Influences: Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Adele, Sia, Abba, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Esperanza Spalding, Hans Zimmer
Having already been known as the neighbourhood’s songbird from my earliest years, I started my formal music education at the age of 6 in my hometown Kouvola (Finland) in a local Music Institute (MI) and have been actively training and expanding my music knowledge ever since.
During my Music Institute studies (1999-2012) I studied Piano (classical 1999-2001 & contemporary 2010-2012), Euphonium (2001-2012), Wind & Brass orchestra (2002-2012) contemporary vocals (2007-2012 /you had to be 15 to start one to one lessons), choir (2000-2008), music theory (classical & contemporary) & acoustic guitar (2008-2010).
Besides the versatile MI studies I spent most of my comprehensive school years (grades 3-9) in a music-oriented school, having extra music lessons, learning music theory, playing in bands, singing in a choir and doing plenty of (choir) recordings and performances.
In junior high school (9th grade) I finally started one to one contemporary vocal lessons and a few months later had my first extensive studio experience as a lead singer, recording a cover album in a local studio. Around the same time I also learned to play the guitar and started to write songs. During this period I also got 2 stipends from my music studies from my school and the MI.
After junior high school I went to high school and along the school, I focused on my MI studies, most notably completing the last possible institute level Euphonium grade with a first (in 2009), picking up the trombone, and starting contemporary piano lessons.
In my high school I completed a wide range of extra music courses (several music history and performance courses, and a high school music diploma with the subject “Human voice as an instrument”). Furthermore, in 2011 I played a country singer “Irene” in my school’s production of “Footloose”.
After high school I took a gap year and focused on my MI studies, whilst working a flexible day job. During this year I had some memorable performance experiences, including my first jazz gig in Kouvola City Hall, earning me my second MI granted stipend. Furthermore, in Spring 2012 I performed a song by Anssi Tikanmäki (a famous Finnish film composer) as the soloist of my Wind Band Orchestra, while the composer himself was accompanying me.
In Autumn of 2012 I moved to Kuopio to start my professional music studies in the Conservatory of Kuopio. Although I majored in contemporary vocals, I became predominantly known as a multi-instrumentalist, regularly playing trombone and euphonium (and sometimes keys) in workshops and gigs.
The conservatory studies were designed to create well-rounded musicians and with all the compulsory and optional subjects my studies included: 3 years of contemporary music theory (and exams), a Sibelius notation software course, a music business course, performance studies, music technology studies, piano studies (first compulsory afterward as optional), weekly one to one vocal and trombone lessons, a range of music workshops (jazz, rock, Latin, traditional dance music and Schlagers, pop, soul & fusion, percussion and function/party band repertoire workshops), specified vocal studies (traditional folk music, jazz improvisation, gospel, musical theatre repertoire and A Cappella singing), a range of self-planned showcases acting as the Musical Director and lead singer (Celine Dion tribute, original music concert, acoustic arrangements showcase, jazz standard showcase and a Whitney Houston tribute) and an instrument specific technical exam (etudes, sight reading, scales, jazz solos and a range of songs), which earned me (85/100 points) one of the best scores by a vocalist in the history of the school.
Furthermore, I took alto saxophone lessons for a year, learned to do complex music transcriptions and became a fluent sight-reader.
Some highlights of my studies included a week-long Masterclass playing trombone and singing backing vocals for Erja Lyytinen (famous Finnish Blues artist), playing in 11 different bands during our 5-day “On Fire” festival in 2015, performing with a symphonic orchestra for the first time playing the trombone (in 2014) and writing (and co-writing), recording and mixing my own music for my thesis. All my study efforts paid off: I graduated with a first, overall top grades and got another stipend.
3 months after finishing my Conservatory studies I moved to England and started my BMus Contemporary vocal performance studies in Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford. The next 2 years were spent focusing on songwriting, arrangement and artistry, in my chosen “Artist Development” pathway.
During my ACM years, I was taught be a range of industry professionals including Jono McNeil, Paul Turner, Katie Hector, John Gallen, Mike McNally, Brian Henry and Mike Nichols to name a few. On top of the compulsory studies I was an active participant on several of the school’s extra-curriculum workshops (Loft song-writing sessions, World Tour Workshop, Jazz Workshop, Americana Workshop, vocal technique workshop and vocal jazz workshop). Furthermore, I participated in a range of masterclasses including Carla Marie Williams, Divinity Roxx, Drifters, and Newton Faulkner to name a few.
Towards the end of my studies I became increasingly interested in film scoring and orchestral arranging. As a result, I wrote my dissertation about Hans Zimmer’s influence on contemporary film music: transcribing and analysing a range of scores by various composers in the process. For my practical project I prepared 6 “film theme song” arrangements of well-known pop songs.
Since graduating from ACM I’ve been busy building my career, founding a function band (Primrose Collective), a function duo (Lumino Tones), writing my own music as well as collaborating and writing for/with others. Furthermore, I completed an Online Film Scoring with Berklee (with a first) and have been doing plenty of session vocal/musician work for various acts/projects.