Ninni & Mika – Dreaming Big with All Them Pretty Things

Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
ALL THEM PRETTY DREAMS: an interview with Mika Kuokkanen of acclaimed Finnish indie duo Ninni and Mika. We are both Finnish. Music is in our blood so it was a natural progression. I grew up in Eastern Finland in a small country town. I just fell in love with rock`n`roll …Elvis, The Stones, Beatles… when I was four years old I got my first guitar and there was no turning back!
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Ninni and Mika is the two of us. Ninni is Ninni Poijarvi and I am, last time I looked, Mika Kuokkanen. Ninni sings lead vocals and harmonies and on stage plays mainly violin. I sing lead vocals and harmonies and play acoustic guitar. Tips for small local bands/artists if you feel music is your thing & it comes from your heart believe in yourselves, know where you want to go from the start, get out there taking one step at a time, build a loyal fan base & nurture them every step of the way.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Hell yeah, who doesn`t? Maybe the playback people out there?
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Right now we are busy playing lots of gigs. We are touring with Joshua James, a really brilliant singer/songwriter from Utah in the USA. Joshua has recently released his new album “My Spirit Sister” and it is just such an inspiring record. I am always working on new songs…I have been writing with Terry McArthur, an Australian poet and lyricist since 2007. He gets an idea for a lyric and sends it across and I sit down at the piano or with my guitar and the music just comes. We just wrote a new song “The Reasons Why We Cry.” Oh and I learned recently one of ours songs “Touch Down USA” was selected as #2 by the judges of the International Songwriting Competition in the Social Causes section. Tom Waits was one of those Judges, so nice to get a tick from someone as bad ass as him!
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
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Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
We have been doing this quite a long time now so have built contacts in radio, clubs etc within our local scene. Our last album was played extensively on local radio & reached #20 in the indie album chart & #7 in the singles chart. We have a good fanbase on our home turf so our gigs are well attended & they buy our music & help spread the word about us. Our record label DyNaMik Records have been promoting us & our EP Love Will Come Around securing a gig at the Bedford Live on our mini tour introducing us to the UK last October where we also played our own gig there & was interviewed by Croydon Radio. The experience has whetted our appetite for a longer tour to the UK. DyNaMik Records have also lined up extensive licensing of our music & have arranged for our music to be considered for a big advertising campaign by a huge brand so keeping everything crossed for that one.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
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Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
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Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
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Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in the next year or so?
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Exposed Vocals: Any Shout-outs?
Our writing partner Terry McArthur.