Moddi is the stage name for Pal Moddi Knutsen, a progressive folk musician from Norway. Inspired equally by idiosyncratic freak-folk and urgent political protest, Moddi delivered his debut Floriography in 2010 and it garnered strong enough reviews to gain him attention in the U.K. Over the next few years, he worked steadily and built a cult following, which crested with the 2016 release of Unsongs, a collection of 12 songs that were banned from 12 different countries.
Born on February 18, 1987 in Senja, Norway, Knutsen started playing music as a child, even appearing on a local radio station singing a sea shanty when he was five. By the age of 18, he'd adopted Moddi as his stage name and decided to pursue a professional musical career. He made a self-released EP called Random Skywriting, which wound up reaching the nation via Norwegian radio. Floriography, his full-length debut, arrived in February 2010 and debuted in the Norwegian Top 10. Three years later, he put out his second album, Set the House on Fire, which was followed months later by Kæm Va Du? an album sung entirely in Norwegian; it won the Norwegian Spellemannprisen Award for Folk Album of the Year.
Throughout his career, Moddi has made a point of working on political and environmental issues -- he was a member of Young Friends of the Earth and the Socialist Youth; he canceled concerts in Israel to protest the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, for instance -- and that culminated in the 2016 release of Unsongs, an album comprising songs that had been banned throughout the world.