Emma Salokoski is one of the best known and most versatile Finnish vocalists in the front row of the scene. She paved her way in the beginning of Millennium as one of the original members of neo soul group Quintessence and as a regular guest of the funk outfit The Q-Continuum, which was founded on the same basis. Thus she has decisively made herself a nationwide name with her Latin-influenced band but also with various folk, rock, Finnish Schlager and pop songs as well as by collaborating widely with several artists.
Emma Salokoski Trio was founded during the same first years of 2000’s together with guitarist Mikko Kosonen and bassist Lauri Porra, better known from the power metal band Stratovarius. The lineup was extended into Emma Salokoski Ensemble a couple of years later, when keyboard player Tuomo Prättälä from the Q Family and drummer Marko Timonen (Värttinä, Ismo Alanko Säätiö, Zetaboo) joined along. The band typically fused Brazilian rhythms and particularily bossa nova into their own mucical background and Finnish lyrics on their three albums.
In 2015, Salokoski released her first solo album Kiellettyjä asioita, which was a new step and turning point for her into the direction of modern Finnish Schlager pop. It also implicated the end of the cooperation with her earlier long-term band.
Her joint projects include a role as the vocalist on the two albums Vi sålde våra hemman (2009) and Ligger du fortfarande i sängen! (2018) she did in Swedish for the Teosto-awarded jazz group Ilmiliekki Quartet. Besides these efforts she has released the album Omani uni (2010), inspired by poetry, together with singer Maria Ylipää as well as the bi-lingual children’s jazz album Rytmihyrrä – Eläinlauluja lapsille / Rytmyra – Djursånger för barn with UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and issued by the famous Blue Note. She is also a member of a cappella and improvisation group Aito Collective.
Salokoski has been described as a sensitive interpreter and versatile vocalist, who will equally feel comfortable on the side of a symphony orchestra as well as on the main stage of a rock festival or for example performing as a duo with accordion virtuoso Johanna Juhola. She has been performing actively in Finland but also all around Europe and even in Asia with various acts. As a guest vocalist she has been heard on the albums of Don Johnson Big Band, Husky Rescue, Tuomo ja Sami Saari to name a few as well as together on live stage with artists such as Jukka Perko, Severi Pyysalo and Sakari Kukko.
The solo and joint albums, where Salokoski has been doing her part, have repeatedly been succesful and reached the official Finnish album chart. She was awarded as the Best Female Artist of the Year in 2006 in EMMA Awards (similar to Grammys in USA). In 2020, she received the Culture Prize from her hometown the City of Vantaa as the local artist for her versatility, competence and protean approach. The collaboration album Ligger du fortfarande i sängen! with Ilmiliekki Quartet was a candidate for the Jazz Album of the Year 2018 in the EMMA Awards.
Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland