Norway Rat Records is definitely the biggest record label registered in Norway. Although it has started as a brothers’ passion in 1987, the Hansens never imagined that their efforts could get so far. Thanks to their genuine interest in music, their daughters and sons have developed the business in what is nowadays one of the most successful business ideas in Norway.
Twin brothers Henrik and Henning Hansen have inherited the passion for music from their Russian original grandparents. The grandmother, Elzbieta, was a piano teacher and a great player herself and the grandfather, Sergey, a very skilled flute and guitar player. Although not very famous in Norway, the grandparents had gained a renowned of themselves in Russia before fleeing the communist regime and moving to Norway. Here they passed their great musical skills to their nephews who, although have had interests in different things as well, have shown interest in music at a very early stage in their development. Henrik came to play the guitar just like his grandfather and Henning took an interest in the platters and was fascinated by the unusual sounds that barrels make when they are hit, or “singing” with a leaf in the mouth or the sounds of blowing in the bottles with a tight neck.
Ingeniousness and curiosity have characterized the two brothers ever since they were born. As youngsters they were collecting platters and as teenagers they were making plans establishing their own band. However, due to unknown reasons, the plan had failed and they turned their interest towards something else: a company which produces music. Their company was settled in 1987 after many economical efforts, when the twins were both 28 years old. Apart from their passion for music, Henrik had already had a degree in Economics and Henning in the History of Art. However, this did not stop them to continue with their dreams. As many great business ideas, it all started out of hobby and it reached to be the source of money and living of the brothers. The money they earned was sufficient to live a whole lifetime when they decided to retire in 2009. The company Norway Rat Records has registered an unexpected success due to the ingeniousness of their ideas. As there were not many competitors on the market at that time, their incomes were among Norway’s tops in just 10 years.
Nowadays the company is stock owned and divided between the sons and the daughters of the two families, with Alf Hansen, son of Henrik, as CEO and general director. The record label is not only successful in Norway, but also abroad, collaborating with SONY Music and having a center in US, in New York, for promoting Norwegian music and Norwegian young talents. In 2012 they were in top 10 best business ideas ever in Norway and in 2010 their earnings were on the place 11 in a top of business earnings in Norway.