Initially making her foray into the Norwegian music scene as half of the teen pop duo M2M, Marit Larsen went on to become a regular on Norwegian Top 40 radio with sweet, breezy alt-rock singles like "Don't Save Me" and "Under the Surface." Larsen teamed up with Marion Raven to form M2M in 1999. The duo kicked out numerous hits during its stint in the limelight, including 1999's "Don't Say You Love Me," which hit number 21 on the U.S. charts. The duo broke up in 2002 following the so-so sales of their U.S. debut, The Big Room. Left to her own devices, Larsen got to work developing her own material over the course of the next two years. Re-emerging with a new look and a shiny new record deal with EMI, Larsen started playing live shows and making radio appearances throughout Norway on the strength of original songs like "This Time Tomorrow" and "Recent Illusion."
The first singles from Larsen's solo debut, "Don't Save Me" and "Under the Surface," hit the Norwegian airwaves in early 2006, soaring into the Top Ten and securing Larsen's place as one of that year's strongest Norwegian pop artists. Under the Surface sold double platinum in Norway, and the songwriter went on to win two Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammys) on the strength of that release. The Chase followed in 2008, led by a strong single titled "If a Song Could Get Me You" that became her first worldwide release. A compilation also titled If a Song Could Get Me You appeared in 2009. Favoring singles, it included six tracks from Under the Surface and seven from The Chase.
Featuring the Norwegian number one "Vår Beste Dag," her third studio album, Spark, arrived in 2011, a year that also saw her lend vocals to countryman Sondre Lerche's eponymous LP. The self-produced When the Morning Comes followed in 2014 and topped the charts in Norway, also earning Larsen Spellemannpris nominations for music composition and lyrics. That year, she also appeared on the soundtrack to the thriller The Sleepwalker, singing "Take Everything Back" with English chanteuse Sylvie Lewis, a song she co-wrote for the film with Lewis, Lerche, and Kato Ådland. In a departure from prior records, her 2016 EP Joni Was Right offered acoustic, folk-styled fare. Her first independent release, it also marked the debut of own record label, Håndbrygg Records. ~ Margaret Reges & Marcy Donelson