Early on, music was already an essential part of everyday life for Catarina Johansson (Katyayani). Her father, Hans Ahlstrand, composed music at home, and Catarina was invited to sing on records and on the radio with him. The stage became familiar to her through her piano classes, the youth choir, her work as a choreographer. However, singing, composing, and performing as a solo artist Catarina found, first, through her collaboration with J. Tuukkanen, and then in her previous marriage as part of the duo Personally Yours and the Katyayani band. In the Katyayani collaboration, the lyrics were Catarina and the background music by J. Tuukkanen, and various musicians joined in. Katyayani’s first album, Four seasons, was published in 2012 through the Geisha Music collective, Cymbidium Records.
Catarina is a 44-year-old mother of five, who does not run out of visions and dreams. Katyayani’s/Catarina’s way of making music is to by creating multidisciplinary performances together with visual arts, dancers, and other artists. Examples of these are the Nordic collaborative projects that took place in in 2011, 2012, and 2015 with the musicians, students, and pedagogs at the Kulturskolan school in Visby, Sweden. Catarina has also always had an interest in visual arts and, thus, it has felt natural to her to combine dance, art, and music.
After 2012, Catarina was faced with a difficult phase and a divorce, which then inspired her to write and compose more songs. This time, the lyrics on the solo album came to contain stories about life, the wish to find oneself, and longing. The album After Silence was published in November 2018.
The name Katyayani comes from Sanskrit, meaning she who fights evil and strengthens courage. Catarina Johansson’s music can be described as meditative and calm. In her lyrics, she wants to talk about the realities of life, without hiding the difficult things but still raising hope.
Said about Katyayani’s first album, “Four Seasons”:
“.. more essential, however, is to point out that the singer Catarina Johansson shines with her voice right from the first beats, and that the sound and tone of the whole composition are really first class..” – Niko Toiskallio, meteli.net