Personal Profile

Brazilian-Finnish Maila-Kaarina Rantanen was born in Rio de Janeiro, where she

started to develop her artistic side at the age of 7.  An agent contacted her mother proposing a theater audition. After being selected, she joined the crew for two years. Also, she joined the school choir, starting her music studies, later on, added by piano classes.

Music and writing were so deep into her that for years she was just "a lonely weirdo with a walkman and a notebook," spending all her spare time listening to music and writing song lyrics and poems. As a hobby, she translated articles and interviews from American rock magazines into Portuguese and pretended she had her magazine, carefully crafting pages with pictures and typewritten text. This is how she developed her English skills, later improved by some time spent in the USA.

At 15, she co-created the fanzine Stage Dive with her two best friends. This project was her first amateur journalistic experience. The girls would go to the local gigs with tape recorders and cameras to interview and photograph the local bands. 

In 1993, Maila, 16, joined her first band, Dust from Misery (aka Dust), as a keyboard player. Dust became a respected band in the carioca underground scene after releasing their first demo of 4 original songs. In 1995 Maila joined the progressive death metal band Asterlot, where besides playing the keyboards, she also sang. Asterlot also became a respected band in Rio's underground scene after releasing the demo Cosmic Elementals. 

She enrolled in the music conservatory in her 20's, got a singing technical degree, and studied the violin as a second instrument. She also started to act in professional bands and experience with different music styles such as pop, MPB, and Indie. 

In 2006 Maila started the first - and only- bilingual rock/metal blog of Brazil, called Hard Blast. The idea was to connect the Brazilian rock scene abroad since there wasn't a digital platform in Brazil, allowing bands to showcase in English. Hard Blast became popular, and in 2007, Maila re-launched it as a web magazine and, besides written content, started to produce also video interviews. She created a network using aspects of social peer to peer, and within a year, Hard Blast had a team of 6 collaborators and was associated with other web magazines in France, the UK, and Sweden. Bands like Firehouse ( American hard rock, famous in the '90s) used the interview material Maila produced with the singer CJ Snare to sell shows. She also had an article published in Blabber Mouth and several Brazilian media.

Some notable artists she interviewed at that time were Eric Martin (Mr. Big), Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Deep Purple, Rainbow), Jimy Jamison (RIP Survivor), etc.

Maila always believed an artist has to carry a story along with the art/music. This connection between your visual concept and what is written about you, what you say and do, is very important to grab the audience's interest. Later on, during her communication management master studies, she learned this is branding, but at that time, this was only what she naturally believed as the right approach. 

When Myspace came out, she started to use it as a marketing tool to help bands develop a professional profile: she wrote bios, directed photoshoots, took care of the image concept, page design, logos, etc. This was her first business.

In 2009 due to a necessity of professional growth, life stability, and safety Maila couldn't envision in Brazil, she decided to move to Finland. As a farewell, she produced a 6-song EP with her songs, together with the guitarist and music producer Carlos Lösch.

In 2016, after meeting the Brazilian photographer Cristina Ornellas, also based in Finland, they produced, filmed, and directed the 40-minute documentary A Heavy Metal Civilization: the History of Finnish Heavy Metal. The film was ready in 2018, and in 2020, they licensed A Heavy Metal Civilization to YLE, the Finnish broadcast company.

Maila considers herself a warrior and a defender of the digital revolution. As a natural communicator, she uses music, photography, video, and all the excellent multimedia tools and channels to spread messages. This is her biggest inspiration and life mission. 

Maila's career has developed through DIY, according to her, "the best way to learn and give your life the direction you want it to take." However, she never denied the importance of formal education. Maila has a bachelor in International Relations with a minor in economics, and a 4-month-internship at the United Nations Center of Communications and will get her master´s degree in communication management from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, one of the most prominent in Finland.

With all her experience in DIY in the music business, multimedia, and her formal knowledge as a specialist in communication, she wishes to be a mentor for artists and new entrepreneurs who want to have the freedom to trail their path.


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