10 Questions: Peppina
- When did you know that you wanted to become an artist?
I always knew I wanted to do something with music, but for a long time I believed that I didn’t have “what it takes” to be a performer, so I thought I’ll become a teacher instead. But when I had my first experience performing on a big stage, the rush of energy and the connection to the audience was so thrilling that I had to give it a try.
- What does your typical workday look like?
The fun (and stressful) part of being a full time musician is that a lot of us don’t really have a typical workday. Personally, I have three types of typical days. All of them start with emails and social media and some light practicing and warming up. If I have nothing planned for the day I practice for a while longer and hope to get inspired to write lyrics – if I do, that might take the whole day. Other days I might have meetings with my team, scheduled rehearsals with other players or writing sessions with other writers. If I have a big show, I try my best to keep the whole day as open as I can, have a long warm up, sound check and keep my focus on the performance.
- What is the biggest difference between living in New York compared to Helsinki?
There’s just this special energy in the air in New York that is unlike anywhere else. Not only is it a metropolis with millions of people, but also a legendary “make your dreams come true” city, and you can feel it in the air – it’s pushing you to work harder and dream higher.
- You have previously said that the message in your songs is important – what is the message you are trying to send out?
I think the details change depending on my own life situation, but overall I want to spread positivity and optimistic perspectives. Not “you should be happy all the time”, but rather “there’s a silver lining in almost everything”. There’s power in sadness, strength in vulnerability and always hope for better times.
- What is a creative space for you, where you feel inspired to write songs?
I feel the most creative in my bedroom in Brooklyn. I have a lovely, small room with big windows facing west over a highway, so there’s nothing blocking the view. This means I get a beautiful sunset and a direct view over the Statue of Liberty. The constant movement of the cars is somehow very inspiring to me, and seeing the symbol of freedom definitely keeps me motivated to keep writing.
- Being a Finnish singer in New York, does the Finnish “brand” come with any stereotypical expectations from your American audience?
I think for the most part people don’t yet know enough about Finland to have very specific stereotypes, but some might expect that it’ll be something really ethereal or mystic, or something like Björk. But for most people I probably fall under the “Scandinavian umbrella”. In other words, people will just think of Swedish pop artists and since there’s so much variety in this area, they don’t have any specific expectations.
- Do you have any good luck ritual before going on stage?
If I’m playing with a band, I always want to ask them individually if they’re excited and give them a big hug right before getting started. The right energy is at least as important as the notes you play.
- What do you do to relax?
I like taking long walks, and writing in my journal in cosy cafés.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
In a dream world, I’ll be touring all over USA and Europe – maybe even further!
- Is there any advice you would like to give to other young women aspiring to be artists?
Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing, but focus on what makes you special, what you have that no one has brought to the industry yet (we all have something). After you have found it, don’t be afraid to try new things and stretch away from your comfort zone, but never let anyone change those things that make you who you are, that are special to you. Also, always remember that the music business is a people business, and no one makes it alone. Surround yourself with good people!