Stenari in his own words:
”Country means more to me than just music. It is all around in my life: I live in the country, I have animals, I dress in country style – and I think like a cowboy. I am, perform and live in a country way.
I started playing piano at the age of 7. Along with it I studied music theory. Even though it was sometimes a real pain in the neck, it helped me tremendously in later years. I got my first guitar when I was 12, and that was when heavens opened for me! And along with the first chords I learned, I got to accompany myself when singing my songs.
When I turned 16, I travelled the US west coast for a month. I was eager to see all those highways, cars, burgers, beaches, and Hollywood. But the biggest thing for me were cowboy boots and a Johnny Cash cassette that I bought. I still have it, and that is what started my country craze.
I got more and more serious with music. After my service in the army, I studied music at Sacramento State University in California for three years.
Back in Finland, I applied to a Pop and Jazz Conservatory as well as to an institute for arts and technology – and was accepted into both. Since I had just met my wife-to-be, I chose the media arts studies at the institute in my hometown. I became a sound technician. After my graduation in 1995, I was employed by Tampere Hall, the largest concert hall in Europe at the time. I stayed there for more than 20 years, until I resigned as Program Manager and moved over to work at the Tampere City event office. I have also worked as a sound technician, stage manager and production manager at many of the biggest festivals in Finland.
Country music has been my greatest love ever since I was 16. Today, I normally spend my weekends on the road, playing to audiences somewhere in Finland. Mostly by myself, sometimes with my bands. Performing makes me what I am. I enjoy singing old country songs to the people who come to see me, and I love the connection we create.
Music is forever. I love country music for its variety, stories, history, and tradition. Those are the reasons for me to get on stage, night after night. Country has it all – joy, sadness, success, and failure. Like song writer Harlan Howard once said: Country is three chords and the truth!”