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"Rosa – Sister Bird | Finalist | Expose Yourself Song Contest"

Rosa Latva- comes to us from Finland with a inimitable style that’s so enjoyable she is sure to become a huge star. A natural musician and stylistic vocalist with astounding talent, Rosa is creating unique and notable music with her song bird like vocals over grand piano. Rosa’s song “Sister Bird” was instantly recognized and loved as a top song amongst the staff and review panel. Tranquil but full of emotion Rosa’s music will captivate you like it has us. We want more music from Rosa and so do you! - ReviewPosse

"Rosa Latva found her creative way by studying folk music"

Rosa Latva found her creative way by studying folk music

A Voice and a record of her own

"I am an exceptional musician" says Rosa Latva with a laugh. That she certainly is. Few songwriters would drag themselves into a small classroom alone at 9 am to play the piano.

- I wake up early. I like playing in the morning and the tranquility. It is a good mood(state of mind) for making music.

Rosa Latva, who's originally from Kittilä, is now studying folk music in Kokkola. The 20-year-old pianist-singer has just released her first album From the Shelf. On the record a lot more becomes evident than just her love for the mornings.

-The album is not my graduate work. I just had this urge get the songs out.

The oldest of the songs are from a time few years back when Latva was studying pop and jazz music in Rovala-opisto in Rovaniemi
-That's where I first got the chance to get to know(mingle with) the piano.

It is not unfamiliar for Rosa Latva to question the fundamental presumptions in life and she has always listened to her intuition. It definately wasn't a given that she found Kokkola and begun her studies in folk music last fall.

- I also dropped out of Rovala-opisto. Back then studying music didn't seem appealing anymore. I refused to use sheet music. I wanted to find my own insights, not just copy what others had already done and created.

During her year off Latva travelled, worked and recorded songs at home with her "untuned piano". Her new album is a cross-secton of a kind from the issues she was forced to strugle with back then.

-There were timse when I was afraid of losing my enthusiasm and creativity completely. I was afraid of music turning into empty and mechanical repetition. There was a stage when playing appeared to me as a big, black hole. I didn't want to go into a music academy where they would force me into a ready-made mould and competition. At one point I couldn't even listen to music. I couldn't locate myself in any particular genrge.

Latva's friends talked her into folk music.

-I knew next to nothing of folk music. My style is not that of a traditional folk musician, but I am intrigued by the philosophy of folk music: doing things by ear and from improvisation. There is a lot of interaction. I feel like with pop and jazz the ways of approaching the music are stiffened. Things are done in the same way they have always been done. At least now it feels like folk music is not conservative, although, obviously you can find people trying to perseve traditions strictly as well.

From the self has been recorded and mixed in the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory in January(2010). Rosa Latva did her part in three days.
-I hadn't planned to make a full album. However, when I got the opportunity to use the school's studio the record just formed itself.

Latva has always listened to versitile music. She has been immersing herself into the 60's pop-rock, blues, progressive rock as well as free-jazz just to name a few. She even has a short era of listening to metal music.

Fundamentally her greates inspiration, however, is Tori Amos, whose influence can be heard clearly in From the Shelf.

-Tori Amos has had a huge influence in my views concerning music. I would describe my music as alternative pop.

Latva writes songs from all the emotions.

-You do know when something is coming. I can, for example, express my anger and infatuation through music. Music is a condition for life for me, it's a therapy that fits my temperament. If I didn't know how to play I would still be an artist of some kind.

Rosa Latva doesn't fully see herself as a singer.
-I have learned to sing with the piano. Progress has been huge, but I wouldn't yet see myself as a lead singer.

Latva sings in English. She seeks "ambiguous viewpoints and dimensions" in her lyrics.
-I only sing of things I've been through; like rebellion or relationships. However, I don't want to have my songs restrained in just one theme or feeling.

At present From the Shelf can be purchased only from Rosa herself or through her website( Though promotinal copies have already been sent to both Finnish and Swedish record companies.

Could Rosa Latva imagine being in the hands of the music industry?
-If you get stuck in a pattern it's your own fault. I believe there is room for creativity in the industry as well. You just have to find your place.

Latva took her first piano lessons when she was in pre-school. She didn't want to be under tuition for long though.
-I quit the lessons and started to practice on my own. There was an electric piano at home and a real one in grandmothers house. I used to live in Kaukonen back then, about 20 km away from the village of Kittilä.

Latva laughgs and states that she's a child of Lapland as well as of an Waldorf school. She got into the Waldorf school at the age of eleven, after her family moved to Rovaniemi. There is a lot of emphasis put on arts in the Waldorf pedagogy.

-Perhaps my background is visible in my creativity that way. I have this need to think things through, I won't accept any truths self-evidently, I'm used to questioning. I recorded my first demo in the Waldorf school. It had four songs and one of them was by me.

After the Waldorf school, she started high school. She quickly dropped out "in the heat of rebellion and dissatisfaction."
-Then I ended up in the Rovala-opisto. I decided to throw the notes and theory into the dustbin and learn everything by ear. Make my own songs. Giving up rules and standards was a big transformation. I noticed that the most important thing is fundamentally the energy you can bring into your work.

Text: Jouni Nikula
Keskipohjanmaa 27.03.2010 - Jouni Nikula, Keskipohjanmaa

"From the Shelf-review"

Young Rosa Latva, who has been raised in Rovaniemi, has released her first solo album From the Self. It contains nine songs written by the singer. She accompanies herself with the piano and plays the cello in one of the pieces. The compositions are translucent and bright like an autumn breeze. They have a touch of longing and wistfulness. Rosa's voice is ethreal and flows like a warbling brook in the spring. It doesn't lure you into a springlike play, but longs and dreams in stead. Minors are dominant, but not restraining. The simple accompaniment leaves a lot of room for the singing. You can hear everything. The accompaniment is nuanced and supports the big picture well. The cello in "Cruel" sounds like it's in the hands of a beginner, but this might be done on purpose to underline the message of the song. Devotion and the burning urge to sing can be heard on the record. Minor pitchiness isn't disturbing, it's part of the interpration.

"Annalie", a fragile opening track, appears if it was made from fine porcelane, the kind that would break if you grabbed on too tight. As it proceeds, the song becomes stronger and takes off just to return back to a tranquil bay. "Girl,Necessary" continues with a stronger beat. Both singing and playing convey the inevidability of the lyrics. "Sister Bird", that has a triplet beat, frolics in the ways of a folk song. Fly has a negroid swing. The piano on "Wild Geese" drops icicles with a promice of spring. Your Heart paints a longing and a promice for tomorrow over a simple piano backing.

The album would undoubtedly need written lyrics with it. The interpretation makes the text hard to make out. Rosa's pronounciation is good and the words are allowed to bend in interpretation. The album is influential and touching. For a more diverse expression it might have been a good idea to include for example a soprano saxophone. I can imagine the songs to be arranged for a small jazz group as well, like in "Mignus" by Joni Michell.

The album cover has turned out well too. The wintery snow on the singers shoulders tells of the cool interpration and the clarity of the content.

Text by: Hannu Raudaskoski - Lapin Kansa

"Rosa Latva: From the Shelf-review"

Points 4/5

Rosa Latva tells she is married with the piano. The marriage seems to be happy in every ways and through that was born almost accidentally the first album From the Shelf also. The longplay, recorded in January, formed itself quickly and naturally without any bigger plans.

The nine songs of the album are structured on vocals and piano. In Latva's voice, style and expression are a lot of congruents into the direction of Tori Amos, especially in the calmer parts. Also Kate Bush with her latest record easily arises to mind, particurarly when feelings and expression grows intense. Basically the compositions are relatively pure pop-songs, which just are performed in an ecceptionally minimalistic way. Surprisingly cello replaces the piano in the last track, which feels almost like a refreshing breeze. Maybe that kind of toning should've been brought to a few other tracks also, since bare vocals and piano seem to work their best in about half an hour portions.

From the Shelf is an album made with heart and soul, where the wide tapestry of feelings, which have moved Latva making the songs, comes through. All in all a promising opening from a girl, which we hopefully shall hear a lot more still.

Review by : (c) Mika Roth / -


From the Shelf (2010)



The drop-out girl, who always insisted on breaking the rules and going her own way. Married with the piano and so found a way to heal through music. After all the turning and tossing around, going through a phase of creative blockage and a musical identity crisis, finally found herself again with the grand piano, more strong with own voice than ever. Woke all the old songs from the dark corners and got to record the first studio album "From the Shelf". Even though mainly singing in english, Rosa is originally from the northern Finland and making some finnish material also.