Bio

Chapter 1 - Hobbyist with a passion

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 North Kymi Music Institute (PKMO).

At PKMO (1999-2012) I studied: Piano (classical 1999-2001 & contemporary 2010-2012), Euphonium (2001-2012), Wind & Brass orchestra (2002-2012) one to one contemporary vocals (2007-2012), choir (2000-2008), music theory (classical & contemporary) & acoustic guitar (2008-2010).

I finished my studies at PKMO in 2012 due to moving to Kuopio to study music professionally at the Conservatory of Kuopio.

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL
(1999-2008)

My budding musical talents were acknowledged from early on resulting on me performing as a soloist in my school’s Christmas and Spring celebrations in 1st and 2nd grades as well as gaining one to one music lessons at school during that period.

Starting from 3rd grade I spent the rest of my comprehensive school grades in a music-oriented school class: having extra music lessons, learning music theory and history, basics of band instruments and actively playing & singing in different bands and the school choir.

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 recording experience as a lead singer, recording a pop covers album “ E and Friends “ in a local studio. Around the same time I also learned to play the guitar and started to write songs.

HIGH SCHOOL (2008-2011) & GAP YEAR (2011-2012)

After junior high school I went to Kouvolan Yhteiskoulu (KYL) high school and along the school, I continued my PKMO studies, most notably completing the last possible institute level Euphonium grade in 2009 with a first, 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 named “Irene” in my school’s production of the musical “Footloose”. In graduation I was awarded with a “Pro Musica” medal and stipend for my notable music achievements during my studies.

After high school I took a voluntary gap year to have more time for music (studies). During this year I had some memorable vocal performance experiences, including my first ever jazz gig in Kouvola City Hall in front of the mayor and local influencers, earning me my second PKMO granted stipend.

Chapter 2 : Professional studies

CONSERVATORY STUDIES
(2012-2015)

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 as well as keys in workshops and during gigs. Furthermore, I established myself as a popular photographer among the fellow students frequently doing live music photography as well as varied studio style photoshoots with artists and bands.

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 given to a vocalist in the history of the school.

Furthermore, I had alto saxophone lessons for a year, learned to do complex music transcriptions and became a fluent sight-reader.

Some highlights of my Conservatory studies included a week-long master class playing trombone and singing backing vocals for Erja Lyytinenplaying in 11 different bands during our five-day “On Fire” festival in 2015, performing with a symphonic orchestra (AmKo Sinfonia) for the first time playing the trombone in 2014 and writing, 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 and also was asked to perform in the graduation ceremony.

Outside the Conservatory studies, in March 2014 I attended a master class by Floor Jansen (singer of Nightwish). I also attended various band camps (classical and contemporary: as vocalist and a brass player) and Brass master classes around Finland throughout my music studies. This meant being taught by a range of industry professionals, most notably including some of the best brass players in the world (James Morrison, Velvet Brown, Boston Brass, Sérgio Carolino, Jens Björn-Larsen).

MOVING TO ENGLAND – BMUS STUDIES (2015-2017)

Just three 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 two years were spent focusing on songwriting, arrangement, business and artistry, in my chosen “Artist Development” pathway.

At ACM the studies were designed to provide us with as much information of the many aspects of the music industry as possible: Not only did we learn about general musicianship, a range of music styles and songwriting & arrangement and contemporary music theory, but we also had several music business related courses and seminars as well as broad artistry studies based on my pathway choice. Furthermore, we were introduced to a range of industry professionals as our tutors (Simon Gogerly, John Gallen, Jono McNeil, Paul Turner, Katie Hector, Frankie Tontoh, Brian Henry, Kaya Carney, Mike Nichols and Irene Serra to name a few), guest lecturers and speakers as well as during optional master classes (Carla Marie Williams, Divinity Roxx, The Drifters, Anita Wardell, and Newton Faulkner 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 songwriting sessions, World Tour Workshop, Jazz Workshop, Americana Workshop, vocal technique workshop and vocal jazz workshop.

Towards the end of my studies I became increasingly drawn towards film scoring and orchestral arranging leading me back to my classical roots. Not only this, but all the gained knowledge about contemporary music, its sounds and elements made me fascinated of the possibilities of combining both. My research eventually led me to one of the most successful film composers today and 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. To further my practical skills on a similar subject, I prepared six “film theme song” arrangements of well-known pop songs for my practical project.

Having finished two quite different music school in five years with top grades, gained ton of varied knowledge and established a good social networks in at least two different/relevant market places in the music industry made me feel prepared to face the world, focus on getting out there and establish myself as a professional musician.

Chapter 3 : Working professional

SINCE ACM GRADUATION (2017-)

Since graduating from ACM I’ve been busy building my career in several fronts. I completed an online film scoring course with Berklee College of Music with a first and additionally have done a few intensive short term songwriting courses to advance my writing skills and keep on track with the industry standards and trends.

At present I’m working on my original pop-music act under the name Elina and have released two singles “Perfect” and I Miss You”  so far. I also co-write and write music for others and have a range of top line, performance and songwriting credits in various recent commercial releases. Besides original music material I also work in the cover music front: I am the musical director and lead singer in Primrose Hill Collective band and Lumino Tones duo and also perform with other acts in the role of a session vocalist. Besides singing and songwriting I compose for films and ads, take photos of other artists and work as a session musician (trombone/euphonium). In late 2018 I became a founder member in Never Ever Media (NEM) collective: a music and media services offering company. My involvement with NEM includes artistry, business, photography, songwriting and session work services working for and with a range of other industry professionals.

In March 2019 I purchased a  historical house back in my hometown Kouvola,  the house was then named as Muusikon talo (Musician’s house). During my ownership the 400m2 space has been divided into an apartment as well as a music  studio space. A few months into the big renovation works the renovation was paused for a month as the house was part of the Finnish National Housing fair in Summer 2019. The unique project evoke plenty of interest among national media as well as the fair visitors. The renovation has been continued after the fair ended. As of November 2019 the apartment has been almost finished and we are starting to look for a suitable tenant for the flat. As for the recording/rehearsal studio space the future Kymi Music Studios, the aim for the studio opening is in Spring of 2020.

Gearlist

Recording:

  • Sontronics Orpheus multi pattern condenser recording microphone
  • RME Babyface audio interface
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface
  • Beyerdynamic DT770 M Dynamic Headphones
  • AKG271MkII Heaphones
  • Bone Micscreen XL
  • Pop Filter

Live music gear:

  • 2x Yamaha DSR112 Active PA Speakers
  • Yamaha MG1676FX Mixing console
  • TC Helicon Voicelive 2 vocal pedal
  • AKG D5 Dynamic microphone
  • Sennheiser e945 Dynamic microphone
  • Sennheiser e865 Condenser microphone
  • 2x Equinox EQ LED 135 MicroPar Bar System

Instruments:

  • Yamaha Custom Euphonium
  • B&S Challenger Trombone
  • Roland FP-7F keyboard
  • Arturia Keylab 61 midi keyboard
  • Yamaha Reface CS keyboard
  • Yamaha Reface CP keyboard

Music software/DAW:

  • Logic Pro X
  • Total Mix
  • Sibelius 7
  • Transcribe

Other:

  • Mac Book Pro (15”)
  • iPad Air

Photography:

  • Fujifilm X-T2 digital camera
  • Neewer 18-inch Outer Dimmable SMD Led Ring Light Kit
  • Apple Aperture photo editing software

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