After announcing that Krista Siegfrids will be the host of their national selection, today it was time for the Finnish broadcaster, YLE, to announce its participants: Alva, Anni Saikku, Club La Persé, Emma, Günther & D’Sanz, Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies, Lauri Yrjölä, My First Band, Norma John and Zühlke.
The acts that will take part in UMK'17 were revealed at a press conference earlier today. For 2017 Finland will only have one huge UMK show taking place on Saturday 28th January at the Espoo Metro Areena and, in addition to the 10 contestants, the show will feature special guests, like Norwegian teen twins superstars Marcus & Martinus!
There will be 30 minute pre-shows recorded during the rehearsals every day from Thursday to Saturday to be hosted by Mikko Silvennoinen and will include backstage footage and interviews. Music videos will be shot for each contestant. These videos will be online at the official UMK page on December 28th.
And from today on you can listen to all the participating songs through the lyric videos that have been released on the UMK YouTube channel as well as clicking on the title of the songs in the following slide:
A radiant and energetic 16-year old from Ostrobothnia area in Finland, Alva grew up in a musical family and in addition to singing also loves dancing, acting –and fitness! The first solo single from this young talent, A Grand Illusion, came out last spring and attracted a lot of attention. With her UMK song Arrows, Alva wants to charm the Eurovision fans all over the world!
Anni Saikku has an amazing voice and an unprejudiced mind. This 21 years-old pop songstress from Helsinki made a huge impression in 2014 with her performances in The Voice of Finland. Among the impressed was Mia Kemppainen from Finnish electrostars LCMDF. Mia had a song, Anni had the voice and the rest is history. According to Anni, Reach Out For The Sun is "about chasing dreams and leaving troubles behind, it’s about courage”.
This collective of avantgardists, eccentrics and fashion freaks, Club La Persé, has been organizing their own club in Helsinki since 2005. Club La Persé are club kidz -pioneers in Finland with shows bursting with colourful and overwhelming costumes and tons of make-up. In the 2017 edition of UMK they’re out with big guns and perform a song, My Little World, written by an original London club kid, Princess Julia, and produced by well-recognized Finnish producer Jaakko ‘JS16’ Salovaara.
Did you know that WDM is short for Wooden Dance Music? That’s what Emma’s style of music is described as. Currently living in Stockholm, Sweden, Emma was first seen and heard in the fifth series of The Voice of Finland. Last spring she gathered a group of music professionals and in UMK’17 you can hear what they’ve come up with: a super catchy song called Circle of Light – a mixture of Scandinavian sounds and modern beats.
Günther & D'Sanz is a UMK duo formed by an established dance music artist Günther and charmer Daniel Sanz from Porvoo (Finland). Günther is of course known from his hits such as Ding Dong Song and Teeny Weeny whereas D’Sanz gained attention in the latest season of The Voice of Finland. These guys will certainly make a splash in UMK'17 with their anthem Love Yourself. They have also set their goals high: “We don’t just want to win UMK, our plan is that Finland will host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018!”
Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies - Caveman
Knucklebone Oscar is a wild guitar man who has been releasing music and performing all over the globe for 20 years! In UMK he will be joined by Tinker Bell and TurrrboCherry, two burlesque artists recognized worldwide. Their song is called Caveman and it combines old school blues and rock’n’roll elements with more modern sounds. To top it all Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies will put up a ridiculously extravagant show for you.
Lauri Yrjölä has been a professional guitarist for years, having played with such Finnish stars as Isac Elliot and Sanni. With UMK 2017 he’ll launch his solo career. “UMK is most definitely the only music contest I could ever think of competing in because it gives me the opportunity to perform my own stuff”. Lauri’s song Helppo Elämä (Easy Living)is about a person wishing to be a deeper person with as little trouble as possible.
My First Band is first and foremost a stunning live band. They have toured all over Europe (as a special guest for Sunrise Avenue for example) where they already have a steady and enthusiastic fan base. The line-up of this five-piece band has remained the same since 1998 and they have three albums under their belt. Currently My First Band is working on a new album with a top-notch Finnish producer/songwriter Jurek Reunamäki with whom their sunny UMK-song Paradise was also written.
Two longtime friends Leena and Lasse form an indie pop duo by the name of Norma John. Their music has a strong cinematic feel and it oozes harsh Scandinavian beauty. “We really needed to take the next step with our music and UMK feels like the right forum to take that step.” Norma John’s stunningly beautiful Blackbird is all about splitting up and about the way you feel when every single thing reminds you of the past.
Ever since her childhood Catharina Zühlke has loved performing and has been determined and uncompromising on her road to becoming a better singer. She made her mark in the Finnish Idols competition in 2013 and in the spring of 2016 she released her debut release which received a lot of airplay on various Finnish radio channels. Zühlke sees UMK as a perfect platform to venues all around Europe, especially Germany! Her song is called Perfect Villain.