If you thought, Finnish popular music was all about 2006s Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi or the unicorn-haired Leningrad Cowboys, you definitely thought wrong. A great opportunity to showcase the musical talent of the 5.4 million inhabited Scandinavian country is Flow Festival. The fifteenth edition of the 2004 founded festival takes place from 10th to 12th August 2018 in the capital Helsinki. And while you probably don’t need us to tell you what great live acts the headliners Kendrick Lamar, Patti Smith or Arctic Monkeys are, NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION would like to shine the spotlight on the local acts which represent Finland in this years edition of the festival.
1. Olavi Uusivirta
Our first local act is a true multi-talent. Olavi Uusivirta is an actor, entertainer and multi instrumentalist who plays guitar, piano and drums. His debut album Nuoruustango was released in 2003 when he was only 20 years old. Since then, Uusivirta released eight more albums with the 21track strong live album Kultaa Hiuksissa only being released last year. His crafted but artistic modern spin on pop music promises to be as much fun live as on his albums.
2. Lauri Soini
Flow Festival has an outstanding line-up filled with electronic gems, with one stage just being curated by our colleagues from Resident Advisor. And there’s lots of electronic acts from Finland to discover. One of them is Lauri Soini, a DJ who has not only played in his hometown Helsinki, but also in international renowned clubs such as Offenbach’s Robert Johnson or Berlin’s Tresor. He’s also a promoter and curator of the underground Helsinki underground night club Kaiku. Last year, Soini made his debut on Boiler Room in Helsinki with an ambitious set filled with Synth, Wave and trance highlights.
Despise its big headliners, Flow also focusses on showcasing newcomer talent. One of that bands is the 2014 founded band Karina. The folk sound of the all-female band is as smooth as Sufjan Stevens while still being original. They’re heavy use of the Finnish language only strengthens this originality. This year they’ve released their debut album which was critically acclaimed in Finland.
Another Finnish folk band is the all-female four piece Kardemimmit. Since they’ve been founded in 1999 they’ve released four albums and toured multiple times through North America, Europe and Asia. What’s special about they’re sound is that Kardemimmit is their use of the old Finnish zither national instrument, the Kantele. The band uses 15 to 38 versions of this string instrument. Alongside to writing, arranging and producing their music on their own, the band members try to promote this approach and the idea of equality to young people across the world, especially girls.
5. Paperi T
Yung Lean isn’t the only rap star to hail from Scandinavian. Finland has its own rapstar: 32-year old Paperi T, who is rapper, poet and radio host at the same time. After starting out with the band HipHop group Ruger Hauger, he released his debut album Malarian pelko in 2015. It charted – as well as his in 2018 released second album – on number one of the Finish album charts. Paperi T also received two Emma awards which are the Finnish equivalent to the Grammys and a Teosto prize, that is one of the most renowned Nordic art awards. Alongside his music, the rapper published the successful poetry book Post Alfa. This years performance at Flow Festival isn’t his first (and probably not last) appearance at the festival and it won’t surprise us if the masses go crazy to his dark rap sound.