'Every time I want to renew myself'

Greenlandic rapper Peand el doesn't like to repeat himself

Peand el talks about being one of the most popular rappers in Greenland: the songs, the problems and the hip hop-scene.


Peand el - Taken at Bardot Proviant Klub exhibition, from 16 January - 28 February 2010 at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach

With: Peand el

Peter Lyberth is a bit nervous. The Greenlandic rapper, better known under his artist name Peand el, has just flown four hours from Greenland to Copenhagen, and one hour from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Now he is tired because he didn’t sleep in the airplane and he’s struggling with his jetlag. Peand el doesn’t look like a gangsta rapper. With his short length, his round figure and his friendly face, he looks like a man who does harm to nobody. Peand el (27) works as a teacher in a kindergarten in Nuuk, Greenland, but in his spare time he writes songs, records them and performs them. In 2005 he released his debutalbum, "Eqqissitinnga", which was very well received by the audience. For Mediamatic he made a video diary, in which he showed his life in Greenland in 15 videos. (http://www.mediamatic.net/index.php?lang=en). On Saturday the 28th of February, at the Bardot Final, he will perform some songs of his second album, “Tarrara – my shadow” (2009).

In 2005 you released your first album, “Eqqissitinnga”. You must have been very proud of that
‘It’s the second best thing in my life: to make an album. Almost everybody in Greenland liked it.’

So you are a famous rapper in Greenland
‘Yes. I am the only rapper in Greenland who performed also in other countries. I have been in Denmark four times, Canada twice and right now I am in Amsterdam. And I don’t know where I am going to after this.’

What was your motivation to begin with rap?
‘In 2002 there was already a famous old rapgroup called Nuuk Posse, but I wanted to update hiphop. So I decided to create an album with a crossover of hiphop, r&b and rock. Blending different kinds of music and make it my own. That was very new in Greenland. In the second album I wanted to outdo myself. I worked with several people together, like the Greenlandic folk singer Rasmus Lyberth. It was the first time a folk singer appeared on a rap album. I also worked together with the popular band Mariina, and I am going to perform the song at the Bardot Final at Mediamatic.’

You want to continue making crossover-music in the future?
‘I am always thinking forward. On the first album I wrote about neglected subjects such as suïcide and alcoholism, so I had to think about what to do next. How can I shock the people? But not necessery with lyrics. Also with features, like the folk and pop singers on the second album. The people were crazy about it. My third album is going to be more hiphop. It’s going to suprise them anyway. The people think: it’s going to have soft-pop songs again, and a bunch of features. But no, it’s only me.’

And you want to suprise the people
‘Shock and suprise every time. When I don’t have lyrics from my heart anymore, I’ll stop rapping.’


P & L - Taken at Bardot Proviant Klub exhibition, from 16 January - 28 February 2010 at Mediamatic. Raphael Rehbach

Why do you want to suprise and to shock?
‘Just for my personal amusement. So that I can laugh: do you think I’ll do that again after I have done it? Every time I want to renew myself.’

What is most important for you in a song? The lyrics, the rhythms or the melodies?
‘I have to find a subject that no rapper ever wrote about. A good example is "Veneria", a song about venerial diseases. In the song I go the doctor and pull my pants down, while he puts a swab in my dick. You can actually hear it when I am yelling. I want to make music like Notorious B.I.G.: that you can close your eyes and can relate to the lyrics. We have got a problem with sexual diseases in Greenland, and I am just writing down my own experience. So somebody will relate to the song and laugh. People don’t want to look at themselves, that’s why they drink so much. I want to be the mirror, so people can relate to it and start talking about their problems.’

Where do all the problems in Greenland come from?
‘I have a theory: children grew up without their parents and when they were older they didn’t speak about their problems with others. My mother was neglected by her parents, that’s why she neglected me maybe. Now they drink to forget it. I like to help them, but I think that you have to help yourself first before you take my hand. Nearly three years ago we began to talk about suïcide etc. It’s not a taboo anymore.’

So what are you going to sing about on your next album?
‘I came to Nuuk to work there, but there was no place to live. I moved from place to place. Last December I moved into my girlfriends place. I have a steady life now. That’s why I don’t write a lot of lyrics anymore. Everytime I am happy I can’t write, because rap is like soul. I have to find new inspiration, that’s why for the new cd I searched for other people’s stories. When I am happy I don’t want to think about the misery in the past.’