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“We are incredibly talented in this country. Let’s show our talent to the world.”

Naja P:

“We are incredibly talented in this country. Let's show our talent to the world.”

 Photo – Oscar Scott Carl – Visit Nuuk

To convey a feeling

She says it herself, Naja P, when asked where her interest in music comes from, it seems almost cinematic; the childhood memory of her mother singing the famous Greenlandic lullaby “Innarta Anaanaga” (Greenlandic children’s song) to her, when she was going to sleep as a little girl.

According to her mother, Naja P hummed melodies before she could talk, and her grandmother says she was creating songs as soon as she could speak. In many ways, it makes perfect sense that Naja P’s musicality was innate. Her very first release, the EP “Naasunnguusunga,” won Greenland’s biggest music award at the Koda Awards in the spring of 2023, and her hit with the same name has become almost ubiquitous with over 300,000 plays on Spotify. Naja P has quickly established her name in Greenland’s music landscape.

Behind the artist name Naja P is 23-year-old Nuummioq Naja Parnuuna Vahl Olsen. A creative soul with a resume that includes being a comedian and singer, determined that her music should mean something to someone:

“I have always been in love with being able to give something to others. To convey joy or a feeling to others through my music is very important to me.”

It’s okay to be just you

Even though Naja P wants her music to convey something to others, the inspiration comes from within. Naja P’s music is like a funnel, filling up in her inner emotional life and flowing out through the music. Her lyrics delve into emotions that are both very personal to her and universal at the same time. Emotions related to breakups, internal chaos, and self-worth.

Her debut album, set to be released in 2024, showcases Naja P’s ability to convey some of these complicated emotions:

“One of the songs I wrote for my partner. The song is about me struggling to be loved. I had to learn to be open to the idea that others can do something good for me,” Naja P explains.

The album is the successor to her award-winning debut EP and continues in the same spirit, but there is a significant difference, according to Naja P.

“I’ve become more confident musically, and the emotions come even more directly from me. It’s not so much about YOU hurting me, but focusing more inwardly, saying: I hurt.”

On the upcoming album Self-love is one of the messages that Naja P finds particularly important. Something she occasionally struggles with herself, but it’s crucial for her to convey to others, especially in a city like Nuuk:

“My upcoming album is about daring to be yourself. Sometimes it can be challenging in small communities where everyone knows each other, but that’s my message: Be yourself and remember that it’s okay to be just you.”

The young wave

Naja P. is part of a new wave of young Greenlandic musicians who create music themselves. From a fledgling idea to the release of a fully produced song. And although she could use a manager for the “boring paperwork,” she and Tûtu, who produces all of Naja P’s music and is an important part of Naja P’s success, are personally responsible for all the music released under her name:

“We’re not dependent on anyone. It’s great because you feel ownership of your music. Instead of having contractual obligations where someone can say, ‘You have to ask us before you perform a concert.’ I don’t want that,” Naja P. explains before continuing:

“Today if you have a studio and a laptop you can release music, and I’m part of that wave. But just because it’s easy, the quality still needs to be high.”

Quality is something that Naja P believes is central to the story of musicians and creative people in Greenland. So when she had the opportunity to speak to other creatives in her acceptance speech at the Koda Awards, she used it to share an important message:

“We are incredibly talented in this country. Let’s show it to the world. Let’s showcase our talent outward, not just inward.”

Follow your light 

Naja P previously studied anthropology at Aarhus University and briefly considered becoming an academic like many others in her family. But there was something that didn’t quite feel right. One day, she had a conversation with her mother and received a piece of advice. This advice led her to follow her musical dream and also led her to attend drama school in Nuuk, and it’s something she wants to pass on to others:

“When I was unsure about what to do, my mother told me to follow my light. At first, I didn’t quite understand what it meant until I realized it meant being creative. I want to pass on that advice to others.”

Oscar Scott Carl

Visual Storyteller, Visit Nuuk