New World and Folk Music from Finland

Get to know the most exciting new world and folk music from Finland!

The Finnish music scene is more diverse than ever, with traditional music styles and instruments shaking hands with modern soundscapes and other genres. The artists featured on the playlist range from Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's balkan grooves to Joonas Widenius Trio's flamenco jazz and Maija Kauhanen's music inspired by Finnish and Karelian traditions.

This Apple Music and Spotify based playlist is updated frequently. Scroll down fro artist info!

New Folk & World Music from Finland on Apple Music
New Folk & World Music from Finland on Spotify

Related Artists

Maija Kauhanen

Maija Kauhanen is a composer and a versatile multi-instrumentalist inspired by rural music traditions of Finland and Karelia. She specializes in Finnish Saarijärvi kantele as well as the old and rare technique of playing kantele using a tiny wooden stick as a plectrum. Her debut solo album Raivopyörä ("Whirl of Rage") came out in March 2017 on the Nordic Notes label.

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Ilkka Arola Sound Tagine

Ilkka Arola Sound Tangine is a six-piece ensemble consisting of the top musicians of the Finnish rhythmic music scene. Their music combines a variety of genres into a blend of folk, jazz, modern beats and cinematic soundscapes.

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Vilma Jää

The singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Vilma Jää mixes hundreds of years old stories with today’s electronic music. She combines the ancient instruments such as kantele and harmonium with synthetic beats. She is also known from her breakthrough role in Innocence, an international success opera by Kaija Saariaho.

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Vilma Talvitie

Vilma Talvitie is a singer, composer-lyricist and multi-instrumentalist who creates bridges between pop, global and folk music. In her music, Finnish folk aesthetics and acoustic instruments (piano, accordion, strings) exist in harmony with electronic beats and catchy pop melodies. Having lived in several different countries and continents – Europe, South America and Asia – the nomadic lifestyle has left a distinctive mark on Talvitie's music.

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Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha

Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha's music is an interesting combination of Balkan Roma grooves, Russian romances and old Finnish tango and humppa. The group, established in 2009, has won recognition and released three critically acclaimed albums, and also become very on-demand live act due to their wild live performances.

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Matti Kallio

Matti Kallio is a multi-instrumentalist, accordionist, composer and a producer based in Iceland. He has worked with number of folk and world music acts like Värttinä and among popular music with acts like Hector and Vesa-Matti Loiri. “Murder Street”, his second full-length solo album released in 2022, consists of duets for piano and accordion and is written, played, recorded as well as produced by Kallio himself.

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Hurja Halla

Inspired by Northern mythologies and nature, the Joensuu based folk music duo Hurja Halla combines folk music with experimental elements. The collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Janne Ojajärvi and cellist Liisa Haapanen has released its debut album “Riitti” in early 2022.

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Ritva Nero

Ritva Nero is a party metal folk band formed in 2017. Their music combines soprano saxophone, Finnish bagpipes and nyckelharpa with bass and drums resulting a mix of dance folk and metal tradition. Their latest album “Immortal Tradtion” released in 2022 is a collection of dances from the 1800’s infused with explosive elements of today’s metal scene.

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Haapoja & Illmari Collective

Blending rap with folk music, Haapoja & Illmari Collective takes influence from Fenno-Ugric folk tradition as well as Kalevala and Finnish hip-hop. The band consists of composer and bowed lyre player Mikko Haapoja, rapper Illmari (Ilja Lehtinen), singer Amanda Kauranne and keyboardist Lukas Kristo.

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Pelkkä Poutanen

The solo project of composer and musician Petra Poutanen plays folk music with a modern twist using techniques of Scandinavian and Finno-Ugrian folk singing as well as throat singing. Her solo debut “Pyhä Veri Vuotaa” released in 2022 takes influence from around the world and has been described as a layered entity with acrobatic vocals and a rich sounds world.

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Kukka Lehto (violin, keyboards), Tero Pennanen (Hammond B3, keyboards) and Janne Haavisto (drums, percussion) form Pauanne, whose music combines compositions with archived tapes. The trio draws influences from old beliefs and traditions. Their self-titled debut album was released by Nordic Notes in 2019, which was followed by the collaborative album "Barely Ann-Mari" with singer-songwriter Irina Björklund in 2020.

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Aition is a collaboration project started by producer Lasse Lingren and vocalist Aino Peltomaa and was joined by vocalist, clavicymbalum player Anna-Maaria Oramo on their second album. In their music they combine the sounds of early intsruments with ethereal ambient soundscapes. Currently Aition is working among APOHTHEGMATA, a series of album releases focusing on the texts of Apohthegmata Patrum, a collection of narratives telling about ancient residents of Egyptian desert.

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Maarika & the Frocodiles

Maarika & the Frocodiles plays music written by Maarika Autio. Their music has roots in West African tradition and it tells stories ranging from the surroundings of Sahara to cold Northern latitude and reaches the levels of funny as well as deep and personal. The Frocodiles includes Cheich Cissokho (percussion), Tuomo Kuure (double-bass), Repkat Parhat (acoustic guitar), Ossi Raippalinna (percussion, drums), Christopher Rodulfo (percussion, drums) and Kaisa Siirala (saxophone, flute and backing vocals).

Pekko Käppi

Pekko Käppi is a visionary Finnish folk music composer, ethnomusicologist, runo-song researcher, member of the groundbreaking revivalists Jouhiorkesteri and album-award-winning solo artist. His oeuvre revolutionized the standards of playing the ancient Finnish instrument jouhikko, a bowed lyre, by plugging it into an amplifier.

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In Lapua-Uusi-Guinea’s music the traditions of folk music are essential, yet being blended with aesthetics of pop, jazz and world music. They have released their debut album Virittää in 2021. The band is formed by Anna Kinnunen (violin and vocals), Oona Yliperttula (violin), Jenna Hiipakka (accordion), Santeri Kaipiainen (piano and vocals), Aapo Nieminen (guitar and mandolin) and Veli-Matti Silanterä (double bass).

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Founded in 2013, the folk trio Celenka finds their inspiration in Karelian, Slavic and Balkan musical traditions. They released their debut album in 2015. The trio is formed by Emmi Kujanpää (vocals and kantele), Eero Grundström (vocals and harmonic) and Jarkko Niemelä (vocals and trumpet) and has been complimented especially for their rich vocal harmonies.

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Utopianisti is a group from Tampere, Finland led by multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer Markus Pajakkala. Utopianisti’s music explores the realms of jazz and rock with a progressive, open-minded and sometimes avant-garde touch, similar to those of Frank Zappa and Pekka Pohjola. On Utopianisti's latest album "Tango Solo" released in 2021, Pajakkala's music takes a step towards world music as he blends his classic jazz fusion sounds with tango.

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Antti Paalanen

Accordion experimentalist Antti Paalanen has created his own sound with his diatonic instrument, which he uses to weave hypnotic and minimalistic tunes that tell stories about the world of today. On his songs Paalanen screams at his accordion, kicks the floor and hits the bellows. Alongside his solo career, Antti Paalanen is a member of several folk music line-ups such as Hehkumo, Hyperborea, Laitakaupungin- orkesteri, Kiharakolmio, Trepaanit and Turkka ja Paalanen.

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Tuuletar is a vocal performance group, consisting of four diverse women from Finland. The quartet takes influences from all around the world, inspired by sounds from American hip hop to South Asian folk, all while keeping their feet strongly rooted in Finnish language and musical heritage. Following the release of their debut "Tules Maas Vedes Taivaal" the group toured across the world. Tuuletar's 2nd album "Rajatila/Borderline" was released in May 2019.

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Toni Perttula is a musical blacksmith whose open-minded experimentation with diverse musical styles and genres has forged a path towards creating his own unique musical approach and identity. PERTTULA ́s lyrical accordion playing is accompanied by the primal, rhythmic beating of hammers and anvils found in a blacksmith's workshop, inviting the listener into a new world where sounds are melted and manipulated by a musical blacksmith into a whole new form.

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Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble

In 2012, three Finnish musicians travelled to Cotonou, Benin, discovered a shared musical language with local players and voilá: the critically acclaimed and dancefloor grooving ensemble was born. ”Weather Report meets Fela”, a reviewer from fRoots described Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble’s debut album Beaucoup de Piment (2013), hitting the nail on the head: jazz, funk, and afrobeat are the main ingredients in the band’s ferocious groove.

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Consisting of Iida Savolainen (viola, vocals, stomp box) and Meriheini Luoto (nyckelharpa, vocals), Akkajee calls themselves "a band of two 'akkas' (which translates to "a head strong woman with a decisive attitude and a sharp tongue") creating string noise on the rotten roots of Finnish folk tradition". Their layered aesthetics invite you to the world of frozen lakes, haunting nightmares and the ancient mystery of giving birth. The vocal and instrumental storytelling varies from intimate to fierce seasoned with pulsating beats and floating soundscapes.

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Ilkka Heinonen Trio

Ilkka Heinonen Trio combines the ancient sounds of the Finnish jouhikko (bowed lyre) with a diverse range of contemporary influences, pushing the instrument into exciting new musical territories. Ilkka Heinonen leads from the jouhikko with echoes of old traditional melodies juxtaposed by contemporary improvisation and newly developed techniques for the instrument. Nathan Riki Thomson’s double bass provides earthy grooves and subtle textures with influences from Africa to Nordic lands, all complimented by the virtuosic percussive pallet of Mikko Hassinen on drums and electronics.

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Suistamon Sähkö

Suistamon Sähkö performs new Karelian dance music with electronics, Russian toy accordion, power of song, rap and manic moves. Crazy music scientists Anne-Mari Kivimäki and Eero Grundström create new Suistamo dance music with a Notka accordion and electronics. Add two dancing vocalists Reetta-Kaisa Iles and Tuomas Juntunen and this visual folktronica act will make you dance yourself into a trance.

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One of the most internationally successful acts to emerge from the contemporary Finland music scene, Värttinä revitalized the nation's folk traditions with an aggressive and modern style that eschewed not only the costumes of their ancestors but also the long-accepted cultural notion that women should sing unaccompanied.

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