Finland's Gájanas’ Debut Album 'Čihkkojuvvon' Keeps Sámi Culture Alive In Today's Urban Landscape
Gájanas plays Sámi ethno-progressive music. This is progressive folk rock music built around the Sámi culture of the northern parts of the Nordic countries. Gájanas comes from the Inari-Utsjoki area of northern Finland and half of the members of the band are from Sámi families. Gájanas consists of Hildá Länsman on vocals and yoik, Nicholas Francett on guitar, cello and vocals, Kevin Francett on drums and Erkki Feodoroff on bass. Hildá Länsman grew up with the ancient Sámi traditions of reindeer husbandry, handicraft and yoik. She is the real deal and it shines through in her ethereal yet powerful voice. She is a force of nature, a natural and seductive talent.
In the music of Gájanas, you can hear a dialog between the traditional and modern Sámi music. In addition it emphasizes the strong connection to nature of the Sámi people. With their music different genres combine and create something new and unique.
Gájanas was named band of the year by the famous folk music festival Kaustinen 2017 and they won second prize at the Sámi Grand Prix song contest 2016 in Norway.
The band most recently won the International Indigenous Artist-Group Recording of The Year at The Summer Solstice Festival held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 2021.
Established in Ottawa in 1996, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that brings together Indigenous artists, performers, educators, students, and community members to share knowledge and celebrate Canada’s diverse Indigenous cultures. Summer Solstice Festivals are produced by Indigenous Experiences on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee (NIPD). In 2020, the former 4-day live event transformed to a month-long virtual festival coinciding with National Indigenous History Month and culminating on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21st). In 2021, virtual programming included The SSIMAs, a new national Indigenous music awards program.