Mariska & Pahat Sudet

A full metamorphosis – from rasta rap to jazzy schlager

Mariska is just charming. Last year she enchanted us as the Main Stage host, this year she makes a long-awaited return to the artist line-up. Along with her she brings a bunch of new songs and the Pahat Sudet ("Bad Wolves") ensemble. Mariska's style has changed from atmospheric hiphop to schlager-influenced bar jazz, but based on what we've witnessed of a few gigs so far, we're about to hear something amazing.

Mariska's fourth, so far untitled album is out in the spring. Instead of the familiar turntable sounds, we are going to hear piano, bass and clear vocals. The bold and brisk new material flips the bird at expectations. The new songs draw from blues and old Finnish schlager music, and at least Kokkaa mua ("Cook Me") flirts with the listener with admirable frankness. Mariska's previous albums contained a varied repertoire of hiphop and dark-toned pop. Two of the albums received an Emma nomination, and in 2005, the Kalevala Women's Association awarded her as a distinguished lyricist and a modern poem singer in the spirit of Kalevala. She has also successfully written lyrics for other artists, such as Jenni Vartiainen and Anna Puu. Her songwriting pencil has remained sharp and with the gained experience, her own voice can now be heard stronger than ever. The songs emanate humanity and comprehension for the small joys and sorrows of the world.

The new album and the Ilosaarirock Festival gig give us all a chance to warmly welcome the charismatic and luminous Mariska back on track. That's just charming.

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Mariska & Pahat Sudet