Today Norway, tomorrow the world


Øyvind Aarnes Hansen of The Echo Within

Øyvind Aarnes Hansen says that music is probably the most important form of art because of its impact. He loves being able to share it with others and wants everyone to hear his art.

Hansen is the brainchild of The Echo Within, a music project based in Lillehammer, Norway, but he is ready to take on the world. Hansen started writing poems when he was around 13 and wrote his first song at 15. He studied music for three years in college and focused on opera and jazz. He later attended the music school, Trøndertun, for a year. While in school, he was also in a metal band and an emo rock band. Neither did much besides compete in local competitions and play “a handful of gigs.”

One of those early gigs still makes Hansen laugh. It was in a hotel and the audience was filled with drunken people at the bar.  A drunk man took off his clothes and started jumping all over the furniture.

For Hansen, music is a way to “[keep him] in some kind of balance” and in many ways has saved his life. The first song he wrote was to help him cope with the loss of someone close to him. He also struggled with anxiety at school.

For Hansen, “The name The Echo Within means that you will always have your past with you. That’s kind of the echo part and within is inside you. You are formed by the choices you’ve made and the choices others eventually made for you. And that’s basically what makes you … you.”

He goes on to say that all of life’s experiences have a purpose and that people should learn from their struggles to become stronger.  His message is to not hide “behind a façade.” He says people should be “true and real” to those close to them. Hansen’s music is about self worth, eliminating toxic situations from life and being positive during hard times. Some of his songs are about heartbreak and losing and missing people. Hansen looks to his influences for inspiration.

When he first started taking music seriously, Linkin Park was a big influence on Hansen. He also listened to Three Days Grace, System of a Down, Rammstein, Of Mice & Men and Hollywood Undead. Currently, his biggest influences are Dayshell, Dance Gavin Dance and Pvris.

This summer, The Echo Within plans to release a new 4-song E.P. and a single with a video. The band also has a few concerts booked. Hansen hopes to capture the euphoria he felt at a mini-festival 1 ½ years ago when everything went right.

The Echo Within have music available on Spotify and YouTube. You can also contact them at: @the_echo_within on Twitter or: the.echo.within on Instagram.  Their email address is