Mr. Little Jeans

13.Mr. Little Jeans

Adapting the name from the quirky character in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, Mr. Little Jeans is a unique talent. The Norwegian-born singer/songwriter can easily be likened to a combination of Lykke Li, Tori Amos, and CocoRosie. However, unlike the bit character she named herself after, her music is stepping into a starring role and making waves in Hollywood. When Capitol imprint, Harvest Records released her debut album, Pocketknife, it caught on like wildfire. Her breakout song was an evocative cover of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” which racked up millions of plays on YouTube and SoundCloud. Since then, her music has appeared in commercials for Honda, CW’s Gossip Girl, and in several movies including 21 Jump Street and Celeste and Jesse Forever. She’s also written and recorded songs for Iron Man 3. She expressed how she feels inspired to do similar film work:

Where would you like your music to take you?

I would love to write more songs for film. I like to portray the emotions of characters and find them much easier to convey than my own.

What was your introduction to music?

Growing up in Norway, I was exposed to a place that celebrated the arts. My mom was a music lover and she introduced me to music like Simon and Garfunkel and The Jackson 5. All that exposure to art and culture made me feel I could explore creatively.

Is your album Pocketknife a diary of sorts from living in Norway?

It is a diary in a way, but not from living in Norway. Many of those songs were written when I was living both in Sweden and Los Angeles. The album is meant to reflect a time when I was living without daylight, literally and metaphorically. When I was living in Sweden, I was locked away in a cramped space, writing songs in isolation. It was the dead of winter, so there wasn’t much daylight. Those were some dark, frustrating times when I was trying to establish myself as a musician.

Now it seems like those years of struggle are paying off. So the album title “Pocketknife” became an apropos symbol of your survival?

Exactly! I think of a pocketknife as an extension of yourself and a tool. I like people to have their own interpretation of my music, but for me personally, it’s a real reflection of the place I was in at the time. It tells a story of struggle and perseverance.

Text by Zee Chang
Photograph by Darian Zahedi

Styling by Nikki Grattan
Makeup by Heather Cvar
Hair by Michael Quinn
Photography Assistant Eduardo Whaite