Late 2012 was a difficult time for Norwegian singer Ane Brun: Health problems related to lupus landed her in the hospital, forcing her to cancel a North American tour with Peter Gabriel. But as she tells Weekend Edition Sunday, the break from the rigors of the road led to a burst of creativity.
The result is her latest album, When I'm Free, which comes just a little ahead of her 40th birthday. Brun says she's been thinking a lot about what that milestone means for her as an artist.
"Of course I can get some panic, sometimes, but I think that the panic is just society's expectations," she says. "I fill my life with things that matter to me, and I am true to myself. I don't really mind that time passes by. So I guess that's what my goal is: to keep on being true to myself, and keep developing my music. And that's what I did on this album. I felt I really was playing around with it, and just pressing my limits and seeing what happens."
Ane Brun is now visiting the US, and spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about re-learning how to dance, writing an homage to feminism and letting go of fear. Hear more of their conversation at the audio link.