Q&A with multi-talented Finnish actress, singer-songwriter

Reporter: Tomi Hinkkanen, Los Angeles
Photographs by Jonny Kahleyn Dieb

Irina Björklund by Jonny Kahleyn Dieb

You are known primarily as an actress – how did your musical journey get started?
IB: I wrote my first song at age 7, years before I started acting. As a child, I played piano, violin and guitar. For the past few years I’ve finally had time to concentrate more on my music again – I feel it goes hand in hand with acting. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to be one self on stage, especially since the texts are all my own.

If I am correct, “Chanson d’Automne” is your third album. Why a French language record and tell us how you learned to speak French?

IB: I grew up in France as a child, even graduated from high school there. To me, French is the most natural language to write in, and it allows one to speak about big feelings without making it sound cliché. And France being known for it’s “art de vivre”, it allows one to contemplate over the philosophy of life – about what things in life really are important, after all. It’s also such a universally accepted language, musically speaking. After gigs people in the audience would often ask to buy “the album with most French songs”. I simply felt it was time to write and record an all French album. My previous 2 albums were in 5 different languages.