A Norwegian MC, rapping in English, making his mark on the global underground hip hop scene is pretty rare. Eivind Øygarden aka Ivan Ave is that rare exception. He has carved out his own path with jazz-fusion heavy, nineties-inspired rap, creating his own lyrical universe whilst collaborating with world- class producers, such as Mndsgn, Dâm-Funk, Kiefer and Kaytranada.
Growing up in Telemark in Norway, an area surrounded by rugged, majestic mountains, more known for its hiking, literature and folk music heritage than rap, Ivan found his musical influences in the RnB records of his older sisters; The Fugees, Janet Jackson and Raphael Saadiq. His love of music was established, and when the family relocated to near Stavanger in southwest Norway, the teenager gravitated to the city’s Hip-Hop, break dance, DJ and graffiti scene. All influences he took with him to NYC in his early 20s, a life-changing self-imposed residency, where he was hanging out and collecting records at cult institutions such as A-1 Records. Through Hip-Hop he discovered 70s jazz and soul, and the eye-opening experience of sampling as a way of making music. Back in Oslo, Ivan met one of his earliest collaborators Fredfades. They created Mutual Intentions, a label and a collective, along with like-minded friends. It became a platform that hadn’t existed in Oslo previously, and the crew is still a catalyst for musical exploration and sweaty club nights in the cold North.
«All Season Gear» (Mutual Intentions, 2023)
On his 4th solo album, Ivan offers a glimpse into the various seasons he and his friends went through in the last three years. All Season Gear was recorded on highs and lows through a pandemic, through healing, falling in love and observing the chaos that is the hyper-textual information age. Lyrically an all-weather-proof record, breaking even with with hope to spare, backed by production from the likes of Sasac, Mndsgn, Like, DJ Harrison and Ivan Ave himself.
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