Nanook, Gamla bio


Nanook was founded by the brothers Christian and Frederik Elsner, who both play guitar and sing in the band. They are sons of Ejvind and Marianne Elsner and take part in running the family owned record company Atlantic Music, Greenland’s largest record company.

The first production by Nanook, was the track “Inuup Tarraa” (“Shadows of a man”) produced for a short film by Christian Elsner with the same title. The movie takes place in a surreal universe and is, along with the song, a comment on social problems in Greenland.

In 2008, Nanook performed at the Atlantic Music Festival in Nuuk, during which bass player Ib Uldum and drummer Martin Zinck, from the band DDR, became members of Nanook. At this point, the band did not receive much attention, as they had not yet released an album. This changed when, in the summer 2009, Nanook recorded their debut album in Atlantic Music’s studio in Denmark. During the recordings, keyboard player Mads Røn became a member of the band.

Nanook’s debut album “Seqinitta Qinngorpaatit” (“Our sun is shining on you”) was released in November 2009. All the lyrics were in Greenlandic, but Mik S. Christensen, who produced the album, has described the music as, “…Greenlandic and international at once”. The Greenlandic media has described Nanook as innovative within a Greenlandic rock music, but the band has nonetheless managed to gain a large audience within the country.

During Nipiaa Rock Festival in Aasiaat in 2010, Christian and Frederik Elsner were rewarded Price of the Year by the performing rights organization KODA. The price was rewarded on reason that the brothers, as songwriters in Nanook have, “… a firm grip in the audience, with their melodic indie-rock added with Greenlandic lyrics and imageries on nature.”

In 2010 Nanook received a gold record for 5000 copies sold of “Seqinitta Qinngorpaatit”.

In 2011 two tracks by Nanook were included in the popular Greenlandic horror movie “Qaqqat Alanngui” (“In the shadows of the mountain”). One of these two tracks “Ingerlaliinnaleqaagut” (“Let us leave together”), that was exclusively produced for the movie, became a major hit.

In 2011, Nanook released their second album “Ai Ai” (“The sound of joy”). Within six months, this album had sold enough copies to receive a silver record. Shortly after the release, Ib Uldum and Martin Zinck left the band resulting in some turmoil. Christian and Frederik Elsner along with Mads Røn, continued the band in a new constellation with drummer Hans Rosenberg and bass player Andreas Otte.

In 2012, Nanook released the single “Nilliasa! (“Shout it!”) as part of a campaign by the NGO Nanu Children against abuse of children.

In 2013, Nanook released a self-titled album through the Danish record company Mermaid Records, a subdivision of Sony Music. The album contained remastered versions of earlier released material. During the same year, Atlantic Music released the live-show “Nanook – Live in Nuuk” with on Blu-Ray and DVD.

In 2012, Nanook released their third studio album “Pissaaneqaqisut” (“Those that hold the strength”). The constellation had changed prior to the recording, in that Kim Heilmann played drums on the album and participated on the subsequent tours. After a year in the band, Kim Heilmann however left Nanook, at which point Martin Zinck reentered the band.

In 2016 Nanook became the first Greenlandic band ever to be released in Japan. This happened through the record company King Records. Simultaneously with being released in Japan, Nanook released a music video for their self entitled track “Nanook”. The video was shot in Southern Greenland close to the town of Narsaq, and is concerned with how climate change affect life in the Arctic.

Nanook has toured in Greenland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland, the U.S., Japan, Canada and the Faroe Islands. The band has sold about 15.000 copies of their releases.