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  • Writer's pictureMorty

Don't do as I do, do as I tell you

After reading my previous blog post, I shook my head. It's like I had just passed on a strong message: Your artistic integrity is much more important than making a living with it!

And to be honest, that's not true.

After making the decision to tell the major label rep to bugger off, I can't tell you how many times I regretted that decision. Well, maybe "regret" is a strong word. But I did wonder what would have happened if I had told the guy:

"Well, yes, please! I'd like to be a just a singer. Please select the songs you wish me to sing, makeover my style, and hand-pick my musical style as well. I'd be grateful and do everything you way!"

I have no way of knowing how I might have turned out. But I can take a pretty good guess. And that is also the reason why I declined the offer. Let me tell you a bit more.

I was born into a family of artists. Well known artists they were, too. This means that in my native Finland, I was always going to be "The Daughter Of". And that's OK. Except that it's not.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been repeated the same thing. "Oh my, you really can sing! But then, your father is such a great singer. You owe everything to him!"

It's true. I started touring and recording with my father when I was 6 years old. He taught me everything he knew about the music industry, how to perform well on stage and in studio, how to be a charismatic performer, how to speak to the press, how to be a singer, in short.

However, my father, the great artist he was and still is, is a) not from my time b) does not represent my musical style c) does not write his own songs d) is not a woman in the very masculine world that is music business.

And if anyone has ever referred to you as The Son Of, or The Daughter Of, you know damn well how infuriating it is not to exist as your own person and entity, but to always be seen as an extension of your parent.

These were my reasons to decline an offer that would have made me a respectable, and possibly a wealthy, Finnish singer. Saying my name, I would have always heard that tiny, nagging echo behind it. The Daughter Of.

My decision to go independent, to lose my father's long shadow, change country and my name as well, are born out of a need to exist as my proper person and artist. The fact that I decided thus does not mean another could not be very content in putting material comfort first. One has to live. And boy, have I struggled to earn that living ever since.

But I'm still here, and my songs got out alive. There's not a day that goes by that I don't feel gratitude about that.

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