- What makes you get up in the morning, every day?
Every day is a new adventure, I want to get out there and I do my thing. Also, I have a good coffee machine – that helps too.
- How did you get into music?
We have a lot of musicians in the family, we’re now the fifth generation. Music was always a part of our daily lives at home. I eventually started playing the classical guitar when I was seven.
- Your fourth solo album, Resolution, was released last year. How has your music evolved since you began to play your own compositions?
I started composing as early as I can remember, I was probably four years old. My third album (Through the Eyes of Others, 2013) was a cover album, but everything else I’ve done (Silence!, 2007; Phases, 2009; Resolution, 2017) has been my original material. Doing the cover album gave me a healthy break from the pressure of composing new, original material. I learnt a lot from the process, and it inspired me to write new things.
- You have a very unique sound. How difficult is it to develop your own style?
It’s a labour of love. You must explore, challenge yourself and learn from mistakes. I didn’t really aim to do this, it happened naturally. I still practise and try to listen to my body and the subconscious about where I need to grow, both technically and artistically. I studied formally both classical and electric guitar in the conservatories and academies here in Helsinki and graduated back in 2007.
- How has growing up in Finland affected your music?
Sure, the folk music and the sound of kantele have had a profound effect on me. My grandfather, Martti Pokela, was a kantele player, and quite often I find myself doing things that sound like something he would have done.
- You have been touring all around the globe. Are there performances or moments that stand out for their significance?
Sure, opening for Tori Amos twice here in Helsinki was a blast, playing in London and LA were unforgettable experiences, and touring in Asia is always an adventure. One fun experience was doing a surprise performance with Finnish singer Pete Parkkonen on the SuomiLOVE music programme on national TV here in Finland. We played in a pool in the middle of a dance group, with disco lights and everything. The water was up to our knees!
- When are you at your happiest?
Being in the moment.
- What kind of music do you listen to at home, when you are all alone?
It depends, I try to choose the music based on the current task and vibe. For example, I listen to rock when I need to do chores and jazz when I’m relaxing.
- What sole item would take with you to a deserted island?
A portable teleport so I can get back home when I need to. I could also go back there for vacations. Beam me up, Scotty!
- Resolution concluded a 10-year project of creating a trilogy of albums containing original compositions. What is next on your to-do list?
I recorded the concerts from my anniversary/album trilogy tour in Finland last year. I will release a live album this year.
Photo: AJ Savolainen