R I I K K A K E R Ä N E N | B I O |
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Riikka Keränen is a Finnish vocalist, songwriter and bass player based in Helsinki.
Riikka leads her own quartet by the name of Riikka Keränen Group and writes music drawing influences from jazz, pop and soul.
On top of her praxis in vocal jazz, she is acquainted with various musical occasions, be it with the sisterhood of vocalists in an alternative vocal ensemble Signe, singing the backing vocals and covering the lower frequencies on an electric bass with the singer-songwriter Ylva Haru or performing modern, original compositions inspired by jazz with the group called Sinergie.
Riikka's passion for music has lead her to study at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama in London and the Academy of Music in Malmö. She is currently finishing her master studies at the renowned Sibelius Academy Jazz Department in Helsinki, where she also got her Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance in 2016.
Riikka Keränen was born in Oulu, a city in the northern Finland, in 1988. From early on she took onto singing and started accordion lessons at the age of 7. During her pre-teens Riikka sang in a choir, began to play the electric bass in a garage band and took her first steps as a songwriter. Around her 14th birthday she heard jazz for the first time, but it wasn't until five years later for jazz to become her guiding star.
While studying in Madetoja Music High School, Riikka and six other aspiring vocalists founded an a cappella vocal group by the name of Loudspeakers. Given the opportunity, the group performed in many occasions in their home city and took part in an international Tampere Vocal Music Festival.
After graduating from high school, Riikka continued pop and jazz voice studies at the Conservatory of Oulu, beginning life changing jazz improvisation lessons with a composer-pianist Vesa Valkama. As a 20-year-old ambitious jazz vocalist Riikka participated in the Bothnian Jazz Competition For Young Soloists gaining the second prize of the competition.
Subsequently her passion for jazz vocals has lead her to study in London and Malmö. Riikka is currently finishing her master studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Professor Jukkis Uotila and Doctor Aija Puurtinen as her teachers. Over the years Riikka has had the privilege to study jazz voice with Sinne Eeg, Lee Gibson, Brigitte Beraha, Charlie Wood, Almaz Yebio and Mirja Mäkelä.
Riikka has been teaching pop and jazz voice, vocal groups and jazz bands privately and in Finnish music schools such as the Sibelius Academy Open University, Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory, Turku Conservatory and Ebeli.