After the 2016 Moniäänirock music festival, the musician Riku Turpeinen had an idea that those who are recovering from mental health issues should have a record label of their own. The Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations STEA liked the idea so much that the funding for the operations was made available at the end of the same year. In March 2017, Mental Beauty Records – a record label and culture workshop for people recovering from mental health issues and people with disabilities – was founded.
We received lots of demos, out of which the first singles were picked and published. Then we realised that we had created another “record company” type of solution, where the bosses decide what’s good enough to be published and what is not. We wanted to follow the values of Kukunori, which supports projects such as Roso, by operating openly and earnestly. We started from the top and began brainstorming.
Based on the demos, letters and messages sent to Mental Beauty Records, we noticed how much talent there was: one contributor didn’t actually play any instrument but had written tons of lyrics. Another was a whiz at composing but lacked a performer. We realised that we need to unite these people and let them work freely together. Then we’ll see what comes of it. As people lived scattered across Finland, we had to make everything work remotely.
In February 2018, three work groups consisting of musicians took on the challenge and began making music together without meeting up face to face. The experiment led Mental Beauty Records into publishing the rap and indie rock songs on an EP Oudot laulut vol 1 in May 2018. In addition to the songs, an online Kulttuuripaja Stage came out of the experiment, where the singers, musicians, composers, lyricists and song makers that had previously worked on their own could now meet up and create music together.
Stage was popular and worked well, so we started thinking that visual and verbal art would be a natural addition to the songs. Why not have podcasts, vlogs and all sorts of other creative content as well? Creative people could cooperate and meet other creative people. At the same time, everyone could learn new skills and teach their skills to others.
We didn’t want to limit our target group too much, so we broadened that too. Roso-tuotanto is meant for young adults who feel excluded or are at the risk of exclusion, as well as social and health professionals. Learning in the Roso community does use a top-to-bottom approach when it comes to learning, but learning is absorbed from all directions.
At the moment, our Roso team is building an interdisciplinary artist community and a publishing platform from the original concept of Mental Beauty Records, the Roso magazine. On the platform, any member of the community can publish their work, whether it be text, image, video, sound or something completely different – Roso is exactly what we make of it. We want you who are interested in Roso to take control of it and show us what Roso is for you. If you already have a clear vision, an unclear idea or a question, contact us! All ideas are good, and by working together, we can make them better.
Welcome to Roso. The road may be rocky, and the winds may change mid-journey, but who wants to stay even-keeled anyways!
In the spring 2020