Mika Kivinen is a Finnish guitarist and composer, new single ‘SEA’, has just been released, and Mika talked us through his musical background which just happens to include an encounter with a rather famous Finnish musician. Connect with Mika below…
Talk us through your musical background?
I’m an artist, studio session player, and audio engineer from northern Finland. ‘Mika Kivinen Music’ was born in 2016 when I moved to a studio musician role and focused on composing and audio productions. My compositions and productions can be heard in several different projects, like; Berzan Önen, Kim Koskinen, and Sile, just to name a few.
Where should new listeners begin with Mika Kivinen Music?
For new listeners. I recommend checking out our covers first. It makes it easier to move to our original material later. Because I’m a ’70s child, the music has vibes of the old original Heavy Metal mixed to modern styles.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
We just released a new single ‘SEA’. It’s a great way to start a journey with our music. But you can check out all our singles and covers!
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
That’s very true. I think still the key, and most important thing is to focus on what you are doing. Find your own style where you see yourself standing in the middle. Keep working hard. Today, advanced technology allows music to be made at home. Technology is closer than ever.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
My mom has loved music for ages, she brought me her old acoustic guitar from my Grandparent’s home when I was aged 8. That guitar was a nylon string and a 1952 model. It’s not difficult to guess what happened in the future.
As for “the lightbulb moment”? Some highlight the year 1990 in Kuopio City Finland. We were visiting, and playing a gig with my band at a youth band camp. The band camp director was Marko Hietala, from known bands like Tarot and later of course Nightwish. We played our biggest gig there, and because we were visitors, we had access to the Tarot live setup! Marshall full stacks, etc. That was unforgettable at the age of 13! A year after that I had my own Plexi 100w head with 4×12 cabin.
We had the sad passing of Eddie Van Halen last year, as a guitarist, do you have a favourite Van Halen track?
It was the saddest news since Allan Holdsworth died [in 2017]. Eddie was a big influence for me to start playing guitar, and he leaves a huge musical legacy. Favourite track? Today I pick ‘Running with the Devil’.
AC/DC: Bon or Brian? Or both?!
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
Difficult question, as a fan…it was probably a Wayne Krantz Band gig when they were visiting Finland.
How active are you on social media, and where can people connect with you?
I try my best to keep up to date with updates and news and things. I use Instagram and Facebook, where you can visit to leave a message and comments, and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability.