Music that narrates Music that joys Music that unites
Papaya was formed in 1986 by Rikke Forchhammer and in the years that have passed the vocal group has been blessed with some fantastic experiences.
Although only one singer has been in the group from the very beginning, many have more than ten years of history with Papaya. In other words – once Papaya has struck you, you tend to stick around. At the same time Papaya is eager to attract new younger talented singers.
The passion for African songs has really brought Papaya around - here in Denmark as well as abroad, and no two audiences are the same. Papayas performances are nothing like anything a European audience has ever experienced – this goes for what meets the eye as well as the auditive experience. They are surprised, enthusiastic and very well entertained. It is very often a great eye opener to world music.
In South Africa, the black audiences often know the songs, but they are flabbergastered and very touched when they experience a white Scandinavian choir’s interpretation, because these songs are the manifestation of their black cultural heritage and have empowered their spirits through generations of white rule.
Papaya has toured South Africa in 1996, 1999, 2001, 2006 and 2008. These trips have been very important for the identity and expression of the vocal group.
When Papaya in 1996 had the honor of singing for Nelson Mandela at his 78th birthday anniversary it was really something. No white choir had ever previously performed traditional black songs for a South African President. And this group was from Scandinavia!
We have also had the privilege of singing two times for Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The meetings with these great personalities are memorable milestones in Papayas history.
In addition to the trips to South Africa and numerous trips around Denmark, Papaya has toured Tanzania (1991), Holland (1998), Norway (2003 & 2005), Germany (2005) and England (2007).
Over the years, Papaya has performed at all types of venues. From remote rural churches in Denmark to the prestigious Danish Roskilde Festival (1999) and from a petrol station in rural Kwazulu Natal to the annual Massed Choir Festival at the Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg (2001 & 2008) for a live audience of 6000 enthusiastic South Africans. The TV transmission of this concert is always repeated in South African TV on Christmas Eve.
Papaya has released three CD´s: Reflections (2004), South Africa in Sight (1998) and Papaya #1 (1996). Apart from these releases, the movie “The Sound of People” is a documentary of Papayas 2001 tour to South Africa, where a film crew followed us, and managed to have the product shown in prime time on Danish TV (DR2).