Suomi-reggae or reggae Finnish style, has become a popular phenomenon in a relatively short space of time. Combining its laidback beat with a positive message it has struck a chord with the hearts of both young and old.
Finnish reggae artist Jukka Poika had the audience in his hand last Sunday at a concert at the World Village festival in Helsinki. In his view, lyrics are of the essence.
“They must sound good in Finnish, a fact I’m very precise about except, of course, when I deliberately break the rules. It’s like a language of its own with something old, something borrowed, something new and something blue,” the maestro of Finnish reggae describes.
Jukka Poika’s enthusiasm is also shared on the airwaves where Finnish language reggae can be a heard on a wide variety of domestic stations.
“It is today’s pop produced in a positive, talented and insightful way. Listeners tune in especially to the lyrics and are eager to hear them repeatedly,” explains Jorma Hietamäki, Head of Music at Yle Radio Suomi.
Compared to more traditional Finnish popular music, reggae provided a more positive look at life akin to that found also in original reggae culture.
“Strengthening what’s good and positive, and, above all, encouraging love in the world. It’s a must!” exclaims Jukka Poika.
A new Finnish reggae band, Kuningasidea, join in the chorus of praise. Concert-goers tend to be in their twenties but reggae has also got older listeners on their feet.
”It has influences from eighties post-punk, which I like myself and from which I have drawn into our music," says Pauli Korjus from the band. He hopes Kuningasidea can musically give a positive attitude to Finnish audiences.
“It’s a good alternative to that melancholy sad Finnish feeling. It says to the listener: take it easy, no problem,” says vocalist Väinö Wallenius.
Latest in: News
Veolia drivers to return to work
Bus drivers working for the Veolia company will return to work on Tuesday, bringing their week-long work stoppage to an end.
Finnish traffic cops set to miss out on Gumball speeding fine jackpot
Several contestants in the Gumball rally were stopped for speeding on Monday, on the Turku-Helsinki leg of their unorthodox race. Police say that despite their concerns, the drivers are likely to escape Finland’s hefty income-based fines.
Yle News building its freelance database
Yle News is building up a database of freelance journalists for occasional work in radio, television and online news production.
Jolla to sell new phone this year
A mobile firm founded by former Nokia employees is set to put a new smartphone on sale by the end of the year. The company, Jolla, was set up to continue working on an open source Linux-based smartphone when Nokia announced it was switching to the Windows Phone operating system.
Decline in church membership will cost jobs
In order to cope with decreasing membership, the Evangelical Lutheran Church will be forced to reduce its staff significantly in coming years. Many congregations are facing dire financial circumstances due to the reduction in the tax revenue that flows as a result of membership.
Finns Party women: Party is neither racist nor chauvinist
Both male and female representatives of the Finns Party claim that both their party and its leader are in favour of gender equality.
Vantaa bus drivers’ strike continues
Bus engines at the Veolia depot in Vantaa have been quiet for nearly one week, as bus drivers continue their work stoppage on Monday.
Rooftop blaze in Helsinki's Punavuori
A fire on Kankurinkatu in central Helsinki's Punavuori district attracted more than a dozen emergency rescue units. Residents were evacuated due to the rooftop blaze, which broke out around 5:00 am Monday.
The U.S. snatches bronze from Finland
Finland’s men’s ice hockey team lost the World Championship bronze match to the U.S. in a thriller that went into overtime and a shootout.
Son drowns, father missing after fishing trip
A son and father went fishing on Näsijärvi Lake in the Pirkanmaa region on Friday. The son was later found drowned, while the father is still missing.