Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Uncle Tan

The Knix Mix is privileged to be the first English interview ever for Finnish electronic pop artist Uncle Tan.  Uncle Tan hails from Tampere, Finland, a large inland city located in Southern Finland. Uncle Tan describes Finland as a "beautiful and inspiring" country.  I know I'd love to visit! Musically, Uncle Tan draws inspiration from artists like Moby, M83, Röyksopp and "countless" others.  "Positivity, good hooks and innovativeness are my trademarks," says Uncle Tan.  He has been working as a solo artist since 2011 and previously worked as an composer for dancehall reggae artist Lord Est.  Uncle Tan says he's working on a full album with the working title Honest and Real. He has had airplay on the Kellari Demo Show on Finnish national radio YleX and on the DLX Demo Show on Radio Helsinki.  Recently, Australian music blogger Yes Ma'Am described Uncle Tan's single "It's Too Late For Us" as a "feel good foray into retro land."  Agreed!

  1. Favorite band?  Hot Chip. They are innovative, catchy and influential.
  2. Favorite genre of music?  I listen to almost any kind of music.  The main genres I enjoy are synth pop, electro pop, classic rock, reggae and soul.
  3. Favorite song?  At the moment it would have to be Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere."  It has everything - nice 80s synths, groovy guitar and a catchy hook!
  4. First music memory?  When I was 2 days old at the hospital my mother gave me a pillow radio because I was crying.  When I got the radio next to my ear, I stopped crying immediately and just listened the music silently.  I can’t remember it, of course, but it just shows how deeply music has always affected me.  Now and still today.
  5. First CD or LP you bought?  I was kid of the 90's, so my first albums were cassettes.  I can’t really remember the first cassette, but it was probably some cheesy dance compilation of the time.  I still have my old Walkman, and it works!
  6. First band you saw in concert?  When I was around 16 years old I saw Finnish metal band Stratovarius.  As many of you might know, Finland has the reputation of being the #1 metal country in the world, so I heard my fair share of metal as a teenager. Fortunately, I've been over it for quite some time.
  7. What hobbies and interests do you have?   I like soccer and played for many years.  I still follow English Premier League and Champions League.  I also love to read artist biographies, science magazines and fiction books.  And I love new technology. 
  8. Do you have a nickname?  The nickname "Uncle Tan" is just an abbreviation of my first name - Taneli.  My niece gave the nickname to me about 10 years ago. 
  9. Where have you traveled?  I love to travel a lot when ever I have a chance.  I’ve been to Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Morocco, San Marino, Monaco, Greece, Yugoslavia...My favourite places are Lapland, Garda Lake in Italy and Nice in France.  Extra mention goes to Nerja Neanderthal caves in Spain.  Amazing place!
  10. If I could hang out with anyone who would it be?  I would be interested to have a word with Salvador Dali, Kate Bush and John Lennon.  They are people I respect and have all created wonderful art that stands the test of time.
  11. What animal would you be?  I love sea turtles.  They have been for 100 million years and it shows.  They aren't rushing to anywhere.  I think they have a quiet wisdom. 
  12. Favorite food?  Indian food.  The whole process of making it from the scratch and adding loads of different spices and then cooking it for hours.  It’s heavenly food at its absolute best! 
  13. Favorite book?  Hermann Hesse's Knulp.
  14. Favorite movie?  The Back To The Future trilogy.  I can’t get enough of this movie trilogy.  I could watch it again and again and again!
  15. Favorite holiday and why?  Summer holiday!  It’s the only time of the year in Finland when you don’t have to wear jacket.
  16. If you could have any super power, what would it be?  Invisibility or flying skills.  I can’t decide.  Maybe combination of the two? 
  17. If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?  I would love to go to Uncle Tan Wildlife Camp in Malaysia.  I heard about it couple years ago and have wanted to go there ever since.  I would also love to go to New York, San Francisco and Tokyo.
  18. What would people be surprised to know about you?  I think people would be surprised to know that I burn before I get tan. I’m that pale.
  19. What three words best describe you?  Self-driven, modest and kind.
  20. What three words would your friends use to describe you?  Honest, trustworthy and funny.
  21. Any special talents?  I can make tunes that stick in your head.
  22. Best compliment ever received?  That’s a hard one.  I guess when people send me a message that they liked my tune.  It’s always a good feeling.
  23. Who has inspired you?  A lot of people!  Musically speaking, John Lennon, Simon & Garfunkel, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Kate Bush, Morrissey, The Doors, Hot Chip, Air, OTT and Rauli Somerjoki (a Finnish artist).
  24. What makes you laugh?  The British comedies The Office and Fast Show are always funny. And TV series like Flight of The Concords.  I like stand up comedy shows as well.  And comic books like Dilbert.  He’s really funny.  Hugleikur Dagsson is really funny comic writer as well.  
  25. Favorite funny story about you?  Once I tried to Google pictures of Uncle Tan and there were just plenty of lizards, ants, apes, frogs and then my photo in the middle of the screen.  At that moment I felt I’m in excellent company.
  26. What did you want to be when you grew up?  A soccer player or musician.
  27. Are there any issues you feel passionate about?  Human rights are close to my heart, and I support vegetarianism.  I’m also supporting World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  I love animals!
  28. Do you have pets?  Unfortunately not at the moment.  I would like to have a cat in the future.  I also thought about getting a turtle, but I don’t know if the city is good habitat for turtles.  Maybe I'll just go to see them in Australia!

Be sure to check out Uncle Tan on the following links:
Contact Uncle Tan,  find him on Facebook or Twitter and listen to him on Soundcloud!

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