Finland’s riding a high after winning the televote at Eurovision 2023. But now the producers of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu — the country’s contest for new music — have a very big challenge on their hands. How do you match the success of Käärijä and his addictive “Cha Cha Cha”?
Well the work is underway. The song submissions window closed on 24 August and now producers are busy sifting through demos and assessing artists, known and unknown.
As in previous seasons, the song and artist selection will be made by a panel of music professionals, which is headed by Tapio Hakanen, Head of Music at YleX. He and his team will contact all applicants by the end of October to let them know their fate.
“Interest in UMK among the audience and artists has grown year after year, and last year’s Käärijä phenomenon shot it to unprecedented heights,” Hakanen says.
“UMK’s status proves that a large percentage of the biggest Finnish music phenomena and hits have come from none other than this open call for song entries. UMK is not just the preserve of big-name artists or recording companies – every year, we also see many incredible indie artists and artists from small recording companies. We’ll soon see who will be Finland’s next Erika Vikman, Blind Channel, BESS, KUUMAA or Käärijä. It’s all about the song.”
UMK24 will culminate in a live final, which will be held in February 2024. The exact time and place will be announced in the next couple of months.
So we wanna know: Which Finnish acts do you have on your radar? What talent — undiscovered, up-and-coming or firmly established — has what it takes? Let us know down below…