The second annual Finnish Ethnogala was held last night at Helsinki’s legendary venue Tavastia Club.
At the gala, Music Finland presented the second Border Breaking Act of the Year award – along with six other highly coveted awards given out to leading figures in folk music, world music and folk dance during the evening. The Border Breaking Act of the Year is awarded yearly to an act that has aroused interest in the international music field and demonstrated export-readiness.
This year’s award went to a cappella quartet Tuuletar, who have had success with their debut record Tules maas vedes taivaal, released in 2016 through the Bafe’s Factory label and reaching the top 10 in both Transglobal World Music Charts and World Music Charts Europe. The band has spent the last two years touring extensively throughout Europe and Asia promoting their debut album. In 2017 Tuuletar also had their song “Alku” licensed in a dvd trailer to the HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones.
The self-described “vocal folk hop” quartet Tuuletar, formed in 2012 by vocalists Venla Ilona Blom, Sini Koskelainen, Johanna Kyykoski and Piia Säilynoja, is currently working on their sophomore album, executive produced by Pekko Käppi and slated for release in May.
The award jury explained the winners to have been chosen “for the quality and originality of their music” as well as “drawing on Finnish traditions in a new and innovative way”, while being “absolutely export ready”. Their management team and record label, Bafe’s Factory, were also thanked for being “very active and effective in promoting their music”.
Other winners in the second annual Ethnogala were:
- Artist of the Year: Sväng
- Folk Music Creator of the Year (awarded by Finnish Music Creators): Solju
- Dance creator of the year: Kaari Martin
- Intersection Award (awarded by the Global Music Centre): Kulttuuriyhdistämö Interkult
- Newcomer of the Year: Pauanne
- Producer of the year: Kulttuuriosuuskunta Uulu
Live acts at Ethnogala 2019 included Antti Paalanen, Tuuletar, Maria Kalaniemi & Timo Alakotila and Frigg, among others. The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle recorded and broadcasted the event on its TV, radio and internet channels. You can stream the event – also outside of Finland – on Yle Areena via this link.
The Ethnogala is part of a larger programme of events called “Riding the Folk Wave Together”, which includes the FolkForum seminar and the Folklandia cruise.
Read an article on Tuuletar from FMQ Magazine.