Peppina, a sophisticated yet youthful singer-songwriter from Finland, once fervently avoided fame and publicity despite palpable creative talent. But that quickly changed with the encouragement of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s collaborative production company, hitRECord.
“I was never interested in drawing attention to myself as a performer,” she explains. “But this felt like a safe space for me to try different things, make music, and not worry about what people think. The community was very welcoming and supportive.”
After a well-deserved confidence boost through this essentially anonymous online platform, Peppina finally hit the Sundance Film Festival stage in 2014 and caught the eye of several prominent industry executives, including renowned film producer Steven Beer. He took her under his wing and after a few years of networking together, they met with Morey Levovitz, who started as her sponsor and eventually established Honey Rose Records with Peppina as its debut artist.
“This felt like a safe space for me to try different things.”
This unique opportunity allows Peppina’s rather modest nature to truly strive: “It’s all about trust––and it’s easier to build that with a smaller group,” she claims. “I’m pretty good at adjusting myself to the people I’m working with. As a high-functioning introvert, I can bring out different parts of myself to ‘fit’ the room, especially during writing and producing sessions.”
But she’s also learned how to grow a thicker skin: “Stress is a really big thing for me. [So] if there’s a disagreement, instead of getting panicked or defensive, get a little angry! You get power from anger. When stressed, it takes energy from you. I’ve learned that you don’t have to be disrespectful or rude, but it doesn’t hurt anyone if you get a bit upset, since that gives you energy.”
Ultimately, your art and work ethic might be “good,” but remaining personable and adaptable is key: “To move forward, it’s just as important for them to like you even over the music. A big, ‘take it or leave it’ personality is great and admirable, but not always productive. It’s a good skill to know when to calm down or amp it up.”
Peppina’s debut EP, Spark, will be released June 23.
Photo by: Shervin Lainez
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