Hella was born in 1975 on the island Radøy near Bergen, in picturesque Western Norway. She loved music already as a toddler and played her grandmother’s electronic home organ for hours on end. As a teen, she took her first vocal lessons and sang in a youth band somewhere between punk and grunge. Later she developed her voice autodidactically, far beyond the classical sound she had studied until then. Instead she was driven by a fascination for various traditional styles, from the Joik of the Sami to Eastern European and African Vocal Folk music.
After seeing her perform live, multi-instrumentalist and former Gorgoroth drummer Einar Selvik immediately asked Hella to be part of his then-new project Wardruna. Where she was only meant to sing on a few songs initially, she instead became part of the core of the globally acclaimed Wardruna sound and has been co-authoring the entire Runaljod album trilogy (2009 – 2016). In the newly burgeoning Nordic folk scene, Hella’s voice has long since become iconic, with its controlled, piercing sharpness, but also its soft clarity.
In the fall of 2019, Hella released her solo debut Seafarer on metal label Ván Records. Her characteristic blend of moving vocal power and ethereal tenderness is mirrored by the creative combination of organic and electronic sounds, recorded in collaboration with musician friends such as Herbrand Larsen (Enslaved, Audrey Horne), Kristian “Gaahl” Espedal (Gorgoroth, Wardruna, Gaahls Wyrd), her Wardruna colleague Eilif Gundersen and her cousin Ingolf Hella Torgersen.
Text by Ruby Morrigan / laut.de