Norwegian alternative R&B-soul singer-songwriter Beharie shares the playful, bold track and lyric video “Desire” out everywhere now, where he aims to charm a potential love interest. Beharie’s rich, layered debut album Are You There, Boy? is due out October 20 and is available for pre-order now. To support the new album, Beharie has announced a lengthy tour across Northern and Western Europe as well as a stop in London, UK. Tickets are on sale now via beharieofficial.com/tour-dates.
With “Desire,” Beharie sweetly wants to prove to a prospective love interest that he’s the right one. Beharie explains it’s a confident song about “insisting on being the right one for someone you like and telling them without any doubt, and being willing to do anything to make it happen.” The tune’s arrangement and vocal performance are more playful than any of his previous releases allowing him to experiment and introduce various sides of himself and the characters that exist on the album. Here, Beharie is able to strike a unique balance between cheekiness and classiness.
Last month, Beharie shared the soulful “We Never Knew,” a dynamic track that looks back at a relationship that was thought to last forever. Painting the picture for its overall theme, Beharie says, “In the heat of it all. When you lose yourself in it. How things made sense, and how the bad things were ignored. But little did we know that we would end up being strangers.” Atwood Magazine exclusively premiered the track and called it, “passionate and smoldering,” adding, “Beharie’s soul-stirring song ‘We Never Knew’ delivers an achingly intimate and emotionally charged postmortem on a love he thought might last a lifetime.”
The forthcoming bright, wistful album Are You There, Boy? meets Beharie where he is today and invites listeners into a brand new, carefully curated sonic world. Through vibrant melodies and delicate, smooth vocals, the artist explores nuanced themes of love, self-doubt, desire, longing and pain with his heart on his sleeve. Over 12 soulful, heartfelt tracks, the project follows a multi-faceted character who seeks meaningful connections, follows his curiosity where it takes him, and ultimately discovers more of himself. Exploring the ever-changing, versatile aspects of his own humanity and identity, the album showcases his growth, insecurities, passions and complexities.
Beharie explains, “This album has given me the opportunity to delve into various aspects of my own identity, and in the process, I have explored the complexity inherent in my personality and expression.” On the aforementioned characters presented throughout, Beharie continues, “We have nurtured different characters and played with their distinct expressions. These characters have been assigned unique names: Washed-out jeans boy, float in space boy, constant fear boy, make believe boy, and lost in thought boy.” Each of these characters represents fragments of Beharie’s soul and essence – all in search of a sense of belonging.
The album features collaborations by two rising singer-songwriters — Uly based in Dublin and Judy Blank based in The Netherlands. It was mastered by Guy Davie (Michael Kiwanuka) at Electric Mastering in London, UK.
The previously shared “Heaven,” is a swirling, cinematic track that explores faith and pain. Beharie explains the song, “tells a story about transitioning from being religious, to not believing anymore.” It finds the musician beginning to lose hope on love, but only here, he discovers his autonomy, unbound to any person or thing. He calls it, “A sad but also liberating tune.” In August, Beharie performed the track live alongside the Norwegian Radio Orchestra–watch here.
Earlier tastes of the project include the warm, romantic, “Deadly,” and “Oh My God,” the hooky, spirited track that blooms as it unfolds through Beharie’s signature heartfelt vocals. “Deadly” captures the early stages of a new love, from the fear, to the curiosity, to the sweeping excitement. Gearing up to take a leap into love, Beharie says the tender tune is, “about falling in love and feeling obsessed with a person. It’s kind of scary, but also really intriguing. It came out of nowhere, and now you are ready and willing to really jump into it.” “Deadly” has also been added to Spotify’s coveted Fresh Finds R&B playlist.
Sonically, “Oh My God” illustrates a fiery love that is unstable, energetic and worth chasing. Beharie explains, “It conveys the chaos love brings, when it’s unsettled, shaky and intense. The track has sort of a feel-good ‘awakening’ tone to it. It captures the energy of this movement, but it has undertones of frustration and desperation, and longing.”
In February, Beharie shared the forthcoming collection’s first offering, with the soulful, old-school, “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” The warm, wistful track picks up in the early stages of falling in love and explores the uncertainties that come with meeting someone new. Beharie says, “It’s in the starting phase of falling in love with someone, without knowing if the other person likes you back. It conveys the insecurities that expose themselves at the beginning of meeting someone.”
With three EPs shared since 2019, Beharie has consistently expanded his sound, artistry and message and refined his focus toward what’s to come. In 2019, Beharie shared his self-titled first EP, and in 2021, his second EP, Beharie // Beharie, earned the singer-songwriter a Norwegian Grammy Award or Spellemann Award. It also earned the attention of the Swedish Gaffa Awards who named him the “International Newcomer of The Year”. The EP also won him Wonderland praised the EP, writing, “It might be too early to crown the EP of the year just yet, but this is certainly one of our best contenders.”
Despite being based in Europe, American tastemakers have been captivated by his compelling vocals and touching lyricism. PopMatters said about “Don’t Wanna Know,” which appeared on the aforementioned EP, “This is sophisticated, jazz-inflected alternative soul in the realm of Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, and Michael Kiwanuka. The music is warm and inviting, carefully layered and constructed, and oozing a soulful dreaminess.” EUPHORIA. wrote “Worry,” also on the project, is “special” and continued, “in true Beharie fashion, it doesn’t fit into one box. It’s a bit soul, a bit folk, a bit R&B, and simply Beharie, which is what makes it a song you keep coming back to. It’s also what makes us ever-so-curious to hear what he does next.”
Atwood Magazine added, “Beharie’s music soars with sweet harmonies and mesmerizing melodies that caress the ears and stir the heart. His powerful lyrics and emotionally-fueled vocal performance makes every minute of his new EP one worth cherishing…” and wrote, “The EP “leaves an instant, lasting impression.” In 2022, Beharie joined GRAMMY winner soulful R&B star Leon Bridges on tour and released his third EP, Beharie, The Third, which produced “Simple Mistake” a track that Ones To Watch called “delicious” and “idyllic,” adding, “Beharie is here to soothe the soul…[‘Simple Mistake’] is coated in syrupy honey-toned vocals, hypnotic harmonies, and groove-inducing melodies.”
Now, with a highly anticipated full-length debut album on the horizon, Beharie is ready to bring listeners into his evolving sonic world like never before. Using his own inner fire to fuel the music that pours out of him, the poignant singer-songwriter aims to only make this fire brighter and bigger, to welcome more into his signature warmth. Most recently, Beharie performed live across Europe and in London, UK, with select shows supporting South African band Beatenberg, and had support from Judy Blank.
Experience Beharie live this November in Stavanger, Norway alongside the Stavanger Symphonic Orchestra, and in early 2024 across much of Norway and stops in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and London, UK. Tickets are on sale now with a full list of dates below.
Most recently, after a captivating performance at Norway’s Øya Festival, The Line of Best Fit wrote of the rising singer-songwriter, “It’s these rare moments of unfiltered emotion that crystallise Øya’s mission to so visibly platform Norwegian talent. It’s the look of disbelief on rising star Beharie’s face as his artistry seems to take a visible leap right in front of our eyes.” Also at the festival, the musician sat down with FLOOD Magazine to sing recent singles “Heaven” and “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” Get lost in the captivating performance here.
“Desire,” out everywhere now is a spirited melodic groove that sees Beharie imagine the partner he could be to a potential love interest. The highly anticipated, dreamy debut album Are You There, Boy? by Beharie is due out October 20 and available for pre-order now. See Beharie live across Northern and Western Europe in early 2024 with tickets on sale now here. Connect with the rising soulful singer-songwriter on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube with merch available now.