In 2017, a 29-year-old Sámi Girl named Kajsa Sogn Balto, along with some of her friends, released her 1st album. Her Album was titled Sámi Sohka (Sámi Family.) The album was mostly rock covers of Norwegian and Sámi Folk songs. Little did she know, She was making a bigger difference than expected.
Kajsa Balto was born on February 6, 1988, in Norway’s Capital City (Oslo), but grew up in Finnmark, a Norwegian state currently under the self-governing Republic of Sápmi.
She grew up speaking Northern Sámi, which is an endangered Nordic language spoken by between 25,000 and 100,000 people across Northern Scandinavia and Russia. (for more information on Sámi languages, read my post on the hardest Scandinavian languages)
Most of Kajsa’s music is influenced by the traditional Sámi form of the singing of Joiking. Joiking refers to chanting an acapella-style song (with the exception of drums in some cases).
Most Joiks are of personal experience, with many involving people, landscapes, life events, and even animals (this is why a lot of Joiks are named after people.) She also bases her music on Traditional Nordic folk songs made outside of Sápmi.
In 2021, She released her 3rd album, “Sámi Christmas.” which is a collection of Christmas songs sung in Sámi languages. A year later, she announced her 1st tour Sámi Christmas Tour, in which she toured various cities in Norway and Sápmi.
The great thing about her tour is that most of the money is donated towards Sámi cultural preservations and helping Sámis get the same rights as Ethnic Norwegians. The tour was successful and was even streamed by the Norwegian Government’s TV channel (NRK).
Today, Kajsa is still releasing music and making projects, as she is in her 4th album Min Árbim. Her 2nd Tour is on the 13th of December and will end on the 17th of January.
Despite her unpopularity worldwide, She is a local hero and role model to the Sámi.