Aksel UMK 2021 Hurt

He took home the trophy at UMK 2020 with “Looking Back”. And he even suggested that he hadn’t submitted a song for 2021. But, in the end, Aksel Kankaanranta is trying his luck again with “Hurt”.

Finnish broadcaster YLE is sticking to last year’s formula, although expanded: this year there will be seven acts competing rather than six. Their songs will be revealed one by one every weeknight at midnight Finland time (23:00 CET) until 21 January.

Aksel “Hurt” (UMK 2021)

The reigning champion of UMK is back with “Hurt”, a “powerful yet sensitive ballad about how looks can be deceiving”.

“Someone may look like they’re ok on the outside, but they could still be in terrible pain on the inside. When you’re hurting, you also end up hurting the ones you love. I’ve lived that experience, so I’m truly able to identify with this message. My song is also a reminder that you don’t need to be anyone but yourself”, he explains.

Aksel believes that he is better prepared to focus on his performance this year, as he is now more familiar with the contest and its production process.

UMK 2021

The grand final of UMK will take place on 20 February. The number of competing acts was whittled down from 278 entries, and only seven entrants will take the stage.

The songs were selected by a jury of industry professionals, led by radio YleX’s music manager Tapio Hakanen. He had praise for the applicants, saying, “The level of the songs and artists was incredibly strong and I am confident that we have coming in the spring of 2021 the toughest UMK of all time. I’m really happy and grateful to each and every musician who sent a song to Yle.”

The winner will be chosen by a mixture of jury and public vote. Rather than the usual 50/50 split, the public will hold 75% of the power.

Follow all of our Finland Eurovision 2021 news.

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Anita
Anita
1 month ago

This is a super beautiflul song. But would not stand out on eurovision

Hellooooo
Hellooooo
1 month ago

It is awesome, rooting for this at UMK

Espen Pedersen
Espen Pedersen
1 month ago

omg its so beautiful!!!

Leendert Jan
Leendert Jan
1 month ago

His voice is stunning, but I’m afraid that during the song I keep on waiting for something “more” to happen, and it doesn’t. I like Oskr’s song better.

Chessguy99
1 month ago

More mall music, nice song sung well, but not engaging enough to distract you from shopping.

Monika
Monika
1 month ago

No…

Polliu
Polliu
1 month ago

It needs a touching staging to make it work.

Jago
Jago
1 month ago
Reply to  Polliu

I don’t think it would make it to the final.

Héctor
Héctor
1 month ago

More emotional than his minimalistic attempt last year. I don’t know which one I like the most, but I kinda like it.

Daniel García
Daniel García
1 month ago

Erika Vikman’s fans are truly disgusting. They were already thumbing down the song even before it was released. People, she would be ashamed of all of you!

The song is a jewel of delicacy, power and emotion, so far the best one released of the 5! If Aksel nails the live performance as he did last year, he has the ticket in the bag.

rasmus
rasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Daniel García

are u axel kantakanta boyfriend?

Bandido
Bandido
1 month ago

Far worse than Looking back! That was atmospheric and haunty song. This is just produced medicore ballad. It doesn’t stand out in any way. 2021 is not his year, I’m afraid.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bandido
Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I love Aksel’s voice but to me, the song is too flat. I look forward to the live performance, maybe it will sound different.

Jago
Jago
1 month ago
Reply to  Whisker

It is flat indeed!

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
1 month ago

I like Aksel ‘s song “Hurt” very much and I hope for him that he is winning again and have a second chance to represent Finland in Rotterdam. The other song I really like is Oskr – Lie. If one of these songs win I ‘ll be happy.

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 month ago

So far, UMK has high quality this year <3
1. Laura 9/10
2. Teflon Brothers × Pandora 8/10
3. Danny 7.5/10
4. Oskr 7/10
5. Aksel 7/10

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  ESCFan2009

While my personal ranking and rating would be somewhat different, I can agree that there is no song in this year’s UMK which I would rate with under a 7/10. They are ambitious this year and I respect that.

ESCFan2009
ESCFan2009
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

🙂
My personal ranking reflects quite clear, that I am not a big fan personally of male ballads, slow songs, singer-songwriter etc. (especially in comparision with female pop), but I respect the effort “objectively” and rate them with a good 7.

Bella
Bella
1 month ago

If Teflon Brothers x Pandora have a clever perfomance, then ”I Love You” is the clear winner.
The other are boring, especially Lie…

Jago
Jago
1 month ago
Reply to  Bella

Hopefully! Teflon Brothers x Pandora & Blind Channel are the only ones I can see reaching the final.

Nicky
Nicky
1 month ago

no thank you

still Danny for me, who got more genuine emotion, this from Aksel is way weaker than looking back, and also quite pretentious, generic

rasmus
rasmus
1 month ago

as if one year of sorrow and pain is not enough for a song with lame rhyme of “living” and “dying”. read the room aksel kantakanta

Colin
Colin
1 month ago

This song is really lovely, musically emotive and further rounded by Aksel’s beautiful voice. What I find interesting is how the lyrics are about moving on from sadness, yet the music is oozing melancholy. And even more interesting is that I find this relation satisfying and fitting. I really feel it! 🙂

Any comparisons with Looking Back or Lie (both of whom I already love) are not my priority today. 🙂

NickC
NickC
1 month ago

Dude can sing. That is for sure.

Heyey
Heyey
1 month ago

I like “Hurt” very much, especially the part that starts with “And I’ve been down that road before”. It almost feels like a sweet and cozy lullaby, but at the same it feels empty and sad. Personally I prefer “Hurt” more than “Looking Back”. I would also love to see Aksel return to ESC 2021 with other fellow competitors, but I think it will be a tough competition for him. I also love “I Love You” by Teflon Brothers and Pandora. It’s such a banger and puts you on a good mood. I really think Finland could do better with… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Heyey
Rey
Rey
1 month ago
Reply to  Heyey

I actually have same top list as you have! Only for me it’s hard to say if I like Hurt or Lie more since both are good in their own ways and don’t really lack anything. All songs have been really amazing, not a single bad song yet

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

An amazing song.. He sings my situation at the moment! Better than Looking back personally.. A bit Lewis Capaldi.. A winner if you ask me.. Let’s go Aksel!

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert
John the Go
1 month ago

Not really blown away but will reserve judgment until the live shows. His performance of “Looking Back” was 100x better than I was expecting and so this could be the same.

Friedenau
Friedenau
1 month ago

Beautiful song! “Looking Back” was the most underrated song last year (I had it in my top 5!) so I hope he’s luckier this time with “hurt” which sounds a bit more mainstream.

Bana
Bana
1 month ago

I still hope that we send a troll/rock entry, because then people wont forget the song.

OpenUpToKazakhstan
OpenUpToKazakhstan
1 month ago

Not a bad effort. It’s nothing earth shattering but I’m feeling it a lot more than I was with “looking back”.

Truth
Truth
1 month ago

Good song again, can’t really pick a certain favourite since I’ve liked all songs so far. Only Danny’s song seems too theatrical for majority of voters to go for (I still like it though) and Laura’s song just isn’t giving much of a reason to even listen it again.

Surprised?
Surprised?
1 month ago

Wow, I think it’s so good and suits him so well! Just so sad that there’s too many awesome options to go and only one can win, so far I can honestly say there’s no more Looking Back to those days when Finland didn’t have so much to offer and qualifying to the final was a bit of a challenge!

That doggie in the window
That doggie in the window
1 month ago

Enough sad boy ballads. PLEASE

Pineaple
Pineaple
1 month ago

There is nothing wrong with male ballads. They have just as much right to be in Eurovision as every other genre. There is more to music than “yaaas kweeen” bops.

Popo
Popo
1 month ago
Reply to  Pineaple

Yes, All “yes kween songs” are bad, for example Fuego

Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Popo

out of all bad “yes kween songs” u pick one of the best ones haha.

Pineaple
Pineaple
1 month ago
Reply to  Popo

I disagree that they’re all bad. They have their place too… haha

That doggie in the window
That doggie in the window
1 month ago
Reply to  Pineaple

It’s funny you automatically assume that I don’t like the sad boy ballads. We don’t need 5,000 songs of any one genre. The Finnish selection is becoming very one note w them.

Last edited 1 month ago by That doggie in the window
Pineaple
Pineaple
1 month ago

All three of the male ballads in Finland are different, and have their own individual identity. There is also a rap/pop number and a female-led pop track from Laura… We’ll also be getting a rock song tonight from Blind Channel as well as probably another pop song from Ilta tomorrow. If that’s one note then… I feel sorry for you. I don’t mean to sound rude, but I genuinely think if there were 3 Cicciolina type songs, no one would even say anything. But because there are 3 male ballads in the running (which some sections of the Eurovision fandom… Read more »

Karl Fradgley
Karl Fradgley
1 month ago

He has such a beautiful voice

Max
Max
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl Fradgley

Indeed!

John
John
1 month ago

What is the deal with the mixing of this video? It seems off. In the chorus did they have him record his own vocals and are layering it on top? or are they auto-tuning it? Also it seems like the video and audio are just slightly off sync from each other.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Layering vocals is a technique used in basically every single song ever. It’s nothing new

Ricky
Ricky
1 month ago

I wasn’t a fan of Looking back, but this is beautiful! It really fits his voice, and it will be interesting to see which song will do better Oskr or Aksel, or will Teflon Brothers win instead! I’m very hyped for Finland this year!

Ari
Ari
1 month ago

While I still generally prefer “Lie”, I cannot deny that Aksel has upped his game this year. This song seems to play better to his strengths, as his vocals make very clear. Some of the lyrics are a tiny bit clunky (“…don’t need to hurt anymore…” throws off the meter a tad) but the emotion behind every word is truly superb. A great effort for him, well done to the songwriters, and I would be happy for Finland to send him back to the Netherlands.

8/10

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
1 month ago

Last year Aksel was whithin a whisker of being my personal winner, so obviously “Hurt” was the song I anticipated the most. And it’s definitely good… but I can’t help feeling like there’s something missing. Lyrically, it’s a natural step after “Looking Back”, except this time the emphasis is put on the future instead of the past, hope and determination rather than nostalgia and regret. It’s once again a sort of musical therapy, an artistic way of dealing with the things that drag you down, and the shift from passive pensiveness to active self-reflection is honestly very touching and could… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Skiwalko
Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago

It’s a better song than “Looking Back” and it showcases his voice beautifully. I agree with Max that the song could benefit from a strong bridge, but I like it anyway. Taking the subtle road actually fits Aksel’s quiet personality. I still prefer “Lie” though. And I fear one will maybe get in the way of the other, cause they share the same qualities and spirit.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Interesting that you and others prefer “Lie,” which is a much more storytelling (or recit-y) kind of song. The issue I have with “Lie” is I can’t immediately recall a melody from it. I remember the story and the singer, but not the actual music. “Hurt” has a Chorus melody that straight away I can remember, and I feel it very much. But that’s interesting how others hear them differently. Maybe i’m just too musically emotional? Haha

Sabrina
Sabrina
1 month ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

I can just talk for myself, but I love good storytelling in a song. The thing I love the most about “Lie” is how he grabs my attention right away and I can’t stop paying attention to the lyrics, because I want to know how the story ends. It has a “he’s talking to me” effect that “Hurt” doesn’t have. With “Hurt” my attention went directly to Aksel’s vocals, to the point I had to rewatch it to read the lyrics. It’s another kind of seduction through music, right? Also, you have a background in music, I have a background… Read more »

Alo
Alo
1 month ago

I think it’s better than last year and I can see it win again, although I prefer lie over this.

Lolek
Lolek
1 month ago

Its a lovely song! I like it better than his entry last year. My ONLY wonder as far as Aksel’s chance to go to Eurovision go is that the song gives me SOMEWHAT similar vibes as Danny and especially Oskr’s entry. Not to say that they would “cancel each other out” but I just wonder how it might shape peoples votes – whereas a song like Pandora (and Teflon Bros) really stands out from the crowd, so far at least anyway.

Bref, Pandora & Teflon Bros are my favourites still, but this is still a sweet entry I think.

Kris
Kris
1 month ago

I find it better and less repetitive than looking back.Aksel’s voice is the centrepiece here. I can see this one winning too.

It’s subtle. Even lie is subtle but it had better progression. Prefer Lie as of now .

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
1 month ago

I’m not afraid to say that I really like this song. The raw emotion is put in front of us, and all the usual musical journeys are stripped away down to the basics. This is unapologetically direct music, the likes of which Eurovision doesn’t usually hear. Both “Hurt” and “Looking Back” make me feel something without using many musical notes; that’s quite special.

F@ab
1 month ago

I love it and it’s definitely one of the 2021 Eurovision finalists!

Ricky
Ricky
1 month ago

One song was chosen, how would you even know that?

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Cute depressing ballad, which could work on radio but not on Eurovision. I prefer his 2020 effort. However, I’m waiting for the staging as it might elevate the song.

Btw, i hope it sounded like Christina Aguilera’s Hurt, lol.

Tibor
Tibor
1 month ago

I really appreciate UMK giving us different flavors of ballads this year – and all are beautiful so far. We knew that Aksel was a good vocalist, but “Hurt” really puts his vocals into focus. Some people may find this repetitive or low impact, for me adding voice layer after voice layer in every chorus variation is all I need, I would have been completely satisfied with an a capella version of this song, it’s just a pleasure to hear him sing.

Kosey
Kosey
1 month ago

Another melancholic, introspective effort from Aksel and I am here for it. It almost feels like a fitting sequel to Looking Back in that this one still has the aching sadness for the past but now there is an acceptance and a hope for the future. Bravo Aksel!

For me, so far it is between Aksel and Teflon Brothers x Pandora. It is almost a repeat of last year – the heartfelt ballad vs the fun, upbeat entry – it is all making for another interesting show!

Lebanese esc fan
Lebanese esc fan
1 month ago

Honestly, I prefer this over Oskr’s song because I find “Hurt” to be more sophisticated melodically and lyrically than “Lie”. However, I do think the latter is probably more palatable for the general audience so it might have more potential at Eurovision. In any case, well done Aksel for another great entry and please ignore the obnoxious haters. Best of luck for UMK and hopefully, Eurovision!

Max
Max
1 month ago

The verses are pretty basic. The chorus is much stronger, but I feel like it lacks a melodic twist in the second part. It has so much potential.
Also: Why is there no bigger sort of crescendo as a bridge? I think he could handle it vocally. He has a great voice!
Ultimately, I was expecting something more like Muista kuka oot… Aksel can show off his rich vocals much more in that one…

Last edited 1 month ago by Max
Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Max

I love myself a good bridge in a song <3 could really elevate it yes.

Ravencrow Neversmiles
Ravencrow Neversmiles
1 month ago

I was positively surprised. I expected Looking back 2.0 but while this is still a ballad too it has more mature and overall different feel. Teflon brothers are still my current favorite but I can’t decide if I’d put this second or third after Lie. I wonder how they are going to execute the layered vocals live though.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ravencrow Neversmiles
Una
Una
1 month ago

I like it!!! And I absolutely love Aksel’s sweet voice. Definitely satisfied with this one. Good job Aksel! Good luck!!

Joe
Joe
1 month ago

As I expected, I’m now kinda split between Aksel and Oskr. I still lean more toward “Lie,” but this is lovely and builds on what worked with “Looking Back” and added more. I would be happy if Aksel got the ticket.

My ranking thus far:
1. Lie
2. Hurt
3. Sina paivana kun kaikki rakastaa mua
4. I Love You
5. Play

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

In any case: no, “Lie” wasn’t a fluke, UMK is bonkers good this year and even the worst entry so far isn’t that bad. Finland is on a really good track this year and I feel more optimistic about their chances of a good result (or at least qualifying) this year than I have in a while.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joe
Erasmus
Erasmus
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Agree! And I saw a lot of people saying that last year’s umk was better and that the umk radio moderator was lying when he said that this umk was strong. BUt I think it’s so good, and Ilta and Blind Channel will also serve so how can acts like Oskr, Laura and Aksel and even Pandora(for now) compare with acts like the girls who sang “Bananas” and Zühlke and Tika with dated and 100x heard before songs.

Catriona Colville
Catriona Colville
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Sorry, but I Love You is winning.

Ashton Schier
Ashton Schier
1 month ago

girl do you understand what an opinion is

Leo
Leo
1 month ago

Hurt is sweet and Aksel is talented and relatable, but this song, in my opinion, lacks the emotional oomph and crescendo that made Looking Back, which I think would have just about snuck in, a grower and a mind clearer.

Last edited 1 month ago by Leo
ESC8
ESC8
1 month ago

I am really sorry but I was not a fan of Looking Back and I think that Hurt is worse than Looking Back. I’m still #teamILoveYou, and I also like Lie. However Aksel still has a chance because of the sympathy vote. Other than that I don’t really see how he could win UMK in terms of televoting since he came 2nd last year, behide Erika Vikman. If the Finns don’t go for the sympathy vote then this is not a winning song. There are already 2 other ballads in the contest and Hurt is not the best among them,… Read more »

EurofanNL
EurofanNL
1 month ago

Lie is still my clear fave so far!

Micky
Micky
1 month ago
  1. I love you
  2. Hurt
  3. Lie
  4. laura&danny