Global Industry Spotlight is a conversational series focused on providing resources and insight for the creative entrepreneur.
If you look for the Berlin-based, Finland-bred producer Jonas Verwijnen, you’re most likely to find him on a flight to a new country with a new project and a vision in mind. Wearing his signature beanie, of course, regardless of the climate of the said country. In many ways, he was always meant to be an international explorer after being born into a Dutch-Finnish family in Switzerland and raised in Finland. Brought up in Helsinki, Jonas went to study music production in the Finnish capital, then ended up working at the local recording establishment Seawolf Studios. Located in a Russian 19th century military barrack in Helsinki harbour, he established himself as a producer and an engineer in this rather unique environment. All which swiftly led to him setting up his first studio.
At 25, Jonas relocated to his current adopted hometown, Berlin, and founded Kaiku Studios. Ever since setting up Kaiku alongside business partner Janne Lounatvuori, Jonas has ceaselessly continued to work with both established international acts like Kings of Convenience, Jason Spaceman, Moon Duo, Washed Out, Wolf Parade as well as Spencer Krug’s Moonface project, Liima and Siinai. Not to mention a whole host of exciting newcomers like Ballet School and P2X.
Jonas’ innate understanding of music derives from his multi-instrumentalist background that can be heard throughout his richly layered discography. Versatile in genres and sounds, his production, mixing and mastering CV is a token of his love for music and exploration. Jonas’ musical savviness, mixed with his vast knowledge of recording equipment ranging from vintage to the very latest, allow him to navigate the most intricate layers of music production. His hands-on attitude and personable character is what makes him a producer that’s not just the guy with a red hat standing behind the desks but a member of an extended musical family.
As a unique extension of his technical work, Jonas has ran international residencies with a number of bands, one of the most notable being Liima’s residency at Ian Schrager’s London EDITION in summer 2016. Hosted in the basement of the hotel, the 4AD signees opened a temporary studio where guests were invited to watch the quartet experiment and craft new music in front of them, culminating in a big show at the end of the week. This is a perfect example of where Jonas goes above and beyond the traditional producer role, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that feels fresh, new and thoroughly relevant. This particular event was complimented by Jonas pulling together sponsorship from Patrón Tequila and furniture by Fritz Hansen, producing a multi-brand sonic experience elevating Liima’s innovative music. Wallpaper Magazine praised the event, saying that it “hit all the high notes”.
Right up to date, Jonas is set to work on another residency with the UK band SULK in collaboration with the producer legend Dave M. Allen (The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Human League). In addition, he’s kept himself busy working with two new releases by the Portland twosome Moon Duo and Jason Spaceman’s collaboration with Chilean cosmic rockers Föllakzoid. Both to be released under the revered experimental Brooklyn label Sacred Bones (John Carpenter, David Lynch, Zola Blood), Jonas’ forthcoming year is looking as thrilling as ever.