Mikael Máni Solo (IS)


Mikael Máni
Norðurljós, Harpa

Mikael Máni is a guitarist and composer from Iceland who loves lyrics, jazz and making instrumental music that chases moods and stories from his own life. He was born in 1995 into a dedicated music family. His dad owned a record shop and label, so he had more than 10,000 LPs at home and was always listening.

Mikael started learning classical piano at a young age but began losing interest in his teens; however, his mom convinced him to keep going. By chance, an uncle gave him an electric guitar at the age of 12. Initially, Mikael wasn’t thrilled about it and thought, “Oh no, this is another instrument I’ll have to practice every day.” But soon fell in love with it; it became his best friend and has been since then. In 2014, Mikael moved to the Netherlands and four years later he graduated with a BA degree from Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Jesse van Ruller as his mentor.

In 2023, Mikael released his third album ‘Innermost’ with his quintet, a jazz album with cinematic soundscapes and lyrical melodies. The album was selected as the jazz album of the year at the Icelandic Music Awards, so after having been nominated a handful of times, this brought him his first win.

Soon after that, in March 2024, he released his first solo guitar album ‘Guitar Poetry’, his debut with the German label ACT. It’s an intimate album, his most personal one yet. The album aims to tell stories as a singer-songwriter would but without using words and singing through the guitar. He recorded it on a whim after a period of writing songs to process his emotions, getting his confusion, happiness, sadness, and frustration in song form. The album has garnered stellar reviews, most notably Downbeat calling it “an impressionistic gem” giving it 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

He is one of the most exciting new artists on the Icelandic jazz scene. Mikael has worked with people like bassists Skúli Sverrisson, Henrik Linder, and producer Matt Pierson. His music has been played multiple times on the BBC, RÚV, and Radio France. ‘Nostalgia Machine’, his second album, won album of the year in Iceland’s main printed newspaper, and his song ‘Tie Your Hopes Down’ from his first album ‘Bobby’ has been streamed almost 1.3 million times on Spotify.


„..an impressionistic gem“ ⭐⭐️️⭐️⭐½“ ️


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