⟶ Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your creative journey?
I am Jaakko Eino Kalevi and my creative journey started when I was 10 years old and listened to Guns ́n Roses and decided to become a guitarist in a rock band. 

Where did your creative journey begin, and how has your background influenced your work?
My creative journey began in a village called Tiituspohja. It is in central Finland near the city of Jyväskylä. I believe your surroundings always affect you in one way or another, mostly unconsciously. There was always a lot of space and silence around. Maybe I just wanted to fill it with music. 

Could you describe your current creative projects or initiatives? What are you most passionate about in your creative work? 
I just released a new album. It is ready now but the work is far from being over. At the moment I am touring with that album and that is a whole different thing altogether. But I think my main work happens in the studio. I am the most passionate about drum sounds. Drums are the most defining instrument in music in my opinion. 

What do you consider your creative expertise, and how did you develop it over time?
I believe I have some kind of expertise in sound, but it is my own personal taste in sound so mostly this skill only serves me in my work and of course others as well. I have ́t been consciously trying to develop it anyway. Just following my educated intuition. 

Creative work often involves revealing hidden layers of oneself. Could you share a personal or professional experience where you had to "take off the mask" to create something authentic? 
It ́s all personal, you can not avoid it. I think my expression is not very direct. I hide the true meanings there with different techniques. It keeps things interesting and also surprises me often. 

What are some of the challenges you've encountered in your creative career, and how did you overcome them? 
I would say performing was not so enjoyable for me in the earlier days of my career. I was often quite nervous and it was not so much fun for me. I overcame it just by keeping on doing it and doing it. Then at one point, I realised that I was not even thinking about it and I could relax. I guess it is the old truth about practice, practice, and practice.

Who or what inspires your creative process, and how do you incorporate those inspirations into your work? 
I get inspiration from the music I hear or from things that happen to me. Also, the instruments itself are a big source of inspiration for me. The interface just makes you do different things. It's the same thing with surroundings. 

Do you have any unique rituals or habits that help you tap into your creative flow or overcome creative blocks? 
Coffee is a pretty good way to tap into doing basically anything. It's kind of crazy how it works so well. A magical deal between the coffee beans and humans. 

What exciting creative endeavors or projects do you have on the horizon? Any hints or sneak peeks you can share? 
I want to make a theme album based on the gym routine I do. I have done the same thing for like 15 years in a row. Maybe I should change but it's kind of difficult at this point. 

For aspiring creatives, what advice would you give them as they embark on their own creative journeys? 
I would like to give the same advice that my hero Vilunki 3000 once gave to me: “There is no need to hurry”. Patience is something that everyone needs.


Behind the mask

A portrait series exploring identity, passion and dreams.