Local Current Blog

Kevin Steinman sings Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” for Norwegian climate campaign

Kevin Steinman, a former Minneapolis artist who now resides in Oslo, Norway, is one of several artists protesting what they regard as poor Norwegian climate change policy.  In support of the Norwegian Church Aid’s climate campaign, Steinman performed a cover of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” in a video that appears on the campaign’s website. The campaign claims that “the only natural disasters we accept are ear-worms,” and so artists have been backing the cause by playing well-known ear-worms in protest.

The campaign itself comes from a play on words. In Norwegian, the word “Landeplager” has a double meaning. Originally it referrers to natural disasters, but is also jokingly used for songs that are considered musical disasters. The campaign’s website encourages visitors to send their favorite musical plague to the government to encourage better climate policy.

Since the release of his album Pre-Existing Condition in 2011 and his move to Norway in 2012, Steinman has devoted considerable energy to activism. In 2013, NRK (Norway’s equivalent to the BBC) asked Steinman to write about the differences between U.S. and Norwegian health care, an issue close to him as he has experienced firsthand the differences between the two.

In addition to Steinman’s cover, other Norwegian artists have covered songs including “Flashdance” and “November Rain.” Watch Steinman’s Foreigner cover, filmed outside the Norwegian Parliament building, below. Even The Current’s Barb Abney, admittedly not a fan of Agent Provocateur, says she is “loving this version!”

Lillian Speakman is a student at Hamline University. She’s a reporter for Hamline’s newspaper The Oracle and a DJ for HU Radio.