Ole Ødegård joined the band earlier the same year, first as guitarist and now as an organist, and the band decided to change their name to Ole Ivars, because of the surnames of the two new prominent members.
The band had its breakthrough in 1968 with the song “Regnets rytme”. The song eventually sold to gold, something which was very unusual at this time. The same year the group got a silver record for their very first LP. This was the first album created by a Norwegian band that sold over 25 000 copies.
Vocalist Ivar Grønsveen died the 17th of October 1973, but the band decided to continue with Lasse Johansen as vocalist. In the middle of the 70’s the band got a new audience when they became the regular studio band in the TV- series “12 rette” that aired on NRK.
During the 70’s the band had multiple replacements of members, and in 1978 Ødegård also left the band as the last remaining member, together with vocalist Johansen and saxophonist Tor Egil Simensen. Already the year after, the three guys started a new band called the Ole Ivars Veterans, while Ole Ivars continued with a new crew. In a period, the two bands existed side by side, and concert managers didn’t always know which of the bands they had booked for their gig. Saxophonist Arne Willy Foss was even a member of both the bands for a period. In the period with the two coexisting bands, the band Ole Ivars Veteranene released the album “Venner av oss”, while Ole Ivars released the album “Ole Ivars og kvelden venter på oss”. In 1982 the band called Ole Ivars quit, and Ole Ivars Veteranene could change their name to Ole Ivars.
In 1983 William Kristoffersen became the band’s new bassist. Kristoffersen is educated at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and has since he started in the band written most of their songs. Amogst the most famous songs he has written we find, “Nei så tjukk du har blitt”, “Jag trodde änglarna fanns”, “En får væra som en er”, “kongen av campingplassen”, “Kalle med fela”, Spellemannsblod”, “Fem gule enker»” and “Samefolkets land”. The last song was written with Tore Halvorsen who took over as vocalist in 1988. Kristoffersen has also been the administrative manager since he joined the band.
Ole Ivars has also topped the Norwegian music charts. From 1993 to 1994 the song “Spellemannsblod” had 77 weeks on the Norwegian hit list, which for a long time was a record. The song was also ranked as number one on the Norwegian hit lists both of these years, and it got third place in the competition of the best melody of all times for the 2003 hit list. They also won in 1995 with the song “Fem gule enker”, which was the song written for their 30th anniversary. No other artist has achieved a hattrick on top of the Norwegian hit lists. The band won three years in a row with two songs, “Spellemansblod” and “Fem gule enker”, written by the bassist in the band, William Kristoffersen. During the Norwegian music award “Spellemanprisen” in 1996 the band was the first winners of the new category “Danseband” with their album “Dans på Skjermertopp”. Since then they have been nominated twelve times and received seven awards (Spellemannpriser) in the same category. The last one in 2011. In 1999 they also received the prestigious Spellemanns award of the year as the only danseband.
In relation to their 40th anniversary the band was honored with the album “En annen dans” where 20 Norwegian top artists from many different genres recorded their version of an Ole Ivar’s song. During the anniversary celebration in “Vikingskipet” in Hamar many of the artists performed to honor the band. The same year Ole Ivars performed for the first time in Oslo concert house and in “Olavshallen” in Trondheim, both times for a packed venue. They also created history by filling Råholt church three times the same night for their Christmas concert. In their anniversary year they received three culture awards: “Hedmarksprisen”, “Hedmark fylkeskommunens kulturpris” and “Gammeleng-prisen”, and a nationwide award given by Fond for performing artists. The same year they were also named Norway’s dance band through all times by NRK.
Ole Ivars has also played a lot outside of Norway too. The last years they have played with huge success in Sweden, the Faroe Islands and in Spain. In November 2007 they got their first golden record in Sweden for 20 000 sold copies of the album “Ole Ivars 40 beste”.
Kjartan Lauritzen has, in record time, gone from being an almost normal boy from Balestrand in Sogn & Fjordane, to become Norway’s new rap superhero. With his broad sogne-accent he first took Bergen by storm in 2015, before the rest of the country opened their eyes to this boy. A joy-spreading character and a rare rapping talent, laid the foundation for the journey, which he has given him over five million streams on the hits “Fredag” and “Havanna”, without any major label supporting him.
The rapper has, in record time, moved from small club-gigs to big festivals, delivering a show of high international quality every time. After his concert in front of 6.000 people at this year’s Slottsfjellfestival, he was immediately booked for “kongescenen” next year.
On Friday September 29th he released his self-produced EP “Fenomenet” in Bergen at Vibbefanger, which he is a part of. The release concerts in Bergen(Røkeriet), Trondheim(Storsalen) and Oslo(Rockefeller) were sold out weeks in advance
There are very few artists who achieve so much attention in the beginning of their careers as Kjartan Lauritzen has, and we know that the phenomenon’s future is brighter than a white and newly-tuned Volvo 240.