Enkel is a traditional music girl band from Finland playing music with girl power attitude. 22 February is a chance to hear what that sounds like at Kultur på campus.

Enkel is a Swedish word that means ”simple”, but Enkel’s music is all but simple. Melodeon, viola, kantele and four voices create a complex and characteristic sound that is cheerful yet powerful.

So, why did you choose the name Enkel?
– It’s a play with words – enkel is close to ”enkeli” in Finnish, which means ”angel”. But we pronounce the band name more in a Swedish way and the meaning ”simple” sums up the idea of our band: keep it simple and fun! We also play other bigger instruments but wanted to be able to travel light with our portable small instruments to keep the band and touring simple. And fun. It’s also interesting to find ways to express music through this quite special instrumentation. In Germany enkel means ”grandchildren” and in Netherlands our website www.enkelband.com means ”anklesupport.com” – we like how the meaning changes in different languages!

Your motto is ”Tradition Forever!”. What does that mean to you in your work as musicians?
– We have all been playing and listening to folk music since we were children and the tradition is a very natural part of every Enkel member’s musicianship. Also, we all have studied folk music in the Sibelius Academy. We love the tradition and want to give new life to the old hit dance tunes from the past!

How would you describe your music?
– It’s spelman music band with a girl power attitude. We play Finnish music – traditional dance tunes and all of us also compose for Enkel based on different traditional elements, using for example polska singing or a quadrille groove as an inspiration. When we arrange the tunes and songs we think that they go through the ”Enkel machine” – we love to arrange and use both playful and deep feelings in the music.

The band members Leija Lautamaja, Miia Palomäki, Maija Pokela and Iida Savolainen all got Master of Music degrees from the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy. No strangers to the university environment that is. 22 February they will perform in Ljushallen, Lärarutbildningshuset and the very same weekend they will play at Umefolk, Umeå’s annual folk music festival.

Have you ever been to Umeå before?
– Iida attended Umefolk in 2014 while she was studying fiddle playing in Malung and Maija has also been to Umefolk in 2017 with her other band Kardemimmit. Both Iida and Maija loved the city and the festival. Miia has been to Umeå as a tourist and Leija has never visited but is looking forward to it. By the way, the festival Saturday is her birthday.

Catharina Bergman