Finland: UMK 2023 artists react to each others’ songs


Earlier this month, Finnish broadcaster Yle announced the seven artists participating in UMK 2023 — Keira, Benjamin, Robin Packalen, Sandra, Käärijä, KUUMAA and Portion guys – release their songs one by one.

In a new video on UMK’s YouTube channel, recorded in November 2022, we see the seven Eurovision candidates react to their fellow participants and their songs for the first time. Below you can hear and read some of their thoughts.

UMK 2021: Artists react to each other’s songs

KUUMAA — “Ylivoimainen”

All round positive response to KUUMAA’s entry, Ylivoimainen, with performers complimenting KUUMAA’s vocal abilities and production style.

Benjamin: Bloody hell, is it my vocal coach? It’s dark but dancey. Okay drama!
Portion guys: This is very Eurovision. It makes me dance. It plays in your head. It’s a good tune.
Sandra: It’s pretty groovy.
Keira: It sounds like their style. It’s a blast.
Käärijä: I thought it would be an easy win, but it’s not. It’s clearly a hit. If I ever took someone home for a night out, I’d play this. The boy sings well. I think I should have written a better song.
Robin Packalen: It’s sick! It’s also very fast.

Kääariä — “Cha Cha Cha”

“Cha Cha Cha” is a rollercoaster of a song, and so are the artist’s reactions, while fellow artists are visibly awed and full of anticipation as the song progresses.

Benjamin: Oh my god, it’s amazing!
Portion boys: This is a great one. I am very confused.
Sandra: Ooh, good.
Keira: Pretty scary. Genre change.
KUUMAA: This is what we listen to on our tour bus. It’s like two different numbers.
Robin Packalen: Damn it? Oh, something is happening now.

Keira — “No Business on the Dance Floor”

Not one but two fellow artists mistook Keira for Finnish global pop sensation Alma, with further compliments on Eurovision potential and melody.

Benjamin: A beautiful song festival melody!
Part Boys: A great voice. Does it think it’s Alma? Is it not? It sounds like a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Sandra: Who is it? The singer has a good sound. It’s pretty groovy.
Käärijä: A great voice with personality. Oh what happened?
KUUMAA: I think is it Alma? It’s not. It’s okay, but who is it?
robin Packages: OK! Kind of oriental atmosphere. I thought it was oriental, here it is!

Lxandra — “Something to Lose”

Lxandra’s ballad left fellow performers far more speechless than others, who can be seen listening intently to Lxandra’s vocals, the song and the emotional lyrics.

Benjamin: Love it. Goosebumps.
Part Boys: Ah, it’s so beautiful. I feel like crying. The melody is so good. Great great.
Keira: I like the sound. I am speechless. It’s really a beautiful song.
Käärijä: Wow. Who has such a voice? Not me in any case. Little things can make the song sound really big.
KUUMAA: Is it Lxandra? It’s so nice! It is awesome. It’s sick.
robin Packages: There’s something wonderful about it, I don’t know what.

Benjamin — “Hoida Mut”

Finnish pop sensation Benjamin has had many a recent hit in Finland full of queer pop power, which made many artists immediately recognize him. “Hoida Mut” was very well received, described by artists as a sexy, 1980s-inspired Finnish pop banger.

Sandra: Is it Benjamin? It’s a good dance number.
Part Boys: Benjamin Peltonen! Sexy. Dripping with sex. To go!
Keira: I already know who it is!
Käärijä: Oh my. I would add it to my playlist. Sh*t, it’s sick! Nice little elements.
KUUMAA: It’s Eurovision style. Wow! It could be our song. Let’s switch tunes.
robin Packages: 80s vibes. It sounds great!

Portion Boys — “Samaa Taivasta Katsotan”

Also familiar with competing artists was Portion Boys, more artists will recognize their own style. Käärijä especially loved their entry with many positive comments on “Samaa Taivasta Katsotaan”.

Sandra: Epic. Okay.
Benjamin: It’s Portie Boys! Oh my God!
Keira: I know Kimi Raikkonen.
Käärijä: It’s so Portion Boys. This will blow up the festivals this summer. I can already see myself partying during Midsummer in Kalajoki.
KUUMAA: This job is fire. It’s the bomb. It is.
robin Packages: Ooo! Oh my.

Robin Packalen — “Girls Like You”

Last but not least, Robin Packalen has also had many hits in Finland since his teenage years, which made many artists recognize him. However, most of his hits were in Finnish, and artists noted the “international sound” of his entry. However, not everyone recognized him, Benjamin called him the “Finnish Dua Lipa” and said “go girl!”.

Sandra: Isn’t it Robin?
Part Boys: Why does the beginning have to be so good? It’s Robin! It’s so international, my god.
Keira: Great groove.
Käärijä: It doesn’t sound Finnish. The Weeknd Spheres.
KUUMAA: Ooh. Here we go. Okay! Yes. That is good.
Benjamin: I like the intro. Is it the Finnish Dua Lipa? or is it Dua Lipa? So sick!

UMK 2023

The final of UMK 2023 will take place on Saturday 25 February. The winning act will represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool. The show can be watched live worldwide on Yle’s Areena streaming service with English commentary available.

What do you think? Which UMK act is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

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