For the past three Saturday evenings the Finnish broadcaster YLE has been holding the semi-finals of UMK - Uuden Musikiin Kilpailu, their national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Tonight you can expect the most stunning, most spectacular, funniest and craziest UMK final ever!
in addition to the nine finalists there will be loads of surprises and special guests - among them none other than last year's UMK winner, and 11th at the Eurovision Song Contest Final, Softengine. Some other voices and faces from the Finnish Eurovision history may pop in as well!
The nine finalists
From punk to reggaeton, going through opera pop or bhangra, a wide range of styles and a very varied list of performers have been trying their lucks to reach tonight's final but only half of them made it through. It is harder than ever to predict the winner! These are the lucky nine:
Originally from Cuba, Norlan has been a Finnish-based ambassador (“El Misionario”) for various styles of latin music since 2005. Sung in Spanish, No Voy A Ilorar Por Ti tells about Norlan’s father, with whom he was very close. Unfortunately Norlan couldn’t be there when his father passed away.
This four-piece came together at a cultural workshop for the learning disabled and they’ve been making fierce punk rock ever since. A documentary on the band, The Punk Syndrome, was released in 2012 and has won several awards both in Finland and abroad.
Satin Circus was formed in 2010 by four fellow students and released their debut album Expectations four years later. Their high-octane live performances are always stunningly breathtaking and these young gentlemen are bound to play their modern pop in big arenas all over the globe very soon.
The talents of this young musician have also been noted in Sweden where Jouni recently signed a deal with Playground Music Scandinavia. Formerly a singer for a band called Grandeville wants to win the Eurovision Song Contest in order to “spend his prize on restoring old Finnish steamboats”!
Opera Skaala is a collaboration between three artists: a mezzo-soprano (Essi Luttinen), a composer-producer (Visa Oscar) and a director-set designer (Janne Lehmusvuo). Their first effort together was a successful performance combining Vivaldi’s arias with electronic dance music. In UMK they introduced new and original music for the first time ever.
A group that brings a breath of hot Indian air to the freezing concrete jungle of Eastern Helsinki, Shava is probably the only Finnish bhangra-group in the world. Taking their audiences to nirvana-like trance, “bhangra is the new rock’n’roll”, claims frontman Kiureli Sammallahti. And he is probably right.
Although Angelo De Nile has appeared as a character in various stages and events in history, UMK 2015 is where this mysterious artist makes his live debut. His song sums up the lives he’s lived so far and is about his will to win. “Winning means the world to me. Now it’s the time and the place for Angelo De Nile to conquer Europe.”
A bunch of happy gloomers with roots in punk and rock’n’roll but eyes and ears on the future - that’s Järjestyshäiriö for you. Their UMK -song (The Corners of Broken Hearts) is a perfect example of their style in 2015 – which will also see the release of their fourth album.
Solju are Hildá Länsman and Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman, a daughter and mother duo from the Finnish Lapland combining modern pop with traditional Sami sounds. While Ulla is one of the leading Sami artists of our time, Hilda is a young talent still in the early stages of her career. Their song was partly written by Linda & Ylva Persson, two Swedes whom the Eurovision fanatics are certainly familiar with.
Who do you think that should win this year's UMK?