Otto Yliperttula is a man of few words but many, many sounds. Under the stage name Yotto, the 31-year-old Finnish producer makes melodies warm enough to heat a hearth in winter and dark enough to penetrate the underground. His DJ sets span the spectrum of electronic music.
Yliperttula describes the weather of his native Espoo, a city about ten miles northwest of Helsinki, in terms Miamians will never comprehend.
“It's the best part of the winter right now,” he says, “sunny out but really cold.” Days are getting longer at the 60th parallel north, and after a few dark months of slush, the sight of sunlight is something to celebrate, albeit modestly, no matter what the mercury reads.
Yliperttula won’t be in Espoo long. Next week he’s headed 34 degrees south to revisit Miami Music Week.
“Music Week is a madhouse,” he says. "But I enjoy it. It's almost like a ritual to come over to Miami for a week, to meet everybody and get geared up for summer.”
Yliperttula’s eclectic tastes and talent likely stem from his upbringing. “Somebody was always smashing something, whether it was drums or a piano or violin," he says. "Or my mom was singing in the shower. There was always some musical nonsense happening everywhere.” As the “least talented” member of the family, he benefited from being surrounded by music, he says. There were a few years of his own studying the piano, which he says gave him a basic understanding of music theory.
Yliperttula's parents were liberal about musical play, but they pretty much barred him from playing computer games. Around 12 years old, he brought home a demo of Dance eJay from the local computer store and gave it a go.
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“I picked it up from there and started making my own songs and recording them to cassette,” he says. “That wasn't very high-fidelity, but it was sort of a mini-hobby. And it just sort of grew organically, I started getting better computers and software, but it took like ten years because it was never really a serious hobby.”
It wasn’t until a few years ago that Yliperttula did a mix for the independent record label Ajunadeep and snuck in a handful of his own unreleased tracks for the hell of it. The label loved it, ditched the mix, but picked up the producer.
“They never put out the mixtape, buy they signed most of the music from it,” he says. “That was when I realized there might be something in this.”
Since then, Yliperttula’s tracks have been included on Pete Tong’s Essential New Tunes five times and received a couple of nods from Annie Mac for “Hottest Record in the World.” In January, he played a two-hour Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1, and he recently released an EP, Chemical, on Joris Voorn’s label, Green.
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“MMW has a special place in my heart because it kicks off the whole summer and season, and I wanted to do something on my own this time,” he says. “So I’ve invited a couple of my favorite DJs to play their own sets, and I'll play as well.”
For now, though, Yliperttula seems content in his Espoo home with his dog, a Stabyhoun named Sissi.
Yotto & Friends. With Christoph Clarion and others. 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, at Do Not Sit on the Furniture, 423 16th St., Miami Beach; 510-550-5067. donotsitonthefurniture.com. Tickets cost $20 to $25 via residentadvisor.com.