|Birth name||Maria Viktoria Mena|
19 February 1986|
|Genres||Pop, Folk, Rock|
|Labels||Sony Music Norway, Columbia|
Maria Viktoria Mena (born 19 February 1986) is a Norwegian pop artist.
Maria Mena was born into an artistic family, her mother, a playwright and her father, a drummer. Both Maria and her brother, Tony, are named after characters from Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Her mother is Norwegian and her father is Afro-Nicaraguan.
Her father played in several bands in Oslo, which influenced Mena to write and record her own music. When Mena was nine years old, her parents divorced. She suffered from depression and developed an eating disorder.
When Mena was 13 years old, she moved to live with her father. She sang and wrote lyrics as a form of self-soothing. "My Lullaby", a song from Mena's diary, expresses her pain from her parents' divorce. After pleading with her father to make a demo, he contacted some acquaintances in the music industry to record the demo. Presenting his daughter's demo to several record companies, Sony Music signed Mena to their label.
In 2002, she released her debut single "Fragile (Free)" in Norway, however it did not manage to chart there. "My Lullaby" was released as the second single and the song reached #5 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. It received heavy rotation on NRK P1, P3, P4, Radio 1, and Radio Oslo. The young singer quickly gained fans and soon earned her first platinum record. After the success of "My Lullaby", she released her debut album, Another Phase in Norway which reached #6 on the Norwegian Albums Chart.
2005 saw the release of Apparently Unaffected in Norway and several other European countries, fronted by singles "Miss You Love", and "Just Hold Me". A significant success in Norway, the album has earned her three Spellemann nominations, Best Female Artist, Best Hit, and Best Music Video. In the Netherlands, the album was released in June 2006 and charted at #82. It slowly climbed the chart to reach its peak position in its 27th week at #11, as "Just Hold Me" was getting airplay again. "Just Hold Me" was released in May 2006, but then did not chart in the official Dutch Top 40, but did chart in the country's physical singles chart, the Mega Single Top 100, at #27. In October 2006, the song started getting heavy airplay again and this time it did managed to reach the official Dutch Top 40 and peaked at #26.
Having worked on her three first studio albums with Norwegian producer Arvid Solvang, Mena started collaborating with Martin Sjølie in early 2008 on what would become her fourth studio album, Cause and Effect. The album's first single, "Belly Up" had its radio premiere mid-June 2008 on Norwegian radio. Cause and Effect was released on September 17 in Norway. The first international single was "All This Time". The album was internationally released on 26 September 2008. This album garnered her a Spellemann for Best Female Artist.
Mena's song "Sorry" was featured on the third season of US So You Think You Can Dance and "What's Another Day" was featured during the fourth season. She released "All This Time" in the UK on 11 April 2010.
In 2011 Mena recorded her version of Mitt lille land (My Little Country) by Ole Paus as part of a project by the Norwegian TV channel TV2. On 23 July, the day after the Norway terrorist attacks and after requests from her Norwegian audience, Mena uploaded her version of the song to the streaming site SoundCloud. It quickly became an anthem in memory of the victims of the attacks. She contributed to the album Mitt lille land, performing one of two versions of the title track (the other was performed by Ole Paus).
North Vision Song Contest
NRK made a proposal to the famous worldwide singer Maria Mena to participate in the second edition of "Den Norsken Sangen". She was making a new album named "Weapon In Mind", so she selected a song from this album to participate in the National Final. She selected the song "Fuck You", a song which prejudices issues like cyberbullying. In the end, she won the National Final and was selected to represent Norway in Denmark. The song did very well in other countries' charts but it was placed very low in the Betting Odds.
Norway performed twelfth in the Semi-final but it couldn't qualify to the final as it was placed thirteenth with sixty-one points. It was the first non-qualification of Norway in the contest.
Maria decided to participate for the second time in Den Norsken Sangen with another song from "Weapon In Mind", "All the Love". She participated against another 9 songs and she took the first place with 235 points and therefore it was selected to represent Norway in the North Vision Song Contest 7. It was the second time that Maria Mena participated in the contest, with the first attempt not being that succesful.
The song participated in the first Semi-final of North Vision Song Contest 7, ended 4th with 85 points and qualified therefore to the final. There, it came 12th with 111 points.
Maria Mena returned to the selection for a third time stating that participating in DNS is a way to promote her new single and album and show Norway and Europe that she still has a lot to offer. "I Don't Wanna See You With Her" reached the gold final but finished 4th and Maria didn't manage to win the votes of the Norwegian public once again.
|2002|| Another Phase
|2004|| White Turns Blue
|2005|| Apparently Unaffected
|2008|| Cause and Effect
|2013|| Weapon in Mind
|2002||"Fragile (Free)"||Another Phase|
|2004||"You're the Only One"||Mellow / White Turns Blue|
|"Just a Little Bit"|
|2006||"Miss You Love" 2||Apparently Unaffected|
|"Just Hold Me"|
|"Miss You Love (re-release)" 1|
|2008||"Nevermind Me" 2|
|"Belly Up" 3||Cause and Effect|
|"All This Time"|
|2009||"I'm In Love"|
|"I Was Made for Lovin' You"|
|"Wide Awake" (Sasha ft Maria Mena)||Soundtrack: Lila, Lila|
|2010||"Home for Christmas"||Soundtrack: Hjem Til Jul|
|2011||"This Too Shall Pass"||Viktoria|
|2013||"Fuck You"||Weapon In Mind|
|"I Always Liked That"|
- 1: The single was officially released in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Austria in 2007.
- 2: The single was officially released in the Netherlands in 2009.
- 3: "Belly Up" was only released in Norway.