– I thought of my wife, Karen Marianne, when I yoiked the yoik for the very first time. The yoik suited her incredibly well, and you can hear it when you listen to the yoik, says Máhtte Ánte J. Sara.
The Easter festival management held the biggest Saami yoik and song contest, Sámi Grand Prix 2021, in Kautokeino on Holy Saturday.
Yoik is the traditional way of how Saami people «sing», in Saami it is called «juoigat», in English «to yoik». It can remind a little bit the Inuit throat singing and the Mongolians throat singing. But yoik has more melodic. The characteristics of yoik is the rapid change of tones and the fact that it can drop five octaves in a second and then rise again five octaves. It has also
In the wilderness yoik has been a form of communication among reindeer herders and it kept the wolves away from the reindeer pack.
Máhtte Ánte J. Sara was the pre-favorite in the traditional yoik contest and now he is a very relieved winner.
– It is a childhood dream that has come true. I have been dreaming to compete in this contest for a long time now and finally I dared to take the challenge, he says.
He wants to thank everyone who has voted for him and those who had faith in him and motivated him to participate in the competition.
The yoik artist Kim Hallgeir Berg came second with the yoik «Anna Mathilde», and Johan Anders Oskal, who yoiked «Per Thomas Oskal», placed third.
The winner of the song final
A power yoik with music, the young duo Lávre Johan Eira and Hildá Länsman were pointed out to win the contest by the people before the finale.
Their song «Jođi» is inspired by a Sami proverb «Jođi lea buoret go oru», which means that it is better to be travelling or nomadic than to stay in one place.
– This metaphor has an exceptional significance today in terms of the corona situation, says Lávre Johan.
The young artist met during the Sámi Music Awards few years earlier and they have sung several times before the finale.
– We were both nominated for an award, but we didn't win. But even though we feel that we won something after all, because we decided to make this song and we enjoy a great musical collaboration, the duo says.
They smiled from ear to ear and were happy to win, when announced as winners.
– It felt Absolutely superb, says Lávre Johan.
– It was very fun to win, says Hilda.
Lávre Johan adds cheerfully that they did get some good signals from the people before the finale, because they were also pre-favorite to win the contest.
– We saw it on the internet that we're the favorites, but it was a really good feeling to win, says a smiling Lávre Johan Eira.
The EiRA duo came second with the song «Máilmmi Nieida». Third place went to Yarsem Galkin & Roman Jakolev with the song "Моайнас Се̄ййтъя̄вьр баяс"
Challenging to plan the contest
The Sámi Grand Prix is the biggest song and yoik contest in Saami land. It has been traditionally held since 1990, but last year it was canceled for the first time due to the corona outbreak.
– The festival has a responsibility to follow national coronavirus restrictions, said leader of the Sami Music Festival Ken Are Bongo last year.
Although the coronavirus is still present, they had to do several adjustments to prevent coronavirus infecting to the crew and contestants. The festival leader Bongo decided to organize this years contest, even though there was a risk of infection.
– We had no other solutions than to record most of the broadcast in beforehand, because of the coronavirus situation. But the last 14 minutes we broadcasted live. All the contestants were on an online video link from Sweden, Finland and Russia, when winners were announced. We wanted to broadcast the winner contestants live, if they were announced as winner of the contest, he says.