Luke Cole: You have a very unique look and sound, what's your inspiration? Does the same thing inspire both?

Jaakko Eino Kalevi: Yeah I guess, it's based on all the music and instruments I’ve listened to. I think my sound is…I can't name really any specific influences. Maybe partly my work is connected to my musical inspirations - but not fully.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi at Electrowerkz, London 2015

LC: What was it like performing at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire with the psychedelic Unknown Mortal Orchestra?

JEK: It was good actually; I was happy with how it went. Because, I have to say, usually the conditions to play in London are not that good. I played a show over the summer that was pretty problematic, so I'm so happy that it went really well - the space was large, very good and the sound overall. Not to mention the crowd were great!

LC: Do you collect synthesizers or play any other instruments?

JEK: I basically play drums, bass guitar, keyboards and a little bit of saxophone! I have this Yamaha synth that is on stage tonight - It's my first synth. It's from the early 80s and it’s monophonic so you can only play one note at a time.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi at Electrowerkz, London 2015

LC: How would you best describe your music to someone who hasn't listened yet?

JEK: I usually say its experimental pop (laughs)!

Sometimes smaller venues are more intimate, but that sometimes makes me a bit nervous!

LC: I saw your Boiler Room set from a few years ago; do you enjoy performing in smaller, more intimate venues?

JEK: It just depends, sometimes smaller venues are more intimate, but that sometimes makes me a bit nervous! It can be cosy but I don't mind that sometimes.

LC: Who styled the overall look and outfit in the music video ‘Double Talk’?

JEK: I wore my own clothes actually; it was with filmed with friends on a small budget. I almost lost my jacket in that video when we were in Copenhagen on the Unknown Mortal Orchestra Tour!

LC: Are there any artists or bands similar to you back home in Finland?

JEK: It's kind of funny as there are some artists that are kind of alike in our scene. We party and play together but I don't really think our music is similar to someone looking in from the outside. I guess I could mention Melting Hearts and Long-Sam

LC: How do you document the ideas, lyrics and themes that make it into your music?

JEK: By phone actually, to write notes and sentences down - I also sing into the phone for melodies.

She had this song playing in her head all the time. I had to look it up, then it was stuck in my head too! A bit later on it became my comfort, my power song.

LC: I heard your brand new song ‘Everything Nice (Popcaan Cover)’ featuring Farao, how did you both come together to re-approach this song?

JEK: It was pretty much a year ago when we met in Iceland…we were playing in a festival. We met and had mutual friends too! She had this song playing in her head all the time. I had to look it up, then it was stuck in my head too! A bit later on it became my comfort, my power song if you will (laughs).

LC: Who would you like to work with and what song would you like to cover next?

JEK: I’m actually doing a cover yeah, I'm working on that... it's probably going to be the next song I'll finish. It's by Véronique Vincent & Aksak Maboul, ‘I’m Always Crying’ - a very complicated name. It’s funny that they started in the late 70s early 80s - now they’ve finally got their music finished.

LC: Sometimes good things take time!

JEK: …and sometimes not (laughs)!

Read: Jaakko Eino Kalevi & Kelly Lee Owens Review -->

Words and Photography: Luke Cole