Soul Captain Band was founded in 1997 and has played the key role in lifting up the so called Finreggae to nationwide recognition and to the peak of its success since the end of 90’s. The founding members of the band are guitarist Seppo “Skenga” Salmi, keyboard player and producer Tommi “Bommitommi” Tikkanen, guitarist Jori Hulkkonen, bassist Kari Hulkkonen and singer Jukka “Jukka Poika” Rousu.
Another long-time member of the band has been vocalist Antti “Nopsajalka” Hakala, who joined soon after SCB was founded. Other remarkable musicians during the years include trombonist Erno Haukkala (Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators, Jätkäjätkät, Alamaailman Vasarat, Paukkumaissi), trumpeter Eero Savela, saxophonist Antti Kana as well as singer and percussionist Sonja Korkman. The drummers of the band include Jyri Sariola, Jaakko Lukkarinen, Joakim Bachmann and Reino “Bongo Rhino” Nordin.
Soul Captain Band released their self-published and self-titled debut EP in 1999 and in the beginning created their reputation especially in the Helsinki district with numerous sold out live shows. The lyrics of Jukka Poika during those days connected the orchestra into the front row of the counter culture of that time bringing a lot more fans and leading them to record together with legendary Hiski Salomaa the track “Vapauden kaiho” (= freedom saudade) for the anniversary compilation of Amnesty International. After quitting Soul Captain Band a couple of years later, Jukka Poika resigned from many of his earlier lyrics and comments by downplaying them as “talk of the youth”. Some of his older fans have gotten upset or felt betrayed because of this.
Among his most dedicated fans, the 2001 debut album Jokaiselle tulta (= fire for everyone) issued by Wolfram Records did not offer nothing especially new, since the majority of the songs had been heard already as different roots spirited versions in many unofficial instances, such as on the weekly Kompostiradio show the group was doing. However, their album, which was more clinical in sounds and recorded in Seawolf Studio in Suomenlinna, was a well-earned breakthrough of Soul Captain Band making it as #6 on the official album chart of Finland and getting a lot of radioplay. This can be considered the crucial point starting the so-called Finreggae boom, which has lifted artist such as Jukka Poika and Raappana to be recognized nationwide by the public.
Jukka Poika quit in Soul Captain Band in 2002 releasing soon after the distinguished album titled Parhaat together with Nopsajalka under the moniker Kapteeni Ä-ni. The next year brought us another brilliant and respected reggae/dub/rap album Jukka Poika & Kompostikopla. Despite its name, the same familiar crew as in SCB was behind Kompostikopla, which had been performing live under this name already before the album from the sound system basis without an orchestra.
In the late 2002 under the new name Ylivoima the band joined forces with the reputed rock musician Pelle Miljoona and released a new album titled Todistaja (= witness) as well as toured together with him across Finland. The band also found new reggae vocalists to support Nopsajalka and Seppo Paarma: Moroccan-born Momo Cat (from the group Saganor) and Zambian-bred Papa Zai. With this new lineup Soul Captain Band released their last album Tanssijan valinta (= Dancer’s choice) in 2004.
Jukka Poika continued his career with his new Jenkkarekka orchestra and has earned fame especially since the 2010’s as the mainstream pop star of Finreggae. Other SCB member have thus been influential in many other black rhythm music bands (The Soul Investigators, Jätkäjätkät, Reino & The Rhinos…) or as solo artists in Finland. Also, the EMMA-awarded (equivalent to Finnish Grammys) children music orchestra Paukkumaissi was born from this basis in 2006.
Sound Explosion Band was founded in 2007 after Soul Captain Band had quit making new material and doing concerts. As an instrumental group they have played as the background band of several reggae artists, including also Jukka Poika. However, Soul Captain Band eventually did a unique anniversary tour in 2009 after their album Jokaiselle tulta had sold gold in Finland.
Text: Joonas Kervinen / Funky Finland