The Impersonators came into being after the demise of Finnish pop/rock band Carmen Gray in 2013 when Tommi Tikka, the other half of Carmen Gray’s songwriting team, joined forces with lyricist Antti Autio to write some new songs.
While Carmen Gray had recorded for major labels, such as Sony and Warner, the Impersonators’ story was going to be different from the get-go. With this particular group, Tikka wanted to have complete artistic control over the songs he recorded to avoid generic and sterile production typical for modern pop/rock.
For quite a while, Tikka auditioned musicians for the new group. However, after three failed attempts to put together a lineup that did justice to the new songs, he decided to make The Impersonators a group of two songwriters rather than a group of four or five musicians. Hence began the search for a great producer rather than the right musicians.
Finally, in early 2017, Tikka teamed up with Janne Saksa, a seasoned professional in making records, who became Tikka’s collaborator in the studio and took over the head producer’s reins from him. Together, they’ve arranged and produced the group’s previous singles “You Are The One,” “Burning Blue” and “Broken Snow.”
The best way to describe the sound of The Impersonators is to call it sixties-flavored “alternative pop/rock”. Their goal is to nurture and cultivate the creativity, spirit, and warmth that graced the pop records of yesteryears.
Where are you based?
We’re based out of Helsinki, Finland.
How long have you been making music?
The band has existed since 2013 but we’ve done this in earnest for about two years.
What genre would you consider your music to be?
Alternative sixties-flavored pop/rock.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I fell in love with music when I was five or six. My mom and dad had music on constantly, in the car and at home. I remember that I heard Paul Anka’s “Lonely Boy” and thought, “Wow!” The next thing I knew, my dad was introducing me to the Beach Boys, Elvis and of course, the Fab Four. I started writing songs when I was seven. Music became a way of life, a way to express what I was going through. It grew from there.
What are your biggest musical influences?
The Beatles, The Byrds, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones…to me, it’s all there. I have about two thousand CDs but these are the guys I keep returning to. In terms of producers, you can’t beat George Martin, Phil Spector, Jeff Lynne and Brian Wilson.
Are you signed to a label or are you an independent artist?
We’re signed to FBP Music Group.
What have been the biggest challenges in your music career?
Well, getting a project or band off the ground is always the hardest thing. How do you get your music heard? It takes a long time to get a record deal, a kick-ass publicist and really, to get to where you want to be artistically, professionally and sonically. It’s a long road.
How many songs or albums have you released to date?
Two EPs and four singles. The EPs were recorded at home. Once we signed with FBP, we also teamed up with producer Janne Saksa, which made all the difference in the world. I’d like to re-record and re-produce the two EPs to polish them up slightly. They feature some of our best tracks and my favorite Impersonators track, “Baby.”
Can you tell us a few things about your latest release?
“Effigy” was written and recorded with Halloween in mind but it’s also a song about “killing” your ego. We all have egos for the simple reason that we all need something to make us feel important. This sense of importance can come from religion, work, being attractive or having special talents – really, the list is endless. The problem with egos obviously is that they are fleeting and at the end of the day, rather meaningless. Whoever builds their confidence this way builds it on a very shaky ground. “Effigy” describes that moment in all our lives, when we realize that we‘ve grown tired of protecting our ego, that moment when we are done worrying about how we appear to others. Rather than wanting to be cool or important, we want to be happy and discover our true identity.
Any plans for new music or upcoming projects we should know about?
Yes, absolutely! We have a new single in the works. It’ll come out in late March.