The Finnish broadcaster Yle will reveal more information about Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) 2019 during September. Anssi Autio, the producer of UMK told Finnish tabloid Iltalehti that there is something to tell soon. ”We have something to tell by the end of September, possibly even in two weeks. Pieces are beginning to click into right places”, says Autio.
Earlier this summer Yle announced that in 2019 UMK will continue as an invitation contest. In connection with this announcement, producer Autio said that UMK 2018 indicated that it is possible to put more effort to shows and other contents when the competition is held as an invitation contest. ”Now we continue developing the concept from this point of view”, said Autio. It hasn’t yet been announced if one or several artists will get the invitation to UMK 2019.
UMK is relatively new national final concept. The first UMK was held in 2012 and the purpose of the new national final format was to introduce new artists and music to the public. Since 2012 UMK has brought many new artists and bands, such as Pernilla Karlsson, Softengine and Mikael Saari, into the public knowledge. UMK has also been an important step forward for some artists already known in Finland, for example Voice of Finland contestant Krista Siegfrids, who won UMK 2013 with her song Marry me and has after that taken part in Sweden’s Melodifestivalen in 2016 and 2017, been Finnish spokeperson in Eurovision 2015 and of course hosted UMK in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2018 UMK was held as an invitation contest for the first time, when Saara Aalto, one of the most internationally known Finnish artists, was invited to represent Finland in Eurovision 2018.
Right after Eurovision 2018, Yle opened an ideabox on the UMK website and asked Finnish people for their ideas and thoughts of UMK and what it should be like in the future. According to these comments, Finns have some mixed feelings about what UMK should be like in 2019. Some writers wish that UMK would go back to its roots and gave new artists a chance to get their music heard, whereas some writers hoped that Yle would continue to invite famous artists to UMK. Writers also mentioned some names they’d like to see in UMK. For example Mikael Saari, UMK 2013 and 2016 runner-up, got several mentions. Other mentioned names were for example Sunrise Avenue, a Finnish band which is known not only in Finland but some other parts of Europe as well, and former Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen. Some writers also hoped to see ALMA, a young and successfull Finnish artist, as Finnish representative in Eurovision, but according to Iltalehti ALMA has said that she will not be seen in Eurovision because Eurovision is not her thing.
What do you think of Yle’s plans? Do you think that the format of UMK needs a revamp? Let us know in the comments below
Watch Saara Alto’s performance of “Monsters” from the UMK final in March here