Saturday 25 February saw one of the most hotly-anticipated national finals in this year’s pre-selection season take place. The Nordic country chose their entrant for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Turku’s UMK.
Seven highly anticipated songs fought for the UMK prize, which was ultimately won by Käärijä’s Cha Cha Cha. It won by a landslide of 539 points. In comparison, the runner-up song, Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan by Portion Boys, got silver with 152 points.
The Finns watching at home had a sway over how the vote was conducted. The public vote accounted for 75% of the final score, while an international jury contributed 25%.
Because of the popularity of his song in Finland, Käärijä will now be representing his country in Liverpool. With Cha Cha Cha, the musician won both the public and jury votes.
Käärijä is an artist who is difficult to pin down. Käärijä is unafraid and unpredictable, and he enjoys pushing boundaries, following his own beat, and discovering new things.
Fantastista, Käärijä’s debut album, was published in 2020. The artist’s music takes on a whole new dimension live – fact, Käärijä is famed for his unrestrained live performances.
Käärijä’s interest in music began with drumming. In elementary school, he began taking drum lessons, but by middle school, his passion had shifted to rap, and he began practicing his freestyle during English lectures.
Urheilujätkä, his debut single, was released in 2016, and Käärijä has been doing his own thing since then. Käärijä despises being limited to a single genre, preferring to incorporate elements from rap, metal, and electronic music, among others.
His songs are about the transition from adolescence to maturity, from house parties to after-parties. Käärijä has been a fan of Eurovision since he was a child, with Verka Serduchka’s Dancing Lasha Tumbai being a particularly memorable performance.
He’s been curious about UMK for a long time. This year, he was 150% certain he would enter because, when Cha Cha Cha came along, Käärijä knew the time had come.
‘Finland is a party country, a heavy metal country, and a pop country all rolled into one,’ he explains. Finland will compete in the First Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
a) In a nutshell:
Finland made its Eurovision Song Contest debut in 1961. Despite their early involvement, they had never ranked in the Top 5 until Lordi won the contest with Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006.
Finland has been unable to finish in the top five since 2006. Yet they came close at the 2021 Contest in Rotterdam, finishing in sixth place with Dark Side.