Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble


The music for the new album “We Are Together” was finalized in songwriting sessions, that took place in the village of Grand-Popo, Benin, West-Africa in April 2017. The band’s musical leaders Janne Halonen and Noël Saïzonou worked for two weeks by the beaches of Gulf of Guinea, writing and listening music, discussing directions and recording demos.

The sketching period of the songs however took over a year, and in addition to Halonen and Saïzonou, those sessions were also attended by the band’s keyboardist Visa Oscar, drummer Juha Räsänen and bass player Sampo Riskilä.

“Despite all our differences, at the end of the day we are all together on this planet.”, Janne Halonen explains the meaning of the album’s title “We Are Together”. “The title is also a phrase we use among the band members, when we part ways after spending a longer time period togehter, or when we manage to find a solution to a problem or an argument”.