February 17, 2020

February Single Release, Live Footage and Music Video News

It's time for the monthly single release! This February I have this game music / Dark Synth influenced slow ambient~ish but sort of brutal instrumental track "Last Defence". Imagine a war of robots in a distant world somewhere in time and space where the gigantic enemy machines are rumbling over the last defences of the resistance.

Helsinki Synth City - Winter Warmer

On February 1st I performed my second live of the year at Helsinki Synth City - Winter Warmer event at Tiivistämö in Helsinki with Millennium Falck, Levinsky & Glowline. I think this was my best gig I've ever done in any band or project. Even though I had vocoder issues but the audience was so awesome! You guys made me super happy! I had my friends Jere & Juho filming the beatifully lit (by Glowline) event, some cool slow motion footage below. The sweet keytar photo on the top of the page is by Matias Räisänen.

Music Video

I got to close the event with my set and the last song I performed with Millennium Falck was a cover of Bon Jovi's It's My Life. It was a crazy idea I thought would be cool 2 weeks before the event. "Hey if I'll make this cover will you sing?" "Sure!" "Also let's make a music video of it!" "Hell yeah!". So next month on March 9 the single will be on Spotify and the music video (probably earlier, in a week or so) on my YouTube channel. This is the first cover I've done in years and the first on this project. Licensing a cover song was surprisingly easy by Harry Fox Agency through DistroKid. So no worries, it's done by the book.


What's Next?

I'm still working on my 4th album I intended to release in March. The project has grown a bit from what I first thought it would be, so I may have to push the release a month or two. Meanwhile that Bon Jovi cover is hitting Spotify and in any case I'm releasing every month, so hit the Follow button Spotify to get the latest releases on your Release Radar!

I'm looking into cool live performance opportunities and may have some exciting news for the summer! If you'd like to book Runaway Droid email me!

January 16, 2020

On the Line feat. Mark Cooper & Live Shows

First transmission of the decade. Hello 2020!

My first release of the year is also my first collaboration track. I made this combination of Synthwave and 80's pop rock and felt it definitely needed some vocals. I sent it to Detroit based Nerdcore rapper Mark Cooper and man, Mark delivered! "On the line" feat. Mark Cooper is out now! Stream on Spotify, download on Bandcamp. Find it on your favorite platform! Be sure to follow Mark on Spotify!

This track will be on my 4th album with other collaboration tracks featuring various vocalists.

I'm releasing new music every month so hit the follow button on the Runaway Droid Spotify profile to get monthly fresh retro on your Release Radar! The next track out in February will be "Last Defence", a game soundtrack type dark instrumental piece. Pre-Save to Spotify here.

Live Shows


I already had my first live of the year on January 3rd at Helsinki Synth City - Back to Fiesta with Arcdiv, Desert Monolith, Kizunaut & Glowline. Our Helsinki Synth City brother Ace Buchannon had to cancel his show so I did my best to fill in. I had 3 days to rehearse my set, which I had completely forgotten to keep up as I've been making new music. My synth playing in the dark with sunglasses on was all over the place, but I got to play On the Line and South Beach Chase Sequence live for the first time.

Helsinki Synth City - Winter Warmer, February 1st at Tiivistämö, Helsinki

Helsinki Synth City - Winter Warmer

The next live show is just around the corner! On Saturday February 1st I'll join on stage with my friends Millennium Falck, Levinsky & Glowline to perform at Helsinki Synth City - Winter Warmer held at Tiivistämö in Suvilahti, Helsinki. Get tickets: Tiketti.fi

I try to change my set a bit for every live so maybe some unreleased material will be heard or another never played live before track will make it in the set.

I think I'll bring back the silver space suit for this one.

Here's the event playlist for a little sampler of what's to come:

November 14, 2019

Helsinki Synth Festival Live & New Releases

Last Saturday November 9. I played my first official live show as Runaway Droid at Helsinki Synth City Festival. What an awesome experience! Way more people showed up than anyone expected. Ääniwalli was packed with 600-700 people during the night.

We had an awesome festival line-up: Nina, Robert Parker, Ace Buchannon, Millennium Falck, Levinsky, Kizunaut, VVOV, Glowline, Runaway Droid.

A heartfelt Thank You to everyone who came to see us!

We went all in with the marketing and did pretty much everything within the Helsinki Synth City collective to make the festival possible without a crazy budget. We had AR posters (thanks to AR partner and sponsor Arilyn!), a trailer movie for the festival shot and edited by Glowline (Detailed credits in the video above). Glowline also did the lights on Kallio Stage so without him my live would have looked pretty dark! Thanks to Petri Pekkarinen for being our "The Driver" not only in the film but also during the festival! We also had a movie screening of "Tonight She Comes" by Matt Stuertz with Night Visions Festival. Hotel Rivoli Jardin accomodated our special headliners and let us shoot a part of our movie trailer in their finest room. I did my part by designing the logo and some posters and such while Millennium Falck and Levinsky did all the heavy lifting by organizing the whole event and contracts and all event producing matters. Without the hard work of these guys within only 3 months from zero to a full blown festival it would have never happened.


One of the coolest things after the festival was this article by YLE (The Finnish equivalent of BBC). Thanks Jussi Mankkinen from YLE who came to the festival and interviewed and took photos and video; Synthwave in Finland finally got some mainstream attention on national media!

Photo: Kormugraphy
My huge merch arsenal of 9 casettes sold out! Photo: Kormugraphy

Getting ready

I started to work on my live set last summer and tried to make it as entertaining as possible by playing both guitar and keyboard (& keytar) and "singing" with vocoder on Memory Core. Back when I started making Synthwave I didn't plan to do live performances so some tracks were quite tricky as I had not designed the parts for live playing at all. Also I'm not a keyboardist so I took up keytar in a few months for this. I do compose with a midi keyboard but I'm really not a player, I'll need more practice with that in the future. I have played guitar for 20 years but that wasn't too much help as the concept is quite different and my choice of all black keys wasn't the smartest one in a dark live room with sunglasses on... Luckily two weeks before the event I had a gig at a private space themed party to see how my set works.

New Releases

I have 3 new singles out since the last blog. Check out Memory Core for vocoder vocals, Rocket Machine for guitar solos and Reconfiguration (Cyberpunk Mix) to tune into Blade Runner month which is now! It's November 2019 like in the movie!

What's next?

For the past 9 years I've been playing guitar in a rock band called KARMIA which I formed with the vocalist Sharan. Recently we decided to put the band to rest for several reasons. While it's sad and quite emotional this allows me more time for my passion to Synthwave.

Right now I'm mastering my next single release for December. I'm trying to release a single per month while working on the 4th Runaway Droid album. Follow on Spotify to get them as they release! These singles will lead to an album release hopefully some time in the first quarter of 2020.

Now that I've performed my first live Synthwave sets I'm ready to do more and will be looking for cool opportunities in the future. If you want to book me check the contact info at the bottom of the page!


September 2, 2019

1 Year in Synthwave, USA, Live Show and Casettes

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)!

Helsinki Synth City Compilation Vol. 1
Helsinki Synth City Compilation Vol. 1
Look at that magnificent beast!

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).

Runaway Droid - Giant Space Lasers, Limited Casette Edition

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.

I met up with an awesome local Las Vegas Synthwave artist Colin Cayvz, he just released a new single called "Run Away With Me". Tune in on Spotify!


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!

Hollywood Walk of Fame

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.

She is. Also notice the shirt, goddesses wear RD!
The Hollywood Sign behind us

More about the trip on my Instagram Stories.

New York, you're next, I'll be seeing you again later this year!

August 7, 2019

Giant Space Lasers

Alright, Synthfam assemble! The third Runaway Droid album GIANT SPACE LASERS is here. This release completes my one year album trilogy. Available for streaming on Spotify or any major service of your choice and downloads at Bandcamp are totally free (name your price).

Check out this awesome review of Giant Space Lasers on Nightride.fm by Julian Green. For Finnish readers there's a review on Imperiumi by Jesse Ryhänen.

Voyage to Synth City

As I started my journey to produce Synthwave one year ago in the summer of 2018 while my rock band was doing nothing little did I know I would release 3 independent albums within a year. I had been listening to Synthwave on and off from around 2012 or 2011. I have always loved the hits of 1980's and Retro Electro, Daft Punk and so on. I remember Black Waves by Lost Years being on repeat a lot and when Kung Fury came out featuring David Hasselhoff in the music video (Mitch Murder!) I was ecstatic. So last summer while I was boiling alive in my apartment in Helsinki during a short (it's Finland after all) heatwave I thought why not to try my hand in this genre for fun. Not saying I took it as s joke or lightly, after all I've been composing songs seriously for 13 years or something and playing guitar at least since 1999. Yes, I'm old.

As my first attempt I wrote a darker synth piece Degrees of Freedom in a day or two, experimenting with suitable soundscapes and just forgot about it. I wrote Activation Sequence and Accelerator single the next week or so and threw them on Spotify. I think I found Iron Skullet on Google or something and just sent the single his way and thought nothing about it. About a month later I noticed Activation Sequence getting a ton of plays and found out it was on Iron Skullet's Spotify playlist! Seems it's not anymore but the dude deserves a plug. This gave me motivation to actually start learning more about producing and to start writing an album of this material. To this day I still grin a bit inside if I have to call myself a producer since I've always been a guitarist and songwriter or just artist. I'm really not good at studio engineering or mixing so I have learned a lot this past year.

Photo by Kormugraphy | MUA Eve X


The most cool thing during this whole experience has been how awesome the people of Synthwave community are. The whole scene is so different from what I'm used to with making rock music. There are people curating their own playlists and promoting artists genuinely just because they love the music. Sure every scene has its' problems and bad apples and what not, but my experience has been absolutely stellar. I've made new friends and discovered amazing talents.

The most recent cool thing is that Activation Sequence was played on Beyond Synth podcast e203!

If I understood correctly it was a Beyond Synth Patreon supporter selection so thanks a thousand to who ever you are? Matthew...? (Edit: It was Andy Last himself!)

Helsinki Synth City and Future

I'm a maniac so I have already made a few tracks for the fourth album or future singles. So far all my tracks have been instrumental but on the next one I will introduce a bit of vocals/vocoder! Writing lyrics has always been agonizing but it's coming together.

Giant Space Lasers will also be available as a super limited 60 copies CASETTE some time in September at Upper Class Twat Tapes Store! (Another edit: One day after posting this, it's now up there, go get it!)

I have joined forces with my awesome fellow Finnish producers under the Helsinki Synth City Collective. I'm working on my live set and plan to participate in a few shows soon enough. The live will have me playing a keytar, guitar and maybe some vocoder vocals. I'll make it worth your while!

If you're a real retrohead and love casettes go grab Helsinki Synth City Compilation Vol. 1 casette on Bandcamp! Shipping out on or around August 28, 2019.

Helsinki Synth City - Compilation Vol. 1

The tape features 14 tracks from Ace Buchannon, Millennium Falck, Driver 86, Runaway Droid, Kizunaut, Levinsky & VVOV.

For live action follow Helsinki Synth City and Runaway Droid on Facebook.

Catch me on Instagram for swifter updates. I'll be in some cool places in a few weeks and will post Instagram stories about neon sunsets, palm trees, casinos and beaches...

July 8, 2019

Training Program

Another Monday another single release. If you still need some last minute motivation to get in beach shape put on my Training Program! This one is more 80's and Outrun side of Synthwave so any retro lover out there should check it out. Download for free on Bandcamp (happy Bandcampers please use a fan account and leave a note!) or stream on services like Spotify. If you like it please add it to your Spotify playlists!

There's one more single release on Monday two weeks from now with "Apocalypse Rewired", and then a few weeks or so before the third Runaway Droid album!

Live Action

Last summer when I started this one man project I had no inclinations to do anything live with Synthwave, especially since guitar is my native instrument. But as it happens one year later and three albums worth of material I ordered a Keytar a few days ago. So let's see if I can shred that thing in a decent manner to put on a live set. I'm not a DJ so I'd want my live to be entertaining and actually play some synths and maybe a guitar too. We'll see, I'll probably die trying.

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