Music in My Life: Meet Antti Rajala

How long have you worked at Musopia?

I started consulting Musopia as a freelancer back in 2012. In June 2021 I became a steady member of the team.

Why did you want to work for Musopia?

I was drawn to the company’s mission and values early on. I think Musopia is still on the very same journey as back then – providing people with fun and easy ways to play and engage with music.

Where have you worked before Musopia?

I started as a freelance musician, guitar teacher, arranger, and composer back in 2001. I could say, my guitars have seen an awful lot of string bending to this date.

What is your area of responsibility at Musopia?

I’m responsible for curating and producing all the music and playing instructions that get into our apps. I also contribute to the development of our new apps.

What do you like best about working at Musopia?

I like the company culture, open discussions, and the curious mindset we ‘‘Musopaths’ have.

What do you think are Musopia’s strengths?

It’s the people working here, all the Musopaths. It continues to amaze me, how people with various backgrounds come together to build these amazing apps. 

I think music can provide us with a better world if we measure it by people connecting and sharing common interests.

How have you been able to develop your skills at Musopia?

Working for Musopia has challenged me to develop a handful of new tech skills. I have, for example, picked up a couple of scripting languages for automating the more mundane bits of daily work.

What is your musical background?

My grandad donated his old organ when I was 5 years old. That was the instrument I first learned to play, with stickers attached to the keys, which helped me find the right notes. A few years later, I applied to the local music school and started to learn classical guitar. I was pretty serious about classical guitar studies for a long time, but then other musical passions came along as well. Somehow I always knew I wanted a career in music one way or the other –  even if it didn’t mean being an actual musician. So, I ended up doing my Master’s Degree in Musicology at the University of Helsinki. 

Do you play an instrument yourself?

I play various plucked string instruments: steel string, nylon string, and electric guitar, as well as ukulele and bass. I’m also quite comfortable playing the piano or any other keyboard instrument you throw at me. 

What kind of music do you listen to?

It depends on the mood and situation I guess. Lately, I’ve been listening to contemporary singer-songwriter stuff. Among the classical composers, Bach has been my go-to composer for a long time now. Also, all rock and pop music composed before the 2000’s holds a special place in my heart.

How do you feel music makes the world a better place?

That’s a big question. Music has the power to form so-called neo-tribes. People around the world might share a common interest in some artist or music genre and develop a deep common knowledge and cultural activity around it. We, humans, are social beings to the bone and want to belong to and be accepted in the community. Our physical and mental well-being depends on it. So, all things considered, I think music can provide us with a better world if we measure it by people connecting and sharing common interests.

What is your guilty pleasure song, the song that you secretly love?

Let’s say that I do raise the volume when I hear “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston on the radio, but I don’t feel any guilt when doing so.

What kind of coffee do you start your working day with?

My work day morning starts with a quick caffè latte at home, before I take my kids to daycare. 

Which famous musician would you like to jam with, if possible?

If I had to pick only one, then Stevie Wonder. He’s a legend and his versatility as a musician is just mind-blowing. You could jam with him for hours and hours, change instruments, and have a session of a lifetime.

Read the first part of this series and get to know Tuomas Valtonen.

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