Finland – The four jurors who will help to decide the Finnish winner of this year’s UMK national contest have today been announced. They are Tomi Saarinen who is Head Of Music at Finnish radio channel YleX, Toni Wirtanen from rock band Apulanta, rap artist Redrama, and Aija Puurtinen, a Finnish singer, bassist and music teacher. Read more about them here…
Tomi Saarinen is currently the Head Of Music at YLE X (Finnish Broadcasting Company) & its Executive Producer. Formerly a DJ, he has also featured being interviewed on the DVD of HIM, one of Finland’s biggest bands, speaking about one of his country’s biggest musical exports. His radio station plays mainly rock and alternative music in Finland.
Toni Wirtanen is the lead singer of one of Finland’s most successful rock bands Apulanta. Formed in 1991, they hit the big time in 1996 with the song Mitä kuuluu followed by the single Anna mulle piiskaa. Since then, they have had many number one records and have produced 11 albums. Their song Teit meistä kauniin is one of the all-time biggest-selling singles in Finland. The band have established and now run their own independent record label. Their success out of Finland has probably been limited by the fact they choose to sing in their native language of Finnish. Check out one of their biggest hits:
Redrama (real name Lasse Melberg) is a rapper. He is a Swedish-Finn but raps in English and found fame originally as part of a hip-hop group called Alien Allies. Redrama won the English-language Finnish championship of rapping in 2001 and he also won the Finnish Grammy (Emma) award for The Best Hiphop Album in 2005. He has released 3 albums and 13 singles. His videos are on regular rotation on the Finnish national music channel The Voice. Here’s one:
Aija Puurtinen is a Finnish musician, who has become known as Honey B and the T-Bones. She plays bass as well as sings, and is married to the band’s guitarist. She has also composed music for the Zagros Ensemble, after graduating with a Masters Degree and a PhD in Music from the internationally acclaimed Sibelius Academy where she went on to lecture at.
With Tomi Saarinen’s and Toni Wirtanen’s rock music credentials, and a rapper involved too, will the jurors perhaps be looking for a more rock or alternative act from Finland this year after two years of failure with safe ballads? It’s certainly a jury of very well known and well respected individuals who have a wealth of experience in the music industry.
12 finalists have already been chosen by YLEX. they will be presented on December 3rd and the first heat will take place on December 27th. The final will take place on February 9th 2013.