Jesse Markin and his band. Photo: Tiina Palm.
Friday, 03 September 2021 19:00
Estonian Life No. 35 2021 - Vincent Teetsov
Prior to his performance on Thursday August 26th at the Vaba Lava theatre centre, Estonian Music Week caught up with Finnish singer and rapper Jesse Markin, for a round of questions at the venue's restaurant, KÄRBES Kitchen & Bar.
Markin was the winner of two Finnish Emma Awards in 2019 and a Teosto Prize in 2020. To date, he's released five albums, including three as a member of the duo The Megaphone State and two solo albums. Having just released his second solo album, Noir
, an auditory spectacle with unexpected turns in each song, it's clear why he's become a respected name in Finnish music.
Coming from Finland, does Estonia feel comfy and familiar, or is it something totally different?
It feels comfortable because the languages sound pretty much the same. There are some words that are very close to each other. They sound similar but mean different things. Culturally, we're not too far from each other. Plus, I've been here before for this music thing I've got going on, because we're basically like neighbours around here. I live in Helsinki and it takes an hour and 30 minutes by boat. You can just hop on it and be in Tallinn, have a nice weekend, and go back.
How would you describe the Finnish hip hop scene on a global level? What's something that it alone can offer the genre?
On a global level I'd say it's non-existent because, even if we're looking at the language alone, there are only two, maybe three, artists that make hip hop in English, me included. So, on a global level, the impact is not that great at this point. But I'm trying to change that.
Do you feel like a pioneer then?
In a sense, yeah. But hey, we had Bomfunk MC's way back in... was it in the 90s? They had the “Freestyler” song that was all over Europe and stuff like that. But I'm not sure, did it reach Canada or did they reach anywhere else? But yeah, there ain't too many people rapping in English, or even singing in English in general. So, the pressure is on me!
(Read more: Estonian Life No. 35 2021 paber- and PDF/digi
Written by Vincent Teetsov