Huh, that’s a long title, don’t really know where to start. This is going to be a long one. Above in the picture are all the Runaway Droid releases within a year. Let’s dig into some numbers at first because I can’t really believe how crazy the data is.
Exactly one year ago today the first Runaway Droid single release Activation Sequence went online on Spotify and other platforms. I really didn’t expect too much from it, but the title track got on Iron Skullet’s playlist (not there anymore) and from there to other playlists and now has 26.4k streams on Spotify alone. Spotify (for Artists) analytics shows 41.1k listeners for all my music during this one year period and 93k streams. That’s insane! Moneywise that actually translates to a few cups of coffee. Or in my case always covering the expense to distribute the next album.
I have not been on any actual official Spotify playlists (other than the automatic Daily Mix, Release Radar and briefly on Discover Weekly) so I’m more than super thankful to all independent playlist makers out there! I also have to thank all the fantastic people who bought my music on Bandcamp even I have set them as free downloads! You’re awesome! #synthfam
In the previous blog post about my third album Giant Space Lasers I already covered most of the highlights of my first year producing Synthwave, how and why I got into it and making three albums within a year. So let’s move on!
Helsinki Synth City Festival
Or actually let’s reverse back a few months, to this spring. Let’s say a half a year ago I had zero intentions to ever play Synthwave live. I’m a guitarist and have always performed as a part of a band. However my girlfriend kept suggesting playing live so during the spring and summer I started to think about it and how I would even do it if I would do it. Then I went to see Millennium Falck play live on July 6 at Satamax and shot some live photos and met with him and Levinsky. We talked about playing actual live shows vs. DJ sets, the 1980’s, stage performance and the growing scene in general and such.
So, on November 9th I’ll be performing my first official live show as Runaway Droid at Helsinki Synth City Festival, headlined by the Queen of Synthwave NINA from UK. I’ll join my fellow Finnish synth artists and producers Millennium Falck, Levinsky, Ace Buchannon, Kizunaut & VVOV on stage. I’m still finalizing my set and what I’ll play on which song and such, but I will play live guitar and some keytar (I had to learn to play one for this), switch between them and have all kinds of smoke and mirrors in mind. The event is organized by the Helsinki Synth City Collective. If you are in Helsinki area check out the event on Facebook, it’s going to be awesome af! Tickets are already on sale on Tiketti.fi. More info and surprises to come! While writing this I just realized some international readers may not know what or where is Helsinki, so it’s our capital in Finland in Northern Europe! Listen to a sampler on Spotify, what to expect when expecting a Synth Festival:
Casettes, three of them!
Within a week or so with the HSC crew we had put out our first compilation casette together and it’s now on sale on Bandcamp. How cool is that? I tell you these guys make things happen! The first casettes have already been shipped and half the stock is gone! If you want one of the first limited press head on to the Bandcamp site in warp speed (or light speed, whatever franchise you prefer)!
Right after the HSC compilation I was offered to have my third album as a casette aswell. Naturally I said yes. So you can get Giant Space Lasers on a casette from UCTT Store (Limited edition of 60 copies).
Another Compilation called “Awakening” by Finnish Synthwave artists via Retro Force Finland just came out on September 1. It features 19 tracks, one of which is “Cryosleep” from my third album. This is a different mix and master from the album version though. This compilation has been in the works since 2018 and has 21 artists on it. You can get a copy of the compilation on Bandcamp.
Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon
I got to visit the USA a second time this year already. My girlfriend had a remarkable makeup gig in Vegas so I tagged along. Check her makeup skills on Instagram!
On Friday August 16th We flew from Helsinki to Stockholm to Dublin, and from there we were supposed to fly directly to Los Angeles but the plane was full so instead we flew to Seattle and from there to LA. That’s 4 flights in 24 hours or so and then to rent a car, because it’s LA. But all the jetlag in the world didn’t stop us from hiking up to the Hollywood Sign the next morning and meeting friends in the evening.
On Sunday we drove to Las Vegas the long way through the Angeles National Forest steep mountain roads before entering the desert and Nevada state. The climate in Las Vegas is so hot and dry I can’t believe people actually live there. Even at night time it’s super hot, way hotter than any summer heat day in Finland ever.
We left Vegas behind on Thursday and drove to Arizona to the Grand Canyon. Totally worth the trip! Then driving through the night back to LA. If you’re from Europe I can tell you it’s not chill to drive the highways in the US at night. Actually it’s not chill during the day either. I have driven on both coasts and the multi-lane traffic is insane af compared to Northern Europe.
Back in LA we had a couple of days to do all the tourist stuff like the Walk of Fame and such. The last night we went to see a friend perform a Drag show on DTLA Proud Festival. I’ve never been on any Pride festivals before so that was something new! I tell you McDonatella can tap dance while in drag like hell!
I felt there wasn’t enough Synthwave present on the Walk of Fame so I left a Helsinki Synth City sticker there. They should add a star for Synthwave, right?
Obviously we had to visit the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Strip and take a photo with Lemmy’s statue.
More about the trip on my Instagram Stories.
New York, you’re next, I’ll be seeing you again later this year!