Saturday, October 26, 2013


Last night I went to see Jay-Z perform here in Stockholm. I was lucky to have bought my tickets early, so I had a Golden Circle ticket and stood all the way at the front of the stage.

I’ve been a fan of Jay-Z’s music for many years. I love listening to his lyrics and dancing to the rhythms of his songs. I feel he always has a story to tell. It’s like poetry, but with cuss words.
Last night I saw a true artist. I am mind blown by his talent and the humility he expresses in his music and as a human being. I feel so inspired by this man to work harder and believe in myself and my dreams.
He performed for almost 3 hours (like an opera!) and I can say it was truly the shortest 3 hours I've ever experienced. 

(from one of my favorite song by Jay-Z “99 Problems”. I love this verse, it’s so smart!)

I am currently reading his book “Decoded” which is about rap music and its/his history.

xx Erika Grace

All pictures taken by myself with my iPhone during the concert.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Well, not exactly in the right terms of that phrase, because for me that's listening to Britney Spears… minus the guilt!

This past week my mother came to stay with me for 10 days. It was so nice to have her here and to come home to dinner, a clean apartment and unclogged sink drains. Even new curtains!!! 

But I was torn.
One part of me knew I needed to be a school practicing and the other just wanted to spend time with my mother.

I felt like I was being pulled in two directions, but I chose, of course, my mother. And I'm glad I did because we had a wonderful time.
At one point we actually walked or in fact skipped through Stockholm
singing songs from The wizard of Oz. (Sober, promise!)

But I always had it in the back of my mind that I needed to be at school. I kept feeling waves of guilt. 
So that's a good sign, right?
Is it bad to let go of ones everyday duties for someone you love? 
(Carrie Bradshaw moment!)
This is something I know I will have to battle for the rest of my life.
I'm going to miss important events, birthdays and maybe even Christmases!!! 

But It's not like it's only musicians that have to make sacrifices for their work. In my fathers line of work he too has missed some Christmases
and plenty of my birthdays. 

Just this one time I sacrificed my school work for family. Better to do it know and save the harder decisions for the big stage.

xx Erika Grace

Photo: Magnus Skrede

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Who am I?
I'm a 24 year old (YOUNG!!!) girl from Bergen, Norway living in Sweden studying opera at a little preparatory school in Stockholm.

What do I do?
Yeah, I think you got that by now. Maybe I need a larger header!

Why do I sing opera?
Yes, well. This is how I usually tell it:
When I was twelve years old, or actually, since I was a little girl I used to sing and dance and do little performances for my mother and father or whomever that wanted to watch me, but it was when I was twelve years old that my biggest dream was to become a pop star like Christina Aguilera and my mother said to me: "Erika, I want you to take singing lessons!" I said "But Mom, Christina Aguilera doesn't take singing lessons!"  (I used to belt and wail like a diva!) My mother simply said "You'll just learn to use your voice better". So I agreed to bring home the annual pamphlet that was given to us from the culture school in Bergen, which I was already a member of because I was taking piano lessons.

A year passed. I was then thirteen years of age and I arrived at my first singing lesson. My teacher told me about herself and that she was… an Opera singer. 
Et voilà!
She held a knife to my throat and FORCED me to sing opera!!!!
Nooooo….Just kidding!
She more than anything inspired me. 
She said I had talent. 
She guided me. 
She taught me everything about the music, the arias (songs) the operas they were from and their meaning. 

When I was fourteen she told me that there was an extra school program called "Saturday School" that taught classical music on Saturdays. Most people would call that punishment, right!? I called it HEAVEN! I auditioned. I got in!!! I was ecstatic!!! 

There, every Saturday for four years I was in music heaven! Music history, co-warm ups (sadly no co-showering!), music theory (say what now?) and just all that MASSIVE talent all around me. I felt completely out of place and yet so at home! 

It wasn't long before our first performance together. I heard my fellow classmate sing an aria. I believe it was Cherubino's aria "Voi che sapete" (Or "Boys kissing Petter" as my mother so playfully sings it!) and I remember thinking to myself "She's singing opera? I'm going to sing opera!" 

And that, my friends, is where it all started to blossom. This love. This passion. This intimate endearing thrill of sensual sounds and… oh, sorry! Did I mention that I'm single!? It's a common problem when you're…well it's actually just my problem apparently!!! 

No, but in all seriousness. It really never seemed strange or unnatural to me to go this route. I just followed my instincts and it feels right. 

xx Erika Grace  

Photo: Emelie Joenniemi & Magnus Skrede

Friday, October 11, 2013


I started this blog because I wish to share my love for opera and my journey towards becoming a professional opera singer. 
People often tell me that what I do is quite out of the ordinary, that there must be very few people my age interested in what I do. I beg to differ, I wish there were fewer, because then I'd be much farther than what I am now. We are a plenty and the competition is rough. Truly "survival of the fittest"!

It is a bit strange, believe me, I never thought as a kid that I wanted to sing opera. 
Although I've always known I wanted to sing.
I've always wanted to be on stage.

With this blog I hope people will understand what it is people like myself do everyday. My accomplishments, my struggles, the blood, sweat and tears I put into my studies and performances. (A lot of sweat!) 

Thank you for visiting my blog and be sure to check back for new posts!

xx Erika Grace

                            As Berta in the "Barber of Seville" 2013.