Carl Espen Thorbjørnsen was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1982. In English he simply calls himself Carl Espen. He is the oldest of three siblings, and grew up in a family full of a love for music. Now he will represent Norway at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Silent Storm.
Carl was raised by his mum, with his two siblings. They lived on an island outside Bergen, called Osterøy. Even though the island is not more than a 40 minutes drive from Bergen city, it is a very rural and idyllic place. Carl has always loved to spend time in the nature, and was a real fishing enthusiast as a boy. His mother sang a lot, and his childhood home was always filled with music.
Among his cousins, aunts and uncles, you can find the woman behind the song Silent Storm, Carl’s cousin Josefin Winther, a London based artist and songwriter born in Bergen in 1986.
Following a dream
Four years younger than her cousin, Josefin has no problem recalling a day in her life being 12 years. Carl Espen had entered a local music competition on Osterøy, and Josefin was standing with her aunt in the audience. Carl performed Wild World by Cat Stevens, and ended up winning the whole competition. Josefin was so proud. Since then Josefin has pursued her own career in music, and established herself as a critically acclaimed artist and songwriter. That fact that Josefin has followed her dream, has always been a big inspiration for Carl Espen.
As a young man Carl enrolled in the military, and served for six months in Kosovo. In his adult life Carl became a carpenter, specialising in frames and glass. For the past 12 years he has been working for different companies within this industry. He has also done a lot of volunteer work for cancer research, and at night has worked as a doorman at Bergen’s rock bar Garage.
It is now or never
Music has always played big role in Carl’s life, and he has carried this dream with him all along. Josefin has always thought that more people should hear his beautiful and unique voice, and in August 2013 she finally sat down a wrote a song especially for Carl. She saw that he had so much inside him that needed to be expressed, and she wanted to give him the opportunity to express it through a song that was truly his own. The result was Silent Storm. She played it to him and he knew straight away that this was his song. They decided to enter into the Norwegian national selection, Melodi Grand Prix, and the rest is history.
The steps onto the Eurovision Song Contest stage on the 8th of May will not be many, but for Carl they will be crucial. The time has come for him to show the world that he has a dream, and he feels that it is now or never. He knows that to perform Silent Storm properly, he needs to be 100% present in the words he is singing, and to really dare to show that he is still hoping that "Someday I’ll be calm".