Sofia Jannok
Gig Seeker Pro

Sofia Jannok


Band Folk World


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"CD Review: Sofia Jannok Melts Hearts With 'By The Embers'"

Northern Sweden's Sofia Jannok presents us with an introspective look at the contemporary Sami culture. The sungs are sung in Sami and incorporate elements of yoik, which is akin to Native American chanting. Sofia's voice is accompanied by drums, guitar, piano, bass, trombone, trumpet, violin, viola, and cello. The region's close affinity with nature is mentioned in many of the songs. For those familiar with contemporary Nordic music, Sofia's songs are more structured than Gjallarhorn (Finland), less aggressive than Garmarna (Sweden), and more melodic than Angelit (Finland). This is purely a modern release that transcends age and culture. The music never delves into boring repetition, dance-beats, or other impediments found in too many world music releases. By The Embers is a heart-warming introduction to contemporary Sami music for the casual to advanced world music traveler. The liner notes include English and Sami song translations. ~ Matthew Forss -

"Sofia Jannok - Áššogáttis / By the Embers"

Young Swedish singer Sofia Jannok has a voice as clear as the Nordic air she sings about with such wistful warmth on this evocative album.

Jannok is from the far north, near the Arctic Circle and sings mainly in Sami, the language of the people of northern Scandinavia. As to be expected from music conceived in such a remote location, both the landscape and Sami culture looms large over Áššogáttis. Jannok’s high, transparent voice swoops deliciously above the accompaniment, but she doesn’t just sing melodies — with her distinctive vocal decoration she employs her voice like an instrument.

With some lush string arrangements and arching anthems (especially the trance-like ‘Irene’) it is tempting to compare Sofia and her band with Sigur Ros, but similarities are actually pretty thin on the ground. Jannok’s key external influence is jazz and her music is naturally introspective and harmonious rather than grand or soaring. The Peter Tikkanen Trio lend firm support with low-key riffs and improvisations, adding a layer of funkiness to tracks like ‘Árvas’ and ‘Golle Máze’

Jannok composed most of the music on Áššogáttis. Although a couple of her folk-pop melodies lack sparkle, she crafts songs with great skill. Title track ‘Áššogáttis’ has a stillness that builds and ebbs, echoing the passionate lyrics (beautifully translated for those of us not familiar with Nordic languages) and sweet-toned love song ‘Liekkas’ conveys the happiness of being warm inside while it is bitterly cold out.

Final track ‘Dulla Lullabye’, fuses a beguiling traditional folk tune with Jannok’s lyrics (A small child’s dream / is whiter than the snow / The wind on the tundra / starts singing for you), which, together with a poised trumpet solo interlude, brings home the nostalgic innocence of this music and sends a shiver down the spine.

—Tim Woodall -

"Sofia Jannok: Assogátis - By the Embers"

Sofia Jannok is a cool 26-year-old who sings in the North Sami language of the reindeer-herding people who live in the far north of Sweden, but she is certainly no traditionalist. She has a gentle, clear voice, and her original, mostly self-written songs include folk themes that reflect the grandeur of the Arctic wilderness, along with melodic and easy-going folk-pop ballads, and passages where she veers towards jazz improvisation. On this set she's backed by the piano, bass and percussion of the Peter Tikkanen Trio, along with strings and horns, and manages to change her style with almost every track. Many of the best songs, such as Sami Eatnan Duoddariid ("wide open tundra of Samiland") are easy-going and gently epic, but elsewhere she veers from a fine burst of unaccompanied singing to the swinging Golle Maze, where Tikkanen is determined to show off his jazz piano work. It's an impressive set, though marred at times by the overlush backing. Jannok is already a celebrity among the Sami, and could become a major star across Sweden and beyond - as long as she doesn't try too hard to sound commercial.

-Robin Denselow

(3 out of 5) - The Guardian


“White/Čeaskat” 2007 (DAT, Norway)

“Áššogáttis/By the Embers” 2009 (Caprice Records, Sweden)




Passion is one of Sofia Jannok’s favourite words. It’s something to do with the burning, the feverishness but also with the intimate, with the here-and-now and with the contrasts that appeals to her. It therefore comes as no surprise that passion and contrast are two defining keywords for Sofia Jannok’s music. The warmth and presence in her clear, powerful voice; and the contrast between her Sami background and the creativity and cosmopolitanism of her music.

“Because I was brought up in two cultures, my music is shaped by both,” she says. “I’m influenced by my whole life, although the Sami side is the stronger.”

The songs are in Sami. Sofia doesn’t like pigeonholes. She draws her inspiration from people, connections, heaven, earth and the wide-open spaces of the north as much as from the pulse and colours of the city. The product of all this is something vital and new. She sings of love, of her heritage and of moments captured in nature.

Sofia is 26 years old and hails from Gällivare. She’s sung since she was eleven, and started singing with a friend – they recorded a CD single and film music in Canada together – and is now one of the most exciting young performers in Sweden. She cut the critically acclaimed White/Čeaskat disk with a Sami record label a couple of years ago and has won the Sami Grand Prix in Kautokeino, the Sami’s own song contest. She’s also done some acting on different occasions. Sofia already has tours of China, the USA and Europe under her belt, and has been awarded prestigious scholarships: the 2006 Gevalia Prize, the 2007 Prince Eugene Culture Scholarship and the 2008 SKAP Scholarship.

In January her album Áššogáttis/By the Embers was released. The CD carries songs from the embers she creates with her band, that she hit it off with at their first rehearsal. “Her gorgeous vocal timbre and powers of expression are the same,” wrote NSD after a concert, “but the arrangement feels more developed and the back-up she gets from pianist Peter Tikkanen, bassist Tobias Helén and percussionist Johan Englund has definitely added yet another dimension to her music and a swing that wasn’t so apparent on other occasions when I’ve heard her perform.” They have now toured extensively with Sofia Jannok. The album and Sofia herself are the source of great curiosity in Sweden and abroad.

Sofia Jannok has been world-famous for years – in Sápmi (Lappland), I should perhaps add. In the Sami world, Sofia is a well-established name; now, though, it’s time for Sweden and the rest of the world to let themselves be seduced by the crystal clarity of Sofia’s voice and the uniqueness of her music. All her songs are in North Sami, but she doesn’t see that as a communication problem. “When you sing from the heart, your listeners understand anyway,” she says. “It’s just as natural for me to write in Sami as it is for a Swedish artist to write in Swedish.” Although she cares for her culture, she doesn’t write music in order to preserve some tradition. Sofia makes the music that’s hers, that’s her mode of self-expression, and that’s closest to her heart.

Sofia is something of a jack of all trades, and apart from her singing has worked as an actress and a TV host. Sofia is happy with the Sami part of her life, but also enjoys being a modern urbanite. And this can be heard in the 11 tracks on Áššogáttis/By the Embers, which take us on a journey between pure mountainous expanses and smoky jazz joints. All in a musically sumptuous production by Henrik Edenhed, who’s also worked with such names as Oh Laura, Teddybears Sthlm, Robyn and Laleh. Sofia wrote most of the tracks on the album, but doesn’t shy away from borrowing songs that have meant something to her and interpreting them in her own way. One such is a lullaby that her mother used to sing, and that has been with her since her childhood. Most of the songs have been recorded live in the studio in order to capture the intimacy of her music and the magic of the moment, as Sofia puts it.

So that’s passion, the here-and-now and intimacy…