When I started to make this album with producer Backlund, when we were at the point that we had all the songs ready he couraged me to think of the musicians I’d like to ask join the album sessions. I made a list of my old band and gig mates, old teachers etc. and gave them a call and during summer 2017 we all went to studio together and started making some real music magic. This group of people makes me very happy and very humble. ∇ ∇ ∇

Oskari Lehtonen (percussion, drums)
To learn more about Lehtonen, check out the previous post about album songwriting. Oskari has been a band mate for many years now, in various different projects and I’m very happy to have crossed paths with this hardworking and fun human. Lehtonen plays in various different bands and also has a solo project. Check out Okra Playground’s new live video. >>

Aino Kurki (kantele)

You can also find more about Kurki from the previous post. She’s also been a very important part of the album songwriting process. So very happy to collaborate with this great musician and friend. Listen wonderful Aino play with wonderful Macoumba Ndiaye and Sonja Korkman in Senegal. >>

Antti Kujanpää (piano)

For a very long time one of my favourite bands has been Kvalda (Young Nordic Jazz Comets Finland -award, 2014); a jazz quartet formed by Kujanpää and his peeps from Jyväskylä. Kujanpää is a jazz pianist, composer, educator.. Kujanpää has released an album with Louhivuori, Little Blue (2012), and that album has been in my player a lot. Kujanpää playes in various different ensembles, f. ex. he’s a member of Auteur Jazz. It’s been awesome to start playing with Kujanpää relating to this album and also relating to other gigs. Check out this beautiful tune by Kujanpää and Louhivuori. >>

Olavi Louhivuori (drums)

Louhivuori is a jazz drummer, composer, producer and he’s also a member of many great bands like Ilmiliekki Quartet, Elifantree and his own special ambient-experimental-whatnot-jazz group Oddarrang. Louhivuori has been touring the world with many different projects; you might have seen him with for example Lee Konitz, Tomasz Stanko Quintet, Piirpauke..
He’s produced Eva & Manu‘s music, worked a lot with kids and teaching improvisation, he has been awarded many times from his work as a composer and as a musician. Louhivuori is now being nominated for Teosto Prize. Get to know Louhivuori’s art from the following video. >>

Ape Anttila (double bass)

Anttila has collaborated with various jazz, pop, folk artists / ensembles as a musician, composer, producer.. He teaches in Helsinki University of Art’s, in Sibelius Academy, and I got to be his student a long time during a summer music camp; he was a big help when it was time for me to start my music studies in Helsinki; with his help I got in touch with a couple of Swedish jazz musicians, got to learn more about vocal jazz music. Under Bar Himmel – taivasalla is one of my favourite folk music albums (Maans, Kalaniemi, Anttila), give it a spin. Hear Anttila play a beautiful tune with Eliina Mäkiranta Quartet. >>

Jouni Järvelä (saxophone, clarinet)

Järvelä is a multi-instrumentalist whose main instruments are saxophone and clarinet. He is a composer, member of UMO Jazz Orchestra.. Järvelä has collaborated with legends such as Lenny Pickett and Audun Kleive and it is hard to describe how awesome it is that he came to play with us. One of my all-time favourite albums is Jouni Järvelä Group’s Lento. Järvelä also works as a producer and he has produced Marouf Majidi’s first solo album – – he also playes in Majidi’s ensemble. Check out Järvelä’s collaboration with Majidi. >>

Tero Hyväluoma (violin)

Hyväluoma is a composer, violinist, producer and he leads his own ensemble Hyväluoma Group. He works as a session musician and tours a lot in Finland and abroad; plays with Frigg, Snekka, Topi SahaHaaga Folkmachine, Korpiklaani.. He has edited a book about Finnish traditional fiddler music (“Vetelin viulumestarit”, 2011) and his knowledge about Finnish folk music is quite massive. Hyväluoma plays various instruments and has collaborated with Kimmo Pohjonen, Ismo Alanko.. What a joy to have him on board in this album – – and what a joy to know this human. I’m really a huge fan of Hyväluoma Group’s music and you can get to know their vibe from the video below. >>

Harri Kuusijärvi (accordion)

Kuusijärvi is an accordionist who has worked with many different musicians, in various performance art projects and within many different music styles. He has a wide knowledge about the contemporary accordion music, improvisation and how to combine these two in his work. He is a composer, musician, educator and leads his own ensemble Koutus. Kuusijärvi and Hyväluoma play together in many occasions and you can find Kuusijärvi also from the video above. Very happy that Kuusijärvi is playing with us on this album we’ve all created. Get to know his solo playing from the video below. >>

Jussi Jaakonaho (guitar)

Jaakonaho is a guitarist, producer, sound engineer who has worked with numerous Finnish singers (pop, folk-rock, rock..), bands, projects and songwriters. He has produced some of the most loved Finnish alt pop-rock albums and he has his own mix room studio. He released a solo album that’s now been reviewed internationally and you can get to know his amazing discography here. What to say; been listening albums that he’s produced while growing up and he came to play with us on this album..! Sweet. Get to know his solo album from the video below. >>

Mikko Heikinpoika (throat singing)

Heikinpoika is a singer, producer, looping artist who has specialized in throat singing and he has travelled widely to gain knowledge about the ancient music traditions of the world. Right now he’s getting ready to release his new album. He has collaborated with f. ex. Hilda Länsman.
His musicianship and passion for throat singing was awarded in 2015 at Tuva (home of throat singing) when he performed at The Khoomey -throat singing festival and won the 3rd prize in the modern category. It’s great that I happened to get to know him and his work; we met during the album process, when I began collaborating with Niillas Holmberg. It’s a huge joy that he visited one song, one rrreally special song. Just wait till you hear all this music.. Get to know Heikinpoika’s vibe from the video. >>



I want to introduce you to all the wonderful people that I’ve had the pleasure to create with. These people and their music helped me find the music in me. First post is about creating the song material, after this I’ll tell you more about the musicians, and last but so totally not least I’ll share about the process of production and recording & mixing.. Check these people out, get to know their projects and get inspired.
First up: songwriting. ∇ ∇ ∇ 

Jukka Backlund
The producer. Backlund has produced award-winning and platinum-selling albums, worked as a sound designer / composer in avantgarde installations and art videos, his main project right now is Nik Mystery and he plays drums in a band called Dead Sirius 3000. He’s a member of electronic music production collective called Vanilla Dream, plays various instruments, works internationally and has been studying jazz since early childhood. Watch Nik Mystery’s video Movie Life Fantasy here and Dead Sirius 3000’s “I Won’t Stop My Dance” music video here – – Backlund has also made the videos.
When we started to collaborate I did a lot of demos from old songs and was trying all sorts of ideas – but it was very hard to find a fresh, new perspective. During one songwriting session we had with Backlund he started to play with one rhytmical idea with his acoustic guitar; he started to record that idea and after few minutes there was this new song that felt super inspiring.. I had to go out for a walk after I heard that music! Now it’s clear, that song and that moment opened the door for this whole album.

Photo: Tommi Posa

Timo Kiiskinen
Kiiskinen has written some of the most loved pop songs in Finland (Sami Saari: Ainutkertainen, Samuli Edelmann: Sininen sointu..), released many beautiful solo albums and has made a wonderful jazz album called “Chet” which has Chet Baker songs in it with Finnish lyrics. I have been a big fan of his for as long as I can remember. You can listen to his ‘Chet’ from here.
Thanks to producer Backlund I eventually wrote to Kiiskinen and told him about this music project, asked if he’d like to get involved. Kiiskinen called me, we had a great talk and after few weeks I received a beautiful song from him. Kiiskinen wrote me a song that has lyrics from Kanteletar – that song feels like home and I’ll never forget how good it felt to start singing it.

Photo: Tuomo Manninen

Niillas Holmberg
I met Holmberg the first time some years ago at Helsinki National Theatre’s music club where we both happened to be performing. It was great to see him perform live. His work as a musician, poet, activist etc. has always felt very inspiring. Watch his video here.
As the album thing started to happen and producer Backlund couraged me to think about my songwriting dream team I contacted Holmberg and asked if he’d like to write Northern Sami lyrics to one composition that popped out of me after one songwriting camp with Backlund. After some e-mails we met and talked about the album and few months later he sent me a demo and the lyrics and I was blown away how personal the lyrics felt. Niillas wrote out the world that was deep in the music that came out of me – powerful song.
When it was time to start learning singing in Northern Sami at first I thought it would never happen but after a while I started to ‘hear’ the language..

Photo: Paul S. Amundsen

Suvi Isotalo
Isotalo is a pianist, songwriter, singer, composer and I got to know her years ago when we were both invited to perform in this songwriter’s event. She has written music for theatre, released solo albums,  performed with various music ensembles and has worked as a studio musician.
I asked Isotalo’s help relating to the album songwriting; especially the lyrics – to tell me straight if some words were unmusical or storytelling wasn’t clear enough. She helped a lot with one specific song chorus and her honest feedback about the album was pure gold. Check out Isotalo’s music video, this was a fun night years back. It was a lot of fun to be involved in the making of it.

Photo: Ville Malja

Josef Donner
Donner is a singer, songwriter, writer, entertainer and he knows a lot about different languages. Donner has his own band Juzzman, he performs with f. ex. Cafe De Abejas, works in various performing arts projects as a writer and as a performer.
I asked Donner to write a song with me; I had never ever wrote lyrics in Swedish but had a feeling we could write something nice together. I had gotten to know Donner via many mutual friends and I had one song without lyrics – I had a bit of an idea about the story and then asked if he’d be interested to collaborate with me. He said yes, we had couple of writing sessions and a song was born.

Photo: J. Donner

Sonja Korkman
Korkman is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator, soundpainter and I’ve been collaborating with her for over ten years now in Helsinki Soundpainting Ensemble (avantgarde music group that she leads). Korkman is very experienced in traditional Nordic music, world music, reggae, songwriting in various genres and we had some songwriting sessions together – though the song material we made with Korkman didn’t end up to the album I really enjoyed our sessions together.
Korkman helped me with one album song that has a Finnish-Swedish dialect; she made sure that I’m singing every word properly.

Yle Svenska_Korkman
Photo: Yle Svenska

Oskari Lehtonen
Lehtonen is a percussionist, educator, long-time band colleague in Helsinki Soundpainting Ensemble. He has been jamming with me thru this album project and even before that; we know each other from Helsinki Pop & Jazz Concervatory years. We made song material for this album but those ideas stayed on the desktop – they’ll be waiting for the albums to come after this first one..
Playing improvised music (improvising lyrics also) with Lehtonen in both Helsinki Soundpainting Ensemble and in Karelia Drum’N’Bass has given me many ideas relating to lyric structure, telling a story in music etc. Lehtonen plays in the album ensemble, my wish is that he’ll play in the live band also (he’s a busy guy) and he plays in various Finnish folk music / world music (Okra Playground f. ex.) ensembles.

Photo: Tomi Rajala

Aino Kurki
I got to know Kurki when she started making music with Korkman. Hearing Kurki play live the first time made me really thrilled. Kurki has studied kantele (traditional Finnish string instrument) in Finland but also in Africa, she is a very versatile player and has performed internationally as a soloist and with different music projects.
Playing with Kurki made a lot of things clearer to me during the album songwriting process and we spent good time together going thru the songs and getting ready for studio. Kurki will be a vital member of the live band with her kantele, she was in the studio sessions and you can check out her original music from here.

Photo: Global Music Center

Mixing time

This album thing we’ve created with Jukka B is a very awesome thing. Tommi “Master Fader” Vainikainen is taking care of the mixing. Tuomas Saikkonen, visual artist friend who lives in Rio, heard some of the songs and this photo happened. Stay with me! A lot of work still before this whole project is out there with you guys — but it’s really worth the wait.

Albumi kuulostaa niin hyvältä! Tämä levyasia, jonka olemme luoneet Jukka B:n kanssa on todella upea asia. Tommi “Master Fader” Vainikainen miksaa levyn. Tuomas Saikkonen, kuvataiteilija-graafikko-ystävä joka asuu Riossa, kuuli äskettäin muutaman levybiisin ja tämä kuva syntyi. Pysykää mukana matkassa! On vielä paljon työtä tehtävänä ennen kuin tämä prokkis julkaistaan ja työn tulos saavuttaa teidät — mutta malttakaa, odotus todellakin palkitaan.


Mixing time


Vocals done, dear people. | Lauluäänitykset purkissa.


Above, in the picture, feeling happy after the singing days and feeling very inspired about working with Jukka Backlund. Below, a picture from session days; producer Jukka Backlund and throat singer Mikko Heikinpoika having a chat before tracking. Mikko came to visit one song.. |

Yläpuolella kuvassa, onnellisena laulupäivien jälkeen ja inspiroituneena Jukan kanssa työskentelystä. Alapuolella kuvassa tuottaja Jukka Backlund, sekä kurkkulaulaja Mikko Heikinpoika jutulla ennen Mikon äänitysvuoroa. Mikko käväisi kurkkulaulamassa yhteen biisiin..




Oh yes, studio happened. Next: vocal sessions. | Studio! Seuraavaksi laulusessiot..

Oona Kapari from Finnvox and producer Jukka Backlund.
Finnvoxin ääniteknikko Oona Kapari ja tuottaja Jukka Backlund.

Antti Kujanpää (piano)

Oskari Lehtonen (perc., drums)

Jukka Backlund & Antti Kujanpää

Tero Hyvaluoma (violin, mandolin)


Olavi Louhivuori (drums)

Oona Kapari

Ape Anttila (double bass), Ape’s epic session shoes from India & Jukka B.
Ape Anttila (kontrabasso), Apen äärimmäisen tyylikkäät sessiokengät ja Jukka B.

Harri Kuusijärvi (accordion)

Aino Kurki (kantele)

Me & Oona

Oskari’s cool demo from the sessions:
Oskarin sessaridemo:

Music producer Jukka Backlund, me and sound engineer Oona Kapari with musician Jouni Järvelä after the last session day. What a week!

Musiikkituottaja Jukka Backlund, meikä, Finnvoxin Oona Kapari, sekä muusikko Jouni Järvelä viimeisen sessiopäivän jälkeen. Mikä viikko!


Album in the works

It’s a pleasure to announce that an album is in the works! Studio is now booked – during the past year I’ve started to work with music producer Jukka Backlund. I’m collaborating with Backlund and other musical wizards (Niillas Holmberg, Timo Kiiskinen..) for this album it will be a wonderful moment to get it all out and share that music with you..

Photo from last summer’s band camp sessions with Backlund.

On ilo kertoa, että työstän juuri nyt albumia! Studio on varattu. Olen työskennellyt vuoden ajan musiikkituottaja Jukka Backlundin kanssa. Teen yhteistyötä Backlundin, sekä muiden musiikillisten velhojen kanssa (Niillas Holmberg, Timo Kiiskinen..) tätä levyä varten ja odotan suuresti sitä hetkeä kun pääsen jakamaan kaiken sen musiikin kanssanne. 

Kuva viime kesän bändileirisessioista Backlundin kanssa.


Album in the works

Karelia drum ‘ n ‘ bass

Karelia is a name, a female name, in many different cultures around the world.

We will join forces with wonderful Kalle Ylitalo (drums), Oskari Lehtonen (bass) and Sonja Korkman (soundpainting) for a special gig at Tenho Restobar, Helsinki, on 12th of January.


The night is free entry, like all nights are in Tenho.

Wishing you a great New Year’s celebration!

Karelia on nimi, naisen nimi, monissa eri kulttuureissa ympäri maailman. 

Yhdistämme voimamme basisti Kalle Ylitalon, perkussionisti Oskari Lehtosen ja soundpainter-muusikko Sonja Korkmanin kanssa Tenho Restobar:n lavalla 12.1.2017; tervetuloa kokoontumaan musiikillisen leirinuotion äärelle.

Tapahtumaan on vapaa pääsy, kuten aina on tapana Tenhossa.

Hyvää uuden vuoden juhlintaa!


Art work by Tuomas Saikkonen

Karelia drum ‘ n ‘ bass

Collaborating w/ Marita Liulia

It’s a joy to start collaborating with artist, director, Marita Liulia. Liulia’s exhibitions will open for public at Serlachius Museum on November 5th, 2016. The exhibition includes a video piece we did together.

“Marita Liulia’s Golden Age is an experiential exhibition in which the connecting material of the new paintings, photographs, video works and sculptures is gold. The exhibition reflects on life’s different stages, on the turning points and painful experiences that people need to find their own path.” |

Mikä ilo onkaan ollut aloittaa yhteistyö taiteilija-ohjaaja Marita Liulian kanssa! Liulian näyttely aukeaa Serlachius Museossa Marraskuun 5. päivänä, 2016. Näyttely sisältää videoteoksen jonka teimme yhdessä.

“Marita Liulian laaja Kultakausi-näyttely sisältää sata uutta teosta: maalauksia, valokuvia, lyhytelokuvia, videoita ja installaatioita. Teoksia yhdistävää kultaa nähdään monessa muodossa ja merkityksessä. Näyttely käynnistää Serlachius-museoissa Suomen 100-vuotisjuhlavuoden.” |

Photography by Marita Liulia
Photography by Marita Liulia




Collaborating w/ Marita Liulia

Natural High Healing Festival 2016

NHH Festival has now announced all the music artists for next summer. Oh boy, such a joy to be a part of this festival. See you there, it’s going to be great fun! Book your tickets while you can and come see Finnish summer?

All the artists:

Murray Kyle (AUS)
Keyaki (FIN)
Mahima (SWE)
Zahelu (CAN)
Cora Flora (CAN)
Lulu & Mischka (AUS)
Markandeya (SWE)
Mikko Harju (FIN)
Teea Aarnio (FIN)
Saara Aalto (FIN)
Lani Rocillo (UK)
Eniesa (SVK)
Maok (SVK)
Tea Ihalainen (FIN)
Dj Ilo (FIN)
Dj Soma (FIN)

Natural High Healing -festivaali on julkaissut tulevan kesän ohjelmansa. Ilo olla mukana esiintyjäkaartissa! Yllä lista kaikista julkistetuista artisteista.

Natural High Healing Festival 2016