Emil Kárlsen, from Omasvuotna in the far north of Norway, writes music and sings in the indigenous Sámi language, but with a sound you have not heard from the Sámi homeland before: a modern band foundation with melodic vocals and poetic lyrics weaved in with classical strings and whirling sonic universes.
Though only 23 years old, Kárlsen is already an accomplished musician, songwriter, producer, artist and actor. His debut album «Nagirvárrái» includes collaborations with the Arctic Philharmonic and notable indigenous artists, such as Lávre, Katarina Barruk and Hilda Länsman as well as guest appearances by Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen of the band ISÁK and Áidna.
«Nagirvárrái» means «to the mountain of sleep» and refers to a sámi expression where you say «I´m gonna visit the mountain of sleep» instead of just «I’m going to bed». Going to sleep in Sápmi has always been more than just restoring energy. It was a state of mind that enabled other dimentions to connect with you through your dreams, and that dreamworld became the starting point for the music and lyrics.