Do you remember those joyful childhood days, where you felt safe and free? Where no problem was too big and no hurdle too large. Those childhood days where you could be whatever you wanted to be and dream as big as you possibly could. Some kids dreamt of becoming an astronaut or and explorer. Others dreamt of becoming a president or a doctor. For Oskari his dream was all to clear ... he dreamt of becoming a monkey man.
As we to chat with Oskari Nyyssola at Supa Model Management, we find out more about the mind behind the dancer and model, uncovering how he already have been able to achieve some of his dreams, as well as other tales along the way. From dancing to writing his own music, love songs and sad songs, and an underlying passion for his acoustic guitar. He talks about his winding path to becoming a professional contemporary dancer and his unbeknown childhood desire to be a monkey man. These are just a few things you should really know about Finnish boy Oskari.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I think the first thing that defines my identity is dancing. I have done it since I was only 5 years old. For the past 3 years I have been studying at the Finnish National Ballet School in a contemporary line. I have now graduated as a contemporary dancer, and will be dancing my next year with a professional dance company.
Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
How did you first get into dancing?
I saw a commercial on TV, which was about young boys dancing. I said to my mum that I wanted to do that. It had that very young boy energy. There were boys rolling on the floor and I remember this one song on in the background of the commercial that said ‘I am a monkey man’. I thought to myself, "Well, I want to be a monkey man." I had so much extra energy as a young boy. I wanted to use that energy, so my mum took me to a dance class. I really enjoyed it and that is where it started. At first it was just once a week and then it got more serious. There was a time where I did 20 hours of dancing each week. I didn't want to be a dancer at first though, I always thought I would get a real job. My dad always told me I would be an engineer or something, but then when I was 15 or 16 I realised that I could infact make a living out of dancing. I figured you might as well do something you love, and I love dancing. There were moments where I thought 'Ok, I’m going to need to take really big steps in training my self'. I went on to do an audition for the Finnish National Dance School in the contemporary line, and in that audition I was the only one who got in. That was the point where the dancing became very serious. It was sweat and tears.. and blood and tears.. and more sweat for the next three years, haha. I was stretching a lot and doing all kinds of exercises. It was crazy, because I was in a ballet school and I had never done real ballet, so I was very lost. I started in a class where everyone else had done ballet their entire life. I did ballet classes with 10 year old kids, so I was holding the bar in-between all these little kids haha. They were all better than me and they knew what they were doing, I had no idea what I was doing. The more lost I was, the tighter I was holding the bar. I was really lost, but it got better and now I enjoy ballet. I love it.
Was it hard to stay passionate when you were frustrated with it?
It was hard, because it wasn't fun for me at that time. When kids that are 7 or 8 years younger than you are better than you, it feels hard. I was sometimes very frustrated, but I pushed through it.
Is that your personality?
Yes it is. Over time I was putting in my own personal training outside of school. Huge amounts of training and stretching. Sometimes I wouldn't go to bed until very late, because of the training. Now I have graduated and I am a professional dancer. Next year I will be in a contemporary company, which I love. It is one of the biggest contemporary dance companies in Finland, so I am really pleased.
Do you have any other passions?
Yes I do. I love music and I make music. I play the acoustic guitar mostly, and I sing as well. I had a band last year. We performed a bit and played on the streets. I love making songs and writing lyrics, and it was nice to be able to outsource some of my feelings and express myself in other ways than dancing.
What kind of stuff do you write about?
My life has been ups and downs so sometimes I sing about love, because I am currently in love. I have been in a relationship for the past year. Sometimes I sing about being sad. Sometime I sing about people. I write about topics that are close to me and things that have happened to me. It isn't always about my life, but if I have a feeling or emotion in my head, I will make a song about it. Some of the songs are just stories. They have bits and pieces from reality, but are mostly stories.
Do you ever dance to your own music?
Well of course. I can’t help dancing, because they are so good haha. In my school we have these workshop things where we are free to do what we want and so many people have told me I should do music then. I don't think my music is contemporary music though. It is more lyrically based. I don't think it fits into dancing that well, but I do enjoy it.
How do you want people to feel when you play your music or dance for them?
If it is a love song to my loved one then I would of course want them to get emotional. I really want people to focus on the lyrics in the songs. They are not always so easy to understand, so I would hope that people would try to understand them or try to interpret them in their own way. I have gotten some very weird interpretations back, but even those show me that the person has really listened to the lyrics and thought about it, so that makes me happy. When I am dancing I of course want people to think it is beautiful, but I kind of love to make people feel awkward or shocked. So they don't quite know what is going on, I love that kind of reaction. I want people to feel something. I want to make people think and I don't want my dance to be like decorating, I want to dive deeper.
Words by Katy Thomas.