Six years ago, a Norweigan singer-songwriter Aurora Aksnes, better known as AURORA, dropped an ethereal and folktronica called “Runaway. The song became an instant hit after Tiktok users liked the song and incorporated it into their videos. The “Runaway” song has been hashtagged and used in over 723,000 videos in the said app. Using the music, Tiktok users created beautifully choreographed dance routines with shots of starry skies and surreal sunsets as backgrounds.
The discovery of the song on Tiktok resulted in a massive boost in streaming numbers. Recently, it has reached No. 59 on the UK’s Top 100 chart. The recent trend got the attention of the Norweigan singer-songwriter and said in an interview, “I’ve never been very driven by these kinds of things. I don’t pay so much attention to what happens to the music after you release it. But I am very grateful that people have let ‘Runaway’ into their hearts.”
Even Billie Eilish admitted that Aurora’s Runaway was one of her inspirations that got her into music. During an interview with Vanity Fair, Billie Eilish said, “When I was 12, I saw Aurora’s ‘Runaway’ music video. Something inside me clicked, like, that is what I want to do, no matter whether it goes anywhere or not.” In response to Eilish’s praises about her song, Aurora complimented back the female artist, “I think the world needs more artists who just do what they want. She uses her voice is such a cool way. I’m also a big fan of her brother Finneas O’Connell and the way he produces lo-fi percussion. I will be listening to her more because she must be doing something right. The world seems to adore her right now because she’s really cool.”
When asked about the origins of her hit song, Aurora told NME in 2019, “I wrote ‘Runaway’ when I was 11-years-old. It’s quite funny because the older I got, the more it made sense to me. It touched my heart, and now it reminds me of things that happened after I wrote it. It was kind of like a gift to myself.” Moreover, she added, “It’s weird because my inspiration for the lyrics to ‘Runaway’ came out of nowhere. A few years later, something happened to me (well, the whole of Norway, actually), and then the lyrics made so much sense to me. I sat in my house on the usual piano I always write on, and it looks like an hour, I think.”
Aurora spent most of her childhood in the Os mountains, living in nature. While growing up, she used most of her time going outdoors alone. When she was six years old, she started composing melodies and song lyrics while using the piano her parents gifted to her. Her discovery as an artist was accidental. Back in 2012, she uploaded a song called Puppet on Soundcloud as her Christmas gift to her parents. Luckily, an agent heard the song and made a contract with her.
Over the years of making music, her songs are often classified as electropop, featuring synth, drums, and keyboard as melodies. Among her memorable breakout tracks were Half The World Away, a cover of Oasis’ 1994, Murder Song, and Running with the Wolves. Moreover, she teamed up with Idina Menzel to create the Frozen theme song Into The Unknown. Listen to Aurora’s track today on Spotify.