Kristin Asbjørnsen is a Norwegian singer/songwriter and composer whose diverse body of work ranges from jazz, pop, and world music to experimental, improvisational, and film music.
She began her recording career in the mid-'90s in collaboration with groups including Kvitretten, Krøyt, and Dadafon, and then after the turn of the century she embarked on a solo career that brought her Top Five commercial success in Norway and critical acclaim abroad. Born in 1971, Asbjørnsen studied music formally in the jazz department of the Trondheim Music Conservatory in Trondheim, Norway. She made her album debut in 1996 with Voices, a Spellemannsprisen-nominated full-length effort by Kvitretten, an experimental vocal quartet in which she was a member. She was featured on two further albums by the group, Everything Turns (1999) and Kloden Er En Snurrebass Som Snurrer Oss (2002). Asbjørnsen subsequently made her album debut as a member of the avant-garde trio Krøyt with Sub (1997). The trio's second album, Low (1999), won a Spellemannsprisen award in 2000 in the Åpen Klasse category. In 2001 a pair of follow-up efforts, the Body Electric EP (2001) and One Heart Is Too Small (2001), were released by the trio, which is also comprised of Øyvind Brandtsegg (vibraphone, sampler) and Thomas T. Dahl (guitar). Around this same time, Asbjørnsen made her solo album debut with Smak Av Himmel, Spor Av Jord (2001) and released the second album by her group Dadafon, And I Can't Stand Still (2001). Formed several years earlier, Dadafon is a creative yet commercially viable group that draws from pop and jazz as well as love ballads and African rhythms. In addition to Asbjørnsen, the group's vocalist and bandleader, Dadafon is comprised of Jostein Ansnes (guitar, vocals), Øyvind Engen (cello, vocals), Eirik Øien (bass, vocals), and Martin Langlie (drums). The group made its album debut in 1998 with Coloured Moods and released several follow-up albums, including the Top 20 hits Harbour (2004) and Lost Love Chords (2005). Asbjørnsen was most successful as a solo artist, however, breaking into the Top Five with her albums Wayfaring Stranger: A Spiritual Songbook (2006) and The Night Shines Like the Day (2009). ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi