the most promising pop vocal groups in Finland and Scandinavia todaythe
modern girl-group sound of Tuuletar comes alive on their much
anticipated first album Tules, Maas, Vedes, Taivaal.
The eight song CD was superbly recorded and produced at Liquid
5th studios based in North Carolina. Visiting and performing in New
York on the way back to Finland, Tuuletar can't wait to bring their
Folk-Hop sound accapella vocals all sung in their
native Finnishto the attention of music fans World Wide. The
skillful production by the Liquid 5th team shines a bright light on
Tuuletars phenomenal pop vocal approach. For music listeners
challenged by the unusual complexities of the Finnish language, Tuuletars
album title translates to Fire, Earth, Water, Sky,
with each group member representing a different element or sign. At
the core of the Tuuletar sound are four accomplished singersSini
Koskelainen, Piia Säilynoja, Johanna Kyykoski and
the bands human Beat-Boxer / singer Venla Ilona Blom.
With Venla supplying the percussive beat-boxing sounds, and the impressive
production of Liquid 5th putting on the sheen, Tuuletars vocal
arrangements are fully realized on their CD debut. Commenting on the
unique Tuuletar sound in the following interview, Sini Koskelainen
tells mwe3.com, Beat-boxing is a form of vocal percussion
primarily involving the art of mimicking drum machines using ones
mouth, lips, tongue and voice. The folk-hop sound blends Finnish folk
music with hip-hop, electronic music and world music. The
perfect showcase for their unique talents as a group, the debut Tuuletar
album is filled with appealing vocal harmonies yet the music is also
quite experimental sounding. Researching their Finnish heritage and
naming their band after a Finnish female spirit of nature that controls
the wind, Tuuletar brings their sound into the brave new world of
21st century pop music with unexpectedly brilliant results. www.tuuletar.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
Sini Koskelainen of TUULETAR
Tell us about the making of the new Tuuletar CD. Is this the first
Tuuletar album? Tell us the process like, from writing and composing
and perfecting the performances leading to the recording and what
were your impressions of recently visiting New York and recording
in North Carolina?
Sini Koskelainen: Yes, this is our debut album! Some of the
songs in the album we already started writing a few years back but
they have slowly changed their shapes and have grown to be more mature
for this album, like we all have, as individuals in Tuuletar. Creating
and arranging a song varies in our group. Whoever gets the inspiration
can bring a song or a complete arrangement that we then start to work
with. Some songs have been composed and arranged by one person, other
songs have got their lyrics from one person and composition from another.
Some songs, like Kohma have been collectively made through
improvisation with a draft of text. Most of the songs are arranged
together. Beats in every song are created and developed by our beatboxer
- Venla Ilona Blom.
We didn't want to rush with making a debut album. We wanted to feel
that our music had evolved enough to be under the same roof that we
call Folk-Hop. For us it was also very important to find the right
kind of people to work with. People that would respect our visions
but still have the courage to suggest their own point of views and
show us new dimensions production-wise. We feel that Liquid 5th, the
company that recorded and produced our album in North Carolina, was
the best choice that we could've made.
The people of Liquid 5th - Chris Juengel, Carl Taylor and Josh Chopak
are lovely, professional and skillful people that do music from their
hearts. They are also all specialized in acappella music, which is
quite rare here in the Nordic countries. We created a lifelong friendship
with them, which we truly appreciate in the music business world.
It was destiny, I would say, that we were chosen for the acappella
competition in Graz, Austria called Vokal last Summer, and met Josh
from Liquid 5th there, and won the Silver in the POP-category plus
one of the audience awards.
that, it was our determined will to believe that our music had a bigger
future ahead, and that it would reach and touch people despite singing
in our Finnish language and that started to produce results. All our
past struggles had made our groups identity even stronger, leading
us finally to something bigger. A couple months later, our booking
agent Johanna Sauramäki and Venla from Tuuletar met Aija and
Jyri Lehtonen from Bafe's Factory record label in WOMEX - the world
music expo - and not so much later we signed a record deal with them.
Our New York City visit was awesome! It was wonderful to perform in
Scandinavia House and enjoy the vibrant city that never sleeps. One
of my own personal dreams also came true, was when we got to see the
Lion King Musical on Broadway! Were looking forward to traveling
to the U.S. Again!
mwe3: How did you come up with the name Tuuletar and what does
the CD title mean in English? Tell us about singing in the Finnish
language. Are you hoping to breakthrough into the pop, World Music
or experimental music genres or all three? Seems like Tuuletars
music is quite accessible even though its sung in Finnish! Do
you think it would quite change the sound and vision if you sang it
in English? Where do you get your lyrics ideas for the songs in Tuuletar
and can the songs be translated into English?
Sini Koskelainen: The name Tuuletar came from our mutual will
to find a name that would represent a Finnish mythology. We went through
a Finnish Kanteletar poem collection until we found a name that felt
like us. Tuuletar is either a female spirit of the nature that controls
the wind or a wind's personalization. The CD title is tules,
maas, vedes, taivaal which means in the fire, in the earth,
in the water, in the sky.
fire, one earth, one water and one air. We are very different individuals
as persons but somehow something special happens when we get together.
That's why we wanted to give the album this name. It contains all
of the four elements. I feel that we suit all of the 3 genres; world
music, pop and experimental. We would never switch singing completely
in English. The Finnish language is an important part of our musical
identity. There would be no Tuuletar without Finnish texts! At least
that's how we feel right now, who knows what happens in the future?
Texts and lyrics in our music get their inspiration from nature, strong
female characters, from hope, joy, growth and conflicts of the mind.
Inside the album cover booklet there will be short descriptions of
the texts in English that takes the listener to the right kind of
atmosphere before the song starts.
mwe3: Finland always had a number of great pop singers. What
artists from Finland had a major influence on you growing up and which
of todays Finnish artists are you in tune with so to speak?
What musicians, groups and artists from other countries, say from
Sweden, the UK and the US also influenced you?
Sini Koskelainen: When I was growing up, now I'm talking about
the teen-age phase, I listened to
for example Nylon Beat, The
Rasmus, Hanoi Rocks and Bomfunk MC's of the Finnish artists. But I
don't know if they had a major influence on me. Maybe Nylon Beat although,
affected me so that I got encouraged to create an all-girl-band where
I started to write songs, at the age of 9. I mostly anyway listened
to foreign music. My musical tastes changed dramatically quite often
while growing up.
As a teenager I listened to Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, Backstreet
Boys, Snoop Dogg, Aaliyah, TLC, Destiny's Child, Michael Jackson,
Justin Timberlake and Stratovarius, for example. When I was passing
my teenage and reaching the adult age I started to be influenced by
Björk, Beyonce, Sainkho Namtchylak, Yasmin Levy, Peter Gabriel,
Thom Yorke, Nina Simone, Sigur Ros, Erykah Badu, Hans Zimmer, Thomas
Newman, The Boxettes, B.o.B, Avicii, Angel Haze, Eivør and
Arvo Pärt, among many others. Nowadays I'm inspired by Kimmo
Pohjonen, Pekko Käppi, Wimme Saari, Paleface and Paperi T of
all the Finnish artists.
Its hard to believe that the whole Tuuletar album is human voices
only as its so creatively done. Is there a lead singer even
though all the members sing?
Sini Koskelainen: Thank you. There is no lead singer in our
it varies from song to song.
mwe3: How did you come upon the art of beat-boxing and can
you explain what that is and how would you describe the Folk-Hop
sound? Is that the only percussion on the CD and does anyone else
plays on the Tuuletar CD?
Sini Koskelainen: The story of beatboxing in our group started
from testing out independently some vocal percussion sounds in Aarhus,
Denmark where we originally met each other four years ago. Then it
evolved into real beatboxing when Venla started to have a huge interest
in that world. She started to practice a lot by herself and then take
lessons from professional beatboxers all over the world. The Boxettes
hadand still has even though they have split upa great
influence on us! The group is all-female-group from UK, and they also
have an amazing female beatboxer called Bellatrix, and that inspired
us even more.
Beat-boxing is a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the
art of mimicking drum machines using one's mouth, lips, tongue, and
voice. The Folk Hop sound blends Finnish Folk Music tradition with
hip hop, electronic music and world music. There are no instrumentalists
on our album, only us four using our voices in different ways. There
are just a lot of tracks top of each other, that's why the soundscape
sounds so big. Only mechanically added things that appear on the album
are effects like reverb, delays and octaver effects.
mwe3: Who is in Tuuletar, what is the chemistry like between
the members and how did the band meet and work up such an instinctive
recording methodology? You must practice a lot! Looking at the videos,
it seems like youre also very into choreographing the performances.
Dance moves seem very intrinsic to the Tuuletar sound.
Koskelainen: In Tuuletar there is Venla Ilona Blom who sings and
beatboxes, Piia Säilynoja who sings, Johanna Kyykoski who sings
and me, Sini Koskelainen, who sings. Chemistry between us is explosive,
caring and energizing. We met in Aarhus, Denmark at the Royal Academy
of Music in 2011 when we all studied there at the same time for one
year. Yes, choreography will even play a bigger part of our performances
in the future. We have just hired a professional contemporary/street
dancer to create choreography for us.
mwe3: The production of the Tuuletar album is brilliant. It
sounds so well done and well produced. Tell us about how Liquid 5th
Productions in the US became involved in the Tuuletar album and how
did the production shape the album sound? Who at Liquid 5th gave the
album such a great sound and what was it like recording the album
in North Carolina?
Sini Koskelainen: I totally agree! Like I mentioned previously
we met Josh Chopak of Liquid 5th last Summer at Vokal in Graz, Austria.
He came to talk with us and was really interested in making a collaboration.
After tons of emails back and forth with legal rights etc. we finally
made a deal with them to go to North Carolina to record. With the
help of creative hands of Chris Juengel and Carl Taylor, who were
responsible of the recording, editing, producing and mixing of the
songs, our music reached a deeper and higher dimension. Mastering
was done by Eric Scholtz. It was wonderful to record the album in
North Carolina! Liquid 5th had fantastic studio facilities and great
and encouraging work energy.
mwe3: What other plans, concerts, writing and recording plans
do you and Tuuletar have for 2016 into 2017? Where would you like
to take your music next?
This Summer and Autumn we're performing in different festivals like
Budapest A Cappella Festival (Budapest, Hungary), Spectaculum Mundi
(Munich, Germany) and Göteborgs Kulturkalas (Gothenburg, Sweden).
In the Autumn 2016 we will start touring around Finland performing
in schools our self-made children's music show The Maiden of
The North and the stolen gold threads. Our show is booked by
the Concert Center Finland Association. The songs will be from our
own repertoire. In 2017 we are going to tour a lot in Germany, we
are booked by Goethe-institute, Germany's worldwide cultural institute.
We are also having a tour in Taiwan in the Autumn 2017 and we have
plans to travel back to U.S. next year too!