Norwegian keyboardist Aurora Aksnes was asleep at home when her pop idol Katy Perry had not only discovered her ethereal single “Runaway,” but tweeted to her 66.4 million followers about the 18-year-old who “sings like an angel.” The singer – who, as Aurora, issued her first EP “Running With the Wolves” in May – woke at her parents’ rural homestead, and could barely believe it. “It was so sweet of her to do that, because she knows what kind of impact that could have on my career. I was really moved, so I wrote her to say thank you, and she told me to keep on shining.”
You’re also a painter?
I paint a lot. But I only paint trees, though. And hands and eyes. But I think those are the most beautiful things in the world – trees and hands and eyes are my favorite things, and I’m trying to paint perfect ones. I’m getting quite good at it now.
Do you carry a sketchbook with you?
Sometimes I do. But normally, I just paint on stuff I find lying around the house, and then I just put them all in a box. I never hand them out – I keep them all in the box, because I don’t need to see them again. I just need to paint them.
Painting brings you peace?
Yeah. I find it’s very relaxing to do that stuff. It involves no sounds at all, so you don’t have to speak or sing or even listen to anything. I never even listen to music when I paint – I really enjoy the silence, I really need it.
And you still live with your folks?
I do. And sometimes with my sister in Bergen, where she has an apartment. But I really need to be in the countryside. I wouldn’t like to have my own apartment in the city, because I need the nature.
But you find performing for crowds stressful?
I’m not good with being together with many people in one room. I’m very used to being alone, and I really like being by myself with room to breathe, where you can move your hands all around without hitting anyone in the face.
How terrifying was your first show?
I started writing songs at 10, but I didn’t perform in front of anyone until I was 15. But on the last day of school in 10th grade, I played a song that was nine minutes long, without a chorus, and very serious. It was tough going, and I peed myself, almost. And I think all the kids just fell asleep – it was way too boring for them.
IF YOU GO
opening for Rone
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. June 5
Tickets: $15 to $17
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.snagtickets.com