Surrounded By Awesomeness

Inviting someone you never met to stay at your place for 2 weeks takes quite a lot of dedication and one of the reasons why I chose Semira Ben-Amor to be my manager. Not because of the comfy bed but for her drive, honesty and determination. Before we even discussed the contract she was already full on pulling all the threads needed to get started.

Semira Ben-Amor, THE manager

Semira Ben-Amor, THE manager

 

When I got to LA, I had 5 days to prepare for the studio together with the vocal coach Bob Croff. Among with many amazing singers he also worked actors such as Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow.  Semira couldn’t have found a better coach for me! 

 We broke all the lyrics apart word by word, along with practicing vocal techniques. Among with signing high notes while bouncing on a gym ball, one of the funniest things he said was “if you have problems with your high notes just relax and squeeze you butt”. Can’t make it more simple than that!

Before my first studio day I had a chance to take the day off and do an interview for the newspaper HBL. Along with talking about music I also got the chance to climb trees and walking on my hands for a short film clip. The little child inside of me had a blast!

HBL interview with Magnus Silfvenius and Peppe Öhman

 

The first day in the studio I felt a bit nervous trying to memorize everything I had gone through together with Bob. That’s also how it sounded and quickly came to the conclusion that I’m way better of just jumping into the feeling and correct “accent” problems afterwards.

 

Both Joshua Newell and Sergio Chavez have worked with many big artists in U.S. such as Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park, Kelly Clarkson and many more.  They knew exactly what they were doing.

The recordings have so far been pretty smooth except for me sounding like “Dracula” every time I sing “good”, “look” or “touch”. Good thing vampires are hot these days!

Rock on!

With Sergio Chavez

 

Found this awesome looking mirror frame made out of magazines

 

Morning jog before the studio

 

Balcony view

Never Say Never

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Hey there,

I’ve got some news I’ve been dying to share but had to wait until everything was confirmed.

A couple of months ago my management company, had to shut down and with that I lost my manager.

At first I felt devastated, just about to finish my second album without the needed team around me.

So, I went to the Dominican Republic to clear my mind, shoot a music video and tried to figure out my next step.

Right before I headed back home things took a big turn and before I knew it I had a very exciting Skype meeting from LA.  The discussion of bringing my music to the US market opened up, and after the meeting I had some big decisions to make.

After re-making my first album from scratch one month after it was done, I promised myself it would never happen again.

I had just finished the vocal recordings to my new album before heading to DR, and ironically enough I was once again facing the same situation, but this time it was only the matter of redoing my lead vocals.

So I went to the gym, punched the bag for one hour, had a good mediation and came to the conclusion that you should never say never.

In order to give myself the best chance I could get, slight adjustments to my English pronunciation would have to be made.

If I would lose a record deal because of that reason it would bug the hell out of me, as well as turning down an opportunity to further develop myself as an artist.

When I got home there were quick arrangements to be made and between arranging tickets to LA, planning my albums photo shoot and feeding my snake, I started the vocal sessions through Skype together with the well known vocal coach, Bob Croff.

Even 15 min before heading to the airport I still hadn’t packed a third of my stuff!! Luckily my wonderful bass player, Cheri Martin, showed up to my rescue, helped me packed, put the passport in my hand and drove me to the airport.

I finally got to LA and can’t wait to see what this adventure has got to offer!!!

Rock on!!!

 

Finally in LA

Finally in LA

 

Quick stop over in New York

After a quick stop over in New York

 

@ Photoshoot before heading to LA

Morning jogg in  Santa Monica

Morning jogg in Santa Monica

Morning jog in Santa Monica

Underwater challenge

 

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Greetings from the Caribbean!

After finishing my final vocal recordings in the middle of icy Finland, I headed out to my “second home”, the Dominican Republic.
When I travel something weird or bad always happens.  Like getting a kiteboard through my head, bitten by a dog or get stuck in a palm tree. This time I lost my passport and all my cash….. on the first day!!!!
After a couple of weeks I finally got it sorted out with the embassy and will have to make a road trip across the country on the quest for a new passport.

I can´t complain though. There´s no better soul candy, than the deep blue ocean, sunshine and jungles filled with coconuts!!

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My main goal during this trip is to make a new music video for one of the songs on my up-coming album.

I´ve never made a music video, being so unsure of the result.

The reason why is because most will be filmed under water. Talk about complicating things!

There are so many factors affecting the shots, but most of them are depenent on how long and deep I can stay under water.

I started by practicing free diving.

I learned that one of the most important things is to first meditate on the surface to get your heart rate as low as possible. Then completely empty the lungs before taking the deep breath.

I was told to move as smoothly and slowly as possible to save oxygen. On the way down I had to keep equalizing the pressure in my ears.
Once I reached a certain depth I started sinking automatically.

At the bottom I was surprised of how calm it felt. Almost like half dreaming. Once the craving for oxygen started to kick in it was a true mind challenge to stay calm and not to rush on the way up.

It was a really interesting experience. Except for a little nose bleed, no biggy though.

Next step was quite a lot harder, the actual video shoot.
This time I had a costume on, without a mask and a weight bringing me down.

I felt more like a drowning hippopotamus than a mermaid, but I loved the challenge!

Along with the shootings I spend my time planning out my second album, learning Spanish, kick boxing, kitesurfing and hanging out with my new friend Amber, a little puppy I´m temporarily taking care of. It´s gonna be tough to leave without her.

Tomorrow the shootings will continue and hopefully I have all the shots needed before I go back home.

Rock On!

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Soul Candy!


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Hey guys!

Greetings from the studio in Kokkola!

I haven’t blogged in soooo long. I had to side track a little to the study & and music business world. For weeks my head was occupied with royalties, bills, receipts, bones and joints. I figured I might lose some fans if I start to share my thoughts. But that’s in the past now!  It feels so incredibly good to be back in the studio together with Jonas Olsson. It´s soul candy!!!

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With Jonas Olsson

I still have 2 days to go.  I’m gonna inhale every minute cause it´s the last vocal recordings for this album.

I can’t complain though, soon the live rehearsals will start and give me plenty of time to sing, sing and sing some more.

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Last minute songwriting @ Rosso Restaurant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROck ON!!!

Ps. I have some cool adventures waiting just around the corner 😉

Stunting around

Hi there!

After a successful week in London, full of meetings and interesting people, my first thing up when I got home, was an interview about my stunt work for MTV3 News in Finland.

Writing music and performing is one of the best things on the planet.
Its when the creative part of your brain can dance on purple clouds without limits.

However, if you want to make it as an artist you have to inlcude the business part, which can sometimes be very demanding and shrink my braincells into small raisins.

Stunting is a great counterbalance. It’s like a playground for grown ups, where let the little Tarzan in me out and release some energy.
Here’s a combo of action projects I’ve been a part of. Big thanks to Mikko Löppönen for making this video.
Enjoy! (To see the interview, check the link below)

Here you can check out the news insert.

http://www.katsomo.fi/?progId=402589

Rock On!!!

 

Cheers!

A Haunted Castle And A Nubian Rose

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The castle gates

 

Hi there!

Greetings from the Swedish country side.
I tried to find a hotel near by my vocal coach, and ended up in a “haunted” castle from 1600th century with a history all the way back to year 990 when the first version of the castle was built.
To my disappointment the ghost didn’t care to introduce themselves…. How rude…

After a good nights sleep ,I woke up early for a morning jog  and by the time I got back I was soaked by the rain from head to toe,  feeling more like a frog than a princess.
Since I didn’t stumble over a pair of dried shoes I ended up wearing slippers the whole day, resulting in a lot of confused face expressions and some interesting comments.

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Like an overly excited scout I got the brilliant idea to walk 10 km before starting the singing session. One of the best ways to feel out the new songs.

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Plant house selfie with Sofia. Picking tomatoes and cucumbers for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sessions with Sofia Lilja ( also known as the Swedish “Idol coach”) have been filled with lots of wonderful tunes, brainwaves, emotions and laughter.

She is by far the best sining teacher I’ve ever come across.
5 years ago, when I was still studying theatre, a manager from Sweden discovered a demo song and without hesitation,  I jumped out of school and straight into the unknown.

I had no connections or clue what the music business is all about and what it takes to be a solo artist.
One of the first actions, was to choose the songs and to find a good coach.
Patric, the manager, connected me to Sofia, and before I knew it I was standing at her doorstep.

With a classical background and a fresh spark for pop/rock, I was facing a lot of new ways to express myself as well as challenges.

I remember feeling nervous, outside of my comfort zone, just like standing infront of too judges wondering if you meet their expectations.

Sofia quickly turned that feeling upside-down by welcoming me with open arms and such a
warm hearted, positive energy, that I soon felt at home.

When she heard I’m an actress she started applying it into our sessions.

To discover the corners of my voice, we started “breaking” the songs apart and stretching them to the extreme.
She had me performing like a heavy rocker while singing a ballad, going through all sorts of emotions, physical gestures and characters, just to see how it effected my voice.
By the time I went to the studio for the first songs (You Should Get Over Me, Playing For Keeps, I Will Live On etc..), I had a big bag of tools with me.

She´s one of the few people who’ve seen my path from “where it started” to where I am today. These 3 days with her have been simply amazing and once again I leave the session with new tools to use for the next album recording.

I can’t wait to get to the studio!!

– Jessica

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One of the beautiful chill out spots in the castle

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Music Behind The Bars

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The day started well at 07:00. Went for a nice jog with the bass player,Cheri. It’s a little routine we picked up in Tokyo. But instead of being surrounded by millions of people and a Japanese garden we had the landscape of forest, more forest and fields.

After breakfast we jumped into the pink bus and headed to the prison.
Our stage was in the middle of the prison yard on the back of a big truck.

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Unfortunately I couldn't bring my phone in but should get some pictures later.

Together with the band "Ground Breakers", we had to plan 2 sets of 20min each, since there are 2 groups of convicts that don't get along.
Soon the first group started to show up. They kept a pretty good distance from the stage.
They didn't dance much but based on the applause and the vibe I could sense a positive energy.
One of the guards told me they haven't got any live music or entertainment in decades, and apparently they were way calmer than normally to makes sure they don't "mess it up".

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After lunch and a "sight seeing" in the prison we got ready for the second gig.
Afterwards one prisoner shouted out that he wanted a signature.

He thanked me, gave me a hug and before I knew it there was a big line behind him resulting in one huge sign & hug party.

Sukeva is said to be one of the most "dangerous" prisons in Finland. It's probably true but I can't complain about the hospitality. We got well welcomed and the convicts were very respectful.

Now were on the road on our way to Pelso where we'll perform tomorrow before heading to Kestilä.


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See you soon!!

Sukeva Prison

 

Sukeva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow I’m heading out on a prison tour. I’m really excited about this one.
First one up is Sukeva, around 7h drive up north from Helsinki.
There we’ll stay over night before doing the first show next morning.
We only got 20 min though, which is reaaally tight, so I better not babble too much.

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting from the road!

Cheers

Back To Prison!

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I believe the best change comes through motivation and positive energy rather than judging and black painting. That’s where music comes in handy and one of the main reason why I chose to become a singer – to effect people through music.
I was in the middle of paying bills when all of a sudden I got hit by a brainwave so hard I almost fell off the chair.
“I have to make a prison tour!! I just have to, no way around it!”
I don’t know if it was the memories and impact from my last prison performance in Sörnäinen, but it felt like I could walk through a wall to make it happen.

I quickly forgot the bills and with my fingers on fire I wrote a long email to the person in charge.
He got more than surprised to hear from me since he was actually in the middle of planning a prison tour himself and had thought of me. It couldn’t have clicked better.
A month later the tour got confirmed and I could finally do my happy dance.
People might wonder what’s going through my head and why the hell I’m so happy about going to prison.
This is my little story and how it began.

I got very excited when I first got invited to play at “Sörkkä Rock” one year ago in the spring 2013. 

After finally getting through the security check with the metal detectors, dogs and the whole shibang we got to the backstage in front of the prison yard.

There was a fence between the stage and the audience but we were still allowed to go inside the yard where the convicts served juice and something to eat.

One of them came up to me and kindly asked if there was any chance I could dedicate a song to him since it was his birthday that day.
I was the last artist on stage, and right before my performance it started raining so much the power went off.
 The audience waited patiently for 45 minutes tucked under a tent, hoping we could fix the problem.

When we ran out of time they still gave us applause for trying and one of the staff members promised to invite me back.
A half year later I once again stood outside of the prison ready to go through the metal detectors one more time with the band members.
This time the security was way stricter than before since the gig was inside the prison and many doors and hallways to go through.


Some happy convicts welcomed me on the way in and one of the guards told me they had waited eagerly for this gig for months.

The first 4 seats were empty, and the fifth was filled with policemen with their backs against the stage.
Out of 300, 80 convicts were allowed to participate.
It was a very intimate gig, and in a way a very revealing and relaxing one.
A place where I could go very deep into the feeling of the songs and express myself freely.
 You can’t do the normal  “Are you having a good time!!! Lets rock the dance floor!!”  yet you can’t make a big deal out of it either.
With other words the only thing that makes sense is to be your true honest self, share the message in the songs, and send out good vibes.  Like a gift.
Normally when you look someone into the eyes during a gig they either look away or jam with you. In this case I was met by the best poker faces I’ve ever seen.
Except for 2 people who had their smiles glued to their ears through the whole gig. The rest  of the 78,  didn’t move a single muscle in their faces……but their feet did! 😉

Even though I didnt get the normal response, the energy and vibe was very strong and positive and by the sound of the applause I could sense it was very appreciated.
 I found the birthday hero in the audience and could finally dedicate the song.

I few months later at a party, someone randomly came up to me and told me how much the dedicated song meant to his friend in prison.
When music goes around like that serving a good purpose, it feels like completing a mission.
By the end of the day we’re just people. Criminal or no criminal, we share the same feelings.
Whatever is the reason for a crime, I believe it comes from only a part of the personality. Once a crime is commited its easy to put a “criminal” stamp in the forehead and forget that there’s more to a person than a bad action.

Trophy Girl

 

Hi everybody!
After writing songs for my new album in New York last spring, I took a quick stop over in the Dominican Republic before heading back home.
On my second day, I decided to make something musically productive out of the trip.

With only one camera and no crew, I got Alexis Pierret from AP Visuals, to film my daily activities and after weeks of editing he turned it into this music video!
There are not many photographers who can kite while filming as well as dive deep under water and keep the camera steady!!!

It was such a fun challenge!  Singing while kiting, as well as under water.
Not just having to guess the rhythm of the song, but also avoiding to crash into other kiters or getting swallowed by 2 m waves!!

A couple of times I was too close to the camera and the kite lines got all tangled. It took us almost an hour to get back to land.

Enjoy the video and please share! )

Rock on!!

Ps. The “big news on Monday” I wrote about in my last blog is still on the way. I just have to get the green “ok, to release light”.  So stay tuned!