Kalaha (band)

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Kalaha (band)
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Background information
Years active2014 (present)
  • Emil de Waal (drums)
  • Niclas Knudsen (guitar)
  • Rumpistol aka Jens Berents Christiansen (synthesizer)
  • electronic producer Mikael Elkjær aka Spejderrobot

Kalaha is a Danish band consisting of Emil de Waal (drums), Niclas Knudsen (guitar), Rumpistol aka Jens Berents Christiansen (synthesizer) and electronic producer Mikael Elkjær aka Spejderrobot.[1]. The band takes inspiration from Afrobeat, Anatolian rock, electronic rave music and jazz improvisation.

Kalaha has collaborated with a wide range of artists from around the world including Hilal Kaya[2], Uffe Lorenzen (Spids Nøgenhat (band)[3]. In 2019 they played a show together with American bass player Bill Laswell at Black Diamond (library) during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.[4]

Kalaha's debut album "Hahaha", released in 2014[5], was a live recording from their first show ever as a band. Their follow-up album "Masala" (2016) received a Danish Music Awards (Jazz) in the category "Special Release of the Year"[6] as well as receiving airplay by Gilles_Peterson on BBC Radio 6 Music.[7]. Their third album "Mandala" (2019) was also well received by the critics[8][9][10][11] and highlighted as album of the year in the Danish Newspaper Information[12]. The album featured the band's first Turkish song "Çok Küstüm", which became the beginning of a long time collaboration with the Turkish singer Hilal Kaya and also secured the band some attention in Turkey.[13]

In 2020 their single "Eymen" brought Kalaha a Danish Music Awards (Roots) nomination for Danish Roots Track of The Year[14] and their single "Dans Det Op feat. Uffe Lorenzen was nominated as "Song of the Year 2020" for the Danish Critics Award Steppeulven.[15]

Since their 2014 debut, Kalaha has been using Danish artist Zven Balslev as their art director.[16]. Zven Balslev has also directed three of the bands music videos. [17][18][19]



Title Label Format Year
Hahaha Rump Recordings Digital Album 2014
Masala Rump Recordings Vinyl & Digital Album 2016
Masala - Extra Spicy Rump Recordings Vinyl & Digital Album 2018
Mandala DME Vinyl & Digital Album 2019
Mystafa April Records Vinyl, CD & Digital Album 2021

Singles & EPs

Title Label Format Year
Quarquaba Rump Recordings Digital EP 2016
Wahwahwah Rump Recordings Digital EP 2016
Dragon Jenny (Extended Version) Rump Recordings Digital Single 2018
Mama Ngoma Rump Recordings Digital EP 2018
Çok Küstüm feat. Hilal Kaya DME Digital Single 2019
Eymen feat. Hilal Kaya DME Digital Single 2019
Eymen feat. Hilal Kaya (Junglelyd & Merlyn Silva remix feat. Huaynot) Sofa Beats Digital Single 2019
Dans Det Op feat. Uffe Lorenzen / Eymen feat. Hilal Kaya April Records 7" Vinyl 2020
Vivo April Records Digital Single 2020
Özgürüm Ben feat. Hilal Kaya DME Digital Single 2020
Hurt You Once Again feat. Hjalte Ross April Records Digital Single 2021



  • 2017, Danish Music Awards – Jazz. Category: Special Release of the Year for the album "Masala"[21]
  • 2019, Carl Prisen. Category: Roots Composer of the Year for the EP "Mama Ngoma"[22]


  • 2017, Danish Music Awards – World. Category: Danish World composer of the year; Niclas Knudsen, Emil De Waal, Spejderrobot og Rumpistol (Kalaha) – ‘’Quarquaba EP’[23]
  • 2020, Danish Music Awards – Roots. Category: Danish Roots Track of the Year for "Eymen"[24]
  • 2021, Steppeulven. Category: Track of the year for "Dans det op" featuring Uffe Lorentzen.[25]

In the media



  1. https://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2017/10/11/beijing-beats-j-fever-blue-note-kalaha-dada-and-dj-sodeyama-lantern
  2. https://www.tv2lorry.dk/dma-jazz/kalaha-feat-hilal-kaya-ozgurum-ben
  3. https://www.discogs.com/Kalaha-Featuring-Uffe-Lorenzen-Dans-det-op/release/14953835
  4. https://jazz.dk/en/copenhagen-jazz-festival-2019/concerts/56905/
  5. https://soundvenue.com/musik/2014/09/kalaha-111772
  6. https://jazzdanmark.dk/artikler/her-er-arets-vindere-dma-jazz-2017
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08l5kyx
  8. https://www.information.dk/kultur/anmeldelse/2019/05/kalaha-skaber-festlig-mosaik-bedste-verdner
  9. https://gaffa.dk/anmeldelse/138639/anmeldelse-medrivende-nyt-fra-de-danske-globalister
  10. https://phonopolet.dk/2019/04/20/kalaha-mandala/
  11. https://politiken.dk/kultur/musik/art7192485/Tre-n%C3%A6venyttige-unge-gennemskuede-hvordan-man-vinder-hver-gang-i-Kalaha.-Bandet-Kalaha-er-sv%C3%A6rere-at-regne-ud
  12. https://www.information.dk/kultur/2019/12/dansk-musik-2019-spil-andet-andre-anderledes
  13. https://www.dergy.com/kalaha-roportaj-dinleyicilerimiz-turkce-anlayamiyor-ama-muzige-bayiliyo
  14. https://gaffa.dk/nyhed/144856/de-nominerede-til-dma-roots-er-offentliggjort
  15. https://soundvenue.com/musik/2020/12/se-alle-de-nominerede-til-prisuddelingen-steppeulven-joyce-og-ganger-foerer-an-434572
  16. https://rose-armadillo-rl5p.squarespace.com/work/record-covers
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIk5tHS0z9U
  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrhchsVlOXc
  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sVhB2ERhcE
  20. https://www.discogs.com/artist/5312925-Kalaha
  21. https://jazzdanmark.dk/artikler/her-er-arets-vindere-dma-jazz-2017
  22. https://musikforlaeggerne.dk/carl-prisen-2019-vinderne/
  23. https://www.koda.dk/om-koda/nyheder/dma-world-2016-her-er-de-nominerede
  24. https://gaffa.dk/nyhed/144856/de-nominerede-til-dma-roots-er-offentliggjort
  25. https://soundvenue.com/musik/2020/12/se-alle-de-nominerede-til-prisuddelingen-steppeulven-joyce-og-ganger-foerer-an-434572

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