Thursday, November 29, 2012


Photo by Claudia Christen

As women our main mission is connection and communication. Women should come together and be of service for one another. It's very important for us to stick together in the time of need. Let's inspire each other to be better women. Let's uplift each other and stop all the hatred. Let's teach, mentor, inspire and empower each other to do their best. 

In this new series I'll introduce you to some beautiful and inspiring women, beginning with NYC-based singer-songwriter Paula Jaakkola
What brought you to New York City?
I moved to New York City to study jazz vocals at New School University.
What are your favorite places here?
There are so many. I live in Brooklyn so here is a bunch from my home borough:
- Prospect Park – I love its little ponds and lakes. 
Park Slope Food Co-op – I do all my grocery shopping here as they have an amazing selection of organic and local vegetables and fruits and other produce with very reasonable prices
Park Slope's 5th Avenue – there are many nice restaurants and bars on this street. One of my favorite places is Bogota, a Latin American Bistro that has yummy hearty food
- Stonehome Wine Bar in Fort Greene – a relaxed wine bar that I end up going to with my friends more often than not.
- BAM a.k.a. Brooklyn Academy of Music – a wonderful cutting edge arts center for movies, live music and theater
- DUMBO - Dumbo's shore line is beautiful. In summer I often go and have picnic by the river and admire Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge
in Manhattan:
- Highline – I so much love the fact that this historical structure got preserved and now serves as a lovely, unusual park and promenade. I tend to go here in spring time to worship the sun and watch people
- Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall - Great live music venues in Lower East Side
- Ippudo – the city's best Ramen noodle soups and pork buns
- Argo Tea – any location works. This is my part-time office. Even that it is a somewhat generic chain tea house I like their tea selection and the wi-fi usually works pretty well.
What do you miss from Finland?
The usual suspects: rye bread, sauna, Fazer chocolate and salmiakki. And of course my family and my friends.
Where and when are you most creative?
The most important thing for me is that I have a quiet space externally and internally. I need "alone time". During these lonely silent moments I am most connected to my inner being and my creativity.
What inspires you?
Music inspires me, obviously. I like all kinds of music but I listen to different styles depending on my mood. Sometimes I am more receptive to classical string quartet music that makes me tear up and other times I need to feel energized and that's when pure pop (say something like Rihanna) is an inspiration. I would say indie rock/pop is a genre that inspire me most musically. But I am also inspired by good books, movies and visual arts in general. I saw Helene Schjerfbeck's exhibition in Helsinki this past summer. I have always admired her work and I was very uplifted after seeing this show. Nature inspires me too – I could stare at the water or the moon forever (the mystical side of me). I am also inspired by people here in NYC who are succeeding in following their life paths. This is a tough city and anyone who's made it here on a personal level is extremely inspiring to me.
How do you treat yourself? What is your secret indulgence?
An occasional glass of red wine does the trick for me. Or if feeling racy it could be a dirty vodka martini.
What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
I enjoy having dinner with friends in some quaint Village restaurant. I also like to cook, read, meditate, jog in the park and watch movies.
Where would you like to travel and why?
There are so many countries I would like to travel to. Where do I start? I was in Goa, India two years ago but I found it a bit touristy. I would love to see the "real" India at some point. I would also like to go to China, Japan, Korea, Cambodia etc. The Eastern cultures intrigue me and I feel like I haven't traveled enough outside western world. It is so eye-opening to get out of one's comfort zone. As to Europe, I am embarrassed to say that I have never been to Italy or Greece so one of these days I'd like to visit those places, too.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
As a content woman with a satisfying career and loved ones around me.
What was the most defining moment in your career to date?
Recently I have been fortunate to have several people in my life who want to collaborate and help me with my music career: two established Finnish music professionals, who I highly admire and who will co-produce my album with me. Also there is an entertainment management company here in NYC that currently represents me as a performing artist. These two factors have helped me to move forward with my career. I am very grateful.
What advice do you have for people wanting to pursue a career in singing?
This might sound a bit cheesy but it rings true to me. I would say that as long as you follow your heart you will be on the right track. This could apply to any profession or any life choice that one might want to pursue.
Photo by Sueyoung Yoo
What is your favorite quote?
I have many. Here's two:
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” -Rumi
"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
After years of performing in different music groups and venturing out on a solo career in recent years, Paula Jaakkola is preparing to record her first solo album that embraces the acoustic pop genre, soulful lyrics and her love of piano playing. To her aid in making this album Paula has a highly established and supportive production team in her native Finland where the album will be partly made. She has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. Anyone can participate and become a backer by making a pledge HERE before December 12th.
Paula's website:
Photo by Claudia Christen
If you would like to be featured as an "Inspirational Woman" contact me
"The journey is the reward."  Chinese Proverb


  1. Interesting! Thanks for this. Very good idea to write about inspirational women ;)

  2. Kiva ja mielenkiintoinen sarja! Oli kiva lukea Paulasta, odotan innolla jo seuraavaa osaa!

  3. Wow this was really nice! I'm looking forward to your next interview :) BTW Paula will be performing live at Arctic Circle's Christmas party on Dec 5th. It's 6-9pm at Estonia House- no cover charge!


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