Below, you can read our interview with artist Johanna Kuvaja and listen to her single, Wanna Make Love To You. Check out our full music review of Wanna Make Love To You, HERE.
Q: Great to be speaking with you, Johanna! What is the Finland music scene like for pop-based music like yours?
A: We don’t have many pop artists here who sing in English. Finnish people like to listen to Finnish music, so the record labels prefer to sign only artists who sing in Finnish. Therefore I have to aim for the international markets. I’ve been asked to sing in Finnish many times, but the most important thing for me is to do my songs my way, and English is my love language. Finnish language doesn’t sound good to me phonetically. So I’ll keep on writing my songs in English. I write music only for me. If other people like it, that’s great.
Q: You’ve been playing music since the age of six! And you’ve had a long and lucrative career so far. What has been your favorite musical accomplishment to date?
A: I like adventures, so traveling to London and recording this new single “Wanna make love to you” in Sefi Carmel’s studio was something I’ll always remember. It was an amazing experience to work with true professionals, and have my song produced and recorded in a top studio by a top producer. I learned so much about the professional recording process and I was even able to participate in the mixing process via Skype, which I’m very grateful for.
Q: You’ve released three singles since 2019. Any plans for additional singles – or maybe even an album – in the near future?
A: I have dozens of amazing songs in store, so I’m sure you’ll be hearing more music from me once the world situation goes back to normal after the corona pandemic.
Q: “Wanna Make Love To You” was recorded, mixed, produced, and mastered by renowned producer Sefi Carmel. What was it like working with him?
A: It was incredible. My ex-producer, Mikael Forsby encouraged me to go to London and record this song with Sefi. Mikael said that it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and he was right. Sefi was very kind and patient with me, and he let me do my song my way. He listened to my ideas and liked them, and he understood how I wanted my song to sound like. I had the flu when I traveled to London and he offered me some whiskey with lemon water. By the time when I had to sing the high ad-libs, I was so tipsy that it took a while for me to be able to sing them cos I was giggling so much. It was such a fun recording session. I even traveled to London one more time to do more ad-libs, cos I got great ideas for the song later after the first recording. So we put a lot of effort on this song. I hope you can hear it.
Q: Your newest single is as fun and sexy as it is smartly written and composed. What is your songwriting process like?
A: Thank you for saying that. If I get an idea for a song, (typically it’s the catchy hook first), I sing it and record it with my cell phone on my voice memo, so that I won’t forget it. Then I listen to it again and if I still like it, I forward it to myself on my WhatsApp. Then when I go for a walk, I listen to my ideas and re-evaluate them again. Sometimes I put a beat from my keyboard and compose the rest then, or I use the piano, depending which way suits the song. Lyrics are the last thing I do and sometimes I need to change the melody a bit in order for the song to work with the lyrics.
Q: What was your first instrument? Do you still have/play it?
A: Piano. I don’t have it in my apartment at the moment. I only have 2 keyboards at home, but I play the piano when I go visit my parents. I also give piano lessons.
Q: Perhaps in some unspecified amount of time, your musical career explodes in the best of ways. What does that look like for you?
A: I’m moving to Spain in a few months and I’m hoping to do collaborations there. There’s already been discussions with a top producer in Marbella, and other artists would like to use my songs as well. I’ve been asked to perform in many places there. Let’s see what happens once I settle in.
Q: You get to collaborate with anyone of your choosing. Who is it?
A: Haha. It took me a while to think, but I’d say Jon Bon Jovi. I love his voice and songs.
Q: Your favorite album of all time? (Yup, you gotta choose one.)
A: Cross Road by Bon Jovi. I still listen to those songs.
Q: Your favorite song of all time? (Again, only one!)
A: Always, by Bon Jovi. I’m a romantic by heart 😅
Q: What would you like fans to know about you that they’re most likely unaware of?
A: My songs reflect my personality, energy, and soul. If you love my music, you’re my kindred spirit ✨
There’s always a spiritual message or lesson behind my songs. I’m a teacher after all 😉
Q: Any shout-outs you wanna make?
A: Shout out to Soundtrack creation for doing an excellent job with my new single “Wanna make love to you”
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Thank you to everyone who’s been listening to my music and supporting my career. It means a lot.
(Want to be interviewed by The Ark of Music? Click HERE.)