Interview: Five Minutes with JORI SJÖROOS

   Image credit: Paavo Lehtonen

11 ONES label head and music producer JORI SJÖROOS has released our latest IDM obsession “GOTH PERREO”. Featured on the track is multi-award winning Finnish songstress Chisu, the wife of JORI SJÖROOS. To date, the music producer has won 10 Finnish Grammys in his career so far and has sold over 600 000 album copies worldwide.  “GOTH PERREOwill feature on the upcoming album SJÖROOTS (27th November 2020). 

We find out what makes the award-winner JORI SJÖROOS tick below.

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I feel fulfilled when I create. I feel inspired when I create. I feel hyperexcited when I create. I love to create, to create art. I don’t like the rules and art has no rules. I am and have always been a little bit punk, rebel, and a “think different” person. Art is like that. No one can tell art what to do, no one can tell me what to do. That’s why the arts.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

It varies with different projects, but with the “SJÖROOTS” album I mostly let the sound happen without having a pre-idea.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes. ‘GOTH PERREO’ features impressive vocals by my dear wife CHISU and ‘ALL HAPPENING IN TIME’ features vocals by a new super talented artist “LiAURORA”.

What’s on your current playlist?

I love so much of everything but here are some currents: Hildur Gudnadottir, Rosalia, Sepultura, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Napalm Death, J Balvin, Daft Punk, Massive Attack Mezzanine, Skrillex & Diplo, Aphex Twin, Björk, Thom Yorke, Jon Hopkins and lot of meditation music. Also, I love this wild dancehall movement from South America called NEO PERREO.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

Last year when I had 3 shows only, I hugged everyone on the front seat. That was really “a full of love” moment. When corona allows me to do shows again, I definitely want to talk with the audience more. I would love my show to be an event where I and the audience could talk for an hour and share our hearts and thoughts and to feel united.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I listen to my heart and let it guide me. I’m very experienced at doing music with the computer so I use a lot of different techniques – the list is endless. I am always listening to my intuition as it knows when something sounds right. I try to think like a rookie, as a beginner, and get excited about what I’m doing. “Just do it” is my motto.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

The main thing is that I go there, usually in the morning. I’m sitting with my laptop for hours, experiencing, creating, and finding sounds intuitive. Sometimes I have lunch, sometimes not. On paper, it might sound quite boring but to me, a day in the studio can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Sometimes I feel I’m the no.1 producer in the world and sometimes I think I should be a gardener. I call it “An artistic mental disorder”.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I was 14 when I said to myself “I want to do music for a living, get paid enough, and definitely not have a real job”. 10 years after that it became my reality. And has been ever since.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

A bottle of water.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Yes – our label’s new signing LiAURORA. She is just so crazy talented it’s mad. She did her first-ever song in 3 weeks – with world-class producing, with the extraordinary sonic world, with extraordinary lyrics and vocals. When I first heard that song I thought “this is not mathematically right, it’s impossible to do the first song with this kind of quality in 3 weeks” but she did. She’s like that.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Among LiAURORA there are many artists, movies, and definitely nature that gets me inspired. I love it when I hear a new inspiring song and have a rush into the studio to create.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

MacBook Pro and Universal Audio Apollo are my main hardware tools. As a main DAW, I use Ableton Live. I use a lot of different plug-ins and tons of sounds and samples from different places. I’ve sold most of my vintage synths, but I still and always will have my Solina string machine with whom we will be buried together.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I and my wife Chisu (who’s a famous artist and producer in Finland) have a creative duo called ROOS+BERG. We create, write, and produce for other artists but also for ourselves – kind of like Daft Punk. I’m super excited about it.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I’ve learned to listen to myself. I respect many people in the industry and I’m always curious to listen but the main thing is that you know what you’re doing.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

If corona allows I will do as many live shows as I can – the live shows are quite a new area for me so I feel like a rookie. There is innocence and purity in the air. I want to perform in front of people and give them an experience that they will never forget. I’m also super inspired by sitting in the studio and creating so there will be new sounds from me and ROOS+BERG.

Famous last words?

It’s time…