Next Tuesday is the day of my first worldwide release. And it's made me reflect on some things...
I have been in the music business since I was 13 years old, when I recorded my first album... In all actuality even longer than that. It is a little known fact, that when I was 11 or 12 I did some marketing for an American line of dolls in Finland, of which one was called "Singing Janita", after me. (weird!!) Thank God the dolls were so hideously ugly that not much ever came out of it. ;) I also sang some recordings for Disney around the same time.
In any case, I've recently started realizing what a weird existence mine has been. I honestly don't think that it is good for kids to have to be in the spotlight so early on in life. We have some very good examples here in the States about what often happens to child stars.... Kids are supposed to have their childhood, and teenagers their teen-age-hood. I know this from experience, because I didn't.
It is more of a rarity, when people come out of those situations (being stars very young) unscathed. I tell you, it fucks with your brain. Those years are so important for the formation of your personality, your ideas, your world-view, your relationship to everyone and everything around you. If you're already in the limelight then, the pressure is huge, to keep up appearances. You end up absorbing too much and discriminating too little. (How would you discriminate? With what experience?) Your personality is thus formed by the powers that be, and you become a puppet of sorts. This is what your child-star idols are: puppets.
And so, I can understand very well, the problems that arise from that scenario. I'm still dealing with them myself. It has taken me about 16 years to separate what--amongst all of the racket inside of me--is actually me, and what has been imposed on me.
Which brings me back to the album I'm about to release. This album is about me finding myself, finally. I have always put as much of myself as I possibly could have, into my recordings. But the reason for the existence of this album, is solely me. I can't truthfully say that for any of the other albums I've made. Which is why I am so proud of this one. I am finally independent and strong within myself, even if still a bit Haunted by my past.