Ville Valo designs custom Genelec monitors for ETKL charity auction

Finnish rock icon Ville Valo has teamed up with Genelec to create a one-off pair of 8341 ‘The Ones’ Smart Active Monitors, complete with custom artwork designed and executed by Valo himself. The monitors will be auctioned to the public, with all proceeds going to support the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters (ETKL) in Finland (known locally as Ensi - ja turvakotien liitto).

Valo - singer, songwriter and co-founder of rock band HIM - is one of Finland’s most celebrated artists, having notched up over 10 million record sales to date and eight of the country’s Emma musical awards. The band released eight studio albums before disbanding in 2017, with Valo going on to release the Platinum album Ville Valo & Agents, and is currently working on his debut solo album Neon Noir, which is due for release on January 13, 2023.

Valo first encountered Genelec several years ago at Helsinki’s Finnvox Studios while recording with HIM, and currently uses the 8341 compact three-way monitors in his own private studio. In addition to his work as a musician, he is also a keen artist, having album covers and a vast range of other visual works.

Commenting on his unique artwork for The Ones, Valo said that: “Due to their coaxial design, I’ve always called them 'The Eyes', so it felt only natural to develop that thought a bit further and use acrylics to depict a pair of eyes looking into the soul of the listener. In fact, the inspiration comes from the cover art of the Neon Noir album.”

At Valo’s request, all funds generated from the auction will be donated to ETKL, a nationwide Finnish child welfare organisation that helps children and families in difficult and insecure situations, preventing domestic violence and violence against women. These are long recognised as being global issues, with an estimated one in three women worldwide having been subjected to either physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. In 2021 the Federation helped more than 23,000 people in Finland, approximately 6,600 of whom were children.

The inspiration comes from the cover art of the Neon Noir album. Ville Valo

“The proceeds from the charity auction will go to support our chat services which help adults as well as children and young people suffering from violence,” said Tiina Muukkonen, ETKL’s development manager. “Given the distressing nature of violent relationships, discussing your situation in a safe, anonymous chat environment makes it easier to find help. The support of Ville and Genelec will help even more people affected by domestic violence to find help and solace.”

“The little ones rarely have the opportunity to be picky about the surroundings they're brought up in, and I honestly believe everyone should have a fair chance at life before they're able to make their own decisions about which direction to head in,” added Valo. “I know there's not a whole lot we can agree on in this divided world of ours, but I'm pretty sure this comes close, and ETKL will do their very best to create a safe space for those that are in dire need of one.”

“ETKL is doing incredibly important work in helping victims of violence,” concluded Kati Pajukallio, Genelec’s marketing project manager. “Low threshold help, such as chat services, can be the first step in finding a way to end a violent relationship. Being able to help ETKL in their work feels meaningful and purposeful, and I hope that this will have real impact on people´s lives – bringing them a future without fear.”

The custom 8341 monitors will be auctioned on eBay between 13th – 23rd October.

For more details, please visit here.