Seija Simola turns 70 today and gave a very rare interview to Helsingin Sanomat. It's no secret her career pretty much finished after she ended second to last in the Eurovision song contest 1978 in Paris with Anna rakkaudelle tilaisuus. It's also no secret she has not forgotten nor forgiven that. In fact her faith was well in mind of many others who stayed away from the national finals in the 1980's and still today at times it is used as an example that Eurovision can do no good to your career. We fans of course know it's not true, but with the general public is another story.
Anyways, Simola released her first single Kun hämärtää in 1966 and string of hits followed that showcased her strong vocals (Kun aika on, Sulle silmäni annan, Rakkaus kasvoista kasvoihin, Kuutamo). Her debut album came in 1970 and she enjoyed hits and success all decade. Her hits include ABBAs Waterloo and Fernando (she wrote the Finnish lyrics herself to both), Et itkeä saa, Argentiina - that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber has commented as one of the best versions ever while Simola tells it was recorded at night after a concert. "It was dark and I was very tired. For some reason there was this hurry to get it done and I sung it once for the technician to get his stuff right and the second try is the recorded version" - and La Maritza. As said after Eurovision her albums didn't sell anymore, nor people came to her gigs. As a last attempt she recorded two albums of more pop oriented music (that she didn't like at all, she tells now), including Ei rakastaa voi tämän enempää, her last minor hit, and even a cover of I treni di Tozeur. Her last studio album is from 1986 and included Sateenvarjo, that did get radio airplay but didn't sell. YLE came to her rescue and gave her a lot of work recording demos. Her last recordings are from 2003 from a compilation album.
Today she has no voice anymore to sing as she suffers from a strong astma, and also she suffered damage in a throat operation a few years ago making it hard for her even to speak. She lives alone in Helsinki after divorcing her third husband six years ago. She lives in the same apartment she has lived for 42 years and enjoys her incognito status when in public. The last public photos of her date back to early 1990's.
Blogilkar congratulates Seija, one of the finest voices in the Finnish pop music history who certaily wasn't treated right by the audiences after Paris. We should have given her another chance.....