My Time In The Finnish Music Scene

Haulix is a company based out of Minnesota, USA. We have clients all over the world, but none of our core staffers have spent much, if any time abroad. We like to think we know a lot about the way the music business work, but truth be told all our knowledge is based on our experiences here in the United States. We wanted to expand our understanding of music as a global industry, so we turned to Finnish native Peppina to shed some light on her personal journey through music. You can read her response below.

Not familiar with Peppina? No worries. We’ve embedded here fantastic EP, Follow Your Gravity, at the end of this post. Consider this your last chance to hop on her bandwagon because we have a feeling 2016 is going to be a very big year for Peppina. Enjoy!

In Finland, just like in most countries, while the superstars in the world are superstars there as well, the charts are very much filled with Finnish artists – all of them singing in Finnish. That’s a big thing – there are barely any big Finnish artists in the pop field who perform in English, and it feels like some kind of a cultural thing where the idea of a Finnish artist singing in English seems weird.

I think it stems from the fact that i’s not that common in the Finnish culture to think or dream big, to believe in or seriously reach for international success – simply because it has happened so rarely in the past! I guess that’s why many choose to be a big fish in a small pond instead. To me that’s the biggest difference between the music scene in the two countries: In the US, you think big and reach high – and you have all the reason to do so since so many others have made it here already!

I think this cultural difference also translates to the musical side of it all. Pop music, for example, is produced big in the US. The singers bend high and lyrics are often anthemic, with subjects about things that are “larger than life.” While the top pop hits in Finland are of course also produced big and epic in their own way, they’re often not as ambitious as the ones in the States; the subjects are often negative and singers don’t show off with their vocal abilities as much. I couldn’t really say who would be “the Beyonce of Finland,” for example. I’m hoping to portray the best of both cultures through my music – and it’s been quite an experience being in the midst of each one at different times in my career.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.