Q/A w/ Janne Tavi (Badlands)

Helsinki-born Berlin-based DJ, producer and A&R Janne Tavi hosts “Badlands” on Bloop London Radio.

“It’s all about paying it forward. What good is music and the people behind it if it’s not being shared?” says Janne.

After being scouted by Ibadan Records while volunteering in a Helsinki nightclub, Janne moved to Berlin and found himself in a vibrant city, surrounded by a global artist roster and working alongside his childhood music idols – the legends of house and techno.

As his involvement with music deepened both in the studio and at Ibadan’s label HQ as an A&R, Janne’s musical aesthetic expanded beyond the limits of traditional genres. Rather than adhere to subjective categorizations that divide music, Janne always stays true to the vibe of any given room or occasion.

From his baptism by fire at his first ever club gig at Berghain/Panorama Bar to collaborations with legendary producers and now hosting his own radio show, Janne’s future bristles with opportunity.

Intro to Questions

Bloop: Janne Tavi, we love your new “Badlands” show here on Bloop. Aside from the music, our favorite section is of course the radio-friendly snippets of your guests selecting tracks or sharing their insights and opinions. Eric D. Clark’s quote comes to mind:  “As a DJ, ‘Don’t Comply’ ‘Don’t Copy’ if you’re in it for the long run.”

1. Bloop: What can a Bloop listener expect from your radio show?

Radio has always been a big part of my life. It’s a beautiful medium that connects people. I’m fascinated by shows that present music, tell stories and interact with listeners. Relocating back to Berlin from my hometown Helsinki via Rome and Nijmegen brought me in touch with so many great artists with incredible stories and music. People around me kept telling me that I have a good voice, which encouraged me to find an outlet that would allow me to connect listeners with the amazing people I’ve met over the years and tell stories through music.

2. Bloop: When is your next show, and what have you got lined up?

My show “Badlands” airs on the first Friday of each month, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. UK time. Each show has three musical features – People’s Choice, Purveyors of the Underground and Who’s Got Next? – highlighting music and people from around the world. There’s so much great music and so many artists that deserve to be heard! I have some great names lined up for the coming episodes. Can’t wait to share them with you!

For the next episode I will have:

Orion– Finnish techno connoisseur, YleX radio host and founder of Absence of Facts. A person who has inspired me as a radio host and to whom I’m indebted for supporting me in my early years.

Ukraine Special

Cee ElAssaad – One of the brightest stars in Afro-House, based in Casablanca, Morocco. Cee is a very chill guy but extremely focused. His production skills and his spirit are on another level and I knew I wanted him to remix my upcoming single “Badlands”. I’m really looking forward to this release!

3. Bloop: What are your musical plans for 2022?

So many exciting things are happening this year! I have three singles coming out this year on Ibadan Records with remixes from Cee ElAssaad, Deetron and Fred P. Additionally, I’m working on a special DJ edits compilation and a few remixes.

I’ll be taking “Badlands” on the road doing selected broadcasts from San Francisco, Rimini, Berlin and Helsinki featuring local talent and the cities’ legends. I’m also thinking about throwing another party at ADE like I did last year for this show. Lastly, I’m thrilled this year to have gigs in Berlin, Rome, Chile, Rimini, Helsinki and more to come. Stay tuned!

4. Bloop: Your hometown is Helsinki, Finland. Do you have any recommendations for anyone visiting?

That’s a tough question. Helsinki has something for everyone. There’s so much more to the city than modern architecture, neoclassical facades, museums and overly expensive alcohol. Here are some tips by category:

Hotel Torni: A beautiful hotel and sky bar in downtown Helsinki. Wonderful views over the city.

Miia Magia Design: Helsinki is home to many incredible designers. The Helsinki Design District is located in the Punavuori district. A special recommendation by my mom is DJ Miia Magia’s own store Miia Magia Design, where classical design meets modern functionality. By appointment only!   

OK SOUND HELSINKI: A new record store in the Sörnäinen district that popped up in 2021. Friendly staff and good curation. They also have occasional in-stores.

Helsinki nightlife: The Sörnäinen district is home to several bars and clubs. Merikerho is a boat with a nice bar and sun deck featuring music from local DJs. For a proper night out, check out the central club district in Sörnäinen. Clubs like Kaiku, Kuudes Linja and Post Bar are the place to be and experience local and international talent.

Ekberg Café: The oldest bakery in Finland, founded in 1852, has served presidents, actors, musicians and locals – everyone under the same roof. Try their breakfast.

5. Bloop: When visiting London, what’s your ideal day/night out? 

Haha, now we’re talking. I love exploring any city together with local friends, visiting record stores and getting to know the city through each friend’s personal recommendations.

In London, I’d start the day off with a hearty English breakfast and then head to a friend’s studio. After that, I would visit a local record store. I love how London’s underground scene lives alongside its private membership clubs. I’m always up for checking if some of my local friends are playing an early lounge set and lending my support. What happens next is up to the night…

6. Bloop: Can you name your top 5 tracks, new or old, with a little insight into each one?

Air – La femme d’argent

I love playing all-nighters and warm-up slots. This record sets the mood – elegant, soft and futuristic all at the same time. I love walking on the dance floor, taking my time to prepare for the long night ahead, greeting the bar staff and bopping my head to this record on the empty dance floor and taking it all in.  

Frankie Flowerz – Groove on 98

Life works in mysterious ways. I had this record in my bag for ages only to find out it was produced by my neighbor and now dear friend Frankie Flowerz. He is a super versatile DJ, studio engineer and teacher who’s been running Electric Mondays at KitKat Club in Berlin for years.

Sade – Surrender Your Love (Kenny Larkin Remix)

I hunted for this record religiously. One of the most sought after bootleg remixes of Shade by Kenny Larkin. Hardly any mint copies exist and they all go for above €200. The holy disco spirit works in mysterious ways and I found mine two blocks away at a local hi-fi store’s closing sale for €5. Talk about luck!

Fela Kuti, Roy Ayers – 2000 Blacks Got to Be Free

If there was ever a record that I wished came true, this would be it. This record is a piece of musical history when Africa met America in this dope Pan-African collaboration. Recorded in 1979, when Roy Ayers opened for Fela Kuti on their Nigerian tour. The two got together to explore and jam. The uplifting lyrics of this song preach togetherness, envisioning that by the year 2000, Black people around the world would be free of persecution and racism. Sadly, as we know, it was and is still not the case.

eLBee BaD, Ruby – What Do You Do?

I mentioned one of my favourite floor openers. This one’s a closer. The Prince of Dance himself. I met eLBee in Watergate’s DJ booth when I was playing and he was break dancing behind me. I was confused at first but he was really digging the music and was just vibin’. He stayed the whole night, we both danced, laughed and shared a few drinks. He was supposed to be the first featured guest on “Badlands” but sadly he passed way before his time. He will be dearly missed.

7. Bloop: Lastly, any words to our listeners?

Keep exploring and sharing music with your friends! Support all your friends who are making music. Go to their first gigs, dance and have fun. A friendly smile in the crowd goes a long way! To all “Badlands” listeners, you mean the world to me! I love reading your comments and messages and I look forward to getting to know you all better!

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, I want to send a special greeting to my grandma, Aila, who is 82 and tunes in from the Finnish countryside. She likes the video stream where she can see me. Also to my 86-year-old grandpa Aarre. I’m certain that grandma is translating this interview with her dictionary. I need to remind her about Google Translate.

Thank you Janne.  “Badlands” airs on the first Friday of each month, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. UK time. Follow Janne Tavi: