Aurora Aksnes (born 15 June 1996), known mononymously as AURORA, is a Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer. Her debut EP Running with the Wolves was released through Decca Records in May 2015, receiving widespread approval from online music blogs and national press. Later the same year she provided the backing track for the John Lewis Christmas advert, singing a cover of the Oasis song "Half the World Away". This cover appears as a bonus track on the deluxe version of her debut studio album, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, which was released worldwide on 11 March 2016.
Aurora Aksnes was born on 15 June 1996 in Stavanger, Norway. She has two older sisters, Miranda, a make-up artist, and Viktoria, a fashion designer. She grew up in Os, a municipality in Hordaland close to Bergen. She began creating melodies at the age of 6, and began writing lyrics at the age of 9. Songs like "Running With the Wolves" and "I Went Too Far" were written in this early stage of her life.
2012–16: All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend
Aurora's first track "Puppet" was released in December 2012, followed by her second, "Awakening" in May 2013. Her first single signed to her labels Glassnote Records and Decca Records, "Under Stars" was released in November 2014, and "Runaway" followed in February 2015. "Runaway" achieved success in the UK on streaming service Spotify, reaching 1 million streams after just 6 weeks. The track was also received positively by various online music blogs and national press such as the NME. Her second single, "Running with the Wolves" was released in April 2015 and received attention from national BBC stations Radio One, Radio Two and 6Music. The excitement surrounding the young songstress propelled her onto the festival circuit and she appeared at renowned summer festivals such as Way Out West, Wilderness and Green Man Festival. Aurora's third single, "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was released in September 2015 and has received continued support in national press, on national radio and popular online music blogs. She has played a sold out headline show in London and supported Of Monsters and Men at Brixton Academy in November 2015. Aurora recorded a cover of the Oasis track "Half the World Away" for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert. Her next single, which came after "Half The World Away", was released in January 2016, titled "Conqueror" and a music video was uploaded the following month. Her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend was eventually released on 11 March 2016, receiving generally positive reviews from critics. After releasing it, she went on to embark on her European tour, making a number of visits to the UK in between. She featured in British band Icarus' song "Home" and released a cover of David Bowie's Life on Mars.
On 14 March 2016, Aurora made her American television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, performing "Conqueror". Aurora soon after performed the track on Conan. On 25 July 2016 she performed her cover of "Life on Mars" on The Howard Stern Show. The following night on 26 July, she performed "I Went Too Far" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
2016–present: Upcoming second studio album
On the day of releasing her debut All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, she said that it was "the first album of many" that she has planned. As of 12 May 2016, after coming back from her European tour, Aurora announced that she was ready to begin writing and producing more material, which will eventually form her second studio album. She has said in a Facebook event that she has 15 demo songs and has written 1,000 songs/poems. Since the announcement, Aurora has released "I Went Too Far" as a single, and a music video for the track was released on 4 July 2016.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend||1||51||24||66||28||150||17|
|Running with the Wolves|
As lead artist
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|2015||"Runaway"||—||—||—||—||48||Running with the Wolves - EP|
|"Running with the Wolves"||72||—||—||—||—|
|"Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)"||—||—||—||—||—||All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend|
|"Half the World Away"||—||22||11||—||—|
|"I Went Too Far"||—||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released.|
As featured artist
(Icarus featuring Aurora)
|2016||"Life on Mars"||Girls, Vol. 3 (Music from the HBO Original Series)|
|2015||Into The Light||Kasafilms|
|2016||Nothing Is Eternal||The Fader|
Awards and nominations
|2015||EBBA Awards '16|
by Eurosonic Noorderslag
|Album Of The Year: Norway||Running with the Wolves||Won|
|Public Choice Award||Aurora||Nominated|
|2016||Spellemannprisen '15||Årets Nykommer (Newcomer of the Year)||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Norwegian Act||Nominated|
|GAFFA-Prisen||Årets Norske Album||All My Demons Greeting me as a Friend||Won|
|2017||Spellemannprisen '16||Popsolist (Pop Solo Artist)||Won|
|Årets Musikkvideo (Music Video of the Year)||"I Went too Far"||Won|
- 2014.4.8: A scholarship of 50,000 Kroner from the Festivalen by:Larm's Forbildepriser ("Exemplar Prize")
Usage of songs in popular culture
- Norwegian film De nærmeste used Aurora's 'Awakening'.
- Her song Running with the Wolves was featured in the 9th episode of season 5 of Teen Wolf.
- Aurora recorded a cover of the Oasis track "Half the World Away" for the 2015 John Lewis Christmas advert.
- On 24 December 2016, it was revealed that she would be contributing to the upcoming sci-fi thriller, Alien: Covenant with her version of the song Nature Boy which was written in 1947 by eden ahbez and first recorded by Nat King Cole the following year.
- Her song "Conqueror" has been included on the soundtrack of FIFA 16,
- Her song Running with the Wolves has been used as the theme tune for Wolfblood since series 4.
- Aurora singing 'Home' appeared in the Netflix film XOXO.
- Her song 'Conqueror' was heard in the tenth episode of season 3 of the Norwegian TV series Skam.
- In January 2017, "I Went Too Far" was featured in the season 6 trailer for Girls.
- Her song "Under Stars" was used for the end credits music in the video game Mass Effect: Andromeda.
- She rerecorded her song "Under the Water" in Simlish for use in the videogame The Sims 4's "Vampires" expansion .
- Her song "Through the Eyes of a Child" was used in the background of 'The Chosen', the 12th episode of season 4 of The 100.
- Her song "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" was used in
- Her song "Winter Bird" was used in season 5, episode 8 of the Australian TV show Wentworth (TV series) broadcast on 23 May 2017. 
- Her song "Through the Eyes of a Child" was used in the soundtrack of 2:22.
- Aurora recorded a cover and a video of the English folk ballad, Scarborough Fair, in Brazil, to be used on the Brazilian soap opera, "Deus Salve o Rei".