Katarina Barruk, born in 1994, is known as one of Sábmie’s most talented live artists. She is raised in Lusspie (Storuman) and Gajhrege (Gardfjäll), but is currently based in Oslo. Over the last decade, Katarina has toured through Europe, giving highly appreciated concerts. In 2020 she received one of the most eligible writer and composer prizes in Sweden, “SKAPs Kulturbärarpris”.
Barruk’s unique, distinctive voice, in combination with a steadfast presence on stage creates a space of vulnerability and strength that is unlike anything else. She delivers a fierce, yet deeply down-to-earth, mix of pop music, traditional yoik and improvisational elements.
Katarina sings in her mother tongue, Ume Sámi language. The language is on UNESCO’s red list of critically endangered languages, but many Umesámis are taking the language back.
“I grew up in a place where everyone spoke Swedish, with a mother tongue that I could never share with my friends. I do not use Ume Sámi language in music to prove a point, it is more about the fact that I can be myself. Doing music in Ume Sámi is a way of inviting my friends and the audience into my universe, where Ume Sámi is norm, highly topical, and alive.”
Barruk’s powerful and unmistakably clear voice has built a captive audience over the years. She has recently contributed a sound piece to Gwangju Biennale in South Korea as well as completed her second album with the Norwegian producers Arnljot Nordvik and Christo Stangness.
“When I perform, I see inner images of places, people and events. I try to take the audience with me to those places and to my emotional state. I believe that many have adapted to today’s rapid society and I want my music to bring freedom, a breathing space for people to rest in what it is like to be human.”