When the Finnish national broadcaster YLE published the list of 12 artists for UMK 2014, no one really knew who they were—not even in Finland. We still don’t. But tonight these little-known artists and bands will continue their quest to wave the Finnish flag in Copenhagen next May. Ahead of this evening’s first intro show, I decided to hang out with my best friend Google to find out a bit more about this mysterious dozen. First up are the first 6 acts. You can watch them tonight on YLE’s live web stream from 22:00 CET.
Clarissa feat. Josh Standing – Top Of the World
They are already big favorites among Eurovision fans. Clarissa (born Annette Clarissa Lundell) is a rising star in Finland, especially in the Swedish-speaking part of the country. Before she launched her career in music, she won a gold medal in hip hop dancing in Finland. Since then she has released two singles, “Coolest Girl” and “Like the first time”, which received great feedback. In 2013 she also won the award for “Best new-comer” at the Finnish awards gala “Nöjesgalan”.
Josh Standing is 19-year-old singer-songwriter from the United Kingdom and, like Clarissa, he was a dancer before he started recording music. Josh was part of the dance group Street 13, which took part in TV shows like Got to Dance and Britain’s Got Talent. He has been making music for a good while, but hasn’t had that much success yet. He has posted his own tracks as well as great covers on his YouTube-channel reaching over 140,000 views. He has a growing, mostly female fan base on Instagram, where he updates mostly shirtless pictures of himself (it’s worth of checking). Nevertheless, now he’s ready to make an international break-through together with Clarissa.
The writers of “Top of the World” bring together talent from several corners of Europe. They are Paul Oxley from the United Kingdom, David Neisser from Germany and Christian Rabb from Sweden. Christian Rabb already has some major Eurovision experience; in 2012 he co-wrote the Italian entry, “L’amore é femmina”. Paul Oxley is a British singer-songwriter, who had big success in Finland in the 80’s. Since then Oxley has written lots of music for Finnish artists and co-wrote the song “Cider Hill” (performed by Nina Lassander) which came second at the Finnish selection for Eurovision in 2010.
Hanna Sky – Hope
Hanna Sky (born Hanna Seppälä) is new-comer in the music business; she started her solo career in the summer of 2013 but before that she performed with her coverband Beatwave and wrote songs for a long time. She describes her music as electronic pop which has influences of r ’n b and world music. “Hope” is her first release. She collaborated on it with Rolf Pilve and Kalle Marttila.
Jasmin Michaela – Kertakäyttösydän
“Kertakäyttösydän” (Disposable heart) is Jasmin Michaela’s (born Jasmin Rantanen) first published song. It’s written by Jasmin herself together with Jutta Annala, Johanna Viksten and Mikko Kierikki. Jasmin describes her music as rhythmic, energetic and colorful latin pop mixed together with pop elements. In 2012 Jasmin took part in Finnish Idol.
Lauri Mikkola – Going Down
24-year-old Lauri Mikkola, just like Finland’s last representative Krista Siegfrids, had his break-through in 2012 when he took part in The Voice of Finland. His energetic performances (and/or his striking chest hair) made a huge impression on both the judges and the Finnish public and he made it all the way to the semifinals. He sang throughout high school and worked as a vocalist of Top Notch Big Band and Kaartin soittokunta (The Guards Band) and performed in Royal Albert Hall in London as well as in the presidential palace of Finland. Lately he has been performing with his band LateFive in Finland. “Going Down” is his first solo single.
Lauri’s music is, in his own words, big and deep sounds sampled with soul and r ‘n b. Described as the Justin Timberlake of Finland, Lauri’s goal is to have a long career in music and bring something new to the Finnish music scene. “Going Down” is Lauri’s own composition.
MadCraft – Shining Bright
Founded in 2010, MadCraft is bringing pop-punk back to Finland. The band has played over 100 gigs in Finland and abroad and released few singles and EP’s. Their singles has got thousands of plays in YouTube and Spotify. Their most successful song has been “Happy Song“, which has got almost 20,000 views. The four-piece band has written their entry “Shining Bright” by themselves.
MAKEA – Painovoima
MAKEA is a brand new band and their entry, “Painovoima” (Gravity), is their first song to be published. MAKEA combines rap and pop music making a brand new, urban music style. The band consists of five members, vocalists Kadi and Olli, guitarist Jura, bassist Jussi and drummer Josu. The band’s female vocalist Kadi has taken part in many singing contest in Finland and in 2004 she made it into semifinals of
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)