Islaja is the recording alias of Merja Kokkonen, a musician and visual artist from Helsinki, currently based in Berlin. Her debut album Meritie
(Fonal, 2004) gained praise in international music media such as The Wire, Dusted Magazine and WFMU. The follow up release Palaa Aurinkoon
(Fonal 2005) caused even more excitement and created quite a stir. 2007 saw the release of her third album Ulual yyy
(Fonal 2006) and released a live cd Blaze Mountain Recordings
on Ecstatic Peace label. Her latest album is called Keraaminen Pää
and is released on Fonal Records September 14th 2010.
Islaja records her music at home using a rainbow of instruments to accompany her personal vocal delivery sang in Finnish. She has already played numerous large festivals including CTM, Eurosonic, by: Larm, Sonar, Itsenäisyysyö at the B2 club in Moscow, Russia and All Tomorrows Parties curated by Thurston Moore.
Animal Collective invited Islaja to play a two-week support tour with them in Europe. Islaja is also a member of Hertta Lussu Ässä, a free folk super trio with Lau Nau and Kuupuu.
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