Johannes Naukkarinen is a former student of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. He studied in the Music Production study path under Media and Arts degree. Nowadays Naukkarinen works as a freelance producer providing the whole package of creating music. He does music for different artists and works in collaboration with record companies. He also works under his own stage name KIRO as a touring DJ playing mostly club and house music. One of his achievements is the song Profeetat – Eyo that is the best-known song from his production. He has also worked with Nelli Matula and several other artists.

Naukkarinen’s family has always been musical, his father playing in a band and mother singing the choir, and he got his first guitar when he was 8 years old. When Naukkarinen turned 12, he bought his first own guitar and has played in a few bands during his teenage years. After turning 18 and being able to go out to the clubs and listen to the music played there Naukkarinen realized that he wanted to start producing music himself. He just wanted to see where this path would take him and started to work as a producer challenging himself.

“The balance between your contacts and your skills and what you can offer is crucial.”

For Naukkarinen music is everything, it is his life. If he is not working on a project from a client, he does his own music. Sometimes he can just sit at home and create music, even write three or four new songs within a week. Then there are times that he does not do anything music related for a week. One of the best things about working as a freelancer is the freedom, you work when you want to. Naukkarinen might have gigs from two to ten in a month and at least one client.


“The fact is that the jump from a student into a professional starts from yourself.”

Most of his clients come through his connection to Rähinä Records. Naukkarinen got his chance when they needed a producer and he had the confidence to say that he could do it. For the past two years, he has gotten good contacts and widened his client base. The circles are quite small in Finland so knowing a couple of the main people helps in the long run to get to know others as well. It starts to work out once you get to show what you are made of and have the right people notice it.

For Naukkarinen TAMK has offered a good and supportive community to help him in his career. According to him, the professional and qualified teachers together with the likeminded fellow students taught him a lot. The feedback you get from people that surround you is important when you are still honing your skills. With the teachers experience and knowledge and new ideas from other students you already have a good environment to grow as a professional. There are also many good opportunities offered by the university for the students to get out there and experience different things and collaborate with new people. In addition, the mandatory practical training is a good chance to gain contacts. By showing interest and being driven in the work that you are doing you can reach the next step in your career.

“I ended up coming to TAMK because it was the only place that offered also a creative side to music production, not just the technical side.”

Video works of TAMK´s first year fine art students took part in Speculum Artium / DigitalBigScreen- video festival in Slovenia 14.-16.9.  - Barbara Jazbec´s video Mind´s eye won the 2. prize!

Speculum Artium is one of the biggest art and science festivals in Slovenia. The 9th festival is held in Delavski Dom Trbovlje which is the central cultural institution in the municipality of Trbovlje, Slovenia.  Inside Speculum Artium there is an International video festival called DIGITALBIGSCREEN. The DigitalBigScreen festival enables video screening on a big, cinematographic screen, offering a completely different context to the usual ones at projections of artistic videos (room projectors, TV-screens).
Thirty-five authors from around the globe responded to the international call by sending in 42 video works. The expert board consisting of Marko Glavač M.F.A., Zoran Poznič M.F.A., Andrej Uduč and Špela Pavli M.A., have chosen seventeen authors who had qualified into the competitive selection. 

The video works from TAMK were created during the courses of Moving Image study module.

http://digitalbigscreen.si/?lang=en

https://vimeo.com/192751211

Barbara Jazbec, Mind´s eye

“The story of Skábma is based on the Sámi mythology of The Celestial Hunt. The Celestial Bull Reindeer, Sarvvis, has been hunted through the ages by the Sons of Kalla from the constellation of Orion. If the hunters succeed in killing Sarvvis, the world will die. In the game, a young Sámi child, Áilu, gets mixed up with this endless hunt and accidentally initiates the end of the world.“

Students have been working hard over the summer with various projects and internships. One project in focus is project Skábma – Polar Night, originally titled “Kaamos.” A project which began during a game minor module in 2015, has now been developed into a fully-fledged project. The initial project was too big for the students to finish and they were unable to reach their goals. However, everything has a silver lining. Red Stage Entertainment then picked up the project several years later and are now working with some of the original creators.

Skábma is a 3D low-poly game developed in Unity. The team of 12 currently consists of animators, concept artists, a programmer, a director, level designer a producer and a writer. As well as people working on the music and SFX side of things. Producer/writer Marjaana Auranen is of Sámi descent to help make the game feel as authentic as possible.

Now that the project is taken more seriously, many changes were made to the original concept. Research is being done to make the game as accurate as possible. Such as researching the Sámi people and the way they live. Accurate environments have been created also, largely based on Lapland.

They have been working on the game since early June and work separately from TAMK and they were eventually funded to get the project going. Their main goal is to finish a demo to then promote to potential investors. The deadline to finish the demo was at the end of September, with the potential of producing the game further.

Concept art for the game

Fourth year interactive media students, Waltteri Lahti and Jerina Kivistö, spoke on behalf of the group to give me an insight to what they get up to during their time there. They are two of the creators of the original demo from 2015 and are now doing their practical training at the company.

Kivistö is a 2D artist who comes up with the concept ideas for the game. Her job is to start the process of a character design as well as some environmental aspects for the game using Photoshop. When creating a character or creature, she thinks in detail as to how it will work visually and realistically. She then takes the idea to the producer or director who then decides whether it needs changes or if it works. Most times she will go back and develop her concept idea before approval, a 3D modeller will then develop the idea further from her designs.

“How do I take those designs, and make them not stereotypical.” - Kivistö

Lahti is the games 3D artist who works on creating the 3D models working in Blender, but also works with the animations of the game including rigging the characters. His main aspirations for the project were to develop his animation skills, as this is what he enjoys most. However he has had to focus more on 3D modelling due to the commitments in the project.

"It's been fun and challenging but most of all really rewarding experience to work on this game." - Lahti

This project is a prime example of what students can achieve during their studies here in TAMK. Old projects from modules which do not reach their goals are never a waste of time. They can be built and worked on in the future leading to future job opportunities for the students. I am looking forward to trying out the demo when it is finally released.

You can look up Red Stage Entertainment at the following address for further updates and other projects!
http://www.redstage.fi/ 


Alisa Komendova, a third year Interactive Media student at TAMK, originally from Czech Republic moved to Finland back in 2005. Nowadays she already has marketing and PR/communication experience thanks to her Bachelor degree in International business. She has also been working as a freelance photographer since 2007 and has just started branching out into the world of video production.
It was the combination of all these skills and interests that led to the internship.

Komendova did her internship at Dreamloop Games, a video game development company located in Tampere, Finland. She joined the team at the position of a marketing assistant / media content creator. The company wanted to reach its audience with a series of behind-the-scenes videos and introduce the team, creating a relaxed and friendly relationship with the customers.

Komendova met the CEO and CMO of Dreamloop Games at one of the monthly IGDA meetings in Tampere. Mutual friends introduced them and after a brief chat with them it turned out that, she had all the skills they were looking for. As Komendova already had a bachelor degree in business, she was familiar with the business side and did not need much introduction into that part. The second side of her role was a cinematographer and an editor that she was just starting to focus on study- and profession-wise. Komendova was with Dreamloop Games for almost a year.

My internship at Dreamloop Games was a perfect opportunity to refresh some older knowledge and practice some new skills.

IGDA is short for International Game Developers Association and they have headquarters in multiple countries, including in Finland. The chapter of this association that is located in Finland was founded in 2002 in order to support the game industry on a national level. Many game companies located all over Finland are a part of this society and take part in the events held by IGDA. The local activities brought to us by IGDA Finland Hubs are independent parts of IGDA. Their aim is to work with the local game developers and help them collaborate, connect and create a sensible environment for them to work in. The Hubs that are located in the bigger cities of Finland are committed to hold free gatherings monthly or so that anyone who is interested can attend including students looking for internships or connections.

Komendova has worked in the media field since 2006, as a freelance journalist and later a freelance photographer, so the Interactive Media degree was quite interesting for her. However, she was first accepted to the International Business degree. During the first year there, she considered re-applying for the Media degree, but later came to a decision to continue her business studies as she found value in the knowledge and skills. After graduating in 2013, Komendova applied for the new Fine Art study path, but didn’t feel like it was her place already during the entrance exams. The following year, she applied for Interactive Media and was accepted. Now she can combine her business knowledge with her media skills and experience to shape her professional future to suit her best.

I think it really teaches you to work independently, to continuously develop your skills and to grow professionally, to search for new professional connections.

The best part of any TAMK degree must be the mandatory practical training. It really makes you consider what it is that you would like to do in the future, what skills you have to offer. Komendova’s internship at Dreamloop Games helped her to build a solid body of work for her video portfolio bringing in other cinematography and editing jobs. It introduced her to a completely new business segment - video game development. In addition, you can shape your studies to your needs, to focus on your talents and your strengths.

Moreover, as I still have the second half of my practical training ahead, it will bring even more experience and networks to my professional life.


There is a large and well established technology industry in Finland and they are all at each other’s throats to hire the brightest people. They offer competitive salaries, great working spaces and offices with stocked pantries, free breakfast and coffee. Not to mention all the passive perks that come with the job -- meet great people, learn and share your own experience. The best of all is that you get a kick out of putting a value to your own knowledge. Also, it helps with staving off any kind of self-doubt and depression.

Tamás Kertész is now a third year Interactive Media student at TAMK originally from Romania. He has previous experience with web and web development from before being accepted to TAMK. According to Kertész he had never considered it as a legitimate career opportunity until he applied for TAMK and got accepted. That motivated him to work harder and keep at it with a “can do” - attitude and lots of coffee. As the competition for these positions is also brutal Kertész was, according to himself, fortunate enough to grasp the bare minimal skills in order to land an entry level sub-junior role at such a place. He’s been employed since March on a freelance salary in a company called Anders Innovations and have been working his way up since while continuing with his studies.

What allowed me to be employed in the first place is my long time interest in web and web development which I started working on 10 years ago.

However, not everything happened instantly. Before Kertész even dreamed of applying to TAMK, he needed to have a portfolio and work experience under his belt. After completing a handful of projects he could have something to show, to point to and say that yes he can do that. He’s also been fortunate enough to be picked no less than three times for Demola projects of varying scope after being accepted as a student in TAMK.

I had to reach small milestones; I had to have the cake before I could eat it.

Demola is an open innovation platform that works in collaboration with universities and companies in order to offer especially to university students a unique opportunity to add some real-life twist into their studies as professionals. At Demola, you will work in a project with a multidisciplinary team solving real-life cases together with partner companies. It’s part of your degree program and you can gain credits towards your studies by being a part of a team. The application periods are held four times a year with a large variation of different projects and collaborations that students can apply for based on their talent and interests.

Demola offered Kertész the chance to gain rough real world application and put him in situations where he had to rely on his skills to sell ideas and products. His Demola projects were always done in sync with his studies at TAMK. Kertész applied the theory taught at TAMK and came out at the end of the Demola cycles with more working knowledge than he could hope for if he had to rely on self-discipline alone.

That last thought lends to the reason why he studies at TAMK. Real experience is worth more in the real world than theoretical knowledge in his opinion. Kertész has done enough theory based studies to know that for him it is not engaging, not directly applicable in professional life, and most of all not creatively satisfying. In his opinion the best part of TAMK is that you have access to a lot of useful equipment, information and opportunities that you would probably normally have a hard time finding.

It would be a waste of time not to make use of the equipment and it goes the same for ignoring the many talented instructors available at an email’s distance ready to help you with any creative endeavour that you might have.

Interview with Loud Lights


Here’s an interview with Tereza and Jimi from the band Loud Lights about the bands origins, music and future.


../Downloads/LOUD%20LIGHTS%20baptize_promo.jpg
 
How did you get started with music?


Jimi: I started playing guitar in upper secondary school when I was 14-15 years old. After about a year of playing I joined my first band and played with them for five years or so. We played trash metal. Since then I’ve been involved in different band projects. Along with my first band, Loud Lights has been the longest lasting project.


Tereza: Since elementary school until I was about 16 years old I’ve been singing a lot. I also used to play piano. Here in Finland at the age of 21 I got more into drumming and band playing. I used to play drums in punk band called Shaking Legs. Samira was a singer in the band.  


Jimi: Samira also started playing guitar at 15.


Tereza: Yeah, she was in lots of different bands. Punk bands mostly.


What kind of music inspired you?


Jimi: When I was really young I was mostly into rock and hip hop. When I started playing guitar I was listening to a lot of 90’s grunge rock bands and heavy metal. Since then my taste has become more diverse.


Tereza: When I was a young kid I found some of the nu-metal bands really interesting. Not so much anymore, though. *laughs* I was into the grunge rock bands as well.


../../Downloads/llLost/19mv.jpg
Photo by Merita Berg.


Could you tell me about the origins of Loud Lights? How did you get together?


Tereza: At the time when our previous band Shaking Legs came to an end we wanted to do something different. Samira and I still wanted to continue playing but the punk style didn’t really feel like our own anymore. Samira asked Jimi if he would be interest in playing together. This was the first band where we felt like doing something a bit more… ambitious I guess.


Jimi: I had been jamming with Samira at the time before forming Loud Lights so we were kind of familiar with each other already.


When did you start playing together?


Jimi: We started playing in the autumn of 2014.


Tereza: In fact, we started as a four-piece band. In the beginning we actually had a bass player for about a year. Then she left but we decided to continue anyway. It’s better this way, I think. We are all really close friends.


Jimi: Yeah, I just acquired some technology to make up for the lack of bass player. *laughs*


../../Downloads/llLost/13415673_10208607512058196_1596576227410840167_o.jpg
Photo by Maya Sharabaty.


How would you describe the sound of Loud Lights? What are your influences?


Jimi:  Well, our sound could be described as a mixture of post-punk and psychedelic rock. It’s hard to name any direct influences.


Tereza: I think we have a pretty good idea of what we want to sound like.


Jimi: Yeah, it has become more and more clear to us.


Do you write your songs together?


Jimi: I usually come up with the riffs and the main melody lines. Then we just jam and play around with it. From there everyone can express themselves however they feel like. It’s not like I’m going to control Tereza’s drumming for example.


Tereza: Yeah. Of course we share ideas and talk about them together as well.


Jimi: Also some songs are just born out of our jam sessions.


Tereza: Samira has complete freedom with lyrics.


../../Downloads/llLost/21616074_1606043302803303_4657069149375950514_n.jpg
Photo by Mohammed Mustafa.


What’s in the future for Loud Lights?


Tereza: I think we’re building our reputation mostly in the underground scene. I don’t see us selling out stadiums or anything like that. Our next major step is probably going to be an album release of some sort.


Jimi: Yes. We recorded three songs in a studio recently that we are hoping to release soon at least in a digital format. Also we are working on a music video in the near future. Next year we’ll be on a hiatus, though, because of Tereza’s exchange studies. We’ll be working on some new songs with Samira in the meantime. We are probably going to do some duo gigs as well.


What are your expectations from the EXCITE –project?


Tereza: We are hoping to get visibility so that more people are aware of us. Hopefully we get a bigger following and also more gigs. It would be great to play abroad as well!


Do you have some closing words for your fans and audience?


Jimi: Follow us in social media and come to see us play!


Tereza: Yes! The audience really makes a huge difference when it comes to the energy in the live shows. The more people the better!


You have the opportunity to hear Loud Lights play on October 5th in Bar Passion as part of The Lost in Music –festival.



Loud Lights’ links


Text and interview by Akseli Takanen

FROM BUSKING TO RECORD DEAL…
Teenage singing sensation is first act to release single on new Belladrum label after wowing festival boss on the street.


@Daily_Record


This article was written in the @Daily_Record referring to Tamzene. The 20 year old artist from Scotland that is captivating audiences with her voice.

Finland will have the opportunity to hear her on October 5th at Passion Baari, as she will take part in Lost in Music Festival in Tampere. http://www.lostinmusic.fi/home

@lucilewis

Here, an interview with Tamzene, about her childhood, inspirations and experiences as a young artist.

How did you got started with music?
I actually started playing the violin in primary school. It just became an option to take up music lessons, and I really wanted to do it just because it sounded fun. I really loved singing in all of our music classes anyway. So I took up the violin and then shortly after I took up the piano as well.
I was always singing. It didn’t really become a thing until I moved school and there was a lot of people doing their own thing there musically, and I started singing with some more people at Gordonstoun’s School. And I started recording for fun and stuff, and then started writing, and that was when I was about 14.


@InvernessPhoto


What music, albums or artists do you remember from your childhood?
Well, my mum played all these fantastic voices. She gave me a Roberta Flack CD to play to fall asleep to. That was a big one. I thought her voice was just absolutely stunning. And a lot of Aretha Franklin. She loved that kind of music, that kind of soulful music, those voices. My stepdad played a lot of Beatles, like every Beatles album, and also a lot of jazz music which is nice. I never quite got into jazz, but it just develops your ear I guess, without you even noticing. Eva Cassidy as well. My mum and I would sing to Eva  Cassidy every car journey.


www.tamzeneallison.com


You have musical theater background. Tell me about that.
It was just kind of an option at Gordonstoun. They had this incredible performing arts department, and so first of all I took drama. I took theatre studies as a subject. I felt that that really grew my confidence in terms of being on stage and auditioning for shows. It wasn’t that easy, but I liked it and I wanted to be comfortable on stage because I knew I wanted to perform music. I think it was great for confidence. Great for singing. Because a lot of the songs are quite hard, so I had to master these quite big parts and that was just a confidence boost, because when you perform and people like it, that’s a really good feeling.


You have participated in collaborations and songwriting workshops. Have you learned something from those sessions?
So much. I want to do more collaborations. I think it makes better pop music often. Sometimes you write a song and you just want it to be how it comes out. But most of the time for me, a second listening just highlights where the song could be stronger. It was hard at first my first ever songwriting workshop. You feel very vulnerable, you’ve never opened up your song to that kind of criticism before. But I’m really comfortable with it now, and I think you’ve got to be open to these things if you want to be the best songwriter you can be, because it is so much nicer to have a different perspective.




Could you tell me about your music and inspiration for composing?
I guess it’s like soulful pop music. They’re original songs although they’ve been reworked with my producer.  They are about my experiences as so far a young girl. I am quite a positive person. Most of my songs are pretty cheery, so not too many heart breakers in there! They are pretty happy songs, they’re about people.


@tamzene


You’ve been getting good reviews for playing in festivals. How has the festival scene been for you?
It’s been so cool. And this year is the first time that I did get to play a bunch. I love it! I think the festival crowds are so cool and so unique.  Most of the ones I played, people didn’t know who I was at all, except from my local one, Belladrum. So you get people wandering in and if you manage to captivate them, I think it’s really special. They’re all rooting for you. I loved the ones on the Western Isles. I played the Hebridean Celtic festival which is on the Isle of Lewis and Tiree Music Festival which is on the isle of Tiree. And I’d never been to either of these western isles before. They were so gorgeous and it’s like the whole island comes to the festival. It just feels like it’s a real  community vibe. Going to sweden was pretty amazing as well because it was just great to experience a swedish festival.


@tamzene


Which other countries have you traveled to perform?
That’s actually my only one other than America for MUSEXPO. Sweden is the only one so far, and Finland upcoming!


@thisisadp_houdi


Regarding Finland, what do you know or what do you think when you hear Finland?
I don’t actually know a lot about Finland at all, which is really shameful. I’m going to have to do some research before I come. But anybody who’s ever gone, they say it’s beautiful and they say it’s friendly. Those are the two things. I’ve heard after asking people, so I’ve got no doubt it will live up to that. But I’m hoping to find out a bit more.

TAMZENE’s links


Manager/Contact:
Dougie Brown


Text and interview by: Carlos Portilla 2017