Happening Tonight: JFDR, Jaakko Eino Kalevi & Farao - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Happening Tonight: JFDR, Jaakko Eino Kalevi & Farao

Happening Tonight: JFDR, Jaakko Eino Kalevi & Farao

Published July 11, 2019

Photos by
Art Bicnick

Three Grapevine favourites join forces tonight for a blockbuster live show at IÐNÓ. Iceland’s own JFDR will perform alongside breakthrough Finnish wonky-alt-pop maestro Jaakko Eino Kalevi, and Berlin-based Norwegian artist Farao.

The three started to emerge internationally at around the same time, and as such have often shared stages as they toured around the venues, showcases and festivals of Europe, and sometimes beyond. While their music is varied in style, they share a common spirit, and formed a fast friendship.

Jófríður wrote us the following letter about how they met, what connects them, and what to expect at tonight’s show.

“The blurry lines of where friendships begin (and where they end?) are vague and ever changing. I tried to trace back the moments I first met these two warriors of solid jams and synth solos, Kari Jahnsen aka Farao, and Jaakko Eino Kalevi, but I failed to remember when and how our paths first crossed and entwined. I just know we share a similar frequency. Kari, Jaakko and I are all Leos, ruled by the sun, the colour gold, and Sundays. Natural leaders, drama queens and creative forces.

JFDR, Farao, Jaakko Eino Kalevi

“I met Kari when I was only a teenager, our main connection being the time she spent in Iceland recording her first album ‘Til it’s all forgotten,’ and my visits to London performing with my old bands Pascal Pinon and Samaris. She quickly became the older sister I never had, someone I looked up to (and still do) for her undying drive and strength that is synchronously supported by her tenderness and sensitivity. She follows through when she believes in something and won’t back down. Her music and albums are beautiful examples of this; she started off with a more traditional take on the subject, writing songs on her acoustic guitar, which lead her to Iceland, where she recorded her first album with Mike Lindsay, and was already at that time mastering her brilliant songwriting and production work.

“She toured all over the place, fell in love, moved to Berlin, became borderline obsessed with old synthesisers and Soviet-era disco music, and ended up gathering a huge collection of hard-to-come-by vinyls and heavyweight wonky synths. These elements were a huge influence on her latest work ‘Pure-o’ and she’s been spreading the love ever since, sporting some serious aerobic moves and leotards.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi

“Jaakko and I found each other at the same music festival a while back. He was just fascinating to me; the long hair, long coat, Finnish poise and deeply strong vibe he carried with him. He would quickly become the kind of person I trusted I’d run into in any random place on the planet. And when we did it was always an adventure, whether it was just plain sitting on a bench or breaking into a swimming pool in the middle of the night.

“His weapon of choice would be the little (but powerful) Yamaha synth he has had for years, and his secret ingredients and spirit animals might be a saxophonist, or a guest vocalist selected with wildly short notice. I’ve always felt Jaakko has cracked some kind of code. He seems beautifully content and quietly confident, as if he knows something the rest of us don’t. His music is a bit like that, subtly steers the vibe from one mood to the next, in the way only a true vibe master could accomplish. His new album ‘Out of Touch’ is an example of that, even though I feel like the title is completely misleading. If anything, Jaakko Eino Kalevi is perfectly plugged in.

“According to our joint-Leo horoscope predictions for 2019, this year is marked by the position of Jupiter in our fifth house, putting a special accent to our fun times, activities done with loved ones and our own inner children. This year, our creative sides will blossom but also we will be reminded that hard work and responsibility make a foundation for any endeavour we embark upon. We are to play enough, work hard enough, and be serious enough. Which is exactly what we will do for this upcoming summer concert. I’m elated I get to share the stage with these masters and share our friendship with you; the passing or permanent residents of Reykjavík on July 11th in Iðnó.”

Join the Facebook event for the concert here. The show begins at 9pm and tickets are 2,500 ISK.

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