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Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, the founder and core member of Choir of Young Believers, died late last month, a representative from Ghostly International confirms. The Copenhagen-based artist had been through a short period of illness, according to a statement. Makrigiannis was 39 years old.

Formed in Copenhagen in the mid-2000s, Choir of Young Believers achieved swift acclaim in Denmark for Makrigiannis’ intimately orchestrated, ready-to-burst compositions, with influences ranging from Hank Williams to Prince. They found chart success in Denmark after a popular song sync for “Hollow Talk,” and remained popular even as Makrigiannis led the project further left field. “Music is the only thing I’ve thought about since I was 12 years old,” Makrigiannis told Soundvenue in 2016. “It’s the wildest space to be in. A place where you can be free.”

They broke through in the United States after playing a showcase at SXSW in 2009. Ghostly subsequently reissued the project’s debut album, This Is for the White in Your Eyes, which Tigerspring had released in Denmark the previous year. Rhine Gold and Grasque followed on Ghostly and Tigerspring, in 2012 and 2016, respectively. Makrigiannis revived the project last year for his final release, Holy Smoke.


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