Ari Koivunen

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Ari Koivunen
Ari Koivunen at Klubi 2009.jpg
Ari Koivunen 2009
Background information
Birth name Ari Mikael Koivunen
Born (1984-06-07) June 7, 1984 (age 29)
Origin Kouvola, Finland
Genres Hard rock
Heavy metal
Power metal
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels

Sony BMG (Ari Koivunen)

Imperial Cassette (Amoral)
Associated acts Amoral
Website http://amoralweb.com http://www.myspace.com/arikoivunen

Ari Koivunen (born June 7, 1984, Kouvola) is a Finnish heavy metal singer who rose to fame as the winner of the Finnish singing competition Idols in 2007. Koivunen is vocalist of the Finnish metal band Amoral.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Ari Koivunen was born in Kouvola, Finland on June 7, 1984, and throughout his life, he had a passion for music. He has a background of singing and playing drums in bands for several years. In 2005, he won the Finnish Karaoke Championships [1] and was placed third in the Karaoke World Championships the same year. Ari is the winner of the Finnish "Idols" – competition, which was his absolute breakthrough in 2007. Both in Finland and abroad he gained a lot of attention because he mainly chose to perform metal and rock songs in this competition. Koivunen tells of his earlier career as follows.[2]

Early career[edit]

Ari Koivunen's debut album, Fuel for the Fire, was officially released on the 30th of May 2007, although the album had already been released for download sale on the 21st of May 2007. The songs for the album were made by well known Finnish metal musicians and song writers such as Janne Joutsenniemi (SubUrban Tribe, Stone), Jarkko Ahola (Teräsbetoni), Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot), Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica), among others. Recording musicians were Tuomas Wäinölä (Kotipelto, Nylon Beat), Mikko Kosonen (Maija Vilkkumaa), Nino Laurenne (Thunderstone), Mirka Rantanen (Thunderstone), Mikko Kaakuriniemi (Kotipelto), Pasi Heikkilä (45 Degree Woman) and Janne Wirman (Children Of Bodom). The first single from that album, Hear My Call, was released on May 11, 2007.

During the first week of sales Fuel For The Fire jumped immediately to the top of the official album chart, and by June 7, 2007 it had already achieved platinum status with over 40,000 albums sold. Koivunen's album is one of the fastest selling records in Finnish music history, with over 10,000 copies sold in the first week of sales. Fuel For The Fire remained the number one album in Finland for twelve weeks after its release.[3] The album reached double-platinum status (60,000 units) in October 2007.[4] “Fuel For The Fire" was released in Japan in October 2007.

"Ari Koivunen" live band was put together in spring 2007 mainly from people Ari had known for a longer time. Their first concert together took place in May 2007. In the first year the group played over 100 gigs.

On June 11, 2008, Ari Koivunen (the band) published the second album Becoming. The album was once again produced by Nino Laurenne and Pasi Heikkilä. The major part of the songs were made for this album by Ari Koivunen band. Luca Gargano (guitar) and Mauro Gargano (drums) were part of the band from the beginning until 2008 and also participated the recording session of the "Becoming"-album. "Becoming" debuted on No 1 on the Official Finnish album chart and received gold status (over 15 000 copies sold) after only one week's sales.[5] "Becoming" was released in Japan on June 25 and in Germany on October 10, 2008. Ari Koivunen played about 160 gigs in Finland during the years 2007-2008 and in Tokyo, Japan 2 gigs at the end of May 2008.

Amoral[edit]

Ari Koivunen at Finlandia-klubi 2010 .jpg

On November 25, 2008, technical death metal band Amoral announced Ari as their lead vocalist. He made his vocal debut with Amoral in the studio album Show Your Colors May 6, 2009. The album is the fourth official release in Amoral's history but the first one with Ari Koivunen as their vocalist. "Show Your Colors" reached Finland's chart-position No 19 in the first week. The album was released in the UK May 11, in Germany May 22, in The US. and Canada June 9 and in Japan July 22, 2009. There are two singles released of the album: Year Of The Suckerpunch and Gave Up Easy.

Amoral's second album Beneath with Ari was released 26 October 2011. The Japan edition was out October 19, 2011. The first single was "Same Difference" and the second single, and the first video, was "Silhouette". Silhouette has both electric and acoustic versions, from which the acoustic one is the original. The second video was made from the punk rock oriented track ”Wrapped In Barbwire”, which pays obeisance to Guns N' Roses video "Garden of Eden". February 14, 2012 Beneath was released in the US via The End Records and in Mexico it was published February 15. In Russia it was out March 27, 2012 via Fono Records. The album was ranked by public voting as the fourth best domestic metal album at the Finnish Metal Awards 2011.[6] and Ari as the 4th best vocalist.

Amoral´s 6th album, 3rd with Ari, Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows was released in Finland on February 14, 2014 and as digital all over the world. In Europe the album was released on March. The album was produced by Ben Varon. Marco Hietala produced the vocals of Ari. The music is more progressive than ever on Amoral´s albums and it has more metallic touch as their 2 previous albums.[7][8] The album has received predominantly very positive reviews from metal magazines and webzines around Finland, Europe and USA. The band has been praised for their instrumental and vocal skills and liberated versatile music.[9] "Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows" reached Finland's chart-position No 18 in the first week and stayd on charts 2 weeks. The first video Blueprints [10] was published on March 2014.

Ari Koivunen has toured with Amoral in Finland and in Europe from 2009 on. Ari bebyted with Amoral in USA at SXSW event and in China in spring 2012. The band performed also in Japan at the same tour. Ari was touring 2nd time in Europe with Amoral in autumn 2012, when Amoral supported Ensiferum at the "Bearers of the Swords -2012" tour.[11] The band toured in Asia in April–May 2013 playing at Pulp Summer Slam festival in The Philippines and at Peking and Shanghai Midi Festivals in China. The festival in Peking was the biggest one in the band´s history with an audience of 10 000 people.

Other projects[edit]

Beside Amoral, Ari plays also solo and duo shows among others with his previous band mates, Erkka Korhonen and Luca Gargano.

Ari has performed at the Raskasta Joulua (Heavy Christmas) - tour in Finland each year since 2007 with a group of well known Finnish metal vocalists.[12] In 2013 the tour was played just in big concert halls, when they earlier performed also in clubs. Heavy Christmas released an album "Raskasta Joulua" in 2013. The album has sold Platinum (over 20 000 pcs) in Finland .[13] Ari sings in the album a traditional Finnish Christmas song "Arkihuolesi kaikki heitä" and with the other vocalists the single "Tulkoon Joulu".

Bands[edit]

Ari Koivunen (2007-)

  • Ari Koivunen – vocals
  • Erkka Korhonen – guitar, backing vocals
  • Vili Robert Ollila – keyboards
  • Erkki Silvennoinen – bass, backing vocals

The former members:

  • Luca Gargano – guitar, backing vocals (2007–2008)
  • Mauro Gargano – drums (2007–2008)

Amoral (2000-)

  • Ari Koivunen – vocals (2008-)
  • Ben Varon – guitar and song writing
  • Masi Hukari – guitar
  • Pekka Johansson – bass
  • Juhana Karlsson – drums

Discography[edit]

Ari Koivunen discography
Releases
Studio albums 5
Singles 11
Music videos 9
B-sides 2
Tours 11

The following is a complete discography of every album and single released by Finnish rock and metal music artist Ari Koivunen.

Albums[edit]

Year Information Finland Sales and Certifications
2007 Fuel for the Fire
1
Finnish sales: 69,149 [14]

IFPI: 2xPlatinum [15]

2008 Becoming
1
Finnish sales: 17,344 [16]

IFPI: Gold

2009 Show Your Colors by Amoral
19 [17]
Finnish sales:
2011 Beneath by Amoral
30 [17]
Finnish sales:
2014 Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows by Amoral
18 [17]
Finnish sales:

Singles[edit]

  • Song for the Idols winner / On The Top Of The World (April 6, 2007)
  • Fuel For The Fire / Hear My Call (May 28, 2007)
  • Fuel For The Fire / Fuel For The Fire (August 27, 2007)
  • Fuel For The Fire / Angels Are Calling (2007)
  • Becoming / Give Me A Reason (May 5, 2008)
  • Becoming / Tears Keep Falling (2008)
  • Show Your Colors / Year Of The Suckerpunch (2009)
  • Show Your Colors / Gave Up Easy (2009)
  • Beneath / Same Difference (2011)
  • Beneath / Silhouette (2011)
  • Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows / If Not Here, Where? (2013)
  • Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows / No Familiar Faces (2014)

Idols Story[edit]

Idols 2007[edit]

In late 2006, Koivunen auditioned for the third season of the Finnish singing competition Idols, which had had a prolonged break since 2005's second series. Prior to auditioning, he had been working as a bartender. His strong and very distinctive voice impressed the panel of judges (Asko Kallonen, Nina Tapio and Jone Nikula) and he was passed through to the next round of the competition. He was then granted a place in the semi-finals, which would allow the public to decide which contestants would make it into the live final rounds. In his semi-final round, Koivunen received a massive public vote of 86%, thereby allowing him to breeze through to the live finals.

Idols Performances[edit]

  • Audition: "FullMoon" by Sonata Arctica
  • Semi-Finals: "Piano Man" by Billy Joel
  • Top 7 Birth Year: "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple
  • Top 6 Dedications: "The Evil That Men Do" by Iron Maiden
  • Top 5 Kings and Queens: "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake
  • Top 4 My Idols: "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin
  • Top 4 My Idols: "Hunting High and Low" by Stratovarius
  • Top 3 Finnish Hits: "You Break My Heart" by Broadcast
  • Top 3 Finnish Hits: "Sielut Iskee Tulta" by Kilpi
  • Top 2 Grand Final: "FullMoon" by Sonata Arctica
  • Top 2 Grand Final: "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
  • Top 2 Grand Final: "Still Loving You" by Scorpions
  • Top 2 Grand Final: "On Top Of The World" by Ari Koivunen - Declared 3rd Finnish Idol

A resident of Lahti, Koivunen breezed into the finals after winning 86% of the public vote for his rendition of Billy Joel's Piano Man. On the first of March, 2007, Koivunen reserved himself a place in the second round of competition with his version of Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers.

Koivunen moved into the third round of competition on March 8 with his performance of the Iron Maiden classic The Evil That Men Do.

On the 15th of March, Koivunen made it into the fourth round of competition, singing the Whitesnake hit, Here I Go Again. Despite some criticism from the judges for singing only heavy metal songs in the finals, Koivunen was unperturbed. "I don't see any reason to consider what people might like, since it seems they like the same thing I do," said Koivunen. At the end of the evening, Koivunen, the six other Idols finalists, and three of the semifinalists were presented with gold records for their album Idols 2007, which sold over 15,000 copies in the two days after its release.

The fourth Idols final was held on March 22, and Koivunen chose to sing, in keeping with the week's theme, two songs by his own idols, the Led Zeppelin hit Rock and Roll and Hunting High and Low by the Finnish metal band Stratovarius. The judges, however, were not pleased with Koivunen's continuance of the heavy metal line, and gave him an unprecedented four negative reviews. The voting public was of a different opinion, as Koivunen again made it into the next round without being in danger of elimination.

The fifth Idols final was held on March 29, and Koivunen won over the judges completely with his version of the Broadcast ballad You Break My Heart. For his second song, Koivunen sang the Finnish hit Sielut iskee tulta by the heavy metal band Kilpi. With these performances, Koivunen made it to the Idols final which was held on April 6, 2007 in the Helsinki Ice Hall, where he defeated his fellow competitor Anna Abreu by gaining 57% of the public vote. Koivunen sang the Sonata Arctica song FullMoon (which he also sang in the auditions), the Soundgarden hit Black Hole Sun (chosen by the judges), the Scorpions ballad Still Loving You and the song On the Top of the World which was composed for the Idols winner.

As his reward for winning Idols 2007, Koivunen received a recording contract with Sony BMG, and an advance payment of 30,000 Euros. His first solo single was On Top Of the World, the song composed for the Idols winner. He had already sung with the other Idols finalists on the single "Pop-musiikkia"

References[edit]

External links[edit]