Resirkulert – “Áddjá” (Grandfather”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Time for a song in Sami! I guess I didn’t share one on the Sami national day (February 6) so it’s really long overdue, but until now, I didn’t really have any specific ideas what Sami song I could share with you. I’ve known this one for quite some time but came across it recently in my music collection and thought it would be a good fit.

Resirkulert (which translates to Recycled in English) isn’t really a Sami band, in that, as far as I know, they have no other songs recorded in that language and most of the members are not Sami. They seem to be quite popular on the Norwegian music scene, although, while I listen to a lot of Norwegian music I don’t have a very good idea what’s actually popular with Norwegians and what’s not really because I don’t really know the language, only via Swedish, don’t listen to Norwegian radio stations and don’t know many Norwegian people. Still, Resirkulert seems like a fairly well-established band in their home country. They come from the very north of Norway, and only one of their members – the vocalist, Emil Karlsen – actually is Sami. This joik (a piece of traditional Sami music, usually with little to no lyrics, dedicated to, or should we rather say extremely closely associated or expressing the essence of, a person, an animal etc.) is Emil Karlsen’s grandfather’s joik. I find it so interesting that, from what I gather, it’s like Sami people each have their own joik which somehow describes them and who they are and is like an essential part of their identity, it’s so interesting to have a specific tune so strongly incorporated in yourself, that other people can’t sing to you (apparently it’s not the thing to sing it yourself, I guess it would be a bit egotistical). It’s quite abstractive but also very appealing to me, probably partly because of its abstractivity. 😀 What I also like about joiks is that they, despite being such an old singing tradition, can go extremely well with modern instrumentation and generally our contemporary music genres, which you could have already noticed from a few Sami songs I’ve shared before. I mean, obviously there’s loads of neofolk, electrofolk, folk pop and what not from around the world and it often sounds just as good as traditional folk, but something really clicks between joik and contemporary music vibes.

A fun fact I once learned is that Áddjá, while it generally means grandfather, can also relate to any older/elderly adult with whom you have a friendly relationship and who perhaps shares his wisdom with you or something like that. Moreover, Áddjá is apparently also used in the Sami land in reference to a BEAR! So I guess that shows what kind of relationship they have with bears, traditionally. As someone who loved bears as a kid very much, I like the idea.