The year 2020 was reaching its end as Erkki had this thought:

I’m not getting any younger!

HiSQ began its journey in early 2021 when composer Erkki Vuokila and singer Bablo met. Their thoughts about music were passionate and quite similar. Bablo also had a record company called Ässä Records. They started to plan the first songs for HiSQ immediately after that. They asked Peter Engberg and Janne Oinas to be the masterminds behind the production. Artwork was given to Markku Mäkelä and videos to Arto Pöllänen. The HiSQ band consists of Finland’s best musicians.

The first EP was published in September 2021. It had five totally different kinds of songs with five featured singers. It has been played on radio stations all over the world and ”Ridin’ the Alimony Pony” (sung by Maria Hanninen) was Song of the Year 2022 on Museboat Live Channel. The biggest success so far has been with an emotional piano ballad ”Flesh and Blood” with Marko Hietala’s stunning vocals published in September 2022. It has been #1 on the Euro Indie Music Chart and the World Indie Music Chart.


HiSQ is the name of this Finnish collective. It was formerly short for Hi Status Quotes but at the moment Hi Status Qualified and maybe later also Hi Status Quirks. It’s mostly about good songs created for the love of music. Our collective and the HiSQ band together try to create something special. The genre is of no importance, only that we are satisfied with what we’ve done. Before going to the studio we usually know who is going to sing the song.

The Quotes’ music is inspired by words heard in tv series or movies. They can be classic lines or just some random words that suddenly make Erkki hear a melody in his head. Erkki is a big Abba fan, so he likes to play with words and how they sound and doesn’t take them too seriously.

Hi Status Qualified is dedicated to especially good music with cool lyrics and great singers.

as Erkki sees them

Ridin' the alimony pony

feat. Maria Hänninen

This song was highly influenced by Janice in Friends. After hearing her line in the series this song nearly wrote itself. So it’s originally from the 90’s but I finished the lyrics a bit later. I feel I got the rhymes in a really good order. Of course words like money and honey have been used a million times, but when they are in their right places, they work! My first comparison was En Vogue and Free your mind, but Peter felt this is a great rock song and I couldn’t agree more. When we got Maria to sing this, everything felt so right. How can you not love this song?

Join the club

feat. Bablo

I can’t remember where this came from. I think it came out of the blue. Originally it wasn’t influenced by Tommy Chong and That 70’s show. But the quote is quite good, because the song is both a joke and a statement and so is that great sitcom. Mostly it tells you not to be alone if there are people who could help you achieve your goals. Peter felt this had Mumford and Sons’ vibes and I loved it! Bablo gave the song some roughness.

Stick it in your ass

feat. Tea Salo

Ok… so this started as a joke. I was singing the chorus with my son in some situations. But seriously, this could actually be something. It was a rock song but just before the studio sessions it turned into a blues song with a touch of New Orleans. When I introduced the song to Tea, she got it instantly and was ready to do her thing. And boy how she did it!

Why is there never a pontoon plane when you need one

feat. Hannu Lepola

Sheldon Cooper is one of the greatest characters in the history of television. When he said these words, I finally understood the idea of Hi Status Quotes. This song just appeared from somewhere. But this was the most difficult song to finish. It had many forms before the studio. When the band started to play this version, it was obvious, we had found something special.

Janne’s head behind the mixing table was swinging from left to right like it was living it’s own life. When a pop song works, it has something irrisistible. After we found Hannu Lepola from Rajaton to sing it, we were totally satisfied.

Say hello to my little friend

feat. Noora Kuusikko

I happened to watch Scarface – again ‒ and Al Pacino’s character made a big impression as he for instance sadly killed his sister’s husband. He drove his life to a dead end and his last words were the title of this song. Then he grabbed his gun and started shooting. This was in 2021 and suddenly I felt this might be good for HiSQ. And once again it didn’t take long before the song had it’s form. This is actually the only song where my own intuition also appears on the final version. The intuition could not foresee how wonderful this song would turn out to be. Can you resist it? Noora’s voice is the cherry on the cake.

The Collective