My music history
Ever since I was a young boy I have composed music. At the age of five, I was an enthusiastic and improvising user of the family piano. Around the age of ten, I spent a few years learning basic piano skills from a piano teacher. When I was about thirteen, I composed my first complete piece of music. It was a rather simple piano and vocal song, consisting of the standard combination of verses, choruses and a bridge.
During the 20 years that followed, I composed and recorded more than two hundred songs. I have played both the piano, synthesizers and guitars in various bands and pop groups. However, most of all I have always considered myself more of a composing vocalist than anything else, using whatever instrument at hand as a tool to bring forth the next song waiting in line.
Composing music has always proved to be an effective method of self-therapy in my life. Through the combination of sound and lyrics, I have always in both abstract and direct ways tried to illustrate and put words on my feelings, thoughts and emotions in a creative manner.
In the mid- and late 80's, I was a vocalist, songwriter and keyboard player in the band "The Headlines". The song "Get ya crying" was later released on a compilation album (MC) with other local bands and musicians. The same song resulted in my stage diving debut during a crowded local performance in my home town. I was carried safely back on stage just in time for the lead guitarist to finish his solo. In 1987-88 I also was the vocalist, songwriter and rythm guitarist in the local band "The Dukes". In 1987, both The Headlines and The Dukes participated in Norway's largest musical/cultural competition for young people, and both bands went to the county final.
Between 1988-1992, I participated in a few "project-bands", giving a limited number of concerts in southern Norway. In addition, I composed and played a lot on my own. Songwriting and recording tended to become more and more important compared to stage performances.
In the early 90's, I wrote more songs than ever until this day. More than 100 complete pop and rock tracks were recorded. These recordings were done using a 4-track Tascam Porta One. Several of the songs were performed live in this period, while others reoccured in new versions in the techno-pop band "The Kingdom X" during the next couple of years. On several occations, I performed as a one man band for dance and entertainment while I was living in northern Norway for a year in 1991-92.
: The Kingdom X period, where I mainly wrote synth-based / electronic pop music, eventually a blend of melodic synthpop and techno. A main composing principle was to arrange the songs using sounds with as little relation to acoustic instruments as possible. At the time, the wave of "unplugged concerts" was extremely popular - it was a time where the hits of the 80's were performed with traditiontal drums-bass-piano-guitar arrangements. In many ways, The Kingdom X was a counteraction to this commercial twist. For more info about The Kingdom X, check out the page about The Kingdom X album
The Kingdom X in concert was a different experience, presenting a scripted show with playbacked sound backgrounds between the songs, light effects and slide shows. The band got it's share of interest and media attention at the time. Several of the larger record companies (BMG Ariola and EMI) showed their interest during the first part of the 90's. I was the founder of the trio, and wrote the band's music. In addition to being the vocalist, I handled sequensers, DAT-playback, synths and samplers on stage. The band combined non-acoustic instruments and melodic vocal lines. The musical style can be described as a combination of the alternative 80's melodic synthpop and the 90's techno rythms.
In 1993/94 I also studied music at the Norwegian Agder University College (HiA), with vocals as my main instrument. The different classes gave me interesting theoretical fundamentals which in many ways were helpful to continue my development as a musician. It also gave me the chance to play (practise and live) with many talented music students, and with other musicians that were very active in the Kristiansand area at the time.
Late 1994, when The Kingdom X was running out of ideas on how to take the concerts and music further, I recorded and released my first album in a totally different style than what I had been working with for the last couple of years. The result was a MC with 10 romantic ballads. Electric piano and vocals were the main instruments, and the album was released under my full name: "Finn Harald Røed: Moment in time".
First half of 1996
1996 was an extremely busy and productive year for me as a musician. In the late Spring, the CD "RØED: Transformation" was released and made available for sale in several record shops, with special focus in the Kristiansand and Moss area. The album summed up elements from both The Kingdom X period, and from the time just before and after that band. Several prominent musicians participated on the record, adding extra spice and energy to many of the songs. I remember it was a rather strange experience to wake up one morning, with the song "If we stay together" playing on the radio next to my bed. :-)
Despite of positive feedback and interest from the local press, the local radio stations, from some of the largest record companies located in Oslo, and in the nationwide broadcasted radio program "Pandora's Jukebox", the album never became a commercial success. Highlights were the songs "The World is Changing" and "Wish you were my hero" (see the Downloads-section of www.replaceyourself.com).
In 96/97 I wrote the 9 songs with lyrics for the play/musical "Fedrenes hjerte" ("Heart of the Fathers"). This play was performed in both Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger in 97-98, and again at the National Theatre's bi-scene in Oslo in 2000. The late Autumn of 1996 I gave Melodie Grand Prix 1997 (Eurosong) a try with the piano ballad "En drømmers fantasi" ("A dreamer's fantasy"), but the song wasn't accepted for the final. However, the song and it's lyrics mean something special to me personally. The song is available on the MP3 / downloads page of this website.
In 1998, I sold most of the music gear / studio equipment, except for a Kurzweil sampler and some less important pieces. Compared to the high level of musical activity in the first part of the 90's, things really slowed down especially from 1998. As an example, I only wrote one single song in 1999; a special guitar+vocal piece, dedicated to my first born son. In 2000-2001, I didn't actually write any songs at all, nor did I record anything.
After a long break, I finally decided to get a new synthesizer and especially some studio software. I felt the creativity was coming back. The studio software program Cubase SX, a KORG Triton and lots of software synths found it's way to a room in our basement. The basis of a new studio and the ability to compose music was created. In October I wrote a duett in modern classical style with a religious text. The composition was performed by myself and a classical soprano singer on November 2. during a christian ceremon in Kristiansand.
The new studio in the basement brought back a lot of the creativity I experienced in the early 90's. A number of new pop songs were composed. Many of them were later more or less rerecorded or remixed and relased on the MP3 album "Magical Graphic Color Scheme". The songs written were deliberately angled towards becoming a different and closing chapter of the "Transformation" CD from 1996, only this time the songs should stand out as a whole. A general rule and goal while writing each song was that the song's feel/mood and lyrics should mean something personal to me. In contrast to just writing music that tries to fulfill a commercial recipe. In 2005 my first music video was released for the temporary version of "I replace myself".
: My first album release for 10 years found place in August 2006: "Breakable, fragile and alive". All the material for this Internet CD release
was both written and recorded from scratch during an intensive 2 week period in July 2006. Released a children's book about a Golden Retriever puppy (book title: "Poff og Pia"). The book was illustrated by the American artist Matthew Q. Jackson.
Moved to Sweden in 2007 and built a temporary home studio in the garage. I continued working on songs written between 2003-2008, and released a new MP3-album on the Internet on the 8th of November 2008 with 12 songs. Highlights are "Things will never be the same" and the final version of "I replace myself". Quite a lot of the vocal recording and mixing was done in Sweden, while the rest was mainly recorded in Norway pre-2007, but mixed/mastered in Sweden. Moved back to Norway late December 2008. Showed up on various websites, including Wikipedia.org, MySpace.com, Uhort.no, NRK.no/urort, Garageband.com and Last.fm.
At this point, even though I hadn't given a formal concert between 1998 and 2008, I did perform / sing in many different contexts when being offered the opportunity. I sang in funerals for the parents or grandparents of some of my friends, in religious meetings, baptisms, weddings and also at a few concerts in a local congregation. However, as time went by, the thought that "my days as a live artist are over" got stronger and stronger, to the point where I believed it to be true.
In 2009, I recorded and released one song only as a free MP3 single ("Anything for love"). As a family project with my wife and three boys, I wrote, recorded and released my first and only Christmas song ("Christmas is coming") in November/December 2010. It was released on the Internet as a free MP3 single download and is available on YouTube.
I only completed the writing of a couple of new songs. However, I also did some re-recordings and re-mastering of earlier songs that I felt deserved it, and finally released both those and the new songs on the album "Painted world" in December 2011.
For years I had wanted to make a rock album, which in many ways covered a need to revisit my roots as a singer in a rock band back in my adolescent years in the 80's. I finally decided to go for it, and wrote and recorded a full album ("Scream at the wall") with 11 rock songs. It was released in March 2015 under the artist / project name SUPERMENSCH. The single "The tide is turning" was released three months before the album, in December 2014. You'll find it all on this website, and on Spotify, Tidal and iTunes.
Most of the songs for "Scream at the wall" were written and recorded during 2014. Helmer Hemnes played el-bass on all the songs. My oldest son, Ruben, played the drums on two of the songs. This is my only el-guitar based album. I did all the guitar takes myself, which was a satisfying learning experience that gave me the chance to express myself in new ways as a result of having to think and feel differently in sound, instruments and expression.
During the year I invested in some new pro level synthesizers and various studio gear, and completely reorganized my studio, including adding acoustic treatment. Late 2016 I started working on new music, getting to know my new equipment, etc.
In January 2017 I started writing new songs. It turned out I had a lot on my mind, and periodically I experienced the wonderful "flow" that most songwriters are constantly afraid of never experiencing again every time it has come and gone. A brand new album with 12 songs all written and recorded in 2017 was released on Sept. 28, and is now available on this website (mp3) and in all the major streaming services like Spotify, Tidal and iTunes. During the year I also released two brand new music videos for two of the album's songs. The first one was relased in April ("See you"), and the second one ("Somebody precious") one week after the album release. You can read about the song writing and recording process of the album and the music videos on this website, including regularly detailed updates about the progress of the work in my blog. In October, the local newspaper printed an article about my music and the lastest album and music video.
Newspaper article from October 2017
Listen to or download my music
You may listen to or download (mp3) my music for free. Choose between full albums
and individual songs
. Some of the album packages include printable CD-covers.
All official music videos are made available on Finn Harald Røed's YouTube Channel
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