An Interview with Jasse Jatala, The Voice Of Finland Contestant Who Loves Heavy Metal
“I broke my voice many times, but I never gave up.”
Jasse Jatala, The Voice Of Finland contestant
Jasse Jatala. Picture: Saku Tiainen
Some aficionados of dirty electric guitar sounds, rough vocals and fast-paced rhythms might already be familiar with Jaz “Jasse” Jatala as the versatile singer of the Helsinki-based progressive metal band, Keoma. However, this 30-year-old tech-guy, who lives with his wife, son and dog in Helsinki, is now quite well-known all over the country as one of The Voice Of Finland contestants. The big day for this self-taught vocal artistcame on live television Friday, April 12, 2019.
This is what Jasse Jatala shared in an interview for Finland Today.
”Mörko” is the nickname the judges gave you because of your first performance in the contest (LINK: https://www.ruutu.fi/video/3365436 ). Could you please explain what it means, what a mörkö is in Finnish culture?
Mörkö (in English something like “beast”) in Finnish culture is mostly known because of Mörkö from Muumilaakson Tarinoita (The Moomins) TV show. It can mean that someone is a “mörkö” because of their looks or appearances.
How did you get into this TV competition, was it your own decision or did people around you push you?
People have always pushed me to enter one of these. I finally told my wife to choose a competition and that I would participate, kind of joking about it. I promised my wife to participate at the age of 30.
You mentioned on the TV show, how you got into foster care at 12 and studied very hard (merkonomi = commerce), just to be able to stand on your own feet at 19. Would you like to tell us more about your childhood? Now you are a stay-at-home-dad, is that correct?
About my childhood . . . huh. Lets put it this way: a wise man said to me that we all struggle though our struggling is very different. Yes, I am actually studying BBA IT now and staying home with my kid.
When and how did you get into music and this particular kind of music? Was it at school or before, did you learn an instrument, what or who inspired you?
I had always been interested in music, but in secondary school I picked a voluntary band course and there it sparkled. I had guitar lessons while in grade school and thought I could somehow make use of it too in the band course. Only later did I noticed that singing was more of my thing. I joined a band when I was 14-15 years old and it all started from there. How I got more interested into metal started while vacuuming and cleaning. I really wanted agressive music to give me power while cleaning.
“How I got more interested into metal started while vacuuming and cleaning. I really wanted agressive music to give me power while cleaning.” Picture: Saku Tiainen
How did you end up as a singer – what or who inspired you?
Singing is my thing and is what I felt most comfortable doing. I also realized I was getting better and better at it. First, I was inspired by the Beatles and Backstreet Boys but later on have found inspiration from everywhere and around.
How did you develop your voice as you never had lessons?
It has taken me a long time and I am still developing. First, I listened to many singers with strong mannerisms and started using them myself. So I kind of got to know the ways to sing first and took the best of it and got rid of all the mannerism that was first stuck in my singing. I screamed a lot too and it broke my voice many times, but I never gave up. Here we are now and there is still a lot to learn in singing in every way.
How did you become the singer of the band Keoma?
We met at a Karaoke bar back in 2009 with Eero (guitarist). We had a connection and we still have. All my band mates in Keoma have become my really good friends and it would be hard if this weren’t so. All the love for the guys!
Do you feel a bit like the underdog in the competition?
No, actually I don’t. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I participated and when the first episode I appeared on came out, people were like “wow”! Nowadays old and young people say “hi” to me at local grocery stores .
Dreams are coming true for you, Keoma played at Tuska and will soon play at Tavastia in May, now the competition—is it one of your dreams to win, or what would be the dream?
Yeah, winning would be awesome, but in my opinion, I have already won some becouse I’ve gotten so far in TVOF.
Metal music has become mainstream in Finland – what do you think are the reasons for that?
Finland is cold in winter and sometimes even in summer. During the winter we have a lot less sun and light in our atmosphere and metal is a great way to express our feeling during that. Metal is also a good genre because it isn’t for only young or old people, it is for both.
Jesse Jataja made it to the semifinal for the remaining eight contestants, on April 19, 2019 at Logomo Turku (and live on TV).