- When did you start singing? What got you into music?

Tarja: It was quite obvious that I wanted to become a singer when I was only six years old or so. I was very theatrical kid, liked to perform in various kind of events as a singer or as an actress. I started to play piano in a age of six and somehow the musical theory lessons started the same time. My parents are not musically trained but they are music lovers. They saw my talents in music and put me into music school. My actual singing started when I had my first singing lesson. In the age of 15.

- What was your first band?

Tarja: My real first band is Nightwish. I have never been a band member before. I used to sing in many kinds of groups and do various kind of music. Most likely in funky and soul music orientated groups. This happened when I was around 14-18 years old.

- Your earliest influences? Do you have any favourite singers now?

Tarja: When I was a kid, I loved to listen good soul singers, like Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. They were really important in my life when I started to sing more. Nowadays I am listening various kind of singers from pop and a lot from classical scene also. It is very important to listen good musicians and their ways to make music, because there are many things you can learn by listening. I honestly don´t have any influences in music, because so far my way to make music has been quite lonely work to do. I only need to remember that I am a different person, with different soul and heart, with different personality. When I can keep that on my mind, then I really can make the music touch my soul.

- Have you ever taken singing lessons? What is your musical background?

Tarja: I started playing piano in a music school when I was six years old. The first singing lesson I got when I was 15. At that time I just mostly listened the other singers because it is risky to start real classical singing lessons too early. In singing you need your body and if it is still growing up and you are not reaching the adulthood, it might be harmfull to your voice to start singing too early. My real singing started in a age of 17. I got in the Music Academy in Finland in a age of 18, singing as a main subject and at the same time my career with Nightwish began. Since that I have been educating myself as a professional classical singer.

- What do you think makes a good singer?

Tarja: You are ready to open yourself for many different kind of ways to make music. You know your body and you own a good self confident and a healthy soul. You are taking care of your instrument.

- What do you think is your strongest point as a singer?

Tarja: I know what I want. I am never looking back and regreting was it the best way to do. I am always willing to make progress and to learn more.

- What is (are) your favourite song(s) to sing/perform and why?

Tarja: With Nightwish there are many songs I like to sing, but I could mention here now the song "Sleeping Sun". The feeling is so marvellous in concerts every time when we are performing this song. I can see the lights of lighters and hear people singing with me. In classical repertoire I have many amazing songs that I like to perform. Now for example, near the Christmas time, I love to sing a finnish christmas song " Varpunen Jouluaamuna"(Sparrow in a Christmas morning). I am missing Finland, the snow and the whole nature. This song helps me to get a bit closer my home.

- What are your interests and hobbies apart from music?

Tarja: I am reading novels quite much. I love to go to movies and hear many kind of concerts. Tonight I am going to see an opera... On the other hand I am also doing a lot of sports.