Samu Haber is the host of UMK23

The Finnish broadcaster YLE has announced the host of Uuden musiikin kilpailu 2023. It’s Finnish singer and musician Samu Haber who will host the Finnish national selection in February. The news were announced on UMK’s website and social media channels:

Samu Haber is one of the most internationally known Finnish musicians. For two decades Haber was the lead singer, guitarist and song-writer of successful band Sunrise Avenue. Sunrise Avenue was successful not only in Finland but elsewhere in Europe as well, especially in Germany. Haber has also been one of the judges and coaches of the singing competition The Voice of Germany in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2020. Sunrise Avenue did its farewell tour earlier this year, and now Haber is focusing on his solo career. Probably the biggest hit of Sunrise Avenue is Hollywood Hills, released in 2011: 

According to YLE, Haber tells that in UMK he wants to make sure the contestants reach as good results as possible:

I’ll be working in UMK and be part of the system that is serving the artists. The contestants are nervous and most part of the job is that together with the directors, lighting professionals, costumers and all the others we get all out of the contestants.

Haber tells that UMK hosting was a happy surprise for him:

For me UMK hosting is a crown for amazingly great year, which has included for example the farewell tour of Sunrise Avenue, my own album in Finnish language and after that sold out solo tour.

Even though the hosting tasks are a new experience to Haber, he is familiar with Eurovision and national selections. Haber has been for example at the Eurovision finals in Stockholm and Tel Aviv. Last year Haber was part of the manager team of UMK runner-up Cyan Kicks. 

There are never too many carnivals in the world, and I’ve always followed Eurovision and national selections. Amazing songs have been sent to Eurovision from Finland, and true effort is put to the show. During the latest years UMK has grown into the really amazing entirety. The show and the contestants are bravely proud and effervescent, and the Eurovision trauma’s of old times have certainly been let go.

Haber will also perform in UMK23, and the planning of his performance has already started. The goal is to bring something special to the performance:

White t-shirt, guitar and man could be a little bit everyday to the stage of Logomo. In UMK I can definitely put on a little bit bigger sunglasses and a little bit more glitter than usual.

Haber tells that for him, one Eurovision memory is above all others. In 2006, the same year as Sunrise Avenue became truly successful, Lordi won Eurovision for Finland. The two Finnish bands bumped into one another many times in Europe. 

First thing that comes to mind when thinking about Eurovision is of course Lordi! It was so crazy when I prepared to the final full of hope but at the same time a little bit fearful and ready to be ashamed. It was great to be at the market square to celebrate the unique victory!

UMK23 host has also a clear dream about the near future:

My dream is that I get to pronounce an UMK winner, who will overcome others also in Liverpool next May.

The contestants of UMK23 will be announced on January 11th 2023 at 7:00 CET. The final of UMK23 will take place on February 25th 2023 at 20:00 CET in Logomo, Turku. The biggest hit of last year’s UMK was definitely Ram pam pam by BESS:

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