A Million Things - Rohey
With a wall-to-wall 21st century freshness, light years past any concept of vogue, or any linear genre lines, Norwegian quartet Rohey deliver music that bristles with energy and honesty, that grooves with the best funk, that has deep soul roots while keeping an eye on the broad expanse of a golden future. Lead vocalist Rohey Taalah brings all the emotional complexity you would expect of a classic jazz or soul singer (and can withstand comparison with any with ease). Ivan Blomqvist's keys play a dual role of laying down old school sonics, while bringing a retrofuturistic hyper-urban tone (akin to British IDM), while Kristian B. Jacobsen (bass) and Henrik Lødøen (drums) create a jazz-soul-funk hybrid rhythm section that ducks and weaves with supreme artfulness.
Rohey have toured extensively throughout Scandinavia, taking in just about every major Jazz festival along the way. With the release of "A Million Things" on Jazzland Recordings in early 2017, their path can be expected to take them ever further: music this good can't be kept secret for long. "A Million Things" performs a balancing act that most pop artists have forgotten in these days of studio micro-editing: how to write and play a song with full and sincere conviction, while enjoying an artful expressiveness without making things unnecessarily difficult for the audience. This has been borne out by their nomination for 'Best Single' at the Scandinavian Soul Awards in 2015.
"Rohey's presence was clear. All eyes were on her and all ears were on the band. Somehow, this felt old school. A throwback to the days of a dynamic band with an engaging singer. Especially young people should take note of this. Music is alive outside the internet and Rohey are keeping it real."
- Andy Collins, Scandinavian Soul
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Rohey on "A Million Things"
Surrounded by white snow, as the waves gently rolled towards the shore, we recorded this album in Ocean Sound Recordings on the small Norwegian island of Giske in January 2016. While taking in the majestic scenery of the northwestern coast we spent several intense days filled with a lot of fun and hard work. Having the water just outside the window and the cold air blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean made for an inspiring scene that brought an interesting contrast to the warm, lush interior of the studio.
Just three years prior to this recording, by lucky coincidence we all started in the same class at the music conservatory in Trondheim. We adopted the name of our singer, Rohey, after realizing the name means "My soul” in Arabic. Even though we named the group "Rohey", we consider ourselves a band - consisting of four contributors that together create the total of the album.
This mix of people, with a wide range of abilities and stories, formed Ivan Blomqvist's compositions into something new, leading us to choose the title for this album: "A Million Things". The music has clear roots, but also stretches towards something fresh and unexplored. And it’s inside this explorative process we want ourselves and this album to be, constantly challenging and renewing what we already know.
In the year leading up to this release, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with so many talented people and we’d like to give extra thanks to our friends, family and colleagues who made this album possible:
Henning Svoren, Terje Erstad, Morgan Nicolaysen, Susanne Søum, Thomas Henriksen, Fredrik Eliassen, Johannes Lovund, Ernst-Wiggo Sandbakk, Jarle Bernhoft-Sjødin, Helénè Bohman Blomqvist, Signe Fuglesteg Luksengaard, Hans-Andreas Horntveth Jahnsen, Sten Nilsen and Bugge Wesseltoft at Jazzland Recordings.
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Rohey Taalah: Vocal
Ivan Blomqvist: Keys
Kristian B. Jacobsen: Bass
Henrik Lødøen: Drums