Category Archives: Singer-Songwriter

Good Old Songs

I ask you to not take this weeks song “Good Old Song” too seriously, as I did write parts of it with tongue  on cheek. There are some fantastic songwriters around these days, and some mind-blowingly good music gets released every day. But the perception on being a musician has changed a lot. I often see people more hungry for the glory and the fame, than the desire to create some magical music. Now a TV show contestant gets their five minutes of fame based on how well they fit the mold. The songs are recycled, known hit songs, in a way guaranteed to please enough of the general public to reach the top 10 charts, what ever that means anymore these days.

As a coincidence, the Rolling Stone magazine made the press more than usual, by featuring Kim Kardashian on their front cover. The Rolling Stone magazine has been the industry voice for generations by now, and always featured in-depth articles  and interviews of some of the biggest names in rock music. And the fact that they resorted to feature a reality TV celebrity, with very little real talent to show for their fame, was too much for many to bear. The words “rock n’ roll is dead” were echoed around the place…

To be honest with you, I think rock n’ roll is doing just fine, it’s the certain aspects of music journalism that I would question. At the end of the day, if the Rolling Stones magazine feels the need to resort to this kind of cheap marketing, maybe it is saying more about the publication than the state of music.

You see, when people tell me that they don’t really listen to much new music, I understand where they are coming from. It is easy to turn on the classics, when the mainstream is polluted with music most music fans would not go near. But it is not for the lack of great musicians, there are loads of great artists around. It is the industry that just does not have the same money to play with anymore. Or let me re-word that a bit, the people with the money in the industry are not willing to take the same risks anymore, as their chances of getting a good return on their investment are minimal.

So the true music fans now need to look harder for the gems. And the artist needs to work hard at getting their music to the fans. But that is where the difference lies. In the end of last decade, the only way to make it in the music business was through record label. They had the money and resources to get your music to the masses. Now with the help of internet we have some amazing tools, and new ones developing all the time, that help us to pass the middle man (record label). We can have a direct relationship with the fan. The only limitation right now for us is our own willingness to work hard, really hard, and the quality of our product (music).

So I suppose what I am trying to say with this weeks song, is that we should concentrate on the music, on the songs. Create something timeless and magical like the classic albums we still go back to. We have the tools to record music much cheaper than ever before. We have the tools to distribute the music in a matter of minutes to the world. We have the tools to find people who just might be into our music all around the world. But the quality of the songs is still up to us. So instead of dreaming of fortune and fame, we artists need to write music, some really great music 🙂

And as always you can head over to my Bandcamp page HERE and download this weeks song right now 🙂 Let me know what you think, your opinions always mean a world to me.

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Who am I to You?

who am i to you single coverWe flow from day-to-day, more out of convenience than anything else. We are used to each other’s company, and even though what we had in the beginning is very different from what we have now, it still seems easier to just keep going. We so desperately try to please everyone else, just to be accepted. But if the only person who actually accepts us unconditionally is right beside us, why do we take them for granted? Because they are not enough? We need to please everyone, and the fact that the person next to us actually asks for some attention back just gets on the way of searching ways to please others. So we end up pushing them away.

And if we push them away, they become that inconsiderate piece of crap who broke our heart! Even though it might just have been us who kept chipping away their heart one small piece at the time. But to admit that would mean we would need to take a good deep look at our selves in the mirror, and maybe, just maybe face the fact that we are to blame…

It is never easy to face your demons from the past, but if we don’t we just end up wrecking our own life’s again and again, and in a worse case drag along with us. You need to learn to love your self to allow other to love you. Sometimes this can be harder to do than it sounds. Sometimes we have so deep-rooted baggage, that our self-defence mechanism hurried deep down somewhere we would not need to deal with it, and if we try to get close to it, every alarm bell in our body goes off. But for the sake of our loved ones, our happiness and the love it self, we need to do this.

This is what this week’s song “Who am I to You?” is all about. I hope it is a little bit of food for thought for all of us. Don’t take your loved ones for granted.

The change over from Soundcloud to Bandcamp seem to have gone much more smoothly than I expected 🙂 Many of you opted to download the song and some of you actually decided to even support the song by paying for it 🙂 You have no idea how much this means to me and I humbly thank you for this. So for now we are sticking with Bandcamp 🙂 And again you can download the song straight away. And whether you desire to pay for it, or can’t afford to, I still want you to have the song 🙂 Go to HERE and set a price for as much or as little as you want, or $0.00 if you can’t afford to pay. Thanks and let me know what you think of the song 🙂

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Junk Yard Dog

Ken BlackToday’s song is another quite special one for me. I was asked to write a song for a father of a friend of mine, who is suffering from ALS. Writing a song about people can be hard, and the best way I like to do this is by hearing their story, so I asked for it. And boy did I get a story…

Ever heard of the expression that truth is stranger than the story? This definitely was one of those stories. But as in so many stories, I felt great strength in Ken’s story. Having been brought up in a destructive environment, it is really hard not to fall in to the same learned habits, we pick up from our parents as a child. But Ken used his hardship to become a better person. He learned from his parents mistakes, and tried to do the very best with his own children.

The song itself tells the story, so there is not much I need to add to it here. But I would like to thank Tiffany, Ken and their family for letting me share this story. It truly is an honour for me. We are all thinking of you Ken.

So let me know what you think of the song and please share it with the world. I believe Ken’s story needs to be heard.

On a small technical note, I decided to test out band camp for change in these blog posts. I thought it would be nice to make the songs available to download straight away as well 🙂 As before some of the songs will be recorded with a different version for the album, but the acoustic version will be available straight away. Also I let you set your own price and it has no minimum, so if you cannot afford to pay, that is absolutely fine. I rather you enjoy the music than not 🙂 But if you do decide to pay for the track, all the money will be spent responsibly towards my next song, album, blog post, concert, tour… Basically you keep this thing rolling and I appreciate it more than you can ever imagine 🙂

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

While I’m Here

WhileimhereThrough out the years I have been lucky enough to get to do quite a lot of touring. And especially with Sliotar we get to go back to places year after year. One of the best things for me about touring, apart from getting to sing my songs, is making new friends. One of the worst things is that you need to leave the new friends behind, and often you don’t get to see them for another year.

These are some of the emotions you just go through on tour and they become almost part of your everyday life on the road. I have seen musicians who just drift through all this without caring too much, and then putting on a good act when they meet again. But I can never do that, not because I would somehow be better… Not at all, just the opposite. It’s just that I always cared deeply about my friends. It might take a while for me to warm up to new people (Finnish thing…) but once I do, you are my friend for life. And even when I am back home, I think about the friends I made along the way all the time. I know you must be thinking how can I keep up with everybody, but my brain works in a funny way… (dyslexic thing). If I meet people, I remember them, I remember random stuff about them. I don’t do this on purpose, it just sticks. Now if I tried to remember something on purpose, I’d probably forget it in minutes…

But I am grateful of all the friends I made along the way. I am also grateful of all the new friends I made online, throughout this process of sharing my music. And I hope to get a chance to meet as many of you in person as possible 🙂

So this is a song for my friends, old, new, even the ones I haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet 🙂 And it is a reminder that when we do meet, we need to make the best of the limited time we have together. This is why I try to put my heart and soul into every live performance, I want the time we spend together to be special.

So that’s the story behind this weeks song. Now let me talk a little bit about songwriting. This weeks song really kicked me in the ass big time! After year and a half of writing and releasing songs every week, I do run a risk of repeating my self. And that happened with this weeks song… The original chord structure and melody of the verse was very close to a song I wrote about eight months ago. But when you are in the moment writing a song, you don’t think stuff like that. In fact, you can’t. It is creative process and something just takes you over. But few days after writing and recording the song, it started to sound familiar 😀

So in a panic I had to do some last-minute rewriting. This is something I do all the time, and every songwriter should learn to rewrite their own songs. And once again, the powers that be (those gods of songwriting somewhere high up there) granted me with something special. The final result was much better than what I started with 🙂

And a massive tank you to Nathan, my mastering engineer, who delivered the master in record time. It is vital to work with good people, who in a case of emergency will drop everything to help you. I just hope I can return the favour over and over again.

That’s all I have to say about this weeks song. You know what to do, share the music far and wide my friends 🙂

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Call off the angels rehearsal video

This is definitely one of my favourite songs to sing at the moment, but due to the quiet nature of it, it does not always work in a noisy pub. You can find the songs blog post HERE. This was recorded few weeks back in our rehearsals and I think you can hear the sounds we have been chasing starting to develop 🙂

Once again I need to remind you that this is just a rehearsal video, filmed with an iPhone, nothing fancier than that. I’d love to make a little bit more professional videos, but we are missing the budget and / or a partner in crime passionate short film maker, who shares their vision with me. We’ll hopefully get there someday. But for now, this will have to do 😉

Let me know what you think of the video, your input is always valuable to me 🙂 Also I don’t say this often enough, I love what Barra and Brian do with my songs, and I can’t thank them enough to have faith in me.

Now do me a big favour and share the video far and wide 🙂 It is you people who can help me to spread the word. And thanks for watching.

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Let Me

fashionThis one is one of those songs few years back I would not have written. It just shows how writing a lot of songs can help you break out from those mental limitations we set for our selves. It is a subject that gets my blood boiling for several different reasons.

There are few things in this world of ours that have got out of hand. One of them is the world of fashion and how they portray body image. The other one is the food industry. Both of these have been allowed to feed us blatant lies for decades. Now we have children who are depressed because they are first of all overweight and looking at pictures in fashion magazines and all over the media, comparing them selves to the models. We are brought up to a society where our children have distorted body image.

It is so easy to blame the “modern society” and how the modern technology is keeping our children less active, but so is our jobs most of us adults do these days. I have had (maybe little bit strange) interest in nutrition for many years now. I might not be an expert, but one thing I know, being healthy starts from the nutrition. People are slowly starting to learn, that in the hopes of producing low-fat food products, we have been fed with sugar loaded products, that are slowly making all of us sick.

Everything in moderation they say, but most of us don’t know how much sugar our diet these days contain. I am not going to tell you what to eat and what not to eat. But I am asking you to educate your self with some resent information, not research funded by the multibillion dollar food companies (yes they have done that and have been getting away with it).

And I can’t change how fashion companies sell us distorted body image, but I can say this and I know I am not alone as a man to say this, most of us see the women in our life the real beauty as they are, not the image portrayed by the flashy magazines. You should never try to loose weight just to fit in to some stereotype designed by the fashion industry and media. The only good reason for weight loss is your own health and well being. It is all about small lifestyle changes, not on quick fixes. And for the love of anything good in this world, do not feed the scammers in the weight lost industry…

So that’s what this weeks song “Let Me” is all about, and that is the end of my rant 😀 But if you agree with me  and think we should talk more about the subject, do me a favour and share this post. Even if we get one person to open up their eyes, we have made a difference.

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

I Believe

Happy

As my songs go I think this week’s song “I Believe” is little bit lighter in subject… for me 😉 This song talks about the complex issue of happiness. It took me a long time to learn that it is me and only me who is responsible of my own happiness. So many of us look for someone else to make us happy, but the thing is, if you can’t be happy on your own, no one else is going to make you happy.

And we always seem to use other people as a some sort of gauge to happiness. Especially when it comes to material things, it is so easy to think someone who has more, is happier. The truth too often is that they not only have more material things, but often more problems. It is so easy to blame money, or the lack of it for our problems. But apart from the very poorest of our society, most of us have enough to get by. It just that we always desire more.

This is a real tricky trap. I mean, think about the last time you really desired something, that was going to require you to save for a long time. When you finally managed to make the purchase, you must have been so exited, you would even say happy. But how long did that happiness last? How long did it take before you had your eyes on something else?

Don’t get me wrong, I still desire things all the time, guitars are my weakness 😉 But I am learning that they might give me pleasure, they might inspire my work, but they don’t make me happy. I believe the true happiness comes from within us. It comes from us learning to be thankful for what we have. To be thankful of bigger things, like the people we have in our life’s, our families, our health. I even know taking care of my self makes me happy. And if sometimes the workload makes me neglect my self, I notice it having a direct effect on how I feel.

I can’t tell you what makes you happy. That is something you need to find out for yourself. But if you always look for other people, or material things to make you happy, you might be looking for a long time. Instead you should start from within yourself.

So will you help me try to make few more people happy within them selves? You can do so by spreading the word about this song 🙂 Hit those shares, spread it on Facebook, Twitter, Emails, what ever it takes to make this world of ours little bit happier place.

J.P.

P.S. You people make me happy 🙂

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Life of Crime rehearsal video

Here we finally go! I’ve been meaning to post another rehearsal video up for a quite few weeks now, but I just simply hadn’t had the time to finish editing any of the material we have filmed. But Once again with a bit of determination and burning some midnight oil, I got a little gem for you 😉

As before, let me just remind you this is a rehearsal video, we are still working on the material, but I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek into the progress.

This one is just me and Brian O’Shea rocking it out in the rehearsal room. The song is called “Life of Crime” and you can read more about it HERE. It’s a track from a new album that will be out late June 2015.

But for not, I need you guys to help me out. If you can share this video far and wide, it will really help us to spread the word about the music. And sooner the word spreads, the sooner we will be able to tour and come to play the music live somewhere near you 🙂 You see, we are all connected in more ways than you think. So do me a big favour and hit those shares!

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

The Edge of the time

The Edge of timeI know you probably are starting to worry about my mental health, “not another dark song!” But here’s the thing, I like digging deep in to those dark moments in life, where we are forced to rethink our life. To rethink our life is something most of us should do, but we are too busy… So unfortunately it usually takes a real shock to the system to teach us the value of the time we have been gifted on this planet.

Today’s song “The Edge of Time” is a conversation between a mother, who knows her time has nearly come to an end, and her son. The inspiration for this song came from many stories of people’s thoughts, who were at the end of their roads. We seem to value wealth and hard work when we are younger, but the common regret usually at the end seems to be just the opposite, most people wish they had worked less and spent more time with their loved ones.

The regular readers of my blog know I am a big advocate of life and making the best of it. I know from time to time it gets tough and it can be hard to appreciate the great things we have, I know, it happens to me all the time. But what I am trying to et through is that too often we have excuses of why we can’t do this or that. But if we really break it down, those excuses are actually very easy to overcome. In fact there are very few truly debilitating things n our life, death being one of them. The only way we can beat death, is by making the best of the time we have left.

So yeah, once again not the lightest of songs 😀 But hey, I need to stay true to who I am as an artist 😉 If you happen to like the song, please share it far and wide by hitting those buttons below. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on the song as well.

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE

Flame

flameSometimes we get so wrapped up in building the “perfect life”, that we forget to take care of our relationships. This is a slippery slope, and once the damage is done, it can be hard to repair. I think many of us make the mistake of being so blindsided with our own dreams and desires, which by the way often are forced on us by the society, that we forget to ask if our partners have the same dreams. I think having similar ambitions and desires in life can be a key element in a successful relationship.

Too often I see one partner pushing for things in life they want, and the other just following. Ten years down the line, the partner who just followed their partners dreams find them self in a middle of a life the don’t feel in any way connected to. They might even lose interest working towards those dreams, as they are not really their dreams. This again can create more friction, where the partner whose dreams they are going after feels like the other half is not doing their part, all awhile forgetting to ask what it is they really want.

And here’s the thing, that art of asking is so important. We all say yes to things we really don’t want to every day. So sometimes you do need to read between the lines, try to truly understand what your partner wants. We get in to habits of behaving certain way in a relationship. And in time that behaviour might drift away from who we really are, but our partner asking us “why are you being like that” might just push us back to the same behavioural pattern, as we don’t want to hurt or upset them. But in reality, sometimes by pretending to be something we are not, we just end up hurting them more in the long run.

The “dating game” can be bit messed up, everybody tries too hard. We try to please another person, rather than being honestly who we are, and let them decide if that is what they want. And I think that goes for any relationship, not just romantic ones. I rather see you in all of your fuckedupness than some fake put on persona that is going to burst down the line. The sooner we get past the pretending, the sooner we can start building real relationships.

This weeks song “Flame” talks about someone who has ignored their partners needs over their own for years and now are left wondering what went wrong. Keep that “Flame” burning, once it is gone people tend to just move on…

If this weeks song hits home, please share it with the world. As you know I don’t have any record company financing my music or rambles, so you guys are my promoters 🙂

J.P.

The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE