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
«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.