Monday, July 30, 2018

FINLAND: PETE PARKKONEN FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Pete Parkkonen came to spotlight in Idols coming 3rd (losing to forgotten Koop Arponen and Anna Puu - see previous post). He started his recording career in English and debut album went to #1. He has participated in several music variety programmes in tv winning both Dancing with stars and Tähdet, tähdet proving what an excellent and chameleontic performer on stage he is. After that he changed into Finnish and after being the eternal "next big thing" is maybe finally getting closer to the recognisation he deserves. A succesful trip to Israel 2019 might just cement him as a major star. So far he's not quite there yet and hasn't maybe quite found his full potential and popularity. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

FINLAND: ANNA PUU FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Anna Puu (or Puustjärvi) started with Idols placing 2nd, her debut album went to #1 and sold platinum. Nearly ten years later she has released four albums (and will release her 5th next month) with countless radiohits. She has won Emma award as the Female artist of the year twice, she did Vain elämää, she's The Voice coach.... and an Eurovision/UMK link comes in form of a boyfriend: Jukka Immonen, who's been involved with both and switched from Jenni Vartiainen to Anna a couple of years ago. While Jenni might have the image of an ultimate classy diva, Anna has been the cute little girl next door. Until now. Her new promo pics for the new album are rather Lady Gagaic, so does that also give a hint of even more upbeat and Eurovision friendly music as the change for more electronic sound has been evident in her latest releases?


Thursday, July 26, 2018

FINLAND: EVA+MANU FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Eva+Manu are Finnish Eva Louhivuori and French Emmanuel Laudic. They met while studying music in Berklee, Boston, started writing music and having a seven year long relationship. The romance is over but music still continues. They have also started writing music to other artists recently, while being themselves produced by others an writing songs with other people while working on their next album.
Their musical career got going while after living in London they decided to take a roadtrip in Europe; France, Spain and Italy working in farms, releasing a new song every week in their social medias and blog that got very popular. Soon they got signed and nominated for the newcomer of the year at Emmas, loved by critics and got evergrowing fan base thanks to their excellent live performances. This blogger has seen them live several times and nothing would make me happier than seeing them in #UMK2019....
At some point Manu also had (has?) his side project Ritarit singing in Finnish :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

FINLAND: R.I.P. HANNA-RIIKKA SIITONEN

Hanna-Riikka Siitonen (47) has died of thyroid cancer she was diagnosed in 2000. 
She was multiple times a backing singer for Finland in the Eurovision song contest (1996, 2004, 2005) and participated in the national selection 2006 and was a featuring figure in the opening and interval acts in Helsinki 2007 Eurovision. She was one of the most used backing and studio singers in Finland, and worked a lot in television and theatre both in music and acting, radio and was Idols vocal coach.
She was a daughter of Fredi aka Matti Siitonen (Finland ESC 1967, 1976, composer 1979). 
In 1990's she formed multiplatinum selling duo Taikapeili with Nina Tapio. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

FINLAND: APOCALYPTICA FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Would this list be complete without some hard rock? No. Finns and hard rock go together like Lordi and Eurovision. Besides, Apocalyptica already did Helsinki 2007 Eurovision interval act and wouldn't be the first one stepping out from there to the competition. Ask Miss Mauboy for example. Another Eurovision links are Marta Jandová who sings in various songs of theirs and Hanna Pakarinen the frontman wrote a song for. They have been quiet awhile but apparently finishing their new album so what would be more appropriate than a huge #UMK2019 show and worldwide exposure from Israel?


Sunday, July 22, 2018

FINLAND: ALEX MATTSON FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Alex Mattson (or Aleksi Kaunismäki in his passport) is a DJ and producer, the first solo Finn to sign with American Ultra Music. He started as a true Finn as a heavy rock drummer but discovered EDM at 14 and hasn't looked back since and today his music is inspired by deep house and moombahtoni after his music production studies in Holland. Solamay (of Robin Schulz fame) and Lucas (Richard's son) Marx are among those who have borrowed their voices for his songs. He has also produced top selling artists like Reino Nordin, Mikael Gabriel and Isac Elliot and remixed many others, including Sandhja's Sing it away. He's got millions of Spotify streams. 
Hiring a DJ and producer like him would open doors to interesting collaborations even in Eurovision context... He released his first EP this year and is working on his debut album. Wouldn't it be great to launch it is primetime national show with one million+ viewers?


Saturday, July 21, 2018

FINLAND: SAARA FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
No. Not Saara Aalto but Sara Forsberg aka SAARA. She's be a perfect choice is Yle plans on playng the visibility and "popularity online" again instead of many other factors as she's got over one million subscribers on her Youtube and over 100 million views. She shot to the fame as the "Tongue woman", continuing with some musical genres ending up The Ellen Show. Step to films, television and music in both Finland and the US was short doing everything from Star Wars to Talent judge and her own cloathing line and some travelling reality show.
Recently her musical career has been somewhat suffering so I'd bet she'd jump the opportunity to do Israel 2019 with all her dedication and bubbly quirky energy....


Friday, July 20, 2018

ITALY: MAJOR CHANGE IN SANREMO 2019 - EFFECTS ALSO EUROVISION

Should Sanremo festival 2019 act also as the Italian national selection for Eurovision song contest next year ( and we have no reason to believe it wouldn't) there's a major change in rules coming up. Claudio Baglioni, man in charge for the second year in a row hoping to repeat his succesful 2018 edition aims to separate the newcomers and the Big artists totally. That means that the Newcomers, or Nuove proposte aka Giovani will be held already in December instead of along the festival in February. The winner gets a freebie for the Big category.

Update: The dates for Sanremo Giovani are December 16-21, with four pre-shows before the two nights primetime shows on 20 and 21. The top-2 will join the cast of the Big in February festival (dates might yet change, btw). All this is also due to all these reality and talent shows; placing the winners and artists to Sanremo has become a very tricky task the past few years - who's big enough for a Big? There are some rules based on sales and releases, but they don't always correspond the image people have of their success and creates confusion and critic every year.

Somewhat similar system was used already in 1998 when the top-3 of newcomers joined the Big ones in the final and rather questionable way Annalisa Minetti, Newcomers winner won also the Big category while her runner up Lisa placed 3rd among the Big. Otherwise the winner would have been Antonella Ruggiero (ex-Matia Bazar, ESC 1978) followed by Paola Turci and Silvia Salemi. But back then it all happened together. And it wasn't a popular change.... and didn't last another year.
Now with the two separate Sanremos - the Newcomers coming from Casinò di Sanremo in mid December, and the main festival from Teatro Ariston as usual on February 5-9 we get more Sanremo, and the newcomers have more primetime on national television. Also their number will be increased, as will be the Big ones from 20 to 24. And it all should work better than the let's-do-it-all-together-and-get-very-confused 1998. 
And this way, the newcomers winner might end up to Israel 2019. 
The newcomers selection was introduced in 1984 and most notable winners include Eros Ramazzotti (1984), Michele Zarrillo (1987), Mietta (1989), Marco Masini (1990), 
Laura Pausini (1993), Andrea Bocelli (1994), Paola e Chiara (1997), Anna Tatangelo (2002), 
Dolcenera (2003), Fabrizio Moro (2007), 
Arisa (2000), Raphael Gualazzi (2011), Giovanni Caccamo (2015), 
Francesco Gabbani (2016) and has launched the careers of many other non winners. 
As we see three newcomers winners have done also Eurovision: Gualazzi as internally chosen for Italy's comeback to the contest in 2011, Francesco Gabbani and Fabrizio Moro as winners of that year's Big category. Special mention to Marco Masini who did Eurovision 1987 in Italy's backing team.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

FINLAND: ISAC ELLIOT FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
If Robin has been the biggest teenage sensation in Finland ever, Isac Elliot comes close second but most of his repertoire has been in English and more international. Now that he's finally 17 he could well be Eurovision worthy. Already popular in Norway - apparently causing teenage hysteria there - and Poland, Singapore and some other markets, and being in some American radios playlists including Disney and Billboard's Next big sound and winning the MTV Europe best Finnish act twice already... Do I need to say more? Three albums, two EPs and a dozen charting singles to his credit so far wouldn't Eurovision be a logical next step in the world domination? After all he already did Estonian national selection - as a guest star!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

FINLAND: SUVI TERÄSNISKA FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Suvi Teräsniska may be under 30 still but has been around over ten years already, selling gold, platinum or multiplatinum with her every album, including three #1s and seven top5 albums. She's also got a long string of radio hits, she won Syksyn sävel contest 2013, has been awarded with various galas as Female artist of the year as well as album of the year in her pop schlager category. She's recorded Christmas albums, took part in various music variety shows including Vain elämää and being a X Factor judge with Saara Aalto plus got married and had two kids in 2015 and 2016, still working most of the time. Several her songs are already modern evergreens and part of the Finnish light music legacy. She's got a huge devoted fan base and in already a seasoned live performer. And most importantly she he has stated she would consider the offer and mostly likely accept should it come. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

EUROVISION - MUSIC OF THE WINNERS: EMMELIE DE FOREST, SERHAT ft. HELENA PAPARIZOU, ELDAR, NIGAR JAMAL


Emmelie has been a bit lost ever since her win, and has released a sting of undisturbing singles and History isn't any exception. Nice but forgettable....
After dusting off I didn't know with Martha Wash Serhat does the same with Helena Paparizou for his oldie Total disguise, then in duet with Eurovision presenter Viktor Lazlo.... The question remains: why?
The Azeri victory remains still a mystery (well... really?) and both winners haven't really been heard of ever since. This is one of Eldar's latest, dating 1,5 years ago. I miss you is his latest. 
His partner in victory Nigar Jamal hasn't bothered the international charts since then either. Her latest (?) Sus is kinda nice ethnic pop. Worth a listen. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

FINLAND: LAURI TÄHKÄ FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Lauri Tähkä is one of the biggest names in the Finnish music industry. He's got his own national romantic style mixing folk with pop and rock ever since he started with his group Elonkerjuu. Elonkerjuu won the Emma award as the Group of the year five years in a row when he was in it before going solo (2006-2010). Since then he has been picking up Male artist of the year in various galas. Three solo studio albums so far (#1 and two #2s, all platinum or multiplatinum sales) and a string of radio hits he would be an excellent choice. Like Pauhaava sydän would have been fabulous back in 2007 for Eurovision.... Mä en pelkää is brand new with a lot more modern sound...

Friday, July 13, 2018

FINLAND: JANNA FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Janna is singer-songwriter, musician and daughter of singer Maarit and musician Sami Hurmerinta. Her mother was a regular in the Finnish national finals in the 70s and represented Finland in festivals in Poland and Bulgaria, among others. And her greatgrandfather is Italian musician Michele Orlando.
But despite that she shines on the Finnish pop and soul scene on her own right. She started her career in late 2000's with two albums in English but the big break came in 2014 when she released her third album in Finnish. In 2018 she was nominated in Emma gaala as the Female artist of the year but sadly lost to Evelina. She has released already six singles off her next album so why not finish it off with some songs to #umk2019? With the right song she could be a very interesting card to play.....


Thursday, July 12, 2018

EUROVISION - MUSIC OF THE WINNERS: MÅNS ZELMERLÖW, LORDI, MARIJA SERIFOVIC, JAMALA


Måns Z continues to release singles that are nice but not extraordinary. Good effort though...
Lordi does what Lordi does best: poppy hard rock with questionabe lyrics
Marija does what Marija does best: Balkan ballad
Jamala continues on her own path delivering some wings this time. 
Mind you there are other versions: 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

FINLAND: NIILA FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Niila (Arajuuri) is one of those very few Finnish artists who are more succesful abroad than home. In his case in Germany also thanks to collaborations with Sunrise Avenue. He's got a couple of hits also in Switzerland and Austria, and released his debut album in 2016. He would be a great wildcard to play even if most Finns wouldn't have a glue who he is... sadly. This blogger is a fan. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

EUROVISION - MUSIC OF THE WINNERS: SALVADOR SOBRAL, LENA, DIMA BILAN, LOREEN


Salvador contiues on his path of feelings, not fireworks..... even if this song sparks at moments...
Lena jumps into Juan Magan's and Topic's Latin pop when you least expect it....
Dima Bilan goes very eletric in his Девочка, не плачь aka Gil, don't cry. The girls in question is Miss World 2008 Ksenia Sukhinova
Loreen is dark and mysterious on her ride, that is a lot more interesting than most of her stuff ever....

Monday, July 09, 2018

FINLAND: CHISU FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Chisu aka Christel Sundberg is one of the most succesful Finnish artists of the 2010's. She has won so far nine Emma awards (or Finnish Grammys) including Female artist, Song and album of the year awards. She also was the very first female to win the Producer award. She writes and produces not only to herself but also to other artists. Five albums (two #1s, two #2s and one #5) since 2008 but she's been rather quiet since her 2015 album Polaris, and her participation in Vain elämää season 5 in 2016.  Maybe #UMK2019 could be her big comeback?
Her direct Eurovision connection is her bf and father of her child Mikki Kunttu who has been lighting director in Eurovision song contest 2007, 2013, 2016 and 2018 among others. 
This blogger is a devoted fan and nothing would be more awesome really....

Sunday, July 08, 2018

EUROVISION - MUSIC OF THE WINNERS: CELINE DION, SECRET GARDEN ft. JOHNNY LOGAN, TANEL PADAR, MARIE N


Celine Dion plays the movie soundtrack card once again
Did you know the first original recording of this global success snobbed by NRK for Eurovision was by Johnny Logan? Finally released on Secret Garden's new compilation. 
Tanel Padar keeps scoring hits from his solo EP
Maria Naumova who? - Marie N! - Who?

Saturday, July 07, 2018

FINLAND: THE RASMUS (OR LAURI) FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
To complete the solo/band triple after Samu/Sunrise Avenue and Johanna/Auri/Nightwish it's obvious choice: Lauri Ylönen solo or with his The Rasmus. Having success for over 20 years already and In the Shadows in 2003 being one of the biggest hits of the year in Europe and top-10 single in 11 countries globally. It's also been several times the Finnish song that has earned most royalties globally beating also classical works by Sibelius. But it's not their only hit, they keep coming and Lauri also enjoyed success as a solo artist when The Rasmus has a short break. Definately a serious card to play if Yle only dares to ask them, and they or him dare to take the chance!
Lauri is also one of the artists in this autumn's Vain elämää series so he would be very uptodate household name come Eurovision season...


Thursday, July 05, 2018

FINLAND: JOHANNA KURKELA (OR AURI) FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
Johanna Kurkela is no stranger to Eurovision as her big debut that made her a household name was the Finnish national selection 2007 singing Olet uneni kaunein and Jossain metsäin takana already showcasing then her trademark style.  Five succesful albums later she hasn't compromised and is well known for her unique voice and style, but also flirting with heavier repertoire from Metallica to Sonata Arctica and hip hop with Elastinen. And as Nightwish's frontman Tuomas Holopainen is her husband maybe together they could create an entry we all dream about for her or as their joint project AURI? Something like Rakkauslaulu, that has been voted by Finns the love song of the century (written by The Rasmus' Lauri Ylönen and PMMP's Paula Vesala) or a bit more ethnic sounding AURI stuff... 


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

FINLAND: SUNRISE AVENUE (OR SAMU HABER) FOR #UMK2019 AND EUROVISION

Yle is going internal again in 2019 and it will be very curious to see who they choose (or get) after Saara Aalto - will they go for big international name or something big in Finland. 
Or someone new and emerging?
One of the big international names would surely be Sunrise Avenue or their front man Samu Haber solo. He has already flirted with Eurovision song contest back in 2007 when Forever yours was ment for Hanna Pakarinen. Later he ended up singing it with another Eurovision veteran Laura Voutilainen in Vain elämää series that made him known to most everyone, and kinda launched the idea of his solo career. 
Sunrise Avenue is big(ger than in Finland actually) in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Their latest album topped the German album charts, as did their compilation album (and also in Switzerland). In Finland they have been regular top10 only. Their singles have charted also in Greece, Sweden and Belgium over the years. 
Below are their biggest hits. Could they do the trick in Israel 2019? This blogger would certainly be pleasantly pleased!



Sunday, July 01, 2018

FINLAND: JUHA TAPIO WOULD CONSIDER EUROVISION IF....

Juha Tapio, one of the most popular and succesful singer-songwriters in Finland said he "would consider the offer should Yle approach him" while being present in a summer theater premier in Hämeenlinna of Kaksi puuta that includes his songs.
Juha Tapio (44) has won awards as the male artist of the year in various galas, his last seven albums have all been top-5 (including 3 #1's) and he's earned 8 gold, 3 platinum and 4 multiplatinum albums for them and he has two additonal top-5 compilation albums, one of them #1. He has 27 radio play top10 songs since 2003, 9 of them #1s. 
He sings in Finnish and his music is rather traditional melodic Finnish music with great lyrics but he's equally loved by young and old. Yet he wouldn't be the first one to come to your mind when thinking about Eurovision - but then Sobral wasn't either. This blogger would be pleasantly surprised.....
Check out some of his most popular songs below. Would yu like to see him in Israel 2019?
He has also had a chance to do some great covers being one of the artists in Vain elämää season 2, as well as in the All Stars season 7:
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