Did you know Greenland is the biggest island in the world? People will tell you it’s Australia but that’s actually a continental landmass. Did you know that Greenland is the third largest country in north America? Did you realise that Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world with just 60k people in all that space?
Greenland is a fascinating place. How can a country so big, have so few people? Mainly because it’s utterly freezing, I’d imagine but that doesn’t put me off. It makes it more alluring.
Here we have an excellent sample of Greenland’s music scene. How can a country with the same amount of people as Inverness, have such a vibrant bunch of musicians? The Greenlandic music scene is one that is very interesting because of its creative concentration.
When I last visited Iceland, I found that to be a hyper-concentrated place of creativity and that sense is perhaps only outdone by Greenland. It seems like a culture that values creativity much higher than other countries. So much so, that almost everyone seems to be artist in one way or another.
Sample Pick: Nive Nielsen & The Deer Children – ‘Good For You’.
Huge swathes of people in the UK and indeed other countries have little to no creative hobbies. Our culture of working hard and chasing money is perhaps the biggest distraction but creativity is important to life and health.
The act of ‘flow’ is known to help with long terms happiness. ‘Flow’ is the act of doing something that takes all of your concentration – an all-consuming act. This could be painting, writing, playing guitar, surfing or tightrope walking.
Anything that needs 100% of your attention and focus. I guess when it’s freezing outside like it is in Greenland, those pursuits tend to be done indoors and hence the ultra-creative society.
With a tinge of isolation and a hint of colloquial inflection, this travel playlist is an exciting listen. It feature the modern rock bands, indie and folk music, along with some traditional singing and indigenous culture.
It is always interesting to se how isolated communities translate international influences and incorporate them into their own homegrown music culture. You can hear all that on ‘Thule Culture’.
Enjoy the playlist and visit Greenland to understand a culture with more creativity than you can shake a stick at. Whats your ‘flow’?
Favourite Greenlandic Bands
Nanook – Music runs in the family with Nanook. Brothers Christian and Frederik Elsner, who both play guitar and sing in the band are sons of music industry veterans, Ejvind & Marianne Elsner. Together they all run the family record company Atlantic Music.
Small Time Giants – Despite their name, STG are not only favourites in their homeland but in Denmark to. And you can understand why too, as their brand of heartfelt rock music is very appealing.
Simon Lynge – Danish born and Greeland raised, Lynge is one of the most popular musicians to have spent time in Greenland. You’ll find him based all over Europe and the States these days and playing the festival circuits as he goes.
Nive & The Deer Children – Nive Nielsen and her band play what they describe as ‘original hummable folk melodies with a streak of vocal jazz – sounds good, as does ‘cowboy ballads with an elfin side’. Nice.
Malu Rohmann – Hailing from Nuuk, Malu is a leading light in the home based Greenlandic music scene. Expect a hugely creative spirit and talented vocal ability, from this solo artist with much promise.
Pukuut – Hailing from the islands darker side of music, Pakuut are a band with force, energy and attitude. Whilst the heavier side of music isn’t to everyones tastes, it would be crazy to ignore any good band from the great white island.
Angu – Angu was born in Qaqortoq in Southern Greenland and started playing music in a local youth club. From small beginings perhaps but his music is now well known across the Dannish and Greenlandic music scenes.
Uyarakq – I hear Uyarakq is heading out to play SXSW festival 2018 in Austin, Texas this year. It bodes well that the Greenlandic scene will be represented here and with Small Time Giants heading out too, he’ll have company.