Johannes Naukkarinen is a former student of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. He studied in the Music Production study path under Media and Arts degree. Nowadays Naukkarinen works as a freelance producer providing the whole package of creating music. He does music for different artists and works in collaboration with record companies. He also works under his own stage name KIRO as a touring DJ playing mostly club and house music. One of his achievements is the song Profeetat – Eyo that is the best-known song from his production. He has also worked with Nelli Matula and several other artists.

Naukkarinen’s family has always been musical, his father playing in a band and mother singing the choir, and he got his first guitar when he was 8 years old. When Naukkarinen turned 12, he bought his first own guitar and has played in a few bands during his teenage years. After turning 18 and being able to go out to the clubs and listen to the music played there Naukkarinen realized that he wanted to start producing music himself. He just wanted to see where this path would take him and started to work as a producer challenging himself.

“The balance between your contacts and your skills and what you can offer is crucial.”

For Naukkarinen music is everything, it is his life. If he is not working on a project from a client, he does his own music. Sometimes he can just sit at home and create music, even write three or four new songs within a week. Then there are times that he does not do anything music related for a week. One of the best things about working as a freelancer is the freedom, you work when you want to. Naukkarinen might have gigs from two to ten in a month and at least one client.

“The fact is that the jump from a student into a professional starts from yourself.”

Most of his clients come through his connection to Rähinä Records. Naukkarinen got his chance when they needed a producer and he had the confidence to say that he could do it. For the past two years, he has gotten good contacts and widened his client base. The circles are quite small in Finland so knowing a couple of the main people helps in the long run to get to know others as well. It starts to work out once you get to show what you are made of and have the right people notice it.

For Naukkarinen TAMK has offered a good and supportive community to help him in his career. According to him, the professional and qualified teachers together with the likeminded fellow students taught him a lot. The feedback you get from people that surround you is important when you are still honing your skills. With the teachers experience and knowledge and new ideas from other students you already have a good environment to grow as a professional. There are also many good opportunities offered by the university for the students to get out there and experience different things and collaborate with new people. In addition, the mandatory practical training is a good chance to gain contacts. By showing interest and being driven in the work that you are doing you can reach the next step in your career.

“I ended up coming to TAMK because it was the only place that offered also a creative side to music production, not just the technical side.”