Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs
Follow The Big Takeover
Johanna Kuvaja – Photo Credit: Petteri Kaakinen
Finnish vocalist Johanna Kuvaja is back after the fuss of multiple lockdowns, this time with the single ‘Wanna Make Love To You’. Searching for meaning during that time and adventure upon the lessening of travel restrictions, Kuvaja jet-setted to Britain to work on her next single and Spain for her next video, filmed in the sun-laden Costa del Sol, where the singer co-stars with Mr. Europe / Mr. Mundo and Calvin Klein / Versace model Dani Rivero.
The single was recording, mixed, produced and mastered by award winning London-based producer Sefi Carmel, known for his mixes for icons such as David Bowie, Phil Collins, Bruno Mars, Michael Buble, Massive Attack and Birdy. Kuvaja handled the vocal arrangements and also co-produced.
“It was such an exciting experience to travel to London to work in the studio with Sefi, who mixed my ‘Shower’ song and made it a hit back in 2019. I had the flu when we were recording, so Sefi offered me a lot of Whiskey when I was in the recording booth. No wonder I managed to sing all the low dude sounds in the bridge,” laughs Johanna Kuvaja.
When looking for American parallels to Kuvaja’s new single, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera come to mind. Here we see Kuvaja, who wrote this song herself, getting soulful in TLC fashion, slow and groovy. Given the complexity of relationships these days and culture of instant gratification, surely this is a song that many people can identify with.
“I composed this song when I was dreaming about experiencing a deep spiritual connection with someone. I realized that I had only had sex with men, not made love. Billions of people have had sex. I don’t know how many have actually made love?” asks Kuvaja.
Johanna Kuvaja debuted her ‘Shower’ single in August 2019, which saw her dubbed as Finland’s Sabrina and also drew comparisons to Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. This was followed by ‘Back For Good’, with reviews recalling Christina Aguilera and Madonna, and then ‘Shower (Janne Hyöty Remix)’, created by multi-platinum awarded producer Janne Hyöty, whose songwriting accounts for over 40 No.1 releases (including on ‘ARASHI 5X20’, the world’s best-selling album of 2019).
Finland’s largest periodical ‘Ilta-Sanomat’ declared ‘Shower’ and its respective music video among the biggest topics in Finland’s entertainment world in 2019. The single, which has been played on radio in over 40 different countries, also reached the No. 1 spot on Spotify’s official Viral 50 Finland chart, not to mention charting for 15 weeks straight after its release.
“When things fell apart in my life, I was led to find my true purpose. Writing music brought me joy and cured me from depression. Sometimes music really is the only medicine the heart and soul need. Music is my way to express myself and process my thoughts while being creative. I decided to take a leap of faith and follow my passion,” says Kuvaja.
Johanna Kuvaja is a trained music teacher from Tampere, Finland. She has a long history of collaborating with various renowned Finnish musicians, winning music writing competitions, touring the country as a duo, folk and pop orchestra, and performing on Finnish television as part of the ‘Finnish Star’ series. She eventually studied TV-performance and music at university, earning her degree and becoming a certified music teacher.
With a vocal range of five octaves, she is a trained professional, having learned piano from the age of 6. By 10, she had entered the conservatory, picked up violin and Finland’s national instrument, the kantele, and was part of an ensemble that won the Finnish Championship at the Folk Music Festival three times over. After TV performances and touring, she won her first songwriting competition, leading to more such events, including the Eurovision song contest.