- What makes up a perfect Finnish breakfast?
Porridge with some butter and jam melted on it. Yum! I also love rye bread, so I might have some of that too, plus, of course, coffee. I can’t wake up or function without coffee.
- What inspires you?
I get inspired by people who push themselves out of their comfort zones to create and achieve something that has not been done before. I get inspired by ambitious people who believe in themselves and do not get bogged down by what other people think or say. I love people who have a real sisu attitude! I also, of course, get inspired by music. I absolutely cannot live without music, beats and rhythm in my life.
- You have established initiatives such as Good Vibes Only with DJ-producer Lady Eliza and I Am The Music with singer-songwriter Adam Fearn. What are you trying to achieve with these?
The main aim with the collectives and initiatives is to enable other musicians, artists, DJs and producers to reach the next level in their music careers. There’s not really a platform that currently enables anything like this, hence it’s such an exciting time for us.
These platforms will allow our members to collaborate with, and be inspired and motivated by each other, rather than trying to make it out there on their own. Our main mission is to educate, provide networking and collaboration opportunities, and work together in order to enhance the thriving music culture that we have, now and in the future, too.
- Is there a set formula for writing music that touches people?
I’ve read a lot about all kinds of ‘secret formulas’ for writing and producing music; however, I don’t completely believe in these. I produce music and I never start a track by checking if it follows a certain formula. We are people with emotions – we are not robots. If the music that we produce is received well by the audience we want to showcase it to, their reactions will speak more than any formula.
When producing music, it should always come from your heart first. Then, of course, there are certain elements to tracks that kind of follow a formula, yes (this is more the structure of the track, I suppose). Other than that, music is a wonderful language that can touch people, impact emotions, inspire, motivate and bring happiness to our lives, even sadness. Music is all about a feeling.
- You have toured internationally. What has been your most memorable gig so far?
It’s absolutely amazing to travel and see various places, festivals, clubs and events within different cultures. So far, my most memorable week away was playing at the Ayia Napa House Party Festival in Cyprus. Boat parties, beach parties, clubs and happy people. Sun, sea and fun! What more could you ask for? Oh, and getting paid is not too bad either. So yes, that was amazing. I also loved playing a week in the French Alps among the après-ski people: the views were stunning as I played beneath the mountains. I’m just very grateful I’ve been booked for these kinds of environments.
- DJing and producing is traditionally a very male-dominated world. What advice would you have for females interested in getting into the industry?
Do it! Let’s make the industry more balanced together! Let’s make it a tradition, shall we? Yes, the industry is heavily male-dominated, but I’ve been welcomed into it with open arms by the boys. I think they definitely want us there and we can bring amazing flavour and versatility to the scene. So, let’s do it, start now. Let’s not think about ‘male-dominated’. Let’s think about the wonderful music scene we have and ensure it keeps thriving and flourishing with versatility, talent and passion.
- You have been based in the UK for the past 18 years. What do Finns and Brits have most in common?
Gosh yes, time flies doesn’t it (when you’re having fun!). Tricky question, that. I think both of our nations like to have fun, party and add a bit of sarcasm here and there. Finns and Brits love each other really.
- What is your favourite joke?
No, you didn’t! I’m very bad at jokes. OK, here goes: Knock, knock. Who’s there? Mary and Abi. Mary and Abi who? Mary Christmas and Abi New Year! … Yes, I can see that cringe of yours right now! Haha!
- You are originally from Turku. What are the three must-sees for people visiting the city for the first time?
I absolutely love Turku! You should definitely see the cathedral (Tuomiokirkko) of the city; it’s gorgeous. You should also visit the ‘jokiranta’ which is the banks of the Aura River – there are lots of restaurants, boats and clubs where you can find entertainment. It’s beautiful, especially in the summertime. You should also visit the Turku Castle for some culture – it’s an amazing place to have a little picnic at too.
- What does the name SAYA mean to you?
It pretty much means my original name (Saija) to me. The name came about as my artist name, as for years no-one could pronounce Saija the correct way. Then soon I started to spell my name as SAYA (instead of Saija) and boom, my name was pronounced right. There. Very simple story behind SAYA really.