Emilia Sisco


Singer-songwriter Emilia Sisco (real name Emilia Heinonen), dedicated to retro styled soul, blues and jazz, has been considered as one of the greatest prospects of Finnish rhythm music scene for years already. The expectations have been steadily rising through the years, while she has been constantly developing more and more during her career. Until the internationally distinguished Timmion Records from Helsinki signed her in 2018, she had already been showing promise for years as a vocalist of Emilia & The Soulmates and Half Past Never Band, which you might had seen live on the Funky Elephant festivals of the period.

When Emilia Sisco grew up, her parents’ record shelves were full of blues, jazz and soul vinyls, so it’s not such a surprise that she eventually ended up creating a career in the Finnish blues scene, which is probably much bigger than you could imagine considering where we are. She has performed all over Europe on the traditional Blues Caravan organized by the acknowledged German blues label Ruf Records, and she was selected as the The Best Newcomer of 2017 at the Finnish Blues Awards. A couple of years earlier she had joined forces with the local Helge Tallqvist Band. Together they released a self-titled EP in 2015 and their critically acclaimed album You Ain’t Heard in 2018 via the Finnish label Q-Records. She also collaborated with The Siberian Blues Huskies, one of the local blues bands, prior to that.

After the years focusing on blues music, the world-famous Timmion Records took Emilia Sisco under their wings and released the single “Don’t Believe You Like That” composed together with the prestiged production team Cold, Diamond & Mink. Their full-length effort has been widely anticipated since. Emilia Sisco performs nowadays together with her live band The Northern Lights or the more compact line-up of it excluding trombonist Jay Kortehisto (Ricky-Tick Big Band, Jimi Tenor, Nu Spirit Helsinki), saxophonist Joose Kyyrö (The Funky Sound Foundation, Frankosun and The Family) and keyboard player Antti Ikola (The Regals). The standard line-up includes guitarist Tuomas Metsberg (Jussi & The Boys, Luxury Liner), bass player Lasse Sirkko (Jussi & The Boys, Heartworn), drummer Thomas Rönnholm (Saimaa, DDT Jazzband) and background singers Fatima Kortesoja (Half Past Never Band) and Unna Kortehisto.

As a singer Emilia Sisco has also collaborated lately with several artists from Dub Vallila to guitarist and singer Erja Lyytinen, who shared the stage with her and rapper Paleface on their Blue Christmas 2022 tour in Finland. She aims fro an international career through Timmion Records. In early 2023, Emilia Sisco visited California, where she featured as a vocalist on the track “Sixth St” by the local underground rapper 3rd WRLD.

Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland
Photos: Kai Kuusisto


Emilia Sisco & Helge Tallqvist Band:

• You Ain’t Heard (2018) (Q-Records)
• Emilia Sisco & Helge Tallqvist and His Band EP (2015) (Helge Tallqvist)

Did you know?

Emilia Heinonen started singing already as a child, and she performed publicly for the first time at an anti-racism concert, when she was 15 years old. She has said that a lot of the music, which she personally finds meaningful, speaks out and comments on bigger topics and social issues. That’s why she does not consider only artists such as Billie Holiday, but also for example the afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, as her inspiration in music.

Emilia Sisco has been heard on several recordings of other artists but also on film and television productions, where she has performed. These include the awarded drama film The Eternal Road (Ikitie) (2017) directed by Antti-Jussi Annila, Romance (Romanssi) (2013) by Anssi Mänttäri and the spy thriller drama series Shadow Lines (Nyrkki) (2021). Moreover she has also experience on working as part of the sound team in different productions as well as a full-time sound technician in the biggest and most acknowledged theatres of Finland.

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