Foreign Friends

Foreign FriendsAnni Elif Egecioglu – voice (SE/TR)
Sigurdur Rognvaldsson – guitar (IS)
Sid Hille – keyboards (DE/NL)
Abdissa ‘Mamba’ Assefa – drums & percussion (SO/FI)

All musicians in this band were born in different countries and have made their home in Finland.
Foreign Friends played their first concert at the Viapori Jazz Festival in August 2016 performing essential songs of the Finnish pop and schlager repertoire, songs that have engraved themselves into the collective understanding of what it means to be Finnish.
Obviously, in the caring hands of these ‘New-Finns’, the material sounds completely different from the way a ‘True-Finn’ would perform it, as the musicians are less burdened by (or feel themselves less obligated towards) traditional ways the songs have been performed before.
The Viapori concert received raving reviews: the fresh presentation of these much-loved songs, original and inspired, yet gently respectful, was praised as much as the dynamic,  expressive and highly entertaining performance the musicians gave.

As Finland was celebrating its 100th year of independence in 2017, the Foreign Friends add a different, fresh and welcome perspective towards this modern, multi-cultural state and society that often wins the polls when it’s about quality of life, health care and education.
The Foreign Friends present an unburdened, contemporary outlook on some gems of Finland’s cultural heritage.

Songs included in the repertoire are classics like ‘Niin minä neitonen sinulle laulan’, ‘Mustasukkaisuus’ or ‘Suvivirsi’ as much as favourites of the younger generation, such as ‘Sankarit’, ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, ‘Hetken tie on kevyt’ or ‘Sama nainen’.

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