Simon Nikolai Tøllefsen aka ‘Just Simon’ is a 27-year-old, unsigned solo-artist from Tønsberg, Norway. ‘Just Simon’ makes most of his music himself, accompanied by his childhood friend, co-producer and mixer Johannes O. G. Hallanger from Atella.
‘Just Simon’ writes, composes, produces and tracks all his music, and together with Hallanger, he is developing his own style which he describes as “a thrilling, mellow and driving sound”.
He started making music in his early teens, and at the end of 2006 Simon began posting tracks online with a couple of his classmates. Fast forward ten years, dozens of concerts and songs later, he launched as a solo artist under the moniker, ‘Just Simon’.
He dropped his debut-single, “Blue Lounge” at the end of 2016, followed by a self-made music video. During 2017 and 2018, the songs of ‘Just Simon’ streamed almost 400,000 times, and his single, “Do You Good” went in to ‘Today’s Top Hits’ after its release in early 2018.
Now he releases “Yellow Roses”, an original four-track EP on 29th August. Written, composed, produced and tracked by Just Simon and co-produced and mixed by Johannes O. G. Hallanger (Atella).
It’s chilled, it’s serene and we tip this guy for future success as an artist and as a producer. Check him out…
Spotify-link to “Yellow Roses” EP :
Artist Q & A: ‘Just Simon’
- Your name and your age?
Just Simon (Simon Nikolai Tøllefsen), 27-years-old.2. Where you were born and where you are based now?Born in Tønsberg, Norway. Based at Tjøme, Norway.
3. Instruments you play?I mostly use midi-keys to produce and compose my music, but my main instrument is the vocal. An instrument I actually have played (but no longer pursuing), is the clarinet.4. Age when you started in music? And when/where/what was your first public performance/how many saw it?I started making music (mainly writing rap songs in Norwegian) around the age of twelve. But it was when I was 15 that it got a bit more serious, in late 2006. My first public performance was in my hometown, and what I remember from the concert was that I had lost my voice, almost completely. Bad time to lose it, I remember I was thinking. I’m guessing there were around 30-50 people in the audience.
5. What song or artist/band lit the flame inside you to want to be a musician/artist?It’s hard to pin down one song or artist as the one who lit the flame, because there are several. But one artist and song that stands out is Paperboys (a Norwegian Hip hop act) with the song “Barcelona”. When it comes to style and genre, I feel I should mention Justin Timberlake as a major inspiration from day one. Alongside artists like Kanye West with his ability to renew his sound, and Snoop Dogg with his insanely laid back flow.
Even though I consider myself to be in the pop genre, my music, or at least my inspiration to make music myself, came more from Hip hop and R&B, rather than from the Pop genre. If it hadn’t been for Timbaland’s beats on Justin’s songs, I probably wouldn’t mention him first.
- First song you wrote, at what age and what was it called, and what inspired it? Can’t remember what my first song was called. Probably something really stupid, in Norwegian. I would have been around 12, and I’m guessing the red line through the song was how cool I was! What inspired it was probably to show others how cool I was. But mainly to impress girls, probably!
- What music has been released so far? And what format and dates? As Just Simon, I’ve released four official singles for streaming. My debut single “Blue Lounge” was released in December 2016, followed by a partly self-shot, self-directed and self-edited music video. Second single out was “Close To You” early in 2017, followed by “Feel Nothing” in October 2017, before my last single “Do You Good” which was released around New Year.
- How do you describe your own music style to a stranger who asks: “What kind of music do you play/sing”? Mellow music, I’d say.
- How many gigs have you done and which/how many countries? Since 2006/2007 I think I’ve done 50-100 concerts in total maybe. Feels like 200. Mostly in Norway and some in Finland.
10. Bullet points of your main music career/achievements to-date?
- Going solo in 2016
- Getting pre-elected to a business-music-week in Oslo, Norway called by:larm back in 2011.
- Making songs with all the major artists in Norway that I admired when I grew up (like Vinni from Paperboys, as mentioned earlier), the two rappers/ singers from Madcon (a Norwegian Hip hop/ Pop act), and Son of Light, one of Norway’s illest rappers there will ever be.
- Getting to play in front of thousands of people on several occasions at Slottsfjell, one of the biggest festivals in Norway.
- Out of the blue, getting 30’000 listeners a day resulting in getting “Do You Good” in the actual “Today’s Top Hits” on Spotify. It was a nice day!
- Strangest or worst gig you have done?Wow! I remember that one… Pop/ hip hop-inspired Norwegian music meets 15 or more motorcycle dudes in a dark pub at some festival…
- A: X Factor?, B: The Voice? C: Britain’s Got Talent? D: Gouge your own eyes out with a rusty spoon? D.
- Day jobs you have done…………………?Selling clothes, cutting grass, setting up speakers, stage etc., barista (where I got my biggest addiction; coffee)
I`m currently a teacher at a Waldorf School in my hometown.
- Funniest or most dramatic thing that has ever happened to you?I was paralyzed in half of my face for some weeks, after being bitten by a tick. Scary small shitheads. Ended up in the hospital, all the way up in the top floor with all the old people.
- Guilty secret? Coffee!
- Which two recordings could you not live without if you were stuck on a desert island?
“FutureSex/LoveSound” by Justin Timberlake and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
17. Your main influences?All music or art in general that has that good vibe. Mostly just life, nature in the different season we got up here in Norway, feelings, highs and lows, my girlfriend!
18. If you believed in reincarnation; who or what would you want to come back as?
I’ve always thought: A bird. An eagle or a hawk. But when I think about it now, it would be much smarter to just be reincarnated as a human. But then again – you’ll never know where you’ll end up. Might be unlucky. Can’t just fly away then…
19. Pet ‘hate’?
20. Plans for rest of this year and next year?
To put down some serious effort in making a full length album. Reach out to hopefully millions of people from around the world with my music!
- Please provide a personal message to our readers, as to why they should listen to your music and go see you live – in one or two paragraphs.
Honestly, you have nothing to lose. I think you’ll enjoy my music. I’m about melody and flow, on driving beats with pounding kicks and nicely tuned basslines. I got that good vibe, with some feelings of melancholy, thematically.