Velly Joonas plays a very important role in the history of Estonian soul music. Even though nowadays we categorise her as a bohemian bard, she is cited in Estonian culture magazine Kultuur ja elu in 1977 as saying that she is dreaming of the life of a soul singer who performs at large stages.
Fortunately for us, she recorded some cover versions of soul classics in Estonian.
Velly Joonas was born in 1955 and grew up in Tõrva. Even though she was a downhill skiing champion in her youth, she also had creative interests. She dreamt about becoming a theatre director but people saw her as a singer the most. During school and after college, she performed with different bands. She took singing lessons when she moved to Tallinn after which she started to perform on larger stages with different line-ups. In the beginning of the 1980s, she toured around Soviet Union with Russian orchestras. In 1984, she abandoned pop and rock music and became a folk musician. Accompanying herself on the guitar, she sang her own lyrics and well-known texts by Estonian poets. She recorded around thirty songs at Estonian Radio studio during this time period. Two of them were released on the compilation LP Estonian Pop Voices by Melodiya in 1980.
“Stopp, seisku aeg!” (Stop! Stall the Time!) is an arrangement of Frida s song “I See Red” to which Velly Joonas wrote the Estonian lyrics. The song is played by the amateur group Vstretša which was formed by young Russians from Lasnamäe in Tallinn. Her piano player was invited to lead the young band which meant that Joonas was also welcome to perform with them. As they wanted to get a permit to perform, they recorded the song Velly recommended as an example of their music.
“Käes on aeg” (It Is Time) is a beautiful Estonian cover of the well-known song “Feel Like Makin Love” which was recorded in an hour. The song is performed with the band Pirita where Joonas sang for a while. The band was led by the keyboard player Tiit Saluveer and according to Velly Joonas, the group also included Paul Mägi, Riho Lilje, Tiit Juurikas, etc
Stopp, Seisku Aeg! – Velly Joonas has been added to your bag.