The singer Ulrika Bodén was born in 1974 and grew up on a goat farm in Helgum, Ångermanland. After some years in Nora, Höga Kusten she now lives in Sundsvall. With a voice that is both ethereal and powerful she is regarded as one of Sweden’s most foremost folk singers. Ulrika is engaged as a soloist and with projects that she herself leads, both in Sweden and abroad. She also creates her own music and lyrics and plays autoharp, dulcimer and flutes.
When she was 17 years old, Ulrika bought an LP of the 70’s band Folk och Rackare. It was her first contact with vocal folk music and it touched her deeply – the unaffected style of singing, the old-fashioned poetic texts, the beautiful melodies in colourful arrangements. It was love at first sight, which has grown into a deeper love throughout the years.
Ulrika has searched for and uncovered a great and forgotten treasure of old songs from Ångermanland. These songs form the basis of Ulrika’s solo repertoire and have a special place in her heart, as she has learnt many of them directly from elderly people in her home region. Songs from Ångermanland run like a red thread throughout Ulrika’s music making, and she is continually searching for more songs in which to breathe new life.
Since a few years back, Ulrika also sings the poet Nicke Sjödin’s translations of psalms into the Junsele dialect. This is a natural continuation of her work with local music and dialects.
Ranarim was Ulrika’s main band for many years, an energetic and much praised live band who also toured outside of the Nordic borders; USA, Belgium, Germany, Japan and South America. After the Christmas tour of 2010 Ranarim chose to end, to create time for other projects.
In autumn 2013 Ulrika launched her new group Ulrika Bodén Band and released the album Kärlekssånger – Folk Love Songs. To make an album comprised entirely of love songs is something that has been on Ulrika’s wish list for a long time, and she has placed extra care on the choice of texts. Both calmly beautiful and full of energy with a lot of rhythm and exuberance. The band has found an original sound together and the album has been very well received, won the 2014 Manifestpris in the folk music category and was nominated in the category ‘Best CD/DVD/Book’ at the Folk & World Music Gala 2014.
In 2015 Ulrika worked with two different projects under the wings of Statens Musikverk:
Kulning – improvisation and renewal together with Sofia Sandén, Rostam Mirlashari and Petter Berndalen.
Sweden All Stars – Japan Tour in wich she together with Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall, Petter Berndalen and Göran Månsson created a concert for a tour both in Norrland and Japan in November/December.
The summer of 2016 Ulrika is currently active with her new cd Te berga blå – To the Blue Mountains, together with Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall, Petter Berndalen and Daniel Fredriksson. The album is a tribute to the herding music and its traditions bearers.
Ulrika has a long-standing collaboration with the composer Karin Rehnqvist and sings the majority of Rehnkvist’s vocal works in Sweden and abroad on a recurring basis.
Together with flautist/percussionist Göran Månsson and nyckelharpist Niklas Roswall, Ulrika plays the music in a storytelling performance about St Olav, with actor Lars T Johansson.
”Folkjul”, a Christmas concert together with organist Gunnar Idenstam, violinist Sandra Martelleur and vocal ensemble.
Ulrika participates as singer in the performance Beautiful Beast with dance company Norrdans and music by the group Gjallarhorn.
Recurring guest with the Nordic Chamber Ensemble and the Nordic Chamber Orchestra in Sundsvall.
Ulrika has sung at the Nobel party, with an ice instrument ensemble in Jukkasjärvi as part of Queen Silvia’s 60th birthday celebrations, and on numerous occasions for the King and Queen and prized milk farmers at the awarding of Gold medals for good milk production. She has participated in Melodifestivalen with the world music band Sheida, has performed kulning for Yo-yo Ma at the Nobel concert in Stockholm’s Concert Hall and made four Japan Tours. She has won the Norwegian kappleik (folk music and dance competition) in kulning in the class “variation and innovation” as well as being nominated for a Grammis, and awarded the Manifestpris for her album Kärlekssånger – Folk Love Songs with Ulrika Bodén Band and for Ranarim’s album Morgonstjärna. She was nominated as Best Artist at the Folk & World Music Gala 2014
Scholarships and awards:
2002 Konstnärsnämnden - The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
2003 Janne Vängmansällskapet
2004 Konstnärsnämnden - The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
2005 Konstnärsnämnden - The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
2010 Konstnärsnämnden - The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
2013 Pelle Molinsällskapet
2013 Landstinget Västernorrland
2014 Nominated for Västerbottenskurirens Culture Prize
2014 Evert Taubesällskapet Nordosten
2015 Birger Normansällskapet
2015 Konstnärsnämnden, long-term scholarship
– The Swedish Arts Grants Committee
2016 Johan Nordlandersällskapet
Kommunala Musikskolan in Helgum and Långsele, studied with Per Thure Nordell and Tomas Hollsten 1984-89
Musikgymnasiet in Härnösand, studied flute with Olle Parkman, 1990-91
Kapellsbergs Musikskola in Härnösand, studied flute with Ingeborg Axner Franzén, song with Karin Bengtsdotter Olsson and Christina Höglund, 1991-94
Royal College of Music in Stockholm, performance degree, studied song with Susanne Rosenberg, 1994-98