Sanna ‘Sana’

I was maybe 15 or 16 years old when I started planning my first tattoo. My dad had already promised he’d pay it. Then I had a gig here in Northern Finland, I met a boy and ended up moving here. Since I was so young, dad had to support my living in here and as a result, I had to forget about the tattoo.

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Finally, I was 24 years old when I had my first tattoo. I used to suffer from a severe fear of needles, and I always thought I couldn’t survive through tattooing. I was stressed out for weeks before getting the tattoo. When the tattooing finally started, I remember just thinking damn, this doesn’t hurt at all!

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My first tattoo and a couple of tattoos after that were made by a friend’s friend. All the tattoos except the first one have now been covered up. When I had the first ones, I didn’t pay much attention to choosing the right artist. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that if you want a good tattoo, you have to be ready to pay for it. You shouldn’t choose a home tattooist just because it’s the cheaper option.

My next tattoos are made by Sini Ariell who currently lives in Australia. Later I met a good tattoo artist in my hometown Oulu, and even though he doesn’t have his own tattoo parlor anymore, I still get tattooed by him.

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Music I feel, lyrics I breath includes my former logo, the letter S. The tattoo is designed by Sini Ariell.

I’ve noticed that my left arm has become the happier one, while the right one is concentrated on death theme. I love skulls, and they were the first ones that I had on my right arm.

Never give up is a friend tattoo that I got quite early. After that, I began to fill the arm with diamonds, and later with some other themes: the death owl, crosses, hourglass, masks… I don’t even remember all my tattoos, as I can’t see them myself.

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I guess the death theme was formed after my best friend passed away two years ago. I wanted to tattoo on my skin the same design as in his last tattoo. After his death, I wanted to honor his memory and made him a song called Haava (in English: The Wound) which I recorded together with Maya Paakkari (link to the music video).

I hold the microphone in my right hand, so the Queen tattoo is essential here on the side of my hand. The crown is related to the same theme, as well as the Queen of fucking everything.

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When I started making music 13 years ago, there were two female rap artists in Finland: Mariska and me. The first years just plain sucked, as people were slandering and dissing like no other. Nowadays there are more women rapping, and many pop artists gain inspiration from rap music as well.

Still, I don’t want to be labeled as a female rapper. I think there’s no need to highlight my gender – I mean, you never talk about male rappers either. Most of all, I want to be a rapper and an artist, without any categorizations.

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Even though my lyrics often tell about men, they are about relationships in general. I may talk about men, but every person understands the lyrics in their own way. I think that’s the best thing about music: when you hear a song, you can relate to the same feelings as the artist has had, and you may reflect the lyrics to your own life and emotions.

My dad has never been a big fan of tattoos, but he thinks that if being tattooed makes me happy, then he’s happy, too. On my left hand, I have tattoos dedicated to my dad and my stepmother. The stepmother tattoo is like a modern version of a Capricorn sign. I have other good things on my left arm, too: stuff related to music and my dreams, my godchild’s time of birth, and things like that.

 

I got interested in rap when I was 7 years old and decided to be a rapper when I grow up. I wrote my first lyrics when I was 11 or 12 years old, and when I was 15, I made my first recording. Being an artist is the only career I’ve ever thought of. I’m diagnosed with adhd, which means I’m not very good at concentrating on things. Music, however, has always been the thing I can focus on, one hundred percent.

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I’m from Espoo, Southern Finland, but I can’t imagine moving back there. It’s so noisy in there and people are too busy. I know living in Northern Finland affects my music career. In the end, the music scene in Finland is run by a quite small group of insiders, and if you want to success, you have to know the right people and be part of that group. My current recording studio is still located in Helsinki, and it takes only one hour to fly there.

Many people hate my music, and even though they don’t know me as a person, they still mirror their hatred on me: since they don’t like my music, they won’t like me, either. You can see lots of that kind of behavior especially on the internet. In real life, I’ve had some stalkers who may show up at my workplace, for example, and just stare at me. It’s really disturbing, and surely one of the negative side effects on this business.

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The heart on my middle finger is dedicated to all my haters. Even if they don’t like me, I still wish them love.

I’m not a malevolent person, and I try not to care about the haters and stalkers. I think that we’re all just humans and therefore should be treated as such. I still hope other people would understand it as well. Artists are only humans, too, and even if you don’t like somebody’s music, you still shouldn’t judge the whole person.

I’ve wanted to collect tattoos especially on my upper body, arms and belly. I like memorial tattoos, and in the future, I’m going to continue the theme dedicated to my best friend. I’d like to tattoo his guitar and some Metallica’s lyrics on my calf.

On my leg, I have a tattoo of my friend’s initials and his pet lizard. The lizard died a while ago, which was very sad. It happened a day before the anniversary of my friend’s death.

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I guess it must’ve been quite a sight when we held a funeral to the lizard: lots of big, tattooed men gathered in a funeral procession, and then a tiny coffin where the lizard was lying. But it wasn’t just an ordinary lizard and deserved a proper funeral.

At some point, I wanted to have lots of text tattoos. I love lyrics, and I think you can express such huge meanings through text. I find the quote ”Don’t count the days, make the days count” by Muhammad Ali a good guideline on life.

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The death’s-head hawkmoth is a symbol of freedom and strength. I have more skull tattoos on my stomach. I could cover myself with skulls, they just are so cool.

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Basically, I could get a tattoo anywhere on my body, but maybe not in the face. As I have to put on makeup on gigs and photoshoots, I think having a face tattoo would make the adding of makeup more difficult.

I thought for a long time I wouldn’t get a throat tattoo either, but as I already had my neck and the side of my neck tattooed, I thought I might as well get a tattoo on my throat. The first time my dad saw my throat tattoo on a photograph, he thought it was just some kind of sticker. Well, it wasn’t!

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I don’t think tattoos have changed my personality, but I’m happy that my fear of needles has almost disappeared after I started collecting tattoos. Earlier, taking a blood sample was like the end of the world for me, but now I can even look while it’s being taken.

At my work, customers sometimes feel witty and throw some jokes about my tattoos. Luckily, people don’t comment as much as they used to, which is probably because tattoos are so common nowadays.

Once I was in Haparanda, Sweden, where an old sailor came to talk to me and asked if I had some connections to sailors since I am tattooed, too. I guess he must’ve been from some very tiny village if he still thought tattoos were just a sailor thing!

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The crosses are above all reminders to myself. My personal relationship with the higher power is all good.

I have no particular role models in the rap scene, but I absolutely love the Finnish singer Kaija Koo. She’s so confident and always herself. I also appreciate Antti Tuisku, the Finnish pop singer. I didn’t use to be a big fan of his, but damn, the guy knows how to throw a good show at his gigs!

I’ve always been against all the music shows on TV, and going to X-Factor in the spring was originally my duo partner’s idea. I’ve always thought that I don’t fit in that kind of format, and after attending to X-Factor, I still feel the same, to be honest.

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Maybe the biggest thing that was bothering me was that we weren’t allowed to perform our own music but mostly cover songs instead. I’ve been making my own music for my whole life, so it felt kind of weird trying to perform some other artist’s songs. Personally, I want to follow my own path and do things that feel right for me.

I love cats and I currently own four cats myself, so of course I must have a Crazy cat lady tattoo! The leopard spots are related to the same thing. I guess these should be fixed a bit in the future.

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I used to have a drinking problem, but I’ve been sober for three years now. The Warrior tattoo on the back of my head tells that even though you face difficulties in life, you can survive through hard times as a warrior.

I want to stand for a healthy and positive body image. When I was younger, I suffered from an eating disorder and felt myself so overweight that I just started to lose more and more weight. In the end, I was just skin and bones and didn’t feel good at all. Nowadays I enjoy showing my body in front of the camera with few clothes on or even naked, as long as the photos are taken with good taste.

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I want to show by my own example that people of every size have an equal right to pose at photographs as they wish. I hope that I can help other people to feel self-confident, too, and show that even if you weren’t model-size, you can still put that bikini pose of yours on social media if you want to. If you feel good in your own skin, you have the right to look like whatever you want to look like.

I also enjoy that I can let my tattoos show in photos. I think it’s smarter to invest in decorating your own body than to drink all your money, for example. After all, tattoos are something that will remain with me until the very end.

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