Getting to know: Sumie Nagano

In the lead up to the Iceland Airwaves Festival Mr. Wolf has decided to get better acquainted with some of the festival’s top picks.


© Viktoria Boustedt

Sumie Nagano is an incredibly talented, self-taught musician. Up until now she has been coyly keeping her cards to her chest in her home-town of Gotenburg, Sweden. But her coyness belies her talent.

Sumie’s voice is unique and stunning. Her laid-back, philosophical vibe feeds into her music. Her tunes sound like a gentle homecoming. This is actually a quite apt analogy, as Sumie writes and records most of her music at home, in her living room.

Most of her tracks are startling simple, with just acoustic guitar backing and Sumie’s voice. But this simplicity allows something magical to happen. It creates a great clarity where the strength of Sumie’s voice shines beautifully. With care and gentleness she creates truly warm and mesmerising music.

Sumie’s path to music was perhaps not the most traditional or direct. Being self-taught, she stumbled upon music “after living many lives”. Too aloof? Too philosophical? Perhaps she is just onto something that the rest of us are yet to understand.

Whatever it is, it seems to be working for her. Sumie is now set to release her first album at the end of this year; recorded with the help of Dustin O’Halloran and Nils Frahm. She will also be performing at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in October. And on top of all of that, she gets to make music all day, every day. Seems as though she has life in the bag.

Sumie says...
My music sounds like…dreamy waves and mermaids.
I make music because…it’s who I am.
The best advice I was ever given…can’t be summed up in one sentence.
When I grow up I want to be a…little bit taller.
Happiness is…my family.
I can’t live without…good coffee.


Words: Annie Ferguson