Today Turku is more alive than I have ever seen it. The terraces are crowded and the loud chatter and it tells that this Friday is going to be a long one. The sun is shining hard and it might surprise people how strong the Finnish sun can be. I continued browsing the crowd with my hand on my brow until I finally spotted a familiar face smiling and waving at me. I wasn't sure if it was him. But yes! It really was him! Sätilä!
We've never met before, and that explains my excitement, but I stumbled upon his music on Spotify and found out that he's a rising musician in Turku. What are the odds right? He has recently released his new EP and now I get an exclusive interview with him. How cool is that?
After the formal introductions were over we decided to talk over a cup of coffee. We settled in Café Art which is the perfect spot to enjoy any summer breeze by the river. After ordering our coffees and settling comfortably outside I started off the interview with my usual list of questions.
I’ve gotten a hint from somewhere that you’ve been living in many places. What has it given you?
I moved to Australia from home and studied songwriting for a year. Living and studying abroad gives you more perspective. Our country is quite small so it’s good to get out and see how things are in other places. In the end you realise how funny our country we live in is. Studying in Australia introduced me to many musical genres such as folk, folk rock and sing & songwriter style, which has more offerings than in Finland. It also gives ideas to my own music and the goal is to go international.
Have you played in a band before?Yes, during high school I used to play with my friends alternative rock. Muse, for example, was one of the inspiring bands.
You started as really young as early as seven. How has your songwriting changed with time?
As I learned an instrument I started experimenting with songwriting. At least the lyrics have improved. Sometimes I'm embarrassed thinking about the old times how the lyrics weren’t as good.
Musically, the music was a bit heavier I was active in the alternative rock band. Singing style has remained quite the same with falsettos and voices inspired by Muse and Radiohead.
As you get older you listen to more different music. I like mainstream pop but recently I’ve listened less to it.
We also discussed the importance of artistry and creativity.
As an artist, it's essential not to limit yourself to certain music, yet still trying to stay relevant. You want to sound like yourself too, not just pleasing the audience. Even if artistry is important, you want your work to be approachable. It's not easy to pretend to be someone else, just be yourself. Most important to do your own thing. Even if you wouldn’t succeed as much, but you’d be true to yourself.
Lately, I haven't listened much to Finnish music, but earlier in my teens I used to look up to disco ensemble. They were such an inspiring and encouraging Finnish band that has also been successful abroad. It's interesting how many Finnish bands have succeeded abroad, but it's not talked about as much.
Spotify knows me well. It gives me suggestions as I listen, it can be folk music or indie music guitar. Many artists such as Ben Howard, Lorde and Dua Lipa are among the interesting ones too. Lykke Li is definitely a versatile artist with shifting music!
Another artist I like is Dagny and the funny part is that we both happened to be in LA at the same time. It was interesting to go to her gig in LA when she's active in UK.
Suddenly out of the blue a bee interrupted our interview. It was definitely a stubborn one. The cameraman jumped in and we thought that we would be saved, but instead, we got a lecture about the bees. He was convincing us it was harmless since it wasn't a drone bee, but then, in the end, messed around with us saying: "Oh, actually it's a drone bee I think." haha!
When the cameraman finally got rid of the bee we could finally focus on Sätilä's latest work. Recently, he had an EP-releasing concert where he presented his new songs "Obsession", "Shame" and "Out of Love".
Congratulations on your EP "Out of Love"! What's the story behind these songs?
It's the most personal music I have put out. The songs represent the different phases in a relationship. "Obsession" describes the falling in love phase where you obsess over a person, almost in a sickening level. I want to leave some space for interpretation when listening to my songs.
On “Shame” I want people to realise everybody feels shame, also in relationships. It doesn't help you in any way but fills you with guiltiness instead. "Out of Love" the person is trying to get rid of the feeling of being in love to move forward. It's not a desperate way of moving forward. You don’t know how long this phase takes, but someday you get there. It's not from a desperate perspective but from a place of knowing being imperfect but still deserving to be loved and accepted.
Putting your emotions in a song is easier than to talk about the song itself. Some lyrics might be a bit cliché, but so is love sometimes.
Any hobby that helps you to be inspired?
Travelling definitely! Seeing new places and people opens your mind. It doesn’t need to be far.
I'd like to write more music. Creativity needs time so I hope to be able to focus more on music. I’m moving to London to study and make music this autumn. Before leaving I'm playing a few live shows in Finland! [15.6. Suisto, Hämeenlinna; 16.6. Semifinal, Helsinki]
How do you think the internet affects music business?
The industry is trying to keep up with the technology. It’s hard to earn money off streaming but hopefully, that will change in the future. Artists get their music to people easier than ever but at the same time, it makes it harder to stand out from others.
Do you have many instruments?
Electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards
I surprised him with this question! Do you have nicknames for your instruments?
(He thought for a while and realized that he didn't have any nicknames for his dear instruments). They're usually known by the manufacturer’s names or brands.