Born on the island Senja, Norway on 18 February 1987, Pål Moddi Knutsen is a singer, songwriter and author. He debuted when he was 5 years old on the local radio station Draugen, singing a traditional sea shanty. During his early youth, he played classical piano, the cornet in the school’s marching band, bass guitar in various rock bands and performed as a rapper.
At 18, he adopted the old family name Moddi and started writing his own songs under that name. After finishing school, the 20 years old Moddi took a year off to travel and play concerts.
Moddi is part of the community around Kråkeslottet in Senja, where he is booking the annual Kråkeslottfestivalen. He has a master’s degree from the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo, where he studied environmental challenges within industrial production of ferrosilicon.
In 2010, he released his debut album ‘Floriography’. It reached the top 10 in the Norwegian album chart. It was followed in 2013 by the albums ‘Set The House On Fire’ and ‘Kæm va du?’. The latter featured lyrics borrowed from the Northern Norwegian poets Arvid Hanssen, Helge Stangnes and Ola Bremnes. The album won the Spellemannprisen award for ‘Folk Album of the Year’.
In 2016, Moddi released his fourth studio album, ‘Unsongs’, consisting of 12 banned songs from 12 different countries. The lead single from the album, ‘Eli Geva’, is a song about the Israeli officer who refused to lead his forces into battle in 1982. The song, originally performed by Norwegian singer Birgitte Grimstad, had not been sung for more than three decades. The album also featured a cover version of Army Dreamers. Following the release, Moddi published the book ‘Forbudte sanger’ (‘Forbidden songs’) where he described the process of making the album. In the book, he also described a number of attempts to hold back the songs on the album, among others by Russian and Lebanese authorities, and by the British public broadcaster BBC.
- Moddi. Wikipedia, retrieved 7 November 2018.