Nopsajala, who became known as a pioneer of Finnish reggae music Antti Hakalan, 42, has had a career of twenty years.
He started in the 1990s with the Soul Captain Band and later joined the Captain Ä-ni band. In the early 2000s, he started his solo career as Nopsajalka and has also been involved with the band August.
Nopsajalka announced at the peak of her popularity in 2017 that she would do her last gig and end her career. Back last autumn, the artist convinced Iltalehti that the decision to close had matured because he wanted to be more present in the daily life of his extended family. Hakala has four children with his visual artist wife.
However, Hakala hid the fact that the background was influenced by illness: he went through a long struggle with burnout and could no longer cope with the pressures of artistry. The first symptoms of burnout had already appeared since the release of the first album in 2006.
– The singing sound left the mold and I was on a gig break for about a year then for the first time. Since then, I have suffered from physical muscular pains, which are not found oo comprehensive explanation even though I am rampannut if any of skilled employees in the industry. Sometimes the sound goes off completely or the speech output starts to stagnate. It’s a hell of a burden when I want to perform muse. That’s why I have a gig break or unwilling to stop the artist career, when oo does not seem to make sense to struggle against those symptoms, Hakala explains.
According to Hakala, the music industry has been silent about the artists’ coping problems for too long. He wanted to give a face to burnout, which lurks especially people working in the creative industry.
– When I took a break, there was a rumor that this is just some marketing strategy. I’d like to see a world where artists don’t have to take a break to take care of themselves when it hurts, he sucks.
Hakala says that she is really sensitive to all kinds of symptoms of overexertion conditions.
– I’ve come for years to get proper assistance through the public health sector, but experience has shown that impossible. These are things for the body, mind, and heart that don’t seem to find holistic treatment. One doctor cannot treat everything, Hakala says.
– When I did not get into therapy, this is my revenge on Finnish healthcare and the people: I report on this in every media, Hakala laughs.
On October 16, Nopsajalka released his sixth solo album called Sade. He describes the album as the most significant of his career to date. Its main theme is humanity and the connection and communication between people. Through his songs, he also deals with his burnout. Although universal themes affect everyone, Hakala has written the songs primarily for himself – during the show break and without any pressure on whether the songs would ever be released.
– I wanted to write about what it is like to be a whole person with a mind and a heart and a body. The whole album is based on my pain, which is caused by the fact that I have secluded. That’s why the album deals with loneliness and lack of connection. But also love, he says.
When making the new album, Hakala pondered a lot about the relationship and contradictions between the artist and the everyday.
– I wrote from a personal perspective without any role characters. In the past, I thought a lot about what kind of music people want to hear from Nopsajala. Now I only wrote about things I used to rewind. We went through the lyrics above and did not follow any music trends. I just don’t want to replicate myself and give up some magic of Finnish reggae. I feel like I am a genuine and evolving artist who wants to expand his artistic expression, Hakala sums up.
He’s been delighted that the songs on the album have garnered only positive feedback from fans.
– The album has difficult topics related to spiritual growth, so it has been nice to hear people share their own stories related to my songs. The pieces have given myself the strength to go through my own construction process.
Time for yourself
The release of the new album was an emotional moment for Nopsajala. He admits that the media spin that has begun since then has taken hold.
– It feels a bit like having gone to therapy when such feelings come to the surface. Maybe here you need to fortify yourself for a while but be alone and eat your favorite yogurt and tacos to be able to recharge. We are all so individual in how much social strain each one endures, Hakala says.
During the pandemic, however, Hakala says he missed meeting people face to face. His daily life has been mainly between home and studio.
The duck leg was last seen on stage as a visiting star Juno at a birthday gig in January 2019. The artist doesn’t flinch back in front of the audience, even though the idea of gigs has been on his mind for a long time.
– I have all the epic plans for touring, but no one has offered enough money to make them happen, man laughs.
– But hopefully a gig for five people could be done somewhere on a street corner someday, he flashes, referring to the plight of the event industry.
He realizes that we are now living in a turning point in the live field, and therefore new ways of performing would also be needed.
Hakala also believes that instead of constantly using streaming figures, the best measure of success is getting face-to-face feedback from people. He is interested in who his fans are. The man is even more activated in some.
– I try to read all the comments and feedback and answer people if I have anything to say. At least I’m sending someone my favorite moj, he says.
Released in connection with the album Jean-Eric Olinin guided music video In the rain cloudto the song. In the video, Duckfoot is seen by nature in beautiful scenery. For filming, Hakala woke up every morning for two weeks before the rooster crowing. If the weather was good, he headed to the scene to capture the sunrises. The sleep rhythm stayed on.
– For some reason, I still wake up at five or six in the morning like magic. Someone could tell me that the music video descriptions are out already, he laughs.
Finally, the question posed by an artist fan is still somewhere: why don’t you ever grow old?
-I don’t understand! Just recently, Mold was asked for papers. But yes, I’ve been trying to spend my rock and roll life, the man decides.