In our Meet the Family blog series, we are introducing our family of passionate professionals to you. We would like you to get to know us, connect with us, join our family, and let us help you make your dreams come true.
Today we are proudly introducing our Director of Photography Anttu Koistinen.
Anttu is one of the people you are instantly drawn to. He is articulate, creative, striving for excellence and with the coolest vibes ever. The multi-talented Anttu gives us insights into his life story springing from a family with a long history in music instrument building, his early music career jumpstarted at age 8, his top memorable experiences touring the world, his passion for videography and photography and his work for Family In Music.
Let's get to know Anttu better through his words during our interview!
What is your life’s background (where were you born and raised, what’s your education)?
I was born in Joensuu where I have lived most of my life. I’m self-taught pretty much with everything I do. I played the violin for a couple of years back when I was a small kid, but I was already then mostly interested to play the kantele, the national instrument of Finland. I got some playing lessons from kantele players when I started, but after that, I have been mostly experimenting with what is possible to do with it. The traditional kantele is usually used for playing folk and classical music but I was more into pop/rock from the start. There weren’t any solutions readily available so I had to come up with my own playing techniques to make it happen.
You come from a family with a long musical background, could you please explain? How has music part of your family life, childhood and growing up?
My family has been building kanteles for over 60 years. My grandfather, Otto Koistinen, started the modernizing process of kantele when the build quality and acoustical characteristics of the instrument were still on a quite ancient level. He made a lifelong goal to raise kantele building to the level that the instrument and its players deserve. My father, Hannu Koistinen, continued his work, and he has truly made kanteles modern, arena-ready instruments, which can be used in any music genre.
I was one of the first players to be able to test the new generation electric kanteles. I started to play when I was 8 years old, and I quickly found my own style to play them. After playing for about half a year, I had my first television performance, which jump-started my musical career. After that, I played gigs nationally and internationally for a bit more than 15 years.
What elements played a major role and shaped who you are today?
Definitely one of the biggest factors has been the musical journey that I have gone through with electric kantele. It has enabled me to travel around the globe and changed my whole perspective on life to be more open and feed the hunger to learn more about the world, people, and all the different cultures.
Diverse career background
You are a multi-talented person, musician, marketeer, video producer, and photographer. What type of artists have you cooperated with and what memorable projects you worked with?
I’ve been working mostly as a solo artist, but one of the coolest experiences has been working with Timo Kämäräinen, one of the best guitarists in Finland. He is the most positive and gentle person that I know so it has been always easy to work with him. He helped me to produce my first single album back in the day, and I’ve always been able to ask for any advice from him if needed.
The most memorable project has been photographing and performing at the Burning Man festival
in Black Rock Desert. I was taking part in the Finnish Kalevala-themed art project called 'The Pike of Mana' that was built for the festival.
What have been some of your career highlights?
-Performing in the main stage of Pori Jazz festival and getting the 1st Young Star -title of the festival
-Universal Music record deal
-Playing in Ylen Hyvä and Lauantaivekkari TV-shows
-Working with Rovio Learning / Angry Birds for 3 years Impressive, Anttu! What are your creative superpowers?
I would say I’m at my best at improvising in difficult situations, and getting the best out of people, for example during a video- or photoshoot.
Career at Family In Music
Anttu, you are the Director of Photography of Family in Music. How did it all start for you in the journey within Family In Music?
I found a marketing course, targeted at learning the digital HubSpot Marketing platform. I applied to the course and to the job at the same time, so that’s how I ended up working for FAIM. Later my position changed to DP as there is going to be a lot of video content produced for our upcoming platform, and as I already had the necessary skillset from working previously in ad agency and video production companies. Give us an insight into the content you are producing for Family In Music. What value will it bring to music creators worldwide?
We are aiming to support the multi-level journey of being an artist as there are plenty of ups and downs involved when building a career in the music industry. We are tackling those challenges together by showing how to overcome the biggest ones, and by giving you the tools to succeed in your career. When time goes by, you will start to see more clearly what works for your individual career and what doesn’t. We are here to help you on that journey. Professionally, what’s your biggest dream?
Personally, I think that with the right kind of team, almost anything is possible. For me, that’s the most important factor, and usually, results will follow by themselves, with any art-related or other kinds of goals. I’m always hungry to get to the next level in my skills but having a great team will amplify the whole process 10x and also make the journey so much more fun!
Other than music, what hobbies do you have and how do you relax after a hard-working week? Tell us about how you recharge your batteries.
I’m into motorsports as it’s the best way for me to get into the flow mindset. When driving fast, you are totally present and focused in that exact moment, but also completely relaxed at the same time. That feels like a total zen moment to me.
I also love spending time in nature. It’s kind of the other side of the coin, searching for the flow state. I really enjoy the peacefulness and the feeling of bliss when roaming around in the forest or by the ocean. What music you like listening to and what artists/bands you are listening to right now?
I have loved Jamiroquai, Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder since I was a small child. I’m mostly into different types of groove music such as funk, jazz and soul but there are about 20 different genres that I listen to depending on my mood and situation. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of heavy rock as it’s so dark at the moment in Finland.