UMK 2020 is now in full swing. The national final in Finland may be over a month away but we now know half of the songs that will be competing. Complete with a new format, Finnish broadcaster YLE is searching for both a song and artist this year. Today, the third competing song has been released. Aksel Kankaanranta has released his song “Looking Back”.
Aksel Kankaanranta “Looking Back” (UMK 2020)
Aksel Kankaanranta is a 2017 alum of the Voice of Finland. He says he’s shy, but that won’t stop him performing in front of an audience of one million, saying, “I want to transmit emotions with my singing.” His song is described as a “sensitive song telling about world-weariness, love and the feeling of inadequacy.” The UMK jury compared it to a hit song from an artist like Sam Smith or James Arthur.
Music and lyrics: Joonas Angeria, Whitney Phillips, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough, Toby McDonough
The final of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2020 will take place on 7 March in Tampere. Hosted by Mikko Silvennoinen and Eurovision veteran Krista Siegfrids, the winner will be decided by televote and an expert jury.
In the past two years, Finland has internally selected its artist and utilised UMK to select their song. This yielded mixed results, with Saara Aalto ending a three year non-qualification streak in 2018 before Darude and Sebastian Rejman crashed out in Tel Aviv.
This year, YLE has abandoned the internal selection and UMK will feature six different artists vying for the right to represent Finland in Rotterdam. Aksel Kankaanranta becomes the third artist to release their entry after Tika and Erika Vikman.