Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, founder and core member of the Choir of Young Believers, died late last month, a Ghostly International representative confirms. According to a statement, the Copenhagen-based artist had a brief illness behind him. Makrigiannis was 39 years old.
Formed in Copenhagen in the mid-2000s, the Choir of Young Believers quickly gained recognition in Denmark for Makrigiannis’ tightly orchestrated, ready-to-burst compositions with influences from Hank Williams to Prince. They found chart success in Denmark after a popular song dubbing for “Hollow Talk” and remained popular even as Makrigiannis took the project further to the left. “Music is the only thing I’ve been thinking about since I was 12,” Makrigiannis told Soundvenue in 2016. “It’s the wildest place to be. A place where you can be free.”
They broke through in the United States after playing a showcase at SXSW in 2009. Ghostly subsequently re-released the project’s debut album, This Is for the White in Your Eyes, which Tigerspring had released in Denmark the previous year. Ghostly and Tigerspring were followed by Rhine Gold and Grasque in 2012 and 2016 respectively. Makrigiannis revived the project for his latest release Holy Smoke last year.
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