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Johanna Kurkela
Concerts
You've found me. How wonderful!

Here, I've gathered some things that I find inspiring. I hope they'll bring joy to you too... J.K.

BOOKS
Alice in Wonderland
Pollyanna
Tove Jansson
Calvin and Hobbes
Walt Whitman
Patrick Rothfuss
Tolkien
Anthony de Mello
Tommy Hellsten

MOVIES
Alice in Wonderland
Laurel & Hardy
My Fair Lady
Harvey
The Terminal
Middle-Earth
Mr. Duck Steps Out
The Others
Into The Wild
Kovasikajuttu

SERIES
Muumit / Moomins
Little House on the Prairie
Extras
The Office (UK)
Fawlty Towers
The Walking Dead
Jem
Solsidan
Modern Family

BANDS
Battle Beast
Korkkijalka
Brother Firetribe
Sonata Arctica
Sabaton
Zacharius Carls Group
SiCi & The Boogie Brothers

ALBUMS
Before the Bleeding Sun - ETOS
The Madness of Crowds - Troy
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Wrecking Ball - Emmylou Harris
The Claim - Michael Nyman
And Winter Came - Enya
Mandylion - The Gathering

SONGS
Talo - Johanna Iivanainen
Lintu - T. Rautiainen
Divenire - Ludovico
Odota - Aikakone
Oceano - Josh Groban
Älä Pelkää! XXV
Wayfarer - Nightwish
Somewhere - WT
Hetken Tie On Kevyt - Loiri
Moving - Secret Garden

PLACES
The Forbidden Corner
Regatta
Seraphiné @ Eerikinkatu
Blakey Ridge
The Eagle & Child
The Ounce
Reflections of Earth
World of Color
Pencil Museum
Grasmere Gingerbread

MISCELLANEOUS
Richard Dawkins
Mitä tänään syötäisiin
Bored Panda
Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Jonathan & Darlene Edwards
Planet Earth, Robert Revol
Yellow Tail
De Saint Gall
Ardbeg Uigeadail
Iisakin Ristikot

Diskography
Biography

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Joulun Lauluja
1. Maa on niin kaunis
2. Lyhty
3. Avaruus
4. Prinsessalle
5. Kolmen kuninkaan marssi
6. Tonttu
7. Heinillä härkien kaukalon
8. Karhuveljeni
9. Oi joulunajan ihmiset (feat. Marco Hietala)
10. Kotiin
11. Jouluyö, juhlayö

Johanna Kurkela grew up in a small town called Lumijoki, which has a population of approximately 2000 people. Lumijoki is located on the seaside, 40 kilometers south of Oulu, the fifth largest city in Finland. Lumijoki translates directly to "Snowriver" which suites Johanna's story perfectly, carrying the same kind of mystic vibe in its name, as you can hear in Johanna's music.

"At the age of 5 I started playing violin in a music camp held in Liminka. Applied to Oulu Conservatory of Music and luckily got in, so I played violin there about 8 years. On the upper classes I took also piano lessons. Those days I listened to a lot of Celine Dion & Mariah Carey. Maybe I learned to sing through listening to records and singing along.

Apulanta's album "Aivan kuin kaikki muutkin" opened doors to heavier music, and I started to listen to a lot of enchantingly beautiful metal bands like (Oulu-based) Sentenced, Entwine, Katatonia, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, The Gathering, Therion and Soilwork among many others.
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My first live performance took place in Foxia, Oulu. On upper secondary school I went to Madetoja Music School, and at Foxia our school band played Celine Dion's "Think Twice" with me on the vocals. My classmate Anna Itkonen asked me after the show if I had ever thought about recording a demo tape.

And I was like "I haven't thought about it... but it surely sounds like a lot of fun!". So Anna introduced me to Ismo Koskela, who recorded my demo of Lee Ann Rimes tune "How Do I Live" in his home studio.

While on a business trip in Helsinki, Ismo played the demo to Pekka Ruuska, who was at the time the head of A&R at Warner Music Finland. Pekka was impressed, took a flight to Oulu to meet me, and so we got started!"
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Johanna's first official appearance as a Warner artist was "Tahdon Tanssia Kanssasi", a duet with Tomi Metsäketo in 2004. Johanna's debut album Hetki Hiljaa was released in 2005.

"Olen Sinussa, was one of the first songs we recorded for the debut album.

That's how I got to meet Tomi Aholainen, the producer, and the composer of the song. He has been a huge influence to my music ever since. I'm grateful for every lyricist, songwriter, musician and producer, whom I've had the privilege to work with through the years."

2007 was a big year for "Snowrivers rising star". Johanna performed two songs at the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest, "Olet uneni kaunein" & "Jossain metsäin takana". Even though she didn't make it through to the Eurovision finals, she was chosen as the favorite contestant by the Finnish Eurovision fan base.
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Johanna's second album Marmoritaivas was released that same year and sold over 20 000 copies. Marmoritaivas includes the songs heard in the Eurovision broadcast, as well as "Sun särkyä anna mä en", one of her most loved tunes.

Johanna's next album Kauriinsilmät (2008) included many themes that combined the mysteries of nature and everyday life.

The musical language on Kauriinsilmät is versatile, varying from traditional folk sounds to Irish atmospheres. Also circling around some dark and heavy realities of human existence, carried beautifully with just Johanna's voice and a grand piano. Stand out tracks on Kauriinsilmät include "Minä rakastan elämää" and "Salaisuuksia".

Kauriinsilmät - "Salaisuuksia"
"I'm a huge fan of Poets Of The Fall, and their singer Marko Saaresto's voice. This song didn't make any exception. I still remember the happy feeling, when I heard this song for the first time and realized that... wow, they wrote this song for me!"
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Hyvästi Dolores Haze (2010) was the first Johanna Kurkela album to shoot straight to No.1 on the album charts. The first single "Rakkauslaulu" has become one of her centerpieces, written by Lauri Ylönen (The Rasmus) & Paula Vesala (PMMP). During the same year the song "Prinsessalle" was featured in Arto Halonen's movie Prinsessa.

Hyvästi Dolores Haze would also be the last studio album for Warner Music. However, In 2011 Warner released a compilation album Uneni Kaunein - Parhaat 2005 - 2011, including one unreleased song, "Elegia".

After a 6-year stint at Warners was through, Johanna signed with Kaiku Recordings, thus returning to Pekka Ruuska's record company. Sudenmorsian (2012) was the first Kaiku -release,

and it's first single "Oothan tässä vielä huomenna" became an instant radio hit. The supporting tour was a success, resulting in opportunities to play in bigger venues and reach wider audiences. During the Sudenmorsian tour, Johanna had an impressive band, with the familiar Tomi Aholainen on piano, Jussi Jaakonaho (guitar) and Juho Kanervo (bass / cello) accompanied by multi-instrumentalists Teho Majamäki & Matti Kallio.
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Sudenmorsian - "Kivet Kertokaa"
I will never forget the day this song came to my life… Still have to hold back the tears when remembering the moment... I'm on a song camp, with a group of talented lyricists and composers, preparing songs for Sudenmorsian album.

I enter a studio booth where Simo Reunamäki & Johanna Vuoksenmaa are prepared to introduce this song for me. I can't help but let the tears flow, while listening to Simo sing this song... about stones. It felt like coming home.

Every recording process is a new wonderful adventure. You can start by having a vague idea, a possible destination, but you also have to let yourself go with the flow, let the story guide you. You have to be willing to rely and trust the process, still question everything, follow your heart, and even brake some boundaries, if necessary, in order to grow...
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In November 2013 Kaiku released a Johanna Kurkela Christmas album, also produced by the Sudenmorsian producer Simo Reunamäki. The album consists of traditional Christmas tunes, along with brand new compositions. Also as a sort of Christmas present to Johanna Kurkela fans, a new version of "Prinsessalle" song was included, for the first time on a Johanna Kurkela album.

I love magic winters, the northern lights, the frost, and the crunching of snow under my shoes. For me Christmas time means staying cosy at home, in my own personal peaceful haven, while outside its freezing cold. My Christmas starts as the first snow touches the ground. It fills me with great happiness and gratitude towards the passing year. I'm forever thankful for all the adventures and all the dear fellow travellers I've had

the privilege to meet and share this amazing journey with.

The musical style of Johanna Kurkela is unique and not easily placed into a single genre. Johanna's sound combines pop, traditional music, folktales and world music as well as rock, in her own enchanting style.
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Through her eclectic style, Johanna has gained a versatile fan base which consists of men, women, young and old, metal heads, and more. Her music has touched fans that stretch from all corners of Finland, and throughout the world.

"For me music is a window, a passage way to another world. The greatness of music, similar to books, is that you can experience it in your own personal way, just the way it opens especially to you."
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Design: Pedro Aibeo - Code: Fourcode Ltd