The Finnish race to Liverpool is officially on. After weeks of speculation, the full lineup for UMK 2023 has been unveiled. Seven artists will compete to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
On Wednesday 11 January, Yle revealed the seven hopefuls in the running to fly the Finnish flag in May. They are: Keira, Benjamin, Robin Packalen, Lxandra, Käärijä, KUUMAA, and Portion Boys.
Finland’s lucky seven will release their tracks over the coming weeks, with a new song every weekday starting Thursday 12 January.
UMK 2023 lineup
Keira — “No Business On The Dancefloor”
UMK’s youngest contestant at just 17 years old, Keira Lundström storms onto the Finnish music scene with her debut single “No Business On The Dancefloor”.
Keira Lundström made waves on The Voice of Finland, where she stunned viewers with her powerful voice. She said: “When I got to sing in front of thousands of people, this feeling of euphoria just washed over me”.
Keira cites Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat and K-pop groups BTS and Stray Kids as major influences on her sound and style.
“No Business On The Dancefloor” was co-produced by Teemu Brunila, Axel Ehnström and Jason Ok.
Release date: Thursday 12 January
Benjamin — “Hoida mut”
Dancing With The Stars champion Benjamin is ready to rock the UMK stage with his track “Hoida mut”.
Benjamin launched his international career in 2014 when his debut single “Underdogs” climbed charts across Europe, topping the radio charts in Spain. He started singing in Finnish in 2018, and scored a number one single in Finland with his track “Naarmuja”.
“Hoida mut” is described as an explosive track, bringing a contemporary sound to UMK. The lyrics regard an important moment in one’s life, and subvert the traditional notions of gender.
Benjamin said: “This is exactly what I wanted to do the day I came to UMK”.
Release date: Friday 13 January
Robin Packalen — “Girls Like You”
One of Finland’s biggest pop superstars, the beloved Robin Packalen makes his long-awaited UMK debut.
In 2012, a 13-year-old Robin Packalen found success with his first single, which was an immediate hit in Finland. He thanks his child stardom for his energy and his lack of fear — away from music, he enjoys extreme sports.
Robin has considered entering UMK for many years, but held off until he felt ready. According to the UMK jury, “Girls Like You” is like a “sunny day squeezed into a three minute audio file”.
Robin said: “This song is so good that the whole world should hear it”.
Release date: Monday 16 January
Lxandra — Something To Lose
Lxandra, also known as Alexandra Lehti, is one of Finland’s most promising talents. Her Finnish Eurovision bid “Something To Lose” is a dramatic, epic, and tender ballad.
When she was 19, Lxandra moved to Berlin to work on her music career, and garnered the attention of some top music industry players. Her tracks have been heard in American films and TV soundtracks.
Lxandra said: “I want to create universal music that is personal at the same time. Dark, but still full of colour. I strive for emotionality and connection.”
Release date: Tuesday 17 January
Käärijä – “Cha Cha Cha”
The boundary-breaking Käärijä makes his UMK debut with “Cha Cha Cha”, an electro-pop rock-rap song with an unforgettable hook.
Unabashed and unpredictable, the multi-faceted Käärijä released his debut single “Urheilujätkä” in 2016. He has followed Eurovision since he was a little boy, citing Verka Serduchka’s “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” as a memorable performance. After following UMK for many years, Käärijä knew it was time to throw his hat in the ring.
He said: “Finland is a party country, a heavy metal country and a pop country – this song brings all of those together”.
Release date: Wednesday 18 January
KUUMAA — “Ylivoimainen”
KUUMAA — that’s Johannes Brotherus, Jonttu Luhtavaara and Aarni Soivio — got their start in 2016. They released their self-titled debut album in 2019, and picked up momentum in 2022 when their tracks “Tulipalo” and “Oo viela sekunnin mun” amassed countless radio spins across Finland.
They’re competing for the Finnish ticket to Liverpool with their song “Ylivoimainen”, a hard-charging pop tune that brings a universal, infectious energy.
Singer Johannes said: “For us, the band is, above all, a group of friends. We’re united by our ambition. This should be taken seriously, but not too seriously”.
Release date: Thursday 19 January
Portion Boys — “Samaa taivasta katsotaan”
With a career spanning more than a decade, party band Portion Boys are one of the most listened-to bands in Finland. Their 2021 megahit “Vauhti kiihtyy” brought the group to a whole new level, making them a household name.
Portion Boys consists of Kenraali Vahva, El Meissel, A.P. Vuori, JaloTiina and Taitelija Nieminen. The group created their name as a reference to Swedish foods.
The UMK jury describes “Samaa taivasta katsotaan” as an “unfortgettable earworm, positively brimming with laser drums, energy and musical hooks”.
Release date: Friday 20 January
Finland at Eurovision 2023: UMK 2023
The grand final of Finland’s UMK 2023 will take place on Saturday 25 February at Logomo Arena in Turku.
The winner will be chosen jointly by Finnish television viewers and international juries. The public will account for 75 % of the vote and the juries for the remaining 25 %. The finalists were chosen from 362 applicants by a jury of music industry professionals led by Tapio Hakanen, YleX’s Head of Music.
What do you think? Who is your early prediction to represent Finland at Eurovision 2023? Share your thoughts below.
No rock/metal? Boo.
Off topic : Confirmed ! La Zarra will represent France at ESC2023. She was a fan favorite to compete in the national selection last year with “Fille de joie”.
Finland’s first song was just dropped an hour ago, what do you guys think about it?
Not what I’d expect from Paradise Oskar, one of the songwriters!
Its sound like what Ukraine would have send with touch of Selena Gomez and Camila Cabello – I was shocked, she might challenge at the end for winning, but since 75% are televote – Robin will probably win 🙂
Robin better have a whiz bang song to justify winning UMK. Otherwise it would be incredibly disappointing If you want because of his reign definition and not on the quality of his song.
Same happened with Rasmus
I like Robin (and ofc if he has the best song I’d like him to win), but with such a song title, it can just go two ways: an iconic banger or a hard flop
Pretty good – especially the music has many nice and interesting moments. However some lyrics make me cringe – “sweating that salty water”?! “Swing it like Harry Potter”?! Oof
I agree, it’s good but I think we haven’t heard the winner yet. Musically it’s a solid track, but it misses that oomph. And the lyrics are its Achilles heel.
I don’t want to swing it like Harry Potter. JK Rowling has ruined him for me. Heavy sigh.
And you Jonas in general ruin wiwibloggs forum completely for me. Seriously admins you need to do something with his case.
That’s not a very nice thing to say. I would ask why, but I don’t care. I’m not here to please you.
The first song is out now— https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VN-DxsFrOYg
She is slaying actually
Wow Finland really slays it every year!! The names are all really interesting and I am especially excited for Robin.
Wiwi, if possible, please try to include the names of the songwriters. Thank you!
Part of me thinks that the names of songwriters should be hidden till the selection is over if possible. Browsing message boards, I can often see obvious preferences and anti-preferences. Usually strong approval when the performer composed it, when the songwriters are local, or when it’s the name from the past who made one or two beloved songs. Usually strong disapproval when the writers aren’t local, especially when they are Swedish, and especially when they were involved in multiple selections each year. I understand why people can feel like that, but it can create a bias towards songs which may… Read more »
I see your point, but still disagree. Songwriters should always be just as prominant as the performers – they are representing the country just as much, if not more. It’s important to know who they are.
Absolutely, and I agree. I’m just lamentating about whether it’s important to know before the selection process is over for said reasons. Still, I love how some selections highlight the songwriters during the show too, so that’s a big plus.
They’re almost completely invisible on the Eurovision semi-finals and final, which is awful. I wish they would return to the days when the songwriter came out to collect the trophy. Now it’s like they barely matter.
Looking forward to hearing them. UMK with only their 7 entries has now become a very curated selection of standout songs that are always promoted with quite strong music presentation videos with each song getting their own moment to shine. Finland has really found a unique space in song selection and presentation.
I’m really disappointed with the songs revealed so far, except for “Venom” I didn’t like any song, they’re all boring and even outdated. “Venom” doesn’t innovate anything either, but at least it’s a good song for the top 15.. the other songs are really boring. Some countries have already revealed song options and it really doesn’t look good at the moment…
this is finland not estonia
If you’re complaining about the Estonian national final, you’re in the wrong comment section.
Wtf – Estonia/Norway/Belgium and Most probably Finland will have or have now the strongest selection so faaar
almost every NF has 3-5 songs i dont mind winning. Its such a fresh and unique and modern National Final seasons (even Ireland is doing it for me!)
I am so grateful for all these artists and their songs. I can’t wait to hear all of them performed. But I still can’t let go of Erika Vikman. I so wanted to see her name in the list. I need help. 😀
I can totally relate!! Erika is such an icon. But UMK never disappoints, and I’m sure that all the songs are gonna be awesome!
She said many times she would never comes back, her life has changed after 2020 after UMK …. Same with Rampampam girl from last year.
I was hoping for Mikael Saari or Aksel 🙁
UMK is really one of the selections I’m most looking forward to!
OMG Axel Ehnström is Paradise Oscar Finland 2011 and i am happy about Robin – i knew he will come here one day. He need to win! Its a matter of time when Finland will finally win ESC again.
Seems as if Finland has shred a bit of its rock roots. I feel like this will be more of a pop-based selection.
It’s probably a good thing for Finland to something different. It Keep things fresh.
Yes sadly! I miss rock songs. My favourite Music. And they do it well
Finland’s had stellar selections since 2021 and I hope this one will be another banger. I still listen to Jezebel and Ram Pam Pam from last year, and I Love You and Dark Side from 2021
Geez Finland. This is next level. UMK will be a bloodbath. Malta, take note please.
It’s amazing to see how Finland changed the perception of Eurovision … The fact that their national just attracts the biggest talent is amazing.
I’m so exciting !!!
But for the song of Keira, its tonight no ?
Because on the site of Eurovision News, it’s 11 january, tonight ?
Well it’s going to be released at midnight (EET), so technically 12.1.
I don’t understand anything, so it’s good tonight that Keira’s song comes out!!
Because on Eurovision News they say so… We’ll see!
Its going to be out every day at 23 in the evening (CET) for Finland Its is – 12.1 (1 a.m)
thanks ^^ it’s tonight then !
Benjamin isn’t exactly famous for being an artist/singer.
Its like putting Neymar or Tom Cruise in Eurovision.
Benjamin and KUUMAA? And both singing in Finnish? Ok, we’re onto something here.
This is very promising line up. Well done.
I had Lxandra on my wishlist ever since I heard her song on Marvel’s Runaways. I’m so excited for her EC song and this is a great line-up.
I am so EXCITED! ??
Ok, Finland, now that you have revealed your artists, they better give us some badass tunes.
Man, I didn’t expect Finland to reveal such a stacked line-up! Probably the best one ever, I can’t wait to listen to the songs bc all of them sound promising! 😀
This truly is the thoughest UMK ever, such big names!