Popular Music in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are no exception from the rest of the world, when it comes to popular music. Bands were formed in the 50’s to play at dances and the songs they played were mainly American and British pop songs. A few people such as Simme and the Faroe Boys in the 60’s wrote their own rock and pop songs, but generally bands would play cover tunes for both concerts and dances.

Petur Mohr Reinert and Ronnie Nielsen from the bands Paragraf and Devon were among the first people to release albums with their own material and this happened as late as 1984. From the mid 80’s people like Eyðun Nolsøe, Steintór Rasmussen and Terji Rasmussen with bands like Frændur, Terji & Føstufressar and Moira have had great successes with original popular albums.

Since then, however, there has been an enormous activity and creativity on the popular music scene. Nowadays, most bands write and perform their own songs. Among active songwriters today are, to mention but a few, Lena Andersen & Niclas Johannesen, Unn Paturson & Rógvi á Rógvu with RUN, Anna Iachino & Arnold Ludvig with MonkeyRat, Jóhannus á Rógvu Joensen, Heri Joensen, Brynjólfur, Niels Galan, Mikael Blak, Uni Árting with 200, Jón Tyril, Øssur Johannesen, Líggjas Olsen with Frostfelt and Uni Arge. These composers and songwriters generally work with a certain band and will often compose collectively within the band.

Composers, who have formed bands in heir own names and with themselves as front person, include Petur Pólson, Benjamin Petersen, Lena Andersen, Høgni Lisberg, Guðrið Hansdóttir, Bárður Johannesen and Kristleif Zachariasen.