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John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen

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Loddefjord, Bergen, Norway (2007 – 2013)

John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen was a Norwegian indie rock band from Loddefjord, Bergen, Norway. JON&Gjengen was fronted by singer-songwriter and main vocalist John Olav Nilsen (Born December 20th, 1982). The band played a mix of several styles including pop, rock, soul and punk, referred to as “gatepop” by the band itself. The lyrics are entirely in Norwegian.

Initially, the band played several concerts in Bergen and Western Norway during 2007 and 2008. Their song “Diamanter & Kirsebær” was released on a compilation disc titled Opplett 2008 featuring music from Bergen-based acts including Fjorden Baby!, Kommode, The New Wine, Razika, Di Kjipe and Lars Vaular. In addition, they opened for Norwegian rock band Fjorden Baby! in a major concert on 18 December 2008.

The band was featured on NRK Urørt broadcast on P3 n 2008, and one of the finalists for best act in Urørt’s annual show finishing in third place. In February 2009, they performed at the by:Larm music festival in Oslo. Also in February 2009, they were signed to Norwegian record label Voices Music & Entertainment (also known as VM&E).

The band’s debut album was released on 14 September 2009 and well-received by critics and selling over 15,000 of the album. During Spellemannprisen equivalent to the Grammys held on 6 March 2010, they won the classic rock award in addition to being nominated for “best newcomer of 2009”.

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