Here is the fifth song of UMK23

The fifth song of this year’s Uuden musiikin kilpailu (UMK) has been released. You can listen to the song ”Cha cha cha” by Käärijä here:

Käärijä (real name Jere Pöyhönen) is a Finnish rap artist, but in his music one can hear elements of many other categories as well. For example Yle describes him as ”an artist who is almost impossible to define”. Käärijä spent most of his childhood and youth in Vantaa, and he played ice hockey for a long time. He also played drums, which sparked his interest to make his own music in 2014. At the beginning of his career the music of Käärijä was very strongly focused on gambling, and that same topic can still partly be heard in his music nowadays. His artist name Käärijä (Amasser) comes from a joke of his friends relating amassing money while gambling. 

The debut single of Käärijä was ”Urheilujätkä”, published in 2016. He self-published his music until 2017, when the double-single ”Koppi tules”/”No roblem” was released through Monsp Records, and after a good feedback of especially ”Koppi tules” Käärijä continued his recording deal with the company. The first album of Käärijä, ”Fantastista”, was released in 2020. 

According to Yle, Käärijä is an unabashed and unpredictable artist who loves to break boundaries, go his own ways and explore new things. The artist’s music rise on a whole new level live, and Käärijä is especially known for his unfettered live performances. The artist doesn’t feel comfortable inside any genre boundaries and he likes to combine the elements of for example rap, metal music and electronic music in his music. His lyrics are about everyday things, for example the passage of youth to the threshold of adulthood and from house parties to after-parties. 

Käärijä tells Yle he has followed Eurovision since he was a little boy, and especially Dancing Lasha Tumbai by Verka Serduchka has been a memorable Eurovision entry for him. He has also been interested in UMK for several years, and this year he was 150 % sure he wanted to apply to the contest. When his song ”Cha cha cha” was born, he knew it was the time for UMK:

“Finland is a party country, a heavy metal country and a pop country — this song brings all of those together”, he says.

This is what the jury of UMK23 said about Käärijä and his song ”Cha cha cha”:

”Will this become the afterski hit of Finland for the spring of 2023? In his song “Cha Cha Cha”, Käärijä combines rap, electronic, rock and pop in a unique way. The end result is truly one-of-a-kind, but also very approachable, like the artist himself. The song’s hook is one that grabs you on the very first listen, and we can say with confidence that this is the hardest rap banger in the history of UMK. At UMK and Eurovision, there is always room for something off the wall, which this song so perfectly offers.”

What do YOU think of ”Cha cha cha” by Käärijä? Do you it would be the right choice for Liverpool? Let us know in comments or our social media channels! 

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