Marit Larsen Biography
After the breakup of M2M, Raven set off on her own solo career, while Larsen took time off to go to school. Fan interest was reignited in 2004 and early 2005, as Larsen made several appearances in Norway, showing off a darker-haired image and new music with increased instrumental and lyrical scope. In October 2004, Larsen performed three original songs, entitled "This Time Tomorrow", "Recent Illusion", and "Walls", on NRK radio, showcasing her skills at both guitar and piano. Larsen also performed live at the highly anticipated by:Larm concert in February 2005.
In fall 2005, Larsen recorded her debut album, "Under the Surface", with her new record label, EMI. The first single, "Don't Save Me", made radio impact on January 3, 2006, and quickly climbed into the top ten on many Norwegian charts and playlists. After the physical single release on February 6, 2006, "Don't Save Me" jumped to #1 on the official Norwegian singles chart in its second week of availability, and then spent five consecutive weeks in the top spot. The second single released from the album was the title track "Under the Surface". The video was released May 10, 2006, and within a month the single became the most widely played track on Norwegian radio. "Only A Fool" and "Solid Ground" were the third and fourth singles released, respectively.
"Under the Surface", which was released in Norway on March 6, 2006, contains 11 songs, most of which were written individually by Larsen. Touted as "what many people consider to be the most eagerly awaited album of 2006" (according to Norwegian magazine, Plan B), the record debuted at #3 on the sales chart in her native Norway. On March 31, 2006, it became official that, after just three weeks of sales, "Under the Surface" became a certified gold record in Norway, selling over 20,000 copies. In late 2006 and early 2007, "Under the Surface" won Larsen other accolades, including the award for Best Norwegian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and the Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy) awards for Best Female Artist and Best Video ("Don't Save Me"). After Larsen's Spellemannprisen victories in January 2007, the album crossed the 40,000 copy mark, qualifying it for platinum certification. It was later announced in May 2007 that the album had reached double platinum status. In addition, Larsen was the most played artist on NRK P3 Radio in 2006, with her three singles ("Don't Save Me", "Under the Surface", and "Only a Fool") being played collectively more than 880 times.
Concurrently with the release of "Under the Surface", Larsen participated in the "Lyd i mørket" charity concert series in early March 2006. She began a Norwegian club tour in late April, headlining concerts for the first time in her career. She then played in music festivals across Norway during the summer, and held a second Norwegian club tour starting in October 2006.
"Under the Surface" was released in India and Thailand in late 2006, and in November, "Don't Save Me" began to be played on MTV Asia. Larsen also began making international appearances, performing at special events in Germany and Spain in September 2006, India in October 2006, and France in January 2007. She appeared in the United States at South by Southwest in March 2007. On May 2, 2007, Right Bank Music announced that Larsen would be managed by them for a possible release in the U.S.
Larsen's second solo album, "The Chase", was released in Norway on October 13, 2008, and in Sweden on November 19, 2008. Like "Under the Surface", it was well-received by critics; in December, it was named as the top album of the year by Dagbladet reviewers.
The first single from "The Chase", entitled "If A Song Could Get Me You", shot to #1 on the Norwegian singles chart in its first week of sales in August 2008, and was later nominated for the Spellemannprisen award as Hit of the Year. The second single was "I've Heard Your Love Songs" (released October 27, 2008), and another song from the album, "Steal My Heart", was used in the soundtrack of the Norwegian movie "I et speil, i en gåte".
Early 2009, Larsen joined Jason Mraz as an opening act for his European spring tour. She was invited by Mraz when they met each other during the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2008.