Morten Harket Biography
Morten Harket is a Norwegian musician, best known as the lead singer of the synthpop/rock band A-ha, which released ten studio albums and topped the charts internationally after their breakthrough hit “Take On Me” in 1985.
Morten Harket was born on September 14, 1959, in the town of Kongsberg, Norway. He is part of the Norwegian pop band A-ha along with Magne Furuholmen (keyboards) and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (guitars). Although Harket and his band have performed and produced music up until 2015, they are best known for their sound in the 1980s, especially the megahit “Take on Me” and its accompanying groundbreaking music video.
Instead of taking time out or stepping back to rest, Morten grabbed hold of the energy driving and surrounding him, and harnessed it to thrilling effect on the emotive, heartfelt and passionate Brother.
Morten’s new album, Brother, arrives two years after its predecessor Out Of My Hands, his first solo album since a-ha bowed out in Oslo in December 2010. Morten’s fifth solo album, Out Of My Hands, topped the charts in Norway, hit number three in Germany and was Top 30 in Austria, France and Switzerland. In Britain, the BBC said “there’s a dignity to Morten Harket’s first solo album since a-ha split.”
Following the release of the landmark Out Of My Hands, there was a busy two years touring, refocussing and looking forward. Of the period leading up to this, when he knew a-ha were nearing the end of the road, he says “I was expectant about the time to come. I was open to see what would happen.” Now, with Brother, his – along with fans and anyone open to music’s power to move – expectations are fulfilled.
Brother is a total artistic statement. “This is me,” explains Morten. “I’ve been writing with a much more free sky, open and free. The air has been clear.”
The roots of Brother are in Out Of My Hands. Morten’s new album reunites him with fellow Norwegian Peter Kvint. Together, they had co-written three of the songs on Out Of My Hands. The partnership has now gone further: Morten and Peter have co-produced Brother, which has been recorded with Peter at Stockholm’s Studio Brun. The music for all-but-one of Brother’s songs are collaborations between Morten and Peter.
“There is no obstruction between Peter and I,” Morten reveals candidly. “It’s a very powerful thing to tap into. You just allow something to happen. I wanted to hook up with Peter again, he and I were not finished. I felt that very strongly. Peter felt the same way. ”
What became Brother evolved in late 2012 immediately after Morten had finished touring, in the days following his return from playing in Brazil. He and Peter went to a cottage in Kristiansand, in the south of Norway, for five days. The songs flowed instantly. They reconvened in Brazil – “in pounding rain, barefoot in the mud,” recalls Morten – then completed their collaboration back in Kristiansand in autumn 2013.
Reflecting on his relationship with Peter, Morten says “I’ve never had a songwriting relationship which is so free. It’s all about silencing yourself, about not being a hindrance to what can happen. Peter is very sensitive to that same thing.”
With Brother, Morten also drew on a relationship which went back even further. For a lyrical partner, he turned to Norwegian poet Ole Sverre Olsen. Ole Sverre had collaborated with Morten on his Wild Seed album released in 1995, early in the period when a-ha were on hold before they came back together in 1998.“
We wrote a song called ‘Half In Love, Half In Hate’,” recalls of Morten of his and Ole Sverre’s contribution to Wild Seed. “This time around, it just flowed so easily. Now, it’s more direct, less cerebral. You respond to the spirit of a song, you give it body. We both recognise what is genuine and pluck away what isn’t. We wrote on behalf of something else, the spiritual body which is the character and identity of the song.”
Morten, with Peter Kvint and Ole Sverre Olsen, had crafted songs for Brother which are his most fully realised, most personal. When Ole Sverre brought him “First Man To The Grave”, Morten realised it fitted with the album which had taken shape. “It was part of the same process,” says Morten. “By the end of 2013 we knew we had the album.”
The atmospheric, filmic Brother opens with its affecting, sinuous title track. “’Brother’ is about love, humanity, the differences between us,” discloses Morten. “The central fact in life is that we are all different, have so many faces yet we only have one heart. It’s about respect, understanding that only we can choose who we want to be. Diversity is a central key to life, everything. Life needs diversity in order to survive.”
As the album moves through moods and shifts in tone, it reveals that Morten is totally refreshed, fully aware of who he is. “I’m in tune with myself at 16, 17, when my head was full of dreams, on a high that can last for hours. I’m meeting the guy today who started this at 17 years old. That fascinates me. It’s such a healthy sigh. The brother could very well be myself.”For Morten, a key song is “Whispering Heart”. “It’s about connecting with yourself. Don’t look elsewhere for strength. Don’t be too concerned with what things are meant to be. For instance, an athlete who has that spark of life and belief, meeting the promise of potential – grabbing that, believing in it.”
Asked how Brother will translate to a live setting, Morten laughs and declares “it will work great. And acoustically too. The music is so stimulating, so challenging. The songs are timeless.”
Setting Brother in the context of both his long life as an artist and where he is now, Morten takes a moment. He pauses. After some time reflecting, he stresses his feelings about his new album “I feel very calm, centred about where I am now. I don’t feel nervous like a dad, when a little thing is being released, brought into the world. I feel like I did in the early days, before a-ha. Buoyant. Yes, I feel strong about Brother.”
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Morten Harket Aha
a-ha has just released their 10th studio album, ‘Cast In Steel’, and is about to go on tour.
- Morten Harket
- Magne Furuholmen
- Paul Waaktaar-Savoy
Morten Harket Age
Morten was born on 14 September 1959.
Morten Harket Height
He stands at a height of 6 ft 0 inch (1.83 m)
Morten Harket Family – Morten Harket Brother
He is the son of Reidar, a chief physician at a hospital, and Henny, an economics teacher. He has four brothers, Gunvald, Håkon, Ingunn and Kjetil. Morten has five children 2 sons and three daughters.
Morten Harket Wife
Morten was married to Camilla Malmqvist whom they had three children with from 11 February 1989. The couple got divorced in 1998.
Morten Harket Children – Kinder
Morten and Camilla had three children: Jakob Oscar Martinus Malmqvist Harket, Jonathan Henning Adler Malmquist Harket and Anna Katharina Tomine Malmquist Harket.
Harket also has a daughter, Henny born 7 February 2003, with then-girlfriend Anne Mette Undlien and another daughter, Karmen Poppy born 7 September 2008, with Inez Andersson.
Morten Harket Camilla Malmquist Harket
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Morten Harket Interview
Do you feel like a new artist since the demise of A-ha?
No, because in the minds of the listeners, I’ll always be connected to the past. A-ha doesn’t go away, as it’s such a big part of me and my system. The music that we created together is all there; we’ve just agreed to disband so that we can go off and do other things. Because while you’re in A-ha, it takes up all your time. There’s no way I could’ve done what I’m doing now.
It must be lonely going on tour as a solo artist, though?
It’s actually easier and less lonely to tour on my own and with my own band than it was with A-ha. I have more contact with my band now. I also feel more free because I’m able to speak out on issues that I care about. I couldn’t really do that when I was part of A-ha.
Inevitably, you’re still being labelled “the voice of A-ha”. Does that frustrate you?
That’s just the nature of pop music; it’s always full of restrictions. You have to work within a three or four-minute format. If I didn’t do that, I’d probably have to quit. But I understand how this whole thing works. If I had a big solo song, that would give me a stronger identity away from the group. It’ll be a very long process. But I’m not ashamed to be associated with A-ha. I’m really proud of the band and what we represent.
Towards the end of A-ha, more and more musicians seemed comfortable admitting that you were an influence. Why did it take so long?
The media – and especially the tabloids – presented A-ha as a boy band and pin-ups. We were branded and turned into a product at the very beginning. But these people underestimated youth culture and our fans, who were never so shallow. Our image changed later.
Are you able to explore avenues that you wouldn’t have been able to with A-ha?
I don’t do it just for me. It only works for me if it works in a greater way. That’s what pleases my ego – that it resonates and communicates with other people. Some of the sounds on Out Of My Hands deliberately still reference A-ha. It’s only natural that I should do that.
Morten Harket Album
- Poetenes Evangelium 1993
- Wild Seed 1995
- Vogts Villa 1996
- Letter from Egypt 2008
- Out of My Hands 2012
- Brother 2014
Morten Harket Songs
- Take On Me
- Kamilla og tyven
- Stay On These Roads
- Do You Remember Me?
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
- Take On Me
- There Is A Place
- Take On Me
- Safe With Me
- Spanish Steps
- Heaven Cast
- Whispering Heart
- Can’t Answer This
- End Of The Line
- Out Of My Hands
- Scared Of Heights
- A Kind Of Christmas Card
- Just Believe It
- Oh What A Night
- We’ll Never Speak Again
- Half In Love, Half In Hate
- Jeg Kjenner Ingen Fremtid
- With You – With Me
- Tilbake Til Livet
- Lay Me Down Tonight
- Los Angeles
- Ready To Go Home
- When I Reached The Moon
- Keep The Sun Away
- Letter From Egypt
- Heaven’s Not For Saints (Let it Go)
- Hymne Til Josef
- Taksameteret Går
- Brodsky Tune
- Tell Me What You See
- I’m The One
- A Name Is A Name
- East Timor
- Søndag Morgen
- Burn Money Burn
- First Man To The Grave
- Dot the I
- Himmelske Danser
- Fremmed Her
- Wild Seed
- Så Blåser Det På Jorden
- Send Me An Angel
- Shooting Star
- Kamilla Og Sebastian
- The One You Are
- Lyser Når Du Drar
- Slanted Floor
- Nothing to It
- There Are Many Ways To Die
- Den Fremmede
- You Have Grown Thoughtful Again
- Should The Rain Fall
- Monday Mourning
- Scared of Heights (Single)
- Fra Templet
- Den Fremmede Taler Til Mennesket
- Herre I Drømmen
- Hvor Krybben Stod
- Elisabeth Synger Ved Johannes Døperens Død
- Brodosky Tune
- (Cover) Ready To Go Home