Islaja is Merja Kokkonen, a Finnish visual artist and musician living and working in Berlin, Germany. She records her music at home using a rainbow of instruments to accompany her personal vocal delivery sang in Finnish. Islaja's debut album Meritie (2004) gained praise in international music media such as The Wire, Dusted Magazine and WFMU. The follow-up release Palaa aurinkoon (2005) caused even more excitement and created quite a stir. 2007 saw the release of her third album Ulual Yyy on Fonal and a live CD Blaze Mountain Recordings on Ecstatic Peace label.