HM Johnsen is an experimental Indie/Rock Artist from Norway who compels admiration and respect in equal measure. At the tender age of 23 he is already an accomplished guitarist, singer, writer and composer – and has performed all over the world. He now releases his new single Serenity– with an E.P. of the same name to drop later this Summer.
HM Johnsen grew up with the guitar as his closest friend: playing music has been his consuming passion since the age of 9. As a kid he delighted in exploring all genres of music and playing guitar to his favourite tracks– falling in love with Iron Maiden and growing his hair to be like his idol Dave Murray. Through the years his music interests shifted over to blues and, while his love of heavy rock remained, new idols like Eric Clapton and Joe Bonamassa appeared and sent him in a new direction. During a year of living in a caravan in the woods HM started singing in a Blues & Rock style.
In 2017 he released his debut album Chased – an album entirely funded by his own small local community in Western Norway and was mastered in the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London UK. It was such a fantastic coup for a young artist, the national broadcaster of Norway decided to cover his journey and broadcast the story of this young and talented musician, following his dream. Things then started to move fast. Following the TV report, HM signed up with a Blues/ Rock management and was contracted to perform in concerts around cities in Norway. In 2018 he was rewarded the title “Norwegian Blues Union Artist” of the year. The title brought with it over 50 concerts in both Norway, Germany and America. It was quite a heady and relentless ride for a young musician still developing and exploring his talents.
At the end of 2018, not only were he and his band exhausted at the continuous gigging, travelling and working in between (HM was also running his own business at the time), HM’s creative instincts were also compelling him to in move into a more ‘experimental rock’ direction. It was then he had an epiphany: he decided to drop it all and dedicate himself completely to this new musical direction. With his fiancée he moved to Berlin for a month to have full focus on writing and recording this new music. For him, true dedication to his art is everything and Berlin was the perfect inspiration. He says “I have never ever been so musically productive and inspired in my life I wrote the whole EP in 2 weeks! I was so inspired by the city, the culture, the free-spirit people in Berlin… just everything was inspiring.”
The results have been satisfying and a true fulfilment of HM’s musical abilities and talent. Two singles were released in 2019 – Synergy and –Walk This Road and he had other tracks recorded especially in mind for the of the forthcoming E.P. Serenity is the title track and is the first single which HM says is inspired by watching a tram full of people in Berlin simply glued to their phones: “I started writing about how its more and more difficult for people to actually take their time to enjoy silence and serenity. People are afraid of boredom and silence. We have our minds so full of unnecessary stuff, and we are always busy, and craving for more that our heads don’t have the capacity to ‘meditate’ or cool down. Find your form of serenity…be in the now….”