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Interview with Tero Heikkinen

Interview with Tero Heikkinen, musical ark of the future.

The Finnish musician and producer Tero Heikkinen, who has been residing in Seville for several years, is investing again on his most intimate project, ‘Future Ark’. The musician is focusing on his solo career with the release of ‘John’, the second EP of ‘Future Ark’, after working side by side with Quentin Gas, Palo Alto and Tatín Muriel. He intends to continue experimenting with musical synthesis and electronic music, with the aim of creating new styles, and he tells us now about his career in the musical sphere.

How did you start in the music world? What was your motivation?

I have played the piano and the electric guitar since I was a child, and I started creating music with a computer in the 90s. A neighbour of mine in Espoo (Finland) was doing so and it fascinated me. That unique possibility which electronic music offers, the possibility of composing a whole song exclusively through a computer still amazes me. I spent a lot of time creating music just for myself, but at some point, I started thinking that perhaps some of my tracks were good enough to be shown to the world. I lived in Helsinki (Finland) until 2012, and there I had the opportunity of working in many different things: I created music for short films, documentaries and modern dance. Moving to Seville was like starting from scratch, but everything ended up being better than I could have ever imagined.

You are releasing this second EP ‘John’ as part of the ‘Future Ark’ project. How did you come to create this aspect of your career? Why did you choose that name?

I usually work with other people as producer or collaborator, but I also love working alone and that is why I created ‘Future Ark’ in 2016. I chose that name because I liked how it sounded and its meaning: a music ark from the future. Finding an artistic name is really hard, and when I found out that nobody was using that one, I knew it was going to be mine.

What was the creative process for your last EP ‘John’?

It was very fun. I am crazy about action films from the 80s and 90s and one day I realised that all their protagonists' names were John: John Rambo, John McClane (‘Die Hard’), John Matrix (‘Commando’) and John Connor (‘Terminator’). I was composing several tracks at that moment and I thought it could be an interesting concept for an EP. I composed the tracks and perfected them with no pressure, and the process, although slow, was very easy. I was sure that Clovelt, who is a graphic designer, game programmer, musician and artist that belongs to our Leonora collective could design a perfect cover for the EP, and I think he has achieved so.

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This last project has shown your range in musical terms: mixing a musical synthesis characteristic of science fiction with the catchiest electro, even going with post rock and the strongest heavy metal. How would you define your music? What do you think makes you different?

I love many different music genres... from house to black metal, and what I truly like is creating music which mixes different styles. In the past, I tried many times to stick to a single one while composing, like progressive trance, but I was never able to make my tracks sound as good as the referents from said style. I slowly started to realise that what I liked the most was making music by mixing a little bit of everything while following my own intuition. It is very liberating, you do not have to think about how it should sound, which instruments should it have, or which structure should the track follow. I am in love with synthesizers, they offer infinite possibilities in terms of creating sounds and I always try to innovate in my music.

Besides your individual project of ‘Future Ark’, you are a member of the duo Kindata. Do you find it more difficult to work alone or is it an easier process?

Each way of working has its pros and cons. I am very lucky to be able to create music with someone like Berni, who has an incredible talent with melodies and music in general. We get along very well, each one of us has his strengths and areas of expertise and I think that together we can create very interesting things. Working alone is very easy, you do not depend on anyone and you can work whenever, wherever and however you want. You do not have obligations and you are one hundred per cent able to follow your ideas. The problem is that it is much easier to get stuck at some point of the creative process. There is also the risk of staying in your comfort zone and therefore starting to repeat certain patterns.

A place (concert hall, space, festival, etc...) where you would like to play someday:

I would love to perform at a vanguard festival like Sonar or LEV. In general, any place to which people go in order to listen to music and not just to socialize is a wonderful place to perform at.

To finish, and in order to know a bit of what to expect from you in the upcoming future, what are your future projects?

I am currently working with Berni on what will be Kindata's second album, and we are very excited about it. ‘Future Ark’ will go on, in fact, I have almost finished the second EP due to all the time I have had to work on my solo music during the confinement. I had the honor of producing and mixing the debut album of Palo Santo, ‘Self Defense’, which was released in March and which I am very proud of. I am presently working with Quentin Gas on his next album and I think we have something really special in our hands. I am also working with Tatín Muriel, being able to work with someone of such talent is amazing. Besides that, I have some other projects going on: a gospel duo in Finland, Rivers Clap Hand, whose debut EP will be released in July, an electronic black metal project with Miloha and a cinematic music project with Antonio, the singer of Palo Alto. In general, I like to work with many different projects.

¡Compártelo!