Photo: Patrik Tamm
Friday, 10 December 2021 19:00
Estonian Life No. 49 2021 - Vincent Teetsov
It's not every artist or musician who has seen their creations bring about danger for themselves or their family. But this is what happened to pianist and composer Rein Rannap at the end of the Soviet occupation of Estonia. After being harassed for the music he was making (particularly in the band Ruja), he escaped the KGB guards that were watching his moves on a tour in Italy and eventually made his way to Los Angeles.
His wife sent a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, requesting the family to be reunited with him in Los Angeles; and it was there that his newborn son, Ikevald Rannap, spent his first six years growing up. The danger has subsided, but the stories and music have remained. Ikevald Rannap, performing under the name Ike Rann, writes and records some seriously catchy rock tunes. Now based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a BBC songwriting award and the album Synchronize
under his belt, told me about how he has grown his musical style.
Between living in the US, Estonia, Sweden, England, and now Denmark, how has each place formed who you are or how you write songs?
When we relocated to Los Angeles, California, both of my parents were studying music. I started playing the piano and wrote my first song when I was five years old, but as I grew older, so did my love for rock music. As a teenager, I started playing Nirvana songs on my mother’s guitar—that ignited something in me, and it wasn't long before I started singing in bands.
In my early 20s, I started collaborating with musicians outside of Estonia, although my main residence remained there. Around five years ago, I packed my things and moved to London, and studied songwriting at Berklee. After that, I learned to compose melodies from Swedish songwriters while living in Stockholm. About three years ago, I moved to Copenhagen, where I’m living now. What I appreciate about Copenhagen is that there's a lot of humility, trust, and curiosity towards different tastes and different cultures. And they don’t take themselves too seriously.
(Read more: Estonian Life No. 49 2021 paber- and PDF/digi
Written by Vincent Teetsov