Tuuletar relish every experience and work hard for every opportunity.
Tuuletar have been nominated as finalists in the International Acapella Contest, Aarhus Vocal Festival and Tampere Vocal Music Festival, and won the Silver Award at the Vokal Total Acapella competition.
We caught up with Venla, 1 quarter of the band, who told us about the band’s extraordinary work ethic and passion.
Where do you find inspiration?
Our cultural history and the history of our language is extremely rich and goes back thousands of years. Folklore and musical tradition have so much to offer. We take inspiration from the power of nature and the elements. We feel very connected to the Earth and each other, and want our music to have that tribal force as well.
How has that inspiration materialized in your music?
We developed our own genre, “vocal folk hop”. This sums up our deep love for the human voice, folklore and urban rhythms. When we started we used percussion instruments on stage. However, we felt that they were limiting our expression so we explored with percussive vocal sounds. We listen to all kind of music – we can end up with a song that’s equally inspired by some 200-year-old Russian folk melody and the beat in Rihanna’s latest hit.
What is your biggest achievement as a group so far?
Winning the Ward Swingle Silver Award last year in Vokal Total Competition in Austria was a big thing. However, it was the experience, response and confirmation that made it huge. We didn’t do a perfect show, we didn’t win first prize, but we won the crowd. The response was magical. People would stop us on the street and sing “KUROOO!” (a hook in “Kohma”). The award does not compete with the amazing people we had the chance to meet, the beautiful and inspiring music we were lucky to hear, the exciting and grand venues we got to perform in, and all the laughter, tears and feelings we got to share.
How do you write and arrange together?
Our primary working method is collective arranging. Someone brings a melody or a raw composition, then we start building it together. “Kohma” came out of a warm up improvisation, and the lyrics of “Ei leijuta” are a result of a flow-writing exercise. The way these songs get their final shape is the result of hours of experimenting and fine tuning.
Do you find your musical training helps with the creative process?
Having certain knowledge and skills makes working more efficient. We are fascinated by each other’s voices and we encourage each other to push our limits and come up with new sounds and techniques. Although, musical training can sometimes limit your way of thinking and create unwanted creative blocks. We have a supportive atmosphere in our group, so if someone is doubting themselves the rest of the group is there to lift up the spirit.
How does a cappella contribute towards your vocal technique and musicianship?
It’s common for us to switch from the highest to lowest part then jump to the solo and back to the bass line all in one song. We don’t think about sopranos and altos. We allow everyone to be unique and let the natural color of each voice shine. When you jump from singing low bass notes to soft middle or heavy solo, you need to adapt fast. During our first years our voices got really tired. Taking different roles makes you understand the composition. While taking care of bass lines or beats, you have to think like a drummer or a bass player. You only care how well you support the soloist, your job is to make her sound good.
How much thought goes into the visual aspects of the band?
More and more. Our style has evolved, and though it’s still colorful and funky, it’s less chaotic and more united. We recently hired a choreographer. It’s important that the staging and dancing support the music. We want everyone to feel comfortable on stage in the way that is natural. We don’t want anything to feel or look forced.
How does the internet affect the creation and discovery of music?
YouTube and Spotify make it easy to get in touch with a new culture but it’s all superficial. Learning from a video is not the same as having a teacher next to you holding your head making sure your singing posture is correct. Watching a video of a street musician in Brazil playing choro music brilliantly is not the same as being there. Listening to Spotify on shuffle is not the same as listening to a vinyl album on a good sound system.
What advice do you have for vocalists making their way in the music industry?
Find the right people to work with. Find people who are doing music for the right reasons. Even though people hear horror stories about the cruelty of the music business, there are still a lot of good people. Search for them and when you find one, hold on to them.
Tuuletar (Goddess of The Wind) is a Finnish vocal group, consisting of four diverse young women. With their feet strongly rooted in their native language and musical heritage, these ladies take influences from all around the world, enchanting audiences globally with their heartfelt, tribal and captivating spirit. Their freshly invigorating self-composed music, expressive voices and sassy beatboxing go straight into the heart and soul. Visit tuuletar.com.