Taking his name from the Finnish word for ‘villain’, Roisto hails from the deep, dark forests of northernmost Finland, where he inhabits a small studio, filled with old analog synths, tape machines, and 12” disco records. It is within the confines of this musical safe haven that he creates his own stylish brand of disco. His debut EP ‘Apart In Love’ featured three original disco tracks introducing the trademark Roisto sound with catchy sampled vocals, slick guitars, and super funky bass-lines.
Released by Finnish indie label Youth Control, the EP and the clever music video portraying the ‘Liking’ obsession of Millenials on social media, created a huge buzz. The EP and the video ended up being featured on The Wired, DJ Mag, Music TV, Thump and many others, while MySpace featured the newcomer as “Artist of the Day”. ‘Apart In Love’ was also supported by DJs such as Armand Van Helden, The Magician, Utah Saints, The Swiss, Louis La Roche, The Knocks and many more. After hitting the Hypem top 10 ’Apart In Love’ ended up on tens of playlists, gathering almost 2 million plays on Spotify within a year of its release.
The title track ‘Apart In Love’ was also included on Toolroom records hugely popular WMC Compilation, with the ‘Apart In Love – Disco Despair Remix’ being featured on the new Poolside Croatia 2016 collection After the success of ‘Apart In Love’ word of the ‘Disco Wizard’ as stated by Complex started to spread and Roisto found himself in great demand becoming hugely busy in the studio working on remixes for a plethora of artists, including Bob Sinclair, The Magician and Lotus, as well as for labels such as Kitsuné and Spinnin’. With the cold and dark Finnish winter looming ahead, the eccentric ‘Disco Wizard’ keeps his analog synths warm working on his long waited new material, which no doubt will raise the bar for millennium era disco music sometime in early 2017.
“The Finnish producer’s new EP ‘Apart In Love’ is neodisco in a class of its own”– MySpace
“The weeks best music videos! [Roisto - Apart In Love]” – The Wired
“Roisto’s work flows with grace and dance-inducing charm, adding the Finnish beatmaker to the list of potential breakouts for 2015” – Earmilk
“Charged, vast in scale, and laden with a beautiful groove.” – Magnetic Magazine
“His stylish brand of disco is almost villainous as it will steal your undivided attention” – Kick Kick Snare
“Finnish producer Roisto shares an absolutely divine original single “Apart In Love” that is summer pool party worthy.” – Discobelle
Hey Roisto, welcome to DjMag Malaysia! In which part of the world are you based at the moment?
Hello and thank you for the invitation. I'm currently producing new music at my studio. It's a small room built at the end of a very old defunct cattle shed, located in Ylivieska, north side of Finland where I live.
The hottest news right now is the release of your massive brand new single 'No regrets' on It's great! (Axtone) .
Can you tell us more about this song?
It's a combination of anthem style house and french touch electronic disco. Although I'm definitely not a french guy, I feel it's my journey to keep those vibes alive. Track relies heavily on synth works with addition of simple but catchy vocal line. It was produced both reminding what disco house was all about but also bringing something new to the table. A whole release combined with music video is follow up for 'Apart In Love' single and was made together with 'It's Great' imprint of Axtone and 'Youth Control' . Music video was shot in near town of Alpua and was directed by Kalle Kotila.
Where do you take your musical inspiration from?
I'm gear addicted type of a guy, so obscure techniques and forgotten 'abandon' machines are itself my inspiration. I usually start from sampling and like to keep thing outside computer as long as possible, also listening and adapting a lot from old funk, boogie and italo disco records of 70's and 80's. For a counter weight I go to walk into nature.
How do you would to describe your sound to someone who's never heard about you before?
Imagine world where french disco never went out of fashion but instead became mainstream
Name few things you likes to do in spare time while you are not making music!
Nowadays my life is super busy so there's not much spare time left, but that's not a problem I like it that way. I'm also family guy, most of my spare time goes to participate with children with their hobbies. One thing I would love to do much more is disc golfing, and whenever there is an opportunity between gigs I try to familiarise a new course.. disc golf suits perfectly for a dj, spinning disc comes naturally.
The new technologies are bringing many benefits to music producers. What's your favourite ones?
That's true it's very different now than 20 years ago when I started producing, some things are better but not absolutely everything. I love hugely increased computing power, algorithms which are modelling circuit behaviour, DSP power and hugely developed impulse responses. Instead I like to keep on old synths and samplers, they just have way much better feeling and tonality is always spot on for my taste.
What do you think about the digital music releases? You think there should be more control on labels and online music stores? should anyone be allowed to release music?
There is a certain problem that comes with hugely increased amount of releases of today, it's extremely time consuming and difficult to find quality specific style of music and keep track on what is happening. Earlier when tracks were released physically, you would rely in the fact that there was always a quality control going on, labels had to ensure tracks were worth releasing, which ultimately leads to better music. Everyone should be able to release and sell their music, but same time we have to keep sure tradition of quality won't die.
If you weren't a music producer, which one could be a possible career for you?
I went to art academy and by my education I'm contemporary digital artist. If I wasn't doing music I really have no idea!
What sparked your interest to make music in the first place and how long have you been producing for?
I was learning to play a guitar at age of 15 and was given private lessons by a teacher at his home, one day he said we could check his personal studio which was full of synths and computers. I quit the next day playing guitar. I have produced music since then, and this was mid 90's.
Which advice you can give to upcoming producers who are trying to get their music heard?
For any kind of producer I suggest to produce lot of different style of music with different type of setups, for electronic music producer nothing is more revealing than to create something like jazz, heavy metal, rock etc. album from starting point to finished product. If you try to get your own music heard you have to create a signature sound, generating one will take some time but being patient and consistent will be worth of doing it.
What can fans expect from you in the next future?
More original releases, and more remixes. I'm starting to gig globally, so keep your eyes on that.