Simon Lynge: from Greenland to Iqaluit, via the world
“There’s a real buzz in town and it’s wonderful”
After a career that’s seen him perform in London, Berlin, Copenhagen and Nashville, Greenland’s Simon Lynge is excited to be in Iqaluit.
The singer-songwriter played the Alianait festival’s Canada Day World Tunes Jam with Richard Lobb, Drew Gonsalves of KoboTown, Brazilian singer Fernanda Cunha and Saali to an audience of about 40 people.
There, he played guitar, drummed and sang. His first song was about running away from his wife and his second was about a break-up he suffered a while back.
They were written with colleague Richard Lobb, who also played guitar and sang.
Lynge said he has had fun so far at the festival and looks forward to the closing show he will play July 2 inside the Nakasuk School gym at 7 p.m., along with Buzy B and the Honeycombs, a hip-hop funk band from Vancouver, Iqaluit’s emerging blues-rock band The JJ’s and Fernanda Cunha.
“I’ve heard about Iqaluit for years and many of my friends have gone here. It’s such a great place to be and I’m just happy to be here to meet people and to play music,” he said.
His two days in Iqaluit seemed like two weeks, but in a good way, he said.
“I had so much fun, I feel like I’ve been here two weeks or something but I’ve only been here two days, because there’s so much going on and everybody’s so involved that there’s a real buzz in town and it’s wonderful.”
Lynge was born in Qaqortoq, Greenland, to a Danish mother and a Greenlandic Inuit father.
However, he’s been based out of Port Townsend, Wash., near Seattle, for the past four years. Before that, he lived in Los Angeles.
Before travelling to Iqaluit for the Alianait festival, Lynge was at home working on a new album.
“I’ve been in North America, in the States for almost seven years now,” he said.
Lynge says his goal is to give festival-goers “music to feed your soul and make you feel happy.”
“That’s what I want,” he said.
Lynge, who was exposed at a young age to music and storytelling by his father, Karl Lynge, who played accordion for the well-known Greenlandic singer Rasmus Lyberth, also worked with Inuit folklore in the Tukak Theatre Group.
After leaving Greenland, Lynge enrolled in the Holstebro Music Conservatory in Denmark, where he studied drums, piano and opera.
Soon after, he transitioned to song-writing and playing guitar and immersed himself in the Copenhagen song-writing scene.
His latest album, “The Future” was recorded in Los Angeles and mixed by Matt Forger, who has produced albums for Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.
However, with all of the travel he’s done, there is still something special about Iqaluit, Lynge said.
“The vibe here is very different than it is in Greenland from what I feel,” he said. “They’re both good, it’s just it’s different and I didn’t know what to expect coming here and it’s been such a pleasant surprise to meet people here, everybody’s so welcoming and warm.”
Not so warm was the swim that Lynge took in the Sylvia Grinnell River. “It was really cold but absolutely wonderful and invigorating,” he said.
The festival continued July 1 with a concert and square dance with Washboard Hank and Lance Loree, Esther Powell and the Roughcuts, Zebedee and Jeannie Nungak, Sikusilaaq Band and Stephen Innuksuk.