View on hot hip-hop direct from Finland

RnB/Hip Hop | Friday 4th March 2016 | Christina

View, aka Juuso Ruohone, has been making waves back in his native Finland with his dark, hypnotic hip-hop and poignant lyricism. His debut EP Avalon brought international attention, something that is only set to intensify with his string of European festival shows coming this year. Following his set at the Ja Ja Ja night – his debut UK show - last month, View gave us the lowdown on how he got here.

Hey View, how’s it going?
Really good, we had a great weekend.

You just played the Ja Ja Ja night at The Lexington, how was it?
It was really nice. Crowd was very energetic and the stage felt good. Also the sound from the monitors was one of the best I’ve heard.

Was this your first time in London?
No. This was my second. My first time was one year ago when we did my first music video ‘Avalon’.

Scandinavia is producing a lot of great music, as shown by the line-up of the show, but Finland isn’t really known for its hip-hop. What is the scene like over there?
The Finnish hip-hop scene is doing really great at the moment. We have many good upcoming rappers such as Noah Kin and Biniyam.

How did you first get into making music?
I think it happened in my school. We had music lessons and our teacher use to take us to the studio when I was ten years old.

Where does the name View come from?
It comes from Nieve and Cooks song called ‘Priceless Few’. For a long time it was my favourite song and there was a line in Nieves verse that hit me. It was ”My eyelids like window vipers and my eyes are nothing more but two windows with the nicest view”.

Which other artists inspire or influence you?
I listen lots of different music, but if I had to name artist that inspire me I would say James Blake is one of them. Also a rapper called Mick Jenkins gives me high amounts of inspiration.

‘Lace’ was the track that started to attract international attention, did you expect that track to make that kind of impact?
When we made the song we knew it was much more easier to listen than my other two singles. ‘Lace’ is also a really different rap song so the attention from abroad didn’t surprise me so much.

You’ve said that your new track ‘Coldest Season’ is about the changes you’ve experienced since you released your first EP. How has your life changed?
I think the biggest change was all the attention from the media and the people. People started to recognize me on the street and I started to feel more pressure while making new material. I think I build myself up as a person and started to realize that I`m doing music for myself and I don’t have to please anyone.

Your music is always so personal, what’s the songwriting process like for you?
It’s really therapeutic. It’s cliché to say that it’s like writing a diary, but for me that’s just what it is.

How involved are you with the production side of the music?
We make every song together with my producer. We go through ideas and until we’re both happy and won’t compromise before both of us are satisfied with the result. So you could say we do the production together with Joonas.

You worked with LCMDF on ‘Lace’, do you have more collaborations in the works?
Yes. We are taking studio sessions with different Finnish and foreign artists at the moment. Time will only show which projects will see the daylight.

What are you most looking forward to for 2016?
Upcoming gigs abroad and all the festival gigs in Finland.

Which one song changed your life and why?
Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’. I consider it to be the song that got me obsessed with music.

What are you most in love with right now?
Minimalism. I even could say I’m obsessed with it.

If you weren’t making music for a living, what would you be doing?
I think I would be working with video production. I love to visualize everything and hand script music videos.

How would you make the world a better place?
I would teach all the kids to be tolerant with everything and make them respect planet earth.

Follow View on Twitter