Alatalo was born in Kuivaniemi, now a part of Ii, Finland. He is mostly known for his long and successful musical career. His style is primarily seen as children's music and folk music but he has contributed to other genres as well, including a long partnership with rock musician Juice Leskinen.
Alatalo was elected to the Parliament of Finland in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015. He was also elected to the City Council of Tampere in 2008 and 2012. Alatalo is a member of the Centre Party and a strong proponent of artists' intellectual property rights to their own music.