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

UMK 2020

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.

Read more Finland news here

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Anita
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Anita

What a voice, what a likeable guy and I really like the song.

Puff
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Puff

Oh I think you’re the Finland hater I saw on Youtube comments too. Hello there

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

oh wow the production is actually pretty good here. a song i’d definitely listen to again! he seems to be very into 70s fashion from that photo

Azaad
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Azaad

It’s very pleasant to listen too and undeniably radio friendly, but it’s not that memorable. It could be elevated live though. This streamlined version of UMK is shaping out well- we’ve had three good efforts so far.

Leona
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Leona

I think he has really nice voice, and he looks handsome. But the song is one-noted. It lacks soul.

Riri
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Riri

Aksel has the voice of an angel.
I think the song is really good. I like it. But if it had just a little more power and passion it would be perfect.

I’m just happy that the songs so far are actually good.
I will admit I had my doubts.

Colin
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Colin

I listened to the first three UMK songs and am I not disappointed. All three songs seem like good choices. Welcome back, Finland! 🙂

CRISTIANO MESSI
Guest

It’s a great song. But not better than “Luta e Alegria” from Portugal 2011. That song was very underrated, much better than the crappy winners El and Niki.
Finland should send Home’s D’aluta next year 2021. Helsinki 2022! (Or tampere, porvoo, maybe Åland Islands 2022)

LisjaEsenski
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LisjaEsenski

Why would Finland send Homens da Luta? You’d be better off asking Portugal to send them for 2021.

David
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David

I am from Åland. I support your idea

Nicky91
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Nicky91

a no hoper, hope they will rig it so this creep won’t win, we need a lady from finland, we already have too many male artists in esc2020

Riri
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Riri

It’s a song contest. Not a beauty pageant.

Nicky91
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Nicky91

boring, who cares about the songs

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

just when we thought you’d seek psychological help as a new year’s resolution here u are again spewing nonsensical bs

Tibor
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Tibor

I don’t know, what you all got, to my ears this is the best I’ve heard from a Finnish national preselection since 2017. Yes, structurally the transitions are very subtle, and there is no distinguishable bridge, but since when does every last song has to follow the same built? I’m not sure, if everyone could pull this song out of the ordinary, but he, moreover, has a very pretty voice, very breathy with a bit of vibrato to it that is coming out of a guy who is not your conventionally handsome performer. I think, this is really beautiful.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

he got zero appealing looks, and lies of you, he truly cannot sing, and the song is so amateurishly made

CRISTIANO MESSI
Guest

You, Nicky79, look like a tootbrush, your voice sounds like a dead elephant, and a potato is better than your camera.

Bandido
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Bandido

Nicky91 Amateurish??? The song is even a bit overproduced. You don’t know nothing about professionalism either, kid??!!

Alaska
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Alaska

Agree with every word. My favourite so far.

ESCFan2009
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ESCFan2009

It’s radio-friendly and well produced, but it’s unfortunately going nowhere in the 3 minutes…

1. “Cicciolina” 10/10
2. “I Let My Heart Break” 9/10
3. “Looking Back” 6.5/10

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I like his voice and the production is good. But the song has that old “reality competition winner first single” nature. I second Briekimchi, don’t see it as a contender, but it’s quite decent to complete the lineup.

NickC
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NickC

This can pull a Paradise Oscar. Of the three, this is the best so far.

Bandido
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Bandido

Better than PO, he was good but DaDaDam was a bit too naive.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

It’s a “best of luck on the night” from me.

Wayne
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Wayne

I still prefer Cicciolina and I let my heartbreak. Hope Zhulke’s songs also dramatic as her last one

Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

I can see where they were going with this and it does sound like the sort of song that should be successful.
I don’t think it’s better than the other two for me personally. I do however, think it is an excellent addition to their final lineup. There have been no duds so far. Keep it up, Finland.

Mr Vanilla Bean
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Mr Vanilla Bean

Unfortunately, this is Finland’s best one yet. Hope it gets better. A lot better.

Paul
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Paul

Is there anything you ever like?!

Trollcommentor
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Trollcommentor

He likes action on bed as he told us

Mr Vanilla Bean
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Mr Vanilla Bean

Yes. But not you.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

best one, this creep is horrible, we need the gimmick Cicciolina

Alaska
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Alaska

You don’t need Cicciolina. You need the horse.

Kosey
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Kosey

It sounds nice and he has a sweet voice. The lyrics are dodgy though and I don’t believe him – it lacks authenticity.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

sweet voice, LOL it sounds creepy and he can’t sing

Bandido
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Bandido

Can’t sing??!! What do you know about singing, poor thing! xD

Kris
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Kris

The song is over at 1:30 and then it’s repetition of the chorus for 1:10

They had a good melody , but they didn’t build it enough

Jo.
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Jo.

hmmm…no

bastian
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bastian

Good, but misses impact on first listen

Stian F
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Stian F

Amazing song!!! Sound like a top 5 for Eurovision. The clear choice so far in Finland!!!!

Rasmus
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Rasmus

Do you really mean that? For me it was a big NO but we all have different taste 🙂

Edu
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Edu

Erika Vikman for the win! Let Cicciolina go to Eurovision 🙂

Sale
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Sale

What’s it up with cheese, generic and over the top songs from the national finals this year?? Can’t wait for the internal selected songs and sanremo ones to be released.

Jo.
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Jo.

well, Lithuania surprisingly has some content this year.

Rasmus
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Rasmus

The word generic again. So then say one song this season who is not generic? before you answer. Keep in mind that generic means: A song that have been heard before in different versions. So you cant Say Elvana for example or any one in Czech Republic. All have been done before.

Hugo
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Hugo

Baltos varnos : Namu dvasia

Rasmus
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Rasmus

yeah but they are not many so thats why i feel generic is a bad word to use here

bryn collins
Guest
bryn collins

out of the 3 so far
1.cicciolina 9.5/10
2.looking back 9/10
3.let my heart break 6/10

Puff
Guest
Puff

It’s pretty good. I think this is a song that has to grow on you and you can’t fully appreciate it on first listen. It would be better in Finnish though. I was also longing for a bridge in the end but can’t get everything.

bluecoffeee
Guest
bluecoffeee

If those were the three songs, I think the Finns would choose for this.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

of course Finland Always goes for male singers 😉