Marit Elisabeth Larsen (born 1 July 1983) is a Norwegian singer and songwriter. She began playing violins at age of 5, and played it until the age of 8. She gained international fame during her teenage years as a member of the pop duo M2M with childhood friend Marion Raven. More recently she has pursued her own music career releasing her solo debut album, Under the Surface, in 2006. Her second album, The Chase, was released in Norway in October 2008. The third album, titled Spark was released in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark on 18 November 2011 and Germany, Austria, Switzerland on 16 December 2011.
M2M and early solo Career:
Recognizable as the lighter-haired of the two musicians of M2M, Larsen played the guitar, while Marion Raven played the piano, and did half of the vocals and songwriting. After touring the world and producing two albums with hits such as "Don't Say You Love Me", "Mirror Mirror", and "Everything", M2M was dropped by Atlantic Records in September 2002. Larsen made a guest appearance in the American television series Dawson's Creek, 100 Light Years From Home episode. The episode also featured M2M performing "Everything".
After the breakup of M2M, Raven set off on her own solo career, while Larsen took time off to go to school. Fan interest was reignited in 2004 and early 2005, as Larsen made several appearances in Norway, showing off a darker-haired image and new music with increased instrumental and lyrical scope. In October 2004, Larsen performed three original songs, titled "This Time Tomorrow", "Recent Illusion", and "Walls", on NRK radio, showcasing her skills at both guitar and piano. Larsen also performed live at the highly anticipated by:Larm concert in February 2005.
2005-2007: Under the Surface:
In fall 2005, Larsen recorded her debut album, "Under the Surface", with her new record label, EMI. The first single, "Don't Save Me", made radio impact on 3 January 2006, and quickly climbed into the top ten on many Norwegian charts and playlists. After the physical single release on 6 February 2006, "Don't Save Me" jumped to #1 on the official Norwegian singles chart in its second week of availability, and then spent five consecutive weeks in the top spot. The second single released from the album was the title track "Under the Surface". The video was released on 10 May 2006 and within a month the single became the most widely played track on Norwegian radio. "Only A Fool" and "Solid Ground" were the third and fourth singles released, respectively. Her exboyfriend,the musician Tom Hell was one of the musicians on the album. Her father plays violin on the album. "Under the Surface", which was released in Norway on 6 March 2006, contains 11 songs, most of which were written individually by Larsen. Touted as "what many people consider to be the most eagerly awaited album of 2006" (according to Norwegian magazine, Plan B), the record debuted at #3 on the sales chart in her native Norway. On 31 March 2006, it became official that, after just three weeks of sales, "Under the Surface" became a certified gold record in Norway, selling over 20,000 copies. In late 2006 and early 2007, "Under the Surface" won Larsen other accolades, including the award for Best Norwegian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and the Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy) awards for Best Female Artist and Best Video ("Don't Save Me"). After Larsen's Spellemannprisen victories in January 2007, the album crossed the 40,000 copy mark, qualifying it for platinum certification. It was later announced in May 2007 that the album had reached double platinum status. In addition, Larsen was the most played artist on NRK P3 Radio in 2006, with her three singles ("Don't Save Me", "Under the Surface", and "Only A Fool") being played collectively more than 880 times.
Concurrently with the release of "Under the Surface", Larsen participated in the "Lyd i mørket" charity concert series in early March 2006. She began a Norwegian club tour in late April, headlining concerts for the first time in her career. She then played in music festivals across Norway during the summer, and held a second Norwegian club tour starting in October 2006.
"Under the Surface" was released in India and Thailand in late 2006, and in November, "Don't Save Me" began to be played on MTV Asia. Larsen also began making international appearances, performing at special events in Germany and Spain in September 2006, India in October 2006, and France in January 2007. She appeared in the United States at South by Southwest in March 2007. On 2 May 2007, Right Bank Music announced that Larsen would be managed by them for a possible release in the U.S.
2008-2010: The Chase and If A Song Could Get Me You:
Larsen's second solo album, The Chase, was released in Norway on 13 October 2008 and in Sweden on 19 November 2008. Like "Under the Surface", it was well received by critics; in December, it was named as the top album of the year by Dagbladet reviewers.
The first single from The Chase, titled "If A Song Could Get Me You", shot to #1 on the Norwegian singles chart in its first week of sales in August 2008, and was later nominated for the Spellemannprisen award as Hit of the Year. The second single was "I've Heard Your Love Songs" (released 27 October 2008), and another song from the album, "Steal My Heart", was used in the soundtrack of the Norwegian movie "I et speil, i en gåte".
Early 2009, Larsen joined Jason Mraz as an opening act for his European spring tour. She was invited by Mraz when they met each other during the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2008.
Larsen released "If A Song Could Get Me You" as her first single outside Norway. It was released in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Iceland. In Germany and Austria it became a number-one single. In Switzerland it peaked at #2. The song also peaked at #22 in Iceland.
In November 2009, Larsen is to start her first German-Swiss Tour.
On 24 November, Verdens Gang, a Norwegian newspaper made a list of the best Norwegian songs of the past decade 2000-2009. "Under the Surface" was judged as the best song of the decade, making her 1st place on the list. Her song "If A Song Could Get Me You" came in 4th place and her album "Under the Surface" gets 2nd place for the best album of the decade.
Marit recorded a duet with Belgian singer/songwriter Milow titled "Out of My Hands". The song was originally contained in Milow's album "Coming of Age" released in 2008 in Belgium. The duet version featuring Marit was released on 12 February 2010 via Milow's MySpace page and Marit's YouTube page.
In July 2010, Marit Larsen released the remake single of "Don't Save Me".
January 2011 Larsen recorded the song "Vår Beste Dag" (Our Best Day) in her native language for the NRK. Released only in Norway, it became another #1 smash there.
On 1 August, Marit Larsen started to record her 3rd solo album at Propeller Recordings.
On 7 October Marit Larsen announced that the album will be called Spark including 10 new tracks. The album was released in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark on 18 November. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria the album was released on 16 December. The first single, "Coming Home" had premiered on NRK P1 and on her Facebook page on 15 October. The music video had premierd on Verdens Gang's website on 12 November. The First single "Coming Home" is available on iTunes Store.Her song,Coming Home,is now playing on Philippine radio stations and sometimes to be on the "Most Wanted Songs Of The Week", reached to be on top for four consecutive weeks.Coming Home was also performed by Marit Larsen on the finals of Idol Norge.
MaritFans.com confirmed that Marit is already writing songs for her next album.
Marit Larsen was born in Lørenskog, Norway. She played violin from age 5 to 8.
As a singer/songwriter, Larsen was a record industry success by the age of 13. Larsen released her debut album with longtime friend Marion Raven at 12. The children's music project was nominated for several awards, including Norway's Grammy equivalent. With a healthy success to their credit, Marit and Marion chose to dedicate their efforts to the pop music world.
Their band, M2M, was signed to Atlantic Records, and the pair spent the next few years on international performance and promotional tours, rock stars at 16. Strained and frustrated, two years later Marit and Marion dropped the project entirely. After the group's disintegration, Larsen nearly abandoned professional music altogether.
After taking a few years away from the spotlight, Larsen returned to writing songs, something she'd done for personal satisfaction for years. As she developed a new catalog of material, the next step toward a solo career became clear. Larsen began recording her first solo record, which would ultimately be released in 2006 under the title "Under the Surface". Primarily written on mandolin and piano, the folk-oriented English-language record marked a decidedly different stylistic direction for the onetime would-be pop diva.