Ronya Interview! The Finnish/British Alt-Pop artist answers questions on her influences, the difference between British and Finnish music and what to expect from her second album…

Q. Who is Ronya and what are you about?

I’m a half-Finnish half-British Helsinki based singer-songwriter, born in ‘91 but inspired but the 80’s. My music could be described as melodic pop with a Scandinavian touch.

Q. Who are the main influences to your music and sound?

I grew up with Phil Collins, Toto, Michael Jackson and Prince to name a few, which could explain why I’m so drawn to 80’s inspired sounds and melodies. Blood Orange, Robyn and HAIM are perhaps the most current influences whom I’m feel I can relate to in terms of writing music lyrically and sonically.

Q. Do you think there are any differences between British and Finnish Music? How have you faired in each country?

It’s well known that music coming out of Scandinavia tends to have a flavour of it’s own – I guess a certain amount of isolation creates a different platform for making music. Finland isn’t nearly as versatile as the UK for example, and our music scene still has a lot of evolving to do in order to become as vivid and rich. On how well I’ve faired in each country, I’ve released an album here in Finland (2012) and I’m preparing the release of my next single and working towards a second album – the UK is still a working progress but I’m on my way!

Q. Could you tell us what your latest single ‘Work Harder’ is about? Musically and lyrically? 

‘Work Harder’ is a reflection on my journey as an artist and an individual. Initially I wrote the song to give myself the confidence to keep going and work towards my goals and dreams, but I’m hoping anyone can relate to it. Musically I wanted to make something more fun and upbeat, with hints of 80’s inspired sounds.

Q. You worked with Taito Kawata for the song’s video; what do you think a video can add to a song if anything? 

In this case the video not only illustrates the feeling and energy of the song but it also gives the audience a chance to get to know me. My previous video was a tad more dramatic and “colder” – this time around I wanted to express a warmer and more colourful and happy/goofy side of myself. Setting that aside it’s a great platform to channel 80’s tackiness and dance around for no reason.

Q. There’s a big 80’s influence on the track; will this sound carry over on to your upcoming album and what’s the finest thing about the decade?

‘Work Harder’ is definitely a taste of what is to come. I love how music from the 80’s is the perfect combination of happy/uplifting and melancholic, music had more depth to it and although some tackiness was involved it was still soo good.

Q. How will your second studio album differ from your first? 

Like night and day. My first album was an explosion of sounds, genres and teenage angst. What can be expected from this album is a more uplifting and energetic sound with an 80’s feel throughout. More singing and less screaming.

Q. You signed to Cocoa Records last year; what difference has that made for you if any?

I now have a team I can work closely with, that understands my vision as an artist. But a lot of the bigger changes are mostly related to my own development and growth as an artist, and knowing what I want.

Q. Do you have any advice for teenage artists? What did you learn from starting your career at a young age?

I really hope that any young artists that want to have a career in the music industry really take their time, and I can’t stress that enough, to find out who they are as individuals and artists. I feel like singing competitions on TV may send a message to young artist that to “”make it” and be a star, you need to be like someone else – the world doesn’t need an army of Beyoncés and Drakes (although they are fabulous!). What made the biggest artists of our time into what they are is having something that no one else has. Create your own identity, your own voice and most importantly WORK on your own material and listen to your heart, be open to learning new things and taking advice (you’ll need it). Oh, and don’t take shit from anyone. When I had my first record deal at 16 I didn’t have enough experience or understanding of the industry to actually know what I wanted, or how to get it. You have to be the boss, otherwise someone will run you over with their own vision and ideas of who they think you are or should be as an artist.

Q. What can we expect from Ronya in 2015?

New material – I’ll be releasing a new single this spring, and writing songs so I can share my music live as well as online.

Thanks to Ronya for the answers and keep an eye out for her second studio album.

Questions by Owen Riddle



Sunday Suggestion – John & Yoko – Sunday Bloody Sunday


John Lennon was a man who always left a trail or controversy and debate in his wake on a personal and public level. One particular track depicting the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972 appears on his Sometime In New York City album of the same year. Though there had been many angry and vented statements of his previous two albums, this one makes a particular feature of Lennon’s frustrations and grievances of which the event of Bloody Sunday were one. Between plunging saxophone cries fits the blunt and low riding bass line and a cacophony of percussion from which John’s razor sharp guitar solos slice through. John’s vocals also do the same with the same aggressive yet tuneful snarl he’d developed over the last two albums, delivering his sharp message of the “Anglo Pigs and Scots sent to colonise the North” and “Leave Ireland to the Irish not for London or for Rome” amongst a song full of accusations and cries for anyone feeling British to live in Britain as he recounts the events of that fateful day. His support for the IRA fell off as they began to commit their own atrocities and as he believed that neither side was worth supporting above peace. Nevertheless this song is a great source for future generations at capturing the mood of the time and people’s opinions of the atrocities that day. Something rarely done these days.