Text: Kasper Marius Nørmark / Photo: Luna Wright

The singer and songwriter Peter Wangel will soon be on his way to Peru, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil with his brand new solo project.

When the cultural festival Días Nórdicos once again showcases Nordic culture in Latin America in December, Peter Wangel will be part of the line-up. Until recently he was the singer and frontman of electronic duo Wangel, who played their farewell concert in the church Timotheus Kirke in Valby (a Copenhagen suburb) in late October this year. We talked to Peter Wangel about what is going to happen now.

The duo Wangel has become the solo artist Peter Wangel, and new possibilities arise. Where do you see yourself right now and in what directions do you wanna take your music?

Over the last year and a half I have been writing songs for what I thought would be a side project of mine besides Wangel. When Kasper and I decided to split up and explore new directions, the side project quite naturally became my main project, and that is why I don’t start from scratch. I have approximately five songs that all point back to where I originally come from as a musician.

I have written the new songs on the guitar, and they are built around my voice – in that respect they are obviously rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition. It is my ambition to write songs that can carry themselves, also because I would like to go on tour and play them on my own.

My plan is to go on tour and play in many new and intimate venues – and I won’t mind if some of those venues are unconventional places,not unlike for instance the places the Danish trio Folkeklubben played on their early tours. It’s inspiring to see how they reached audiences by playing so many places where you haven’t normally got live music and for me that would be a great way to connect with an audience who normally wouldn’t hear my music.

Before long the cultural festival Días Nórdicos will take you to several Latin American countries. What do you hope to get out of being a part of Días Nórdicos?

Well, I obviously hope that they are going to like my music. It is hard to imagine me becoming huge abroad, and I am not going there expecting to meet some influential booker or anything. But I hope people are going to react positively, and if the trip is somehow going to open some doors and give me the chance to release music or play more gigs over there, it would just be icing on the cake.
And then it is just a super cool chance to go to South America, where I have never been before. It is going to be a tremendous experience

In Argentina you are also going to take part in a workshop with Argentine musicians, which is to culminate with a concert. What are your expectations for that project?

I actually don’t know very much about who the musicians are and what instruments they play, but I’m definitely game when it it comes to the collaboration, which I think can turn out to be extremely inspiring. The year before last, Teitur and Liima amongst others were involved in a similar project, and it was a great success and also produced concrete results – among other things Teitur finished the song “I Have Found My Happiness” together with Argentine Lucio Mantel. And that song has since been recorded and released by Homeland star Mandy Patinkin and by Teitur on his latest album of course.

Travelling to new places and other cultures often gives you new ideas. In fact it was in South Korea that we wrote Wangel’s biggest hit, which we actually named “Seoul” because we wrote it there. A lot of my new songs have not been recorded yet, and the workshop with the Argentine musicians may colour them as the songs are still finding their final shape. Let’s say I get the opportunity to play with a great percussionist who has a great idea for a rhythm – well, then we’d better record it! It’s also quite possible that I am going to write new songs when I am there.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is supported by Statens Kunstfond, The Nordics, Instituto Ibero Americano de Finlandia, Nordens Hus in the Faroe Islands, FFT – Den Færøske Sangskriverforening, and Atlantic Airways.

Días Nórdicos Latinamerica 2018 is arranged by ROSA and Zona de Obras in collaboration with Nordens Institut på Åland, Nordens Institut in Greenland, The Animation Workshop, Centro Cultural Recoleta (AR), Sesc (BR), Difusa Fronteira (BR), Plastilina (PE), and Contrapedal (UY).