MIC's Listen to Norway series continues with Niko Valkeapää's 'Sierra'
Valkeapää’s second album, ‘Sierra’, manifests Niko Valkeapää as one of Sami music's foremost performers. The young performer and composer has found a solid musical platform, which was confirmed when he recently was awarded the Norwegian Grammy in the open class category. He is solidly anchored in the Sami tradition, but Valkeapää’s musical outings owe more to contemporary and mature electronica-infused pop than traditional Sami chanting does. In close partnership with fellow co-producer, Oslo-based Georg Buljo, Niko Valkeapää has created a sterling album with strong contributions from a varied and competent crew of musicians associated with artists such as Mari Boine, Jon Balke and Amundsen. The expression is subdued and understated, but the captivating and warm vocals provide enough force to propel the minimalist playing and sparse arrangements into a powerful mix.