According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Timo Tolkki (STRATOVARIUS), Tomi Putaansuu (a.k.a. Mr. Lordi; LORDI), Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT), Janne Joutsenniemi (SUBURBAN TRIBE), Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA) and Jarkko Ahola (TERÄSBETONI) are among the metal musicians who will contribute material to the upcoming debut album from the winner of the Finnish national TV talent competition "Idols", 22-year-old heavy metal singer Ari Koivunen. The CD will be produced by Nino Laurenne (THUNDERSTONE) and Pasi Heikkilä (45 DEGREE WOMAN) and is tentatively scheduled for release in Finland on June 6.
Kimmo Valtanen of SonyBMG told Helsingin Sanomat that the label recognized Ari's potential early on in the competition and that the company would have made an album with Ari even if he hadn't won the contest.
Ari is from Lahti, the Finnish town that has given birth to such metal acts as PROFANE OMEN, BEFORE THE DAWN and ENTWINE. One of his hobbies is "Hevikaraoke" (Finnish "heavy metal" karaoke); in 2005 he won the Finnish karaoke championships. Among his favorite bands are IRON MAIDEN, RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, DIO, PROFANE OMEN and HELLOWEEN.
Watch Ari Koivunen's "Idols" performances:
* IRON MAIDEN - "The Evil That Men Do": Video
* DEEP PURPLE - "Perfect Strangers": Video
* WHITESNAKE - "Here I Go Again": Video
* STRATOVARIUS - "Hunting High And Low": Video
* LED ZEPPELIN - "Rock and Roll": Video
* SCORPIONS – "Still Loving You": Video
* SOUNDGARDEN - "Black Hole Sun": Video
* SONATA ARCTICA - "Full Moon": Video