I am convinced I was Norwegian in a former life. I love so much about the country. The Norwegian lifestyle. The affinity with nature and the great pop and electronic music Norway produces. In some ways, I feel I am more connected with Norway’s music than Sweden’s. When picking out my favourite artists of the last few years, Dagny, Sigrid and Moyka are names that spring to mind because, in my opinion, they are a cut above the rest. Also, they are all Norwegian artists.
In fact, I have Moyka to thank for putting Markella on my radar. I spotted her shoutout about the newcomer and her posting about attending one of Markella’s recent gigs. At the time I didn’t get a chance to do my research before I popped off on my own Norwegian adventure travelling through the fjords last month. Fired up by the awe-inspiring impression the trip left on me, however. I wanted to make Markella one of my first emerging artist discoveries upon coming back to home.
Brought up in Greece and Hallingdal, Norway. Markella (real name Markella Assimakis) makes Nordic synth-based pop with Greek elements in the form of language, folk tones and timbres. (A bio shared on Spotify informs me). She has two tracks released, “Burn Again” and “Hide Away,” and appears not yet picked up by a label. The link between Markella and Moyka is that their music sounds uncannily similar. The explanation might be that they share production and songwriter support from Bergen musician Sondre Skaftun.
It isn’t the style of the music only that links Moyka and Markella. Their vocals follow a similar path. These are voices that equally share a haunting allure. From lyricists who write with utmost heartfelt authenticity. Of the two, Markella embodies hopeful, yearning and upbeat trends moreover. Nevertheless, she manages to exploit the unique blend of brooding yet sweet musicality that the Nordics are particularly trendsetters of. Straddling both pop and electronic music with ease.
A lot of Nordic music encompasses a majestic quality. And is directly reflective of the stunning landscapes, deep glacial fjords and magical skies. Somehow it all translates into the music, and is what makes it so special and beautiful. Markella is also tapping into this haunting elixir and makes magic for herself. Markella’s ice-cold Nordic pop cocktail is spot-on for my taste.