Jaakko Eino Kalevi Savolainen

Bast recently ran across an interesting young musician from Helsinki called Jaakko Eino Kalevi Savolainen. Jaakko´s music is hard to describe as he makes it very much his own by touching various genre´s of music. He is a self taught musician with a vast and diverse list of inspirations, that can easily be reckoned by his centered but yet soulful sound. Along with creating his music he works part time driving the tram through the streets of Helsinki, and running his own label called JEKS. He is a musician that most likely will take you out of your comfort zone a little – and we like it.

How would you best describe yourself as a musician? And your style of music? I would like to think that I don’t have any specific style or genre. It is somehow limiting but of course there is a style that can be found. I don’t really know what it is so I have come up with these names like: no-soul, beach and team. When I started to play music I started to play guitar but now I think my main instrument is drums, and often I start composing with drums. I am very beat-centered.

How long have you been involved in the music industry? And how did it start for you? We started our first band in 1995 when I was 11, influenced by the Wayne’s World movie and Aerosmith. It was called masterpiece and it was kind of a progressive metal band. I started my solo project by doing hip hop beats in the late 90s. I wouldn’t use the term “music industry” because in Finland it is so small and DIY, but I have played in many bands since I started.

Tell us about your label JEKS. It’s my label and I have released mostly my own stuff there. 7″s, cassettes and CD’s. The name JEKS comes from my initials: Jaakko Eino Kalevi Savolainen. Next release will be Samuel Meri & Yön Syke 7″ where I also play electric drums. And the next one after that will be melting hearts 7″ that I am really excited about. Melting hearts is the best new artist in Finland right now.

Have you any special inspirations? Or a specific way of creating your own music? Usually I start with drums. Then the bass and then whatever is needed. Instruments inspire me and music itself. I think reggae/dub has influenced me the most.

We heard that your part time job is driving the tram in Helsinki. Have you been doing that for a long time? And how do you like it so far? I like it as a balancing thing to the music. It is really easy, basically just driving around the city and listening to music. And there is no wheel, just one joystick that goes back and forth. I have been doing it for 6-7 years now.

What are you up to at the moment? And what are your future plans? I have been finishing my next ep right now. It will be out hopefully early next year. It is less electronic and more poppy I think. We have been recording with my other bands too. At least Profeetta & Uusi Maailmanuskonto, Muuan Mies and Yön Syke are going to release an album in a few months. My future plans are to learn Spanish and to learn how to play the saxophone better. And of course to conquer the world.

Words: Kristín Larsdóttir Dahl / Photos: Jussi Puikkonen