Discovering Jaakko Eino Kalevi’s music feels like finding a hidden gem, and with music so freely available on the Internet these days this isn’t a far-fetched notion.
The Helsinki-based artist hasn’t been hiding, though, he has been releasing his self-described brand of experimental, pseudo-pop since the early 2000s.
“I think (my) releases differ quite a lot from each other, but are still recognizable as me,” he says about his repertoire. “I would say they represent my different phases.”
Influenced by artists such as King Tubby, Marianne Faithfull and Yellow Magic Orchestra, his catalog appropriately resonates with a 1960s- and ’70s-style vibe. However Kalevi admits that “a lot of influences come unconsciously. Everything influences. Everything is art.”
Kalevi joins four other Nordic acts at Hokuo Music Night on Thursday, which introduces groups from abroad to Japanese audiences. However, he is already familiar with these shores.
Since 2007, he has collaborated with Japanese painter (and friend) Hiroaki Koshiba for a total of nine different performances. Koshiba was responsible for the cover art on Kalevi’s latest EP, “Yin Yang Theatre,” and while in Japan this time, Kalevi will attend Koshiba’s wedding.
“I like my perspective to this culture,” Kalevi says about Japanese influences. “It’s so differently detailed.”
Wedding and Hokuo Night aside, Kalevi says his perspective this time around will come from days in the hot springs and nights at karaoke.
Hokuo Music Night takes place at Harajuku Astro Hall in Tokyo on Nov. 20 (6:30 p.m. start; ¥5,500; 03-3499-6669). For more information, visit www.weirdworldrecordco.com/artists/jaakko-eino-kalevi.