Alex and Daniel Ytterdahl are half Filipino, half Norwegian. They grew up in Norway, but their mother is from the Philippines. Now, the two have released a music album together using their two artist names N-Jin (Alex) and Denial (Daniel).
The album “Let Me In” has been released online with a result that the brother are happy with. The two are now planning to come to the Philippines in October/November this year and do concerts.
With roots from two different cultures, the Filipino and the Norwegian, the media coverage has focused quite a lot on how they combine these two cultures in their music.
In an article published on the Royal Norwegian Embassy’s website for the Philippines, Daniel says:
“I feel that I haven’t been able to show how proud I am of the Filipino culture, Daniel says. But now, with increased attention, we have a greater opportunity to contribute in representing the variety in culture. I applaud the Philippine media for giving attention to people that has roots to the country in some ways.”
“We have received a lot of support from the Filipinos both in Norway and in the Philippines. And I actually think that we now have more supporters in the Philippines than in Norway, Daniel adds. Filipinos become proud when they see that Filipinos abroad succeed – maybe that’s why we have received this much attention,” he reflects.
“Listening to our music can give a taste of how the Philippine culture can develop in other countries and mix and merge with different cultures – with a unique result. And meanwhile we find new influences from abroad and can also bring something new and fresh back to the Norwegian scene.”
To mix languages and also dialects is one special feature when they produce their music.
“I sometimes add a Filipino inspired accent to steer away from the American sound typically found in rap songs, but when doing this, the feedback I get from Filipinos is that they like the Norwegian accent. So I just call it the “rice cracker accent”, Daniel says.
“I’ve also tried to rap in Tagalog and Waray earlier, but should probably learn the languages better before I do it again.”
After the album release the Filipino-Norwegian brothers have also featured in an ABS-CBN article, which confirms an interest from the Philippine media. The brothers appreciate this attention, especially considering their mother coming from the Philippines.