Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jouni Aslak: A singer-songwriter-producer with a thing or two to say

Photo: Anton Sucksdorff! (YLE)
Time for the last interview of the day! Its from another participant of UMK 2015! Here are the answers of JOUNI ASLAK:
Name: Jouni Aslak
Age: 26
Birthday: 20.3.1988
Height: 174 cm
Favorite color: If it's velvet, it's blue. If it's lipstick or Simply, it's Red.
Favourite food: Almost anything of salmon, or prepared by my mum.
Shoe Size: 42
Eye color: blue
Where are you right now? - I'm in the corner of a café in downtown Helsinki.
3 things that makes you happy: Smell of rain, boating and of course, good people.
What’s your strangest talent? - When it comes to paraller parking or rope splicing, I'm your man.
Do you have any nicknames? - Tender whispers in my ear. Not printable. :) Maybe you can come up with something?
Home alone and you're bored. What do you do? - Probably leave the house. I'm rarely really bored.
What is the strangest thing you have in your room? - This is a tough one, since I'm not at home to evaluate this. I would say, a hundred years old creme churn.
What are you really good at? - Well, I already mentioned rope splicing and paraller parking, so I'd say, frying eggs with show moves.
What are you really bad at? - Sleeping early.
Childhood idol: - Brian Littrell of Backstreet Boys and my grandpa, because they were the funny guys. And Clint Eastwood, because he wasn't.
Childhood memory: - I used to sing Stevie Wonder at the backseat of my parent's Citroën BX along with the cassette. On long trips we had a bunch of cassettes with us and they were always playing. I think I know Stevie's "Song Review" by heart.
Tell me something no one knows about you: I'm the guy who steals the other sock from your laundry machine.
What would you do if you were invisible?: - I guess I'd paint myself. I think invisibility might eventually lead to loneliness.
Craziest thing you've ever done: - Maybe climbing on the roof of a church, rowing to a zoo in a leaking boat and riding a horse to a bar. All in one night.
Favorite movie: - Ohhhhh, so many. Forrest Gump, For a Few Dollars More…. or maybe Big Fish.
Favorite TV series: - Mad Men. All time favorite.
Tell me a super power you wish you had: - I would time travel and tell certain people I care. And after that go to Monterey 1967 to see Jimi Hendrix flambé a Stratocaster.
What's your favorite part of your body?: - My butt. Such a form.
What is your guilty pleasure? - Wikisurfing and liquorice
Name a song that never fails to make you happy: - Again, quite many, but at a quick thought, Cayman Islands by Kings of Convenience. It always makes me feel an invisible hug.
When did you start singing and writing? I've sang all my life, I really can't remember. There are videos of me improvising songs at the age of four. And I guess I was five or six when I wrote my first song "Kaipaus", which is "Longing" in Finnish.
If you were a product, how would you sell yourself?: - Probably vacuum packaged, so you don't miss anything.
Can you teach me some interesting words in finnish?: - I already did. But you should also know "matkustelisisittekohan". It means "I don't know if you should travel around".
Hello Jouni! Welcome to UMK! how are you?
- Hi, my pleasure. I'm blessed to be part of this.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?
- I'm a singer-songwriter-producer with a thing or two to say.
Tell me a bit about your career:
- Until last fall I used to be a band guy. Always a band guy. My late band Grandeville was put to rest last september in good faith and I felt a huge relief. Suddenly I was alone with my new songs I had been writing and producing fiercely. And here we are, this is a fresh start. In the side I've been writing, recording and producing for other people for some years now. My new solo material is sort of my castle in which I rule and make all the decisions. And work. :)
You are one of the participants of UMK 2015. How did it all begin?
- I guess the previous question gave a hint. But more in depth, we were sitting at a restaurant with my friend Leo Stillman right after Grandeville was done, and started to goof around with the idea of Eurovision. Suddenly I realized I already had the greatest song ever for the competition, and started to work around it. I really have a lot to thank Leo for being there for me along the way.
Photo: Tiia Santavirta
"Lions and lambs" is the title of your song. Whats the story behind it? what made you write it?
- I actually wrote the top line for Lions and Lambs couple of years ago, and it started out as a cheer up song for my friend. To this day he doesn't know this. After I returned to the song later on, I found myself looking further to the world, and what's going on. It's all about realizing that nothing is black and white and that you shouldn't point your finger at other people before you learn to deal with your own two sides. Your weakness is necessarily not your weakness.
Describe the song with 4 words:
- Warm, straightforward, Lion, King

Lets talk about the performance, what can we expect to see on stage?
- You're gonna see me at my best. I'm not gonna give it all up yet. Not too much candy before saturday, right? I can tell you, it's a Broadway like spectacle.
Do you already know what you are going to wear for the semifinal?
- I do. I'm really used to wearing suits, but this one is the coolest I've ever had in my wardrobe.

Tell me about the official video of "Lions and Lambs":
- From the start I wanted a classic studio video, and my director really saw the idea in it. The result is a retro-like flirt towards crooner legends. I'm so happy I got so many incredible people working for my purpose.

Have you heard any of the other songs? any favorite?
- Yes, I listened them through, and my vote would go to Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät.

Did you watch UMK last year? who was your fav?
- My definite favorite was Softengine right from the start, because my band's guitarist and my dear friend Aki was their producer. And they were friggin' awesome.
What do you like about Eurovision?
- Eurovision is the greatest showcase of European pop music year to year. You can't see any show of that scale anywhere else, and when you top it with it being a huge rendezvous of cultures, it's something spectacular.
Give me the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word:
Stage: Paraller reality
Fear: Usually pointless
Elton John: One of the true greats
Lemur: I like to move it
Nudity: Touch
Clones: Wish I had one of myself sometimes.
Beard: I got some. 
Nightmare: Should write them down for songs. You never know what comes up.
Softengine: Proud of them
Finland: Home
Dreams: Couldn't live without
What are your plans for 2015?
- I'm currently recording my first album and I have a live band with talent and heart beyond imagination. I have a feeling this is going to be the year of great drive. 

Is there anything you want to say to close the interview?
- Thanks for the interview! I'm so happy to be a part of all this. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep posted. And if you see me somewhere in Helsinki, don't hesitate to come and say hi. Hope to see you all in Vienna!
Thanks to Jouni for this lovely interview! I wish him the best on UMK!

(written by Jouni Aslak)

Don't look for salvation
Neither of us was born yesterday
Let me crawl under your skin
To the deepest, darkest place, the one you're afraid of

I would climb on a mountain
and bring your flag up to the top,
you would do that to me
I gotta make you believe
You got it in ya

Coz we are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes
We are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes
At the same time

You got two perfect eyes to see yourself
Much better than anyone else
But when it comes to your diamonds
You're totally pitch blind

I'm a boy with a bad reputation
But anyway, I wanna say to you
Don't beat yourself black and blue

Coz we are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes

A little bit of lions
and a little bit of lambs
In the middle of the hurt and midst of the violence
We gotta clear our voice and raise our hands
More than ever

Coz we are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes
We are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes

Coz we are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes
We are, we are, we are
We are, we are, we are
A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs
in the same eyes

A little bit of lions and little bit of lambs at the same time

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