100% Pen Gutt: the Norse “pretty boy” blending rap and folk music
A “sad tumblr girl” aesthetic with an indie sound to match, Pen Gutt shares the DIY visuals for his track Bare Dans.
Pen Gutt – or “pretty boy” as it translates in his native Norwegian – is a silky smooth musician with a folky edge. Having tried his hand at modelling, acting and visual body performance, his latest creative foray is into the wonky world of leftfield rap.
An amalgamation of his Scandi upbringing, deep dive into philosophy books and the Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evagelion, the 24-year-old coos melodic bars in his mother’s tongue about “self discovery, life, death, philosophy and love”. As for the beat, expect infectious grooves and hazy electronic riffs.
The rising rapper will be releasing a 13-track album later this year, but for now, check out the visuals for his banger Bare Dans. A homespun video shot purely using Apple’s Photo Booth heart filter, watch Pen Gutt and a bunch of his mates grooving around Oslo. Then, once you’ve indulged in pure 2014 Facebook nostalgia, get the 100% scoop on this off-the-wall musician.
10%: Where were you born, where were you raised and where are you now based?
Born in Rykkinn (Norway) on the carpet, so I’m home-brewed – no hospital. Raised in the same neighbourhood and now based in Oslo, the capital baby!
20%: At what point did you realise you’d be able to do what you love for a living?
I have a day job now actually, but just seeing what my brother accomplished when I was still in my teens made me realise it was fully attainable. I asked him once why some people succeed in doing what they love and others don’t, and he just answered, “The people who haven’t made it yet, simply just don’t want it enough.”
30%: What’s a piece of advice that changed your life?
When my mother said “Håkon, don’t be afraid to make money.”
40%: What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
This project has mostly been influenced by sorrow and pain, but I don’t see myself as a depressed person. I just tend to express mostly sad thoughts through music. I think it’s because one of my all-time favourites is Lana Del Rey. I see myself as a sad Tumblr girl. That’s my mood.
50%: What can you tell us about your next project?
It’s a tale about Armageddon and love.
60%: Break down your typical day at work…
I wake up at 8am, go to work at 10, sell some hats and make some merch. Then I go home at 5pm, eat dinner with bae, start going through my e‑mails, answer some interviews with my intellect, start editing a video I’m working on, do something cute for the ’Gram, watch Game of Thrones, sleep.
70%: What can artists do to help save the world?
80%: Love, Like, Hate?
Love my girl, like when sun-rays hits my face, hate to see you sad.
90%: You can only listen to three albums for the rest of your life. What are they?
Born to Die by Lana del Rey
Forevigt by Hans Philip
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West
100%: No.1 holiday destination?
On a sailboat, from coast to coast.