Interview & Background story: upkeeper of this web site
you have asked, who actually is this handsome guy Teemu Harju? Everybody knows
the name, but still person behind is unknown. Let's have a little chat with
him and hear how is he doing.
"- Well I'm a 1974 born hip-hop guy from Vaasa, currently living in Oulu."
Teemu is one of the oldest Finnish guys still active in Finnish hip-hop scene.
"- You know, some guys out there don't like the word 'scene' when talking
about Finnish hip-hop culture, rap music, graffiti and break dance. I would
say make your cock hard and fuck 'em. Word 'scene' is still the closest and
easiest there is!"
Teemu's hip-hop history started already from the late 80's with Grandmaster
Flash & Furious Five and 'The Message'.
"- Jeah, that was THE first one, but still, 'How I could just kill a man'
by Cypress Hill made the biggest effect on me. That was a Bomb!"
"- The hip-hop scene was very small that time, actually there wasn't one."
History: Vaasa city
But luckily, Vaasa was The best city with rap music in Finland and Some activity
started to raise rapidly there. Quite fast there was nice group of people
interesting in rap music and somebody started to organize hip-hop parties
in youth centres in Vaasa downtown.
"- That was a lovely time and fuckin' good parties we had." Respect to organizers
and Kool Skinny, the old bald guy. I really respected him and bought my best
vinyl records from him. Illogic was 'the word' in the Vaasa music."
"- We caused irritation by playing rap music LOUD in Vaasa downtown, even
the back shutter of our car was open when turning more volume up! :-) You
have to remember that it was TOTALLY different with rap music that time! Rap
music was HATED by public and only the very small group understood it. Nowadays
it's much easier."
Also that time, or maybe earlier Alex Nieminen had cool show in radio.
"- Jeah, I got much effect from that too.. but since that, radio has been
almost dead, unfortunately."
Teemu however did not appear on stage.
"- Well, I was some kind of a background affecting factor. I always have been
lousy with the lyrics, and more interesting in backgrounds and samples. Maybe
I have felt 'I'm too old for this'.. what a crap :-) I don't know. I just
gave other guys making music and concentrated listening it myself. Of course
I participated every fucking party and helped organizing some."
Early 90's Teemu also started deejaying in the restaurants and parties.
"- It was small in the beginning, but I loved the feeling of turntables and
deejay mixer and the thing that I could enjoy people. My deejay name was Tee-1,
which was badly overlapping Mac-1's name who that time was rap deejay from
Vaasa. But I didn't know that time when deciding my name.. Dj Rollo was nice
help when starting deejaying and famous dj Jocka was my example that time.
He started very young."
"- Vaasa is still nowadays going very strong in Finnish hip-hop scene and
that's very nice to hear."
Everything changed when in then middle of 90's when Teemu moved to Ylivieska
(little town south from Oulu) to study telecommunications. Right after he moved
to Ylivieska, the biggest show company in the area signed him. He started deejaying
every weekend (both Friday and Saturdays, usually even more) in every kind of
restaurants in Ostrobothnia.
"- I have done gigs with every fuckin' Finnish music artists you can imagine.
That has been one hell of a experience!"
In Ylivieska area, nobody understood anything about rap music. Teemu visited
Vaasa quite often to keep up the touch with hip-hop scene but soon started to
"- I knew this is the time, when Rene moved to Ylivieska. We had to do something
to get rap music known to public. Rene came from Rovaniemi and already knew
some still active Finnish hip-hop groups. We had lot of similarity when talking
about hip-hop and rap music."
Teemu founded a group called 'Ylivieska rap scene' and took Rene along. There
were about twenty active people and they organized several hip-hop happenings
in the local restaurants and youth centres. In the beginning those were success,
but later when studies were on the most important point, guys didn't have enough
power to advertise their happenings and favour went down.
"- It was very hard, we had to do a lot of advertising in the news papers and
with posters and flyers but still, there was not enough people interested. Still
it was fun and we had some nice moments, still miss 'em."
"- We also tried to make some music, we had group called 'Low life red crew'.
We had this cool guy making backgrounds for us and had full album of 'em, but
never got lyrics ready.. fuck!"
Later, they even lost their backgrounds and samples.
"- I'm still almost crying about this, those backgrounds were fuckin' good!"
In 1997, Teemu started to get familiar with Oulu city.
"- I knew this is the city for me. I very early noticed it was very potential
people here for rap music and started to join parties here."
In 1999 Teemu stopped deejaying in restaurants.
"- I made it too much, I just had enough."
In the beginning of 2000, Teemu moved to Oulu, Toppila ghetto and started to
work with mobile phones in Nokia Mobile Phones and still does.
"- In Oulu I have been quit quiet, just helped organizing some music parties
and joining all the hip-hop parties. Only couple of times I have been on stage
throwing lousy lyrics."
"- We have good hip-hop scene here in Oulu. Couple of good groups, for example
Tidal Wave and Forever. For example Tidal Wave is just about to jump to the
public. Generally, Dt-mob has the most power. Also we have some good deejays
too. I have friends in graffiti and they are going strongly too."
Teemu has made very long way with rap music and is known as having good knowledge
about rap music and Finnish hip-hop scene.
"- Well.. I very much don't see it that way.. others have made much better and
faster job. I'm just a hang arounder ;-) I have noticed that I already have
lost touch with the hip-hop scene, the Finnish one has grown so fuckin' fast.
Which is of course good thing. Those younger guys are much better in every sense
than me. As said, it was easier that time."
What kind of rap music do you like nowadays?
"- All kind of rap music, but definitely most the early 90's.. Best song ever
is 'Ghetto Boys - My mind is playing tricks on me'. I have somehow been stucked
with early 90's.. :-) I listen very much of Finnish rap music too and I'm familiar
with some of those groups currently famous. I don't mind about lyrics are they
Finnish or English, I like both, I usually concentrate on the backgrounds."
What kind of activity you have nowadays in the hip-hop scene?
"- Well, related to rap music, most biggest work is with this www.hiphopgroups.net
site. It's going strong and I'm still continuing with this. The idea is simply
to list every group with rap music in Finland and I'm keeping it that way."
"- About other activity.. I have very little time nowadays when giving support
to these mobile phone designers in Nokia, but if you have party, I will be there
Teemu is also deeply involved with cars.
"- I drive every rapper's dream, big black Mercedes. This has been also my dream
long time and finally it's reality for me."
Teemu uses also Internet relay chat (IRC).
"- I use nick name 'sillu', meet me at channel #homiez."
What about the future?
"- Clearly, the best days of mine have gone, but I very much hope I could buy
turntables and deejay mixer some day.. I still want to mix and scratch vinyl
records. Of course this web site continues. But about rapping, you never know..
you maybe surprised."
Later correction: In section 'History: Vaasa city' group
name 'Illogic' should of couse be 'High School Losers'. Almost the same members
but name was different that time. -Teemu