Featured Songwriter & Producer: Teemu Brunila

As a Finnish blogger I feel I must write a post about Teemu Brunila. He is a Finnish producer/songwriter, lyricist and musician.

I got to know his work when I became a fan of a band called The Crash. As a lead singer and composer of the band he melted my teenage heart, but now as a young professional I found him again through production and composition.

One of my favourite aspects of Brunila’s songs is the way he writes the lyrics. Finnish language is really difficult to use in pop music, but when it is done well, the song can be brilliant. The words are honest, about important/interesting subjects and written like a story that you need to hear until the end.

In his songs Brunila uses clean deep beats, with a melodic bass and edgy guitars. There is always some type of cool synth melody and hooks that catch your attention either in the beginning or in the chorus. As an element of surprise he might use instruments like banjo, accordion or xylophone as a lead melody in parts of the songs.

Some of the artists he has worked with are: Studio Killers (?), Tray Songzing,  David Guetta, Jenni Vartiainen, Anna Abreu etc.

Studio Killers is a band that started in London in 2011 and even though the names of the band members haven’t officially been announced, it is speculated that the lead vocalist, songwriter and producer of the band is Teemu Brunila.

This one is for my teenage self. You should totally check The Crash’s albums Comfort Deluxe, Wildlife, Melodrama and Pony Ride.

 

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The Superheroes We Look Up To

“Read/watch biographies of people you admire. I’ve learned more from this one practice than from anything else, really. Also, if you’re around someone who does what you want to do, ask them questions and watch them work.” -Grimes

When I was growing up in Finland I learned early that as a woman I can do what ever I want to, but what I was till missing is role models doing exactly what I wanted to become. There were plenty of men that I followed as a music producers and composers, but they didn’t fulfil the criteria of role model for me.

As a young girl growing up in the world where all of the people you admire are men, it gives you a sense that you are missing something. A penis.

When you feel that you can’t ever be like the people you are looking up to, it makes you feel that nothing you do will ever be as good as their work. Right now I am in my mid twenties and  I am still questioning if my video tutorials of music productions would be laughed to, or if I can talk about my favourite producing equipment without judgement. And only thing I can think is: “just do it and forget what other people say”, but it doesn’t take a way the doubt in the back of your mind.

“Just because someone has more qualifications than you doesn’t mean they’re better than you.” -Grimes

And now I found someone I can actually look up to: Grimes. She is everything I want from my career. Independent, true to her self and she is not taking any shit. She is talented and she knows what she wants, doing her work whiteout apologising.

The sad thing in this is that, all tough I look up to her because of her talent, a lot is about the position she has given herself as a musician and a woman. In 2016 I should be able to admire someone just because of their talent, not also because they are actually in the position to be admired about.

“Really, the most important thing is eliminating self-doubt. This is basically impossible for me, but I’ve found that if I act like a boss, I can convince myself that I am a boss when I need to be one. I copy things that I’ve seen politicians and actors do; I make eye contact with people; I try to keep my shoulders back and my head high; I gesticulate wildly and sometimes take long pauses (silence can be very intimidating).” – Grimes

So next time you say that women just aren’t interest some subjects, think first if they have enough role models from that aria. And if you are a girl who doubts if you are enough for what you want to do… you are not alone and let me just say: we can do what we want to. It is the only fact and a rule that will never fade away, but it is only about ourselves to obey it.

Here is Claire Boucher’s (Grimes) full essays for young women in music: http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a15028/lessons-from-grimes-on-how-to-be-a-boss/?click=hprc

I would like to know what you think about role models? Who do you look up to?

Why I Really Love This Video

So today I came a cross a video which is Pharrell Williams visiting Students at NYU Clive Davis Institute. In the masterclass they are talking about creativity in music, bringing out the key point, which we are so often missing in commercial music; in the end it all comes down to the artistry of the music maker.

See Pharrell’s reaction to the last song. That part made me love this video. He reacts so powerfully to something  that is unique, creative and produced by an artist.

This made me think about couple things about artistry in production.

When technology improves it becomes more and more convenient for people to make music from home and with any equipment they have in hand. In the way I hate when such a craft, as mastering a analog studio is slowly fading away, but on the second had this new wave of amateur bedroom engineers bring a new level of creativity in the industry.

In our society we have assumptions of artistic people not to be to technical and technical people not to be artistic. But that is the glory of 2016, we can crash these stupid generalisations and bring these two elements together. We need to stop thinking too much about genres and where we belong. Instead of trying to be part of a genre, create a new one

It doesn’t matter if you do your music with karaoke microphone and Garageband or in a professional studio. If you know how to handle the sound, if you see outside of the box and extend of all the potential of your sound, you can create anything.

5 Best Music Youtube Channels You Should Know About

1. Sina-Drums

I love these videos! I am not that good drummer but these videos do inspire me to learn. Super impressive channel and artist!  ❤

2. Gina Gleason

This is a channel for all of you who wanna learn guitar from a master. She will show you how to shred like a pro.

 3. Sound On Sound Magazine

Yes one of the biggest Youtube channels and magazines there is for sound engineering and producing, but I do enjoy their interviews and tutorials.

4. Dubspot

For everyone who loves Ableton Live or wants to learn to create house… then this is your channel!

5. Chelsea Laing

This Canadian musician writes her owns pieces, and performs them with awesome Loop techniques. Take a note of her!

Dyslexic Guide to Music

I have dyslexia. It is not a disability or a weakness, it is a different way to look at things. It challenges you to think out side of the box, use creativity to solve problems and most of the time, it makes you to use your visual and auditive senses.

Therefore, I see it can only benefit me in my career in producing and music composition as I can picture music visually. But not everyone will agree, because I see this stigma on the studio environment in music engineering, which says you need to be all scientifically talented to work in sound production. So sometimes when I try to enter a conversation about music equipment I face a problem: I can’t remember any of the real names of the hardware.

See, as a dyslexic person numbers and letters don’t make any sense to me. They are just symbols that I need to put together to write and communicate, but otherwise they annoy me as they are nothing that exist in the 3D world naturally. It is bit like Grammar. I know how to use words that are describing actions in sentences, but when people are talking about “verbs” I’m like “verb what.?”. I struggle to remember the difference between the action and the title of the action.

That’s why, when I start talking to you about music gear, I might say “you know the grey microphone which is a pen one, which looks like this and this…”. Don’t think I don’t know how to use it or I don’t know how to produce. I just don’t know what it is called.

My mother is a painter and I was thinking about this subject the other day. She has so many brushes all of which have their own names, but the only thing she needs to know about them, is not the name, but how does it work with the paint.

This is how I see the music production: the microphones are my brushes, Ableton Live is my canvas and the sound is the paint.

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