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Opinion

Creating hits for international artists and audiences

This week Music Finland’s Riku Salomaa discusses the future for Finnish songwriters abroad.

Over the last 10 years, Finland has become a significant player in the international music market – not only for its touring acts but also for the Finnish songwriters and producers who work with top class international artists. If you didn’t know it before, you’re about to learn this: Finland is on its way to become a pop music powerhouse!

David Guetta, Flo Rida, Justin Bieber, Kylie Minogue, KAT-TUN, Jolin Tsai… These are names that a lot of people recognise, but less people know how their hit songs are being created – and even less people know that there are Finnish producers and songwriters working with these artists.

There are a number of reasons why Finnish songwriters will soon be in demand worldwide.

Firstly, we have talent. There’s never a pop star without a hit song. And there’s never a hit song without talented songwriters and producers behind it. The amount and quality of (free) music education in Finland has resulted in world-class composers and other professionals traditionally in classical music and in pop music later on.

Pop music is often produced in co-writing sessions. A co-writing session is a creative process during which songwriters work in teams to write songs and further develop musical ideas. As you can imagine, sessions like these not only take a lot of musical talent but also social skills, ability to manage pressure and stress, to name a few.

How do songwriters end up at these sessions then?

Secondly, we have the infrastructure. For a small country, there’s a good number of music publishers in Finland who are well connected to the international music industry. Their job is to find opportunities and facilitate work for their songwriters. To support the publishers, Music Finland has organised co-writing camps in Finland since 2007. At these camps, Finnish songwriters work with their international counterparts and publishers meet with international record companies who seek music for their acts. We all then do the best we can to make the most out of it. Also, the publishers are eager to find young songwriters, who might quite well be the Max Martins of the future.

Finnish songwriters have been especially sought-after in the Asian music market, which has led to Finnish songwriters writing several hits for major Korean and Japanese pop stars and bands. This has led to Finnish song camps that are strictly aimed towards the Asian market.

In summary, talent and business walk hand-in-hand in songwriting. Stay tuned for some more hits created by the Finns!

Published on 12.01.2017