D'Sound is a neo-soul quartet hailing from Oslo, Norway. The members are drummer Kim Ofstad, bassist Jonny Sjo, and lead vocalist Simone Eriksrud, later replaced by Mirjam Omdal. The band was a regular part of slow-listening playlists, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Famous for their hits "Tattooed On My Mind," "Do I Need A Reason," and "Green Eyes," this Norwegian group is far from turning d'sound down.
Spice of Life and Beauty Is a Blessing
Ofstad and Sjo first met while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1993, together with Eriksrud on vocals, the three musician-songwriters formed D'Sound. They started practicing in an Oslo basement. The band described their sound as "un-Norwegian." They developed a sound from a mix of drum n' bass, with elements of acid jazz, soul, R&B, and funk.
They first started gaining recognition with their 1996 debut single, "Real Name." The song received heavy rotation across radio stations in Norway. By the following year, they released their debut album "Spice of Life" to positive reception. The album release also brought "Real Name" recognition and air time outside of Norway.
Newfound fame led D'Sound to tour alongside R&B act Roachford in Germany, UK, Sweden, and Denmark. During one of their international tours in support of "Spice of Life," they became the first international band to play on MTV Japan.
By 1998, the band released an even more successful album, "Beauty is a Blessing." Although it was not released internationally, it won them "Spellemannprisen" for "Norwegian Pop Group of the Year." It was often referred to as the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
Despite the album's limited release, seven singles were released internationally. Their cover of the British jazz-funk act Shakatak song "Down on the Street" charted and peaked at No. 11 on the UK Dance Chart. Another song, "Tattooed On My Mind," was released to positive reception in Southeast Asia, getting covered by local artists in the region.
Talkin' Talk and Doublehearted
The band returned to work in 2000, writing the songs that would later appear in their third album "Talkin' Talk." D'Sound produced the album with their long-time keyboardist Stein Austrud. Departing from their previous works, the sound of "Talkin' Talk" featured stronger R&B influences.
Upon its release, it debuted immediately at the third spot of the Norwegian album charts and received a favorable reception in most parts of Asia. Its title track also enjoyed heavy rotation in MTV Asia, gaining a greater reach with its use in Nokia's television ads in the region. As a result, D'Sound set concert tours across the continent, performing in South Korea and the Philippines.
During their tours, the trio has started working on their next album, "Doublehearted." The 2003 album was produced by the Norwegian duo of Espen Berg and Simen Eriksrud. The pair is now known as SEEB, and are behind Mike Posner's 2016 hit "I Took a Pill in Ibiza."
"Doublehearted" spawned one of D'Sound's most successful hits, "Do I Need A Reason." Ray Kay directed the music video. The Norwegian director also worked on Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."
Still fresh from the success of their fourth studio album, D'Sound released their greatest hits collection the following year and their fifth album "My Today" by 2005.
Breaks, Departures, and Unicorn
Kim Ofstad announced his departure from the band in 2010. He would, however, return in 2013. The group continued making new music with "Starts and Ends" in 2010 and "Signs" in 2014.
Aside from their gigs as a band, the members have also written and produced songs for other artists.
In June 2018, Simone Eriksrud left the band and the music industry to focus on her family. The last song made by the original trio was 2017's "Only One." Former The Voice contestant and Bay Louie vocalist Mirjam Omdal signed on as the new vocalist.
In the same year, D'Sound collaborated with Filipino musician and Up Dharma Down frontwoman Armi Millare. The collaboration bore two singles: "Lykkelig," which is Norwegian for "happy" and was sung in Filipino, and "Somewhere in Between."
By March of the following year, Ofstad, Sjo, and Omdal joined the Norwegian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 3rd with their single "Mr. Unicorn." Their eighth studio album, "Unicorn," was released September of the same year.
One of the band's latest gigs, the "OverOslo Festival," was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. It was rescheduled to a June 2021 date, coinciding with the band's 25th Anniversary.