Popular music did not gain a particular Greenlandic identity until the start of the ’70s with the emergence of the band SUME. Songs of a political and cultural nature sung in Greenlandic stimulated a growing interest in Greenlandic music.
Also entering the music scene in the ’70s is popular folk singer Rasmus Lyberth who sings in Greenlandic, but is well known beyond Greenland borders.
Since that time new bands have followed in rapid succession with musical styles including pop, rock, jazz, blues, rap and techno. More recently, internationally performing bands and soloists such as Angu, Julie Berthelsen and Kimmernaq have also emerged.
MODERN GREENLANDIC MUSIC TODAY
A major new name on the Greenlandic music scene is Nive Nielsen, who, with her band Deer Children, released her debut album “Nive Sings” at the beginning of 2009.
Prior to this release, Nive had no experience as a singer or songwriter, but a ukulele that was given to her and an encounter with the well-known producer John Parish changed everything.
NANOOK – A POPULAR BAND IN GREENLAND AND ABROAD
Nanook is a relatively new pop/rock band in Greenland. The band’s first single, “Seqinitta Qinngorpaatit”, from 2009 was not only a big hit in Greenland, but Nanook has also attracted fans from beyond the country’s borders despite the fact that it exclusively performs songs with Greenlandic lyrics. Such interest includes the TV station Discovery Channel, which has purchased the rights to use several of Nanook’s songs in the series ‘Flying Wild Alaska’.
Nanook has published two albums up until now, where they express a distinctive style. Their music represents a new acoustic image, in which the songs consist of catchy and melodic numbers that have lots of new nuances in terms of changes of rhythm and advanced sounds.
For example, after the intro, the first song begins with a clear Greenlandic drum which introduces the listener to Nanook’s universe. Several surprises appear when listening to the album as a whole, with violins and xylophones each having their own minor roles in the overall concept of the album.