Norwegian native Kari Jahnsen, aka Farao, has had a busy first quarter of 2013. The London-based singer-songwriter shared the track ‘Forces’ with the world in January, then zipped off to Iceland to record her debut EP with Reykjavik resident Mike Lindsay (of Cheek Mountain Thief and Tunng), and now has a busy couple of months out on tour. Prior to her gig in Amsterdam (supporting Moddi), Kari kindly took some time out to have a chat with us!
How did it come about that you travelled to Iceland to record with Mike Lindsay?
We basically just asked if he was interested in working together and he said yes. My manager had met him a couple of times and thought it would be a good match musically, and indeed it was! It was so amazing to travel there to record – it’s such an inspiring place and the Icelanders are incredibly welcoming and hospitable.
Did you have the benefit of working with any other local musicians during your time there?
Yeah, Maggi (who performs with numerous bands in Iceland) played drums on the EP. He is such a ridiculous drummer. When he came in to record, he had never heard the songs before, and within three hours he had recorded drums for all four songs perfectly. It was so much fun to work with him.
The first single from the EP is out in May – when can we sneak a peek at the video you did with Chris Aadland? How did that collaboration come about?
It will be aired later this month. I got to know Chris last year when he lived in London, and I fell in love with his work. He did the Farao press shots and we decided to try to do a video as well. It’s his first music video and we’re both really happy with it.
You’re in the midst of a string of gigs right now – any routines you can’t live without whilst out on tour?
I try to make the most out of the time in the van. I brought loads of documentaries and good films, and watch one or two a day while we’re driving. Also, I try to listen to a whole album back to back, every day.
I see you are popping back to Norway for one gig – any Oslo cafes you’d like to recommend?
I always go to a cafe called Bare Jazz when I’m home, a really nice jazz record store with a cafe upstairs. The best coffee is probably Java though, at St. Hanshaugen park which is my favourite area of Oslo.
And any Norwegian musical tips?
Where do I start… There’s some really amazing music coming from Norway these days. My favourite is Angelica’s Elegy, who just released their debut album Gold Celeste. I’m also really looking forward to Dråpe‘s first album which is out soon, and the Anna Lena & the Orchids‘ self-titled EP released in March is amazing too. My favourite Norwegian album from last year was Bendik‘s debut album. Such a good band, and the singer sings in Norwegian, which is really cool.
Farao plays at 19.30 on 9 April at People’s Place and the other upcoming tour dates in NL/BE are detailed below. The debut EP is released on 27 May and look out for the video for ‘Skin’, which we will share via whatever means possible when we can!