Emma Gala is the greatest annual event of Finnish music and this year the celebration took place at Metro Areena in Espoo last Saturday. Emma Award for The Ethno Album of 2017 was granted to Maija Kauhanen.
Maija Kauhanen has definitely earned the honour. The criteria for Emma winner are artist’s popularity, artistic value and success in reviews and on the market. Maija’s year 2017 has been triumphant and filled with action.
Maija’s first solo album Raivopyörä (The Whirl of Rage) was released in March 2017 by German label Nordic Notes and produced by Colin Bass. Since Maija Kauhanen has won numerous prizes such as Critics’ Spurs by The Finnish Critics’ Association for The Best Artistic Breakthrough of the year, The Newcomer of the Year prize in Finnish Ethno Awards and Kantele of the Year prize by Finnish Kantele Association.
It has been a busy concert year as well. In October Maija Kauhanen performed at Womex World Music Expo 2017 being the first ever Finnish artist to have performed two years in a row as a part of Official Showcase Selection. In 2016 she was at Womex representing her band Okra Playground. On tour in South Korea she grabbed a local record deal. 2018 looks hectic too: Okra Playground is heading for Belgium and Sweden and solo Maija will perform and tour in Japan, Czechia, Denmark and Portugal.
An Emma Award is a significant achievement. Among the Ethno Album of the Year nominees Raivopyörä was in a deserving company. Svalan by Maria Kalaniemi and Eero Grundström, Reflection by Hyväluoma Group, Kotiinpaluu by Nikolai Blad and Human by Wimme & Rinne are all excellent albums. Last year the award was grabbed by vocal folk hop group Tuuletar, from Saura Booking Agency as well.
Let’s see what the future brings for Maija Kauhanen. Saura Booking Agency congrats all winners and nominees for a great year!