Rebecca Clamp : Key to Her City

Rebecca Clamp is an amazing musical anomaly. She is a true artist in every sense of the word. Rebecca has taken the English language, gently smashed it together with piano, and composed some stunningly profound music that encapsulates a moment in time.

I remember walking into Mbar in the city center and hearing her track “Kallio”. I knew the song – I knew the artist, and I was thrilled to see her music being played at hip spots around town. Admittedly, my daily routine is saturated with music. Music is an artistic medium that speaks to me on elevated levels…from established artists to newer artists – young and old alike – I am always looking for the next soul-piercing song. Rebecca’s music demands total attention. It evokes emotions you generally keep hidden in the vault. These easily avoidable yet sensitive areas of the heart are often impenetrable, but can and will be penetrated by Rebecca Clamp’s talent for songwriting. Composing by her side is Hans Wessels. Hans is a multi-faceted musician who sings backing vocals, plays all backing instruments on Rebecca’s recordings, and assists in song structure. Hans and Rebecca softly complement each other’s strengths, and have proven to be an unstoppable musical duo.

Rebecca and Hans
photo credit : Rebecca Clamp


While I urge you to listen to Rebecca’s entire discography, her release “Key to the City” nestled itself right in my {often impermeable} heart. This stylistically brilliant album is an ode to Helsinki city – an ode to Rebecca’s city – and it creates just the right level of anticipation for her next release!  

Highlighted tunes:

Kallio, Arkadia, Parasites, 100 Cold Kisses

With all that said, I was able to bug Rebecca for answers! Here is what she had to say about life as a musician in Helsinki:

ML: I have to know your musical influences, because it interests me greatly! :

RC: I like all kinds of music, but the music my mother played to me when I was growing up I think has been quite formative in my style. Some key artists back then were Billie Holliday, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, John Martyn and Tom Waits. In recent years, The Weakerthans and Christine Fellows have been important. Hans is also a big influence, he’s constantly playing me new music in a variety of styles. Since I started working with him my songs have become simpler and more spacious, to fit his compositions better.

ML: How do you like living in Herttoniemi? We love this neck of the woods! :

RC: My first spring and summer in Herttoniemi have been quite magical, I feel like I’ve found a place that embodies the reasons that I moved to Finland all those years ago. The philosophy behind the architecture in the old part where I live has so clearly been designed for people to have very good lives without having to have a lot of money, and I appreciate that. The communal sauna and laundry room in my building make me happy, my neighbours are friendly, and it’s wonderful to live on the edge of a nature reserve and still be so close to the city centre.

ML: What are the new musical projects you have been working on? Can you tell us a bit about Hans Wessels?

RC: Three years ago Hans and I started working together and we immediately started recording and doing gigs. Initially Hans just asked me if I needed ukulele on any songs, but now he plays ukulele, drums, guitar, synths, sings harmonies, and has made some beautiful arrangements, as well as writing some of the songs himself. We’ve almost finished our album now. Every song has gone through multiple incarnations as we developed our style, adding and taking away different instruments, but now I think we’ve found the final arrangements and hopefully the {new} album will be ready for release next spring.

Rebecca II
photo credit : Ingemar Raukola


ML: We talked a little bit about what inspires you to write music – things weighing heavily on the heart – what are your favorite things to write about?

RC: I like trying to capture moments as accurately as I can. They may be moments I have experienced, or imagined, but I try and capture them as visually as possible. Most of the songs are about people that have moved me in some way, and the moments we’ve shared.

ML: Please tell us you will perform live again soon!!! When and Where:

RC: We’ve got a gig coming up at Cafe Rio in Roihuvuori on 6th August!

Here at Helsinki:now we thank Rebecca for providing wonderful music that comes straight from her warm heart!


Rebecca Clamp Artist Page

Rebecca’s booking contact – Headfunk 

Roihuvuoren Rio Cafe {upcoming gig}

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