Aksel Finland Eurovision 2020 Looking Back

Aksel Kankaanranta was due to represent Finland at Eurovision 2020 with his song “Looking Back”. The singer earned the ticket to Rotterdam by winning Finland’s UMK (Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu).

Scroll down for the “Looking Back” lyrics

Finland in Eurovision 2020: Aksel “Looking Back”

Aksel Kankaanranta is a 22-year-old singer from Turku. He rose to prominence in 2017 when he participated on the sixth edition of The Voice of Finland. He made it all the way to the final, finishing second. The following year he collaborated with rapper Pyhimys on the single “Jättiläinen”, which reached the top of the Finnish charts and ended up winning two awards at the Emma Gaala, the Finnish Grammys — Song of the Year and Most Streamed Song.

Aksel’s UMK win surprised Eurovision fans. Many expected Erika Vikman to take the winner’s trophy with the commercially successful “Cicciolina”. She captured millions of YouTube views and Spotify streams and entered the Finnish top ten before the competition even took place. And while Erika won the televote, Aksel was preferred by the international jury.

What do the “Looking Back” lyrics mean?

“Looking Back” is a song about living in the moment rather than remaining anchored in the past. Its lyrics encourage us to avoid waiting for the future to bring us something better. If we do, we risk forgetting what we are living for in the present.

It tells of that feeling of inadequacy that every human being experiences at some point in their lives. We ask ourselves what is the value of what we have lived through and whether our experiences have made us really happy.

During the writing sessions, the McDonough brothers, who wrote the song together with Joonas Angeria and Whitney Phillips, pondered how before they reached adulthood they were eagerly waiting for it to come. But in the end, their teenage years went by as they waited. It was time for them to write a universal song to remind people that living the moment is really important.

Aksel hopes that “Looking Back” will inspire people to live without the pressure of the past. “I want to evoke deep emotions and reactions in people. I want to convey sensitivity and soulfulness” he told YLE.

“Looking Back” lyrics — Aksel (Finland ESC 2020)

Written and composed by: Joonas Angeria, Whitney Phillips, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough and Toby McDonough.

Joonas Angeria is a Finnish music producer, songwriter and musician, known for writing and producing hit songs for many artists. He wrote and produced Krista Siegfrieds’ singles “On & Off” and “Better On My Own”.

Whitney Phillips is an LA-based Grammy-nominated songwriter whose recent collaborators include Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Zara Larsson, Nick Jonas and Troye Sivan.

Brothers Connor, Riley and Toby McDonough are the members of the American pop-rock band Before You Exit. They have acted as supporting acts for several artists, including Fifth Harmony, The Vamps, Olly Murs and All Time Low.

English text

We would fall asleep
Talking ’bout our dreams
Waiting for eighteen
Is never what it seems

We were young and naive
Didn’t know what we need
We were in such a rush to grow up
We were restless, confused
Summer nights on the roof
Didn’t know what was in front of us

Chasing the high life
Stuck in the low lights
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

Speeding through red lights
We had a good ride
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

All these memories
Made me feel at home
When I walk these streets
I’m the only one, I know

We were young and naive
Didn’t know what we need
We were in such a rush to grow up
Now it’s too late to save
All the seasons have changed
Didn’t know what was in front of us

Chasing the high life
Stuck in the low lights
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

Speeding through red lights
We had a good ride
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

Chasing the high life
Stuck in the low lights
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

Speeding through red lights
We had a good ride
But we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

Yeah, we never know what we have
Until it’s over and we’re looking back

What do you think of “Looking Back”? Would you have voted for Finland at Eurovision 2020? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more Eurovision 2020 lyrics

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Jannik
Jannik
4 months ago

so underrated. one of my favorites.
always get goosebumps

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago

Do we think this song encourages us not to live in the past? If anything I think there is a mournful nostalgia for the past in the lyrics? I get the feeling whoever wrote it would quite like to go back and do things differently. I agree that this song asks us to appreciate what we have in the present moment, but I disagree that it encourages us not to remain anchored in the past.

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago

Thanks for clarifying Christian! It’s really interesting the song writers wanted to convey that interpretation, I didn’t get it myself!
Great article by the way!

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago

I think it’s the central sentence, “we never know what we have until it’s over and we’re looking back.” It is strangely apt for these difficult times we find ourselves in. They are stressful times, but if we look hard enough, I bet there is something good to be found (maybe we’ve had time to focus on a hobby, get closer to those living with us, watch all the Netflix shows we always wanted to). It might sound odd, but maybe we will all look back at these times fondly in the future? So it’s encouraging us to enjoy the… Read more »

AMIE
AMIE
4 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Hmm.. I get the songwriter’s intention but I do understand your point. I believe it’s due to the proportion of the lyric describing the past part. Alert! I’m not good at musical terms so I wouldn’t use them. Hopefully you’d understand my point of view 🙂 From ‘We would fall asleep’ to ‘Didn’t know what was in front of us’, the person is talking about the past how we’d live without directions or plans, just having fun. The tone is quite nostalgic and might quite regretful even. This is ‘looking back’ part. Then next, s/he assesses their past saying ‘Chasing… Read more »