About the blog:
This is a blog concentrating on (but not exclusively dedicated to) my music. It will be mostly in English with occasional posts in Finnish and Chinese. Probably.
Why’s it called “5 am again”? “5 am” is an incomplete song I wrote about five years ago (update: five years prior to opening this blog in 2014), at 5 am. I’m also often awake at 5 am, even if I didn’t always want to (insomnia, they call it. All artists have that sometimes… right?). Thus, “again”.
My name is Veli-Matti Ilmari Palomäki. If you’re reading this and you’re not a Finn, don’t worry, you don’t have to try to pronounce that.
People who know me usually call me Vellu. People who don’t know me that closely call me Veli-Matti. In Chinese, people call me 马维 (Mǎ Wéi). All of these three options are fine.
I’m a student at the University of Helsinki, studying East Asian studies (mainly Mandarin Chinese) and currently working on my master’s thesis. I’m also teaching elementary Chinese at a few schools, as well as working as the coordinator for a Chinese education project for upper secondary schools called Yanzu (http://www.yanzu.fi).
But this blog isn’t about any of that.
I started writing my own songs ten years ago (again, counting from the time I opened this blog), in 2004. By now, I have probably over a hundred songs (complete and incomplete) that exist either only in my head and my fingers or also as home recordings of varying quality on my computer(s). Most of my songs are in English, but I’ve also written a few in Finnish, and recently, in Mandarin Chinese.
I have a fair amount of performing experience, in Finland and in China. In Finland, I’ve performed at many China-related events, such as the Chinese New Year celebration at the Lasipalatsi Square in Helsinki (http://www.kiinalainenvuosi.fi). In China, I’ve performed several times as a solo artist in a few Beijing bars as well as at various events as a member of an international vocal ensemble of Peking University during my exchange year in 2011-2012. In the summer of 2015, I had my first ever “China tour”, playing altogether five small gigs in a few cities.
In the summer of 2013 as well as 2015 I represented Finland in the international Chinese Bridge competition (a Chinese proficiency competition and a popular television show).
That’s it for now, more later. Maybe.