19 year old singer and multi-instrumentalist, Peppina moved from Finland to New York City to record her recently released EP, Follow Your Gravity, which was directly influenced by the change in scenery and the city. From having songs in films to the release of Follow Your Gravity, Peppina has had an incredible 2015, and 2016 only promises to be better. Read our entire interview with Peppina, lean more about the songwriter, and watch her fun video for "What You Are Will Show" below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any of our readers who may not be familiar?
Thank you, happy to have the chat! I'm a 20 year old singer/songwriter from Helsinki, Finland. I started uploading songs online four years ago to this open collaborative production company called hitRECord, and after that things got pretty crazy: My songs got published on vinyls and played on live tours, and before I knew it, I got invited to perform my songs live in the US, which eventually led me to pursuit my career as an artist here in the States.
Can you recall the first time you thought that you might want to pursue music? What inspired you to follow that dream?
I can't really recall the first time, I feel like it's always been in the back of my mind. One of the biggest influences definitely was my parents, they've always been incredibly supportive and always encouraged me to keep following my passion with music. Not once did they tell me to come up with a "plan B" or consider a "real job"! Another thing that inspired me to fully follow my dream was finding hitRECord and having that safe environment to explore my what I can do and such a supportive community to share my music with.
What do you feel has been the most rewarding thing that has happened since you started seriously pursuing music?
Getting my music placed in films. We've been getting a lot of movement in that just recently, right now I have two songs, "Keep This Love Alive" and "We Can Go Back Again", placed in an awesome upcoming indie film called "Married Young", and a new song called "Against The Grain" as the ending title track of this amazing documentary "She Makes Comics"! I've always been so fascinated with the relationship between music and film - when it works well, it's just magical - and to have the chance to be a part of that, that's just the dream for me!
You just released your new EP, Follow Your Gravity - can you tell us a little bit about it?
Follow Your Gravity is a collection of stories that together tell about what it's like to reach for your dreams - how to embrace who you are and what you want to do, how to find the courage to pursuit that and what you might have to let go of to reach it. Or at least what my experience has been like to do just that!
You traveled to New York City to record the EP. How do you feel that the new surroundings affected or shaped the way that it turned out?
Oh wow, what can I even say! I'll never forget the first time I came to New York City - the first time I felt that amazing energy coming from all those millions of people around me, fighting for their dreams or fighting just to survive in that city - I'd never in my life been that motivated to go over and beyond my own limits to reach for impossible! That really helped me get the energy to get everything done, and shaped the whole theme of the record.
What was the experience like traveling away from home to record? Would you do it again, maybe to somewhere new?
Oh, anytime! That's what the title track "Follow Your Gravity" tells about, how I've always in some level felt the need to travel and to see new places and meet new people, to explore the world. Experiencing new cultures always inspires me. But of course, leaving your home, friends and family for long periods of time - I can't say it's been easy, either. You always miss your loved ones, but it's all about having people back home who you know will be there for you when you return, no matter what!
What would you like listeners to be able to take away from Follow Your Gravity?
One message I really hope to spread is that you should accept yourself, love yourself and be true to yourself. Whatever you feel like you want to do with your life, whoever you feel like you are, you should always embrace it, with no excuses, and find a way to pursuit it. It might be hard or feel impossible, but I feel like that's the only way you can really be happy.
You also recently released an awesome new music video for “What You Are Will Show.” What is the story behind this song?
The idea for "What You Are Will Show" came from all the times I've wondered if I'm completely crazy for putting all my time and energy to music and not following the traditional road to "happiness" that the society keeps selling us: go to school + get a job + get married + buy a house = live happily ever after! Of course in reality it's not that simple at all, and I know that way of living would not make me happy for sure. The song challenges that way of thinking and encourages everyone to question if that's really what they want, if that's really who they are.
The video is so much fun, too! How did the idea come about?
Thank you! I did it with Junkyard Films in Helsinki, we had so much fun filming it. Basically I wanted the video to be as happy and festive as the song, and at the same time portray the story and the characters. Mikko Lehtonen and Oskari Pölhö from the film studio came up with the idea of having people dressed up as superheroes, pirates and rockstars to symbolise the dreams that are commonly seen as "crazy" or "irrational", and that in this case, had come true, despite how crazy it might seem when thinking logically!
Do you have any big plans coming up for the rest of 2015 or beginning of 2016?
Actually I'm super happy to let you know we're at the moment recording and producing a bunch of new songs for a new EP release next spring! Most of them already have placements in films, too, so I'm very excited about next year!
Thanks for chatting with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for having me, and make sure stay tuned for new music coming soon!