Finnish rock icon Ville Valo has joined forces with Genelec to create a unique pair of 8341 “The Ones” Smart Active Monitors, complete with custom artwork by Valo. The monitors will be auctioned, and all proceeds will support a Finnish mother and children’s charity.
As the singer, songwriter and co-founder of the rock band HIM, Valo is one of Finland’s most celebrated musical figures. HIM has sold over 10 million albums, scooped eight of the country’s coveted Emma musical awards, alongside many international accolades and is the only Finnish band to achieve gold album status in the US. Valo is currently working on his debut solo album, “Neon Noir,” due for release in January 2023.
Valo first encountered Genelec at Helsinki’s Finnvox Studios while recording with HIM and currently uses the 8341 compact three-way monitors in his private studio. Alongside his musical talents, Valo is also a passionate artist. As a young child, he painted watercolors with his father, and his musical career saw the album cover become his new canvas, which Valo has always considered an essential extension of the more lyrical aspects of what he does.
Giving them eyes
Commenting on his unique artwork for The Ones, Valo says, “Due to their coaxial design, I’ve always called them ‘The Eyes,’ so it felt only natural to develop that thought a bit further and use acrylics to pointillistically depict a pair of eyes looking into the soul of the listener. In fact, the inspiration comes from the Neon Noir album cover art.”
At Valo’s request, all funds generated from the auction will be donated to ETKL — the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters, a Finnish child welfare organization that helps children and families in difficult and insecure situations, preventing domestic violence and violence against women. Last year, the Federation helped over 23,000 people in Finland; approximately 6,600 were children.
“The proceeds from the charity auction will support our chat services which help adults, children and young people suffering from violence,” explains Tiina Muukkonen, ETKL’s development manager. “Given the distressing nature of violent relationships, discussing your situation in a safe, anonymous chat environment makes it easier to find help. The support of Ville and Genelec will help even more people affected by domestic violence to find help and solace.”
Impacting people’s lives
“The little ones rarely have the opportunity to be picky about the surroundings they’re brought up in, and I honestly believe everyone should have a fair chance at life before they’re able to make their own decisions about which direction to head in,” adds Valo. “I know there’s not a whole lot we can agree on in this divided world of ours, but I’m pretty sure this comes close, and ETKL will do their very best to create a safe space for those that are in dire need of one.”
“ETKL is doing incredibly important work in helping victims of violence,” says Kati Pajukallio, Genelec’s marketing project manager. “Low threshold help, such as chat services, can be the first step in finding a way to end a violent relationship. Being able to help ETKL in their work feels meaningful and purposeful, and I hope that this will have a real impact on people’s lives – bringing them a future without fear.”
The custom 8341 monitors will be on eBay between Oct. 13 and 23.