The fifth song of this year’s Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) has been released. You can listen to the song Hurt by Aksel here:
Aksel Kankaanranta is a young singer from Turku, Finland. He first came to the public knowledge in 2017, when he participated in the singing competition The Voice of Finland, where he ended as runner-up. During Voice Aksel showed that he has not only a beautiful voice but also an amazing ability to put his soul into his performances. In 2018 Aksel sang the chorus of a hit song Jättiläinen by rap artist Pyhimys, who is also a member of this year’s UMK contestant Teflon Brothers. Jättiläinen was the most popular song of the Finnish Spotify in 2018, and after that song at the latest Aksel’s voice became familiar to all Finns.
Last year Aksel won UMK with his song Looking back. After his UMK-victory Aksel signed a recording contract with Etenee Records, and told that he would do music both in Finnish and in English. In November 2020 Aksel released a song Muista kuka oot (Remember who you are), which you can listen here:
Some people were a little bit surprised, when they heard Aksel is one of the finalists of UMK 2021, since he had told earlier in the interview of Voice that he hadn’t sent a song to the contest. Last week, after the finalists were announced, Aksel explained his earlier statement to the Finnish magazine Iltalehti: ”That interview was about my single song and when there came a question of UMK, I got stressed, went into panic and told that I wasn’t going to participate. My mistake, and I’m sorry about it. I couldn’t even tell that I’d participate, since I had a confidentiality obligation.”
According to Yle, Aksel’s UMK-song Hurt is a tender and powerful song which reminds that looks can be deceiving. Aksel told Yle the following about his song: ”Someone may look like they’re ok on the outside, but they could still be in terrible pain on the inside. When you’re hurting, you also end up hurting the ones you love. I’ve lived that experience, so I’m truly able to identify with this message. My song is also a reminder that you don’t need to be anyone but yourself.”
What do You think about Hurt by Aksel? Do You think it has what it takes to win UMK and represent Finland in Rotterdam? Let us know in comments of our social media channels!