Eurovision 2023 Finland profile: 'Cha Cha Cha' by Käärijä
Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Finland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 55 times since its debut in 1961 and has taken part in the Grand Final on 47 occasions. Its best result to date is its only win in 2006, thanks to Lordi and the cult-classic 'Hard Rock Hallelujah'.
Finland has made the Top 10 on 13 occasions, the most recent being when Blind Channel finished in 6th place with 'Dark Side' in 2021. The country has, however, finished last in the Contest eleven times, receiving nul points in 1963, 1965 and 1982.
Last year Finland was represented by The Rasmus and 'Jezebel' which qualified for the Grand Final and finished in 21st place.
2023 Entry: Käärijä - ‘Cha Cha Cha’
Käärijä will compete 15th (last) in semi-final 1
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 2nd
Odds to win ranking: 2nd
(Rankings as of 19 April 2023)
About the artist
Jere Pöyhönen was born on October 21, 1993 in Helsinki and grew up in the suburb of Vantaa. His stage name comes from a nickname bestowed on him by his friends: käärijä means someone who wraps and Käärijä is a rapper.
Käärijä’s introduction to music was through learning to play the drums as a child. He started producing music in 2014 when he discovered his love for rap music. He released his first single ‘Heila’ (featuring Urho Ghettonen) in 2016 and his first album ‘Fantastista’ in 2020. The album reached #21 on the Finnish charts.
Käärijä prefers his music not to be categorised into a single genre; his music features fast rhythms and heavy sounds, which form the focus of his music production. He also likes to include humour in his song writing. He is known for his energetic live performances. Käärijä credits German industrial metal band Rammstein as his major musical influence.
Käärijä has been a Eurovision fan since he was a child. His favourite entries include Verka Serducka’s 'Dancing Lasha Tumbai' (Ukraine 2007) and Måneskin’s 'Zitti E Buoni' (Italy 2021).
About the song
‘Cha Cha Cha’ is a fusion of rap, electronica, metal and schlager. It was written by Käärijä, Johannes Naukkarinen, Aleksi Nurmi and Jukka Sorsa. The song tells of a fictional man called Mr Cha Cha Cha who is at a party feeling unconfident, consumes a few piña coladas, becomes inebriated and starts dancing on the dance floor where he has a good time.
The change in pace during the course the song is intended to create a nicer atmosphere so that it does not appear too dark throughout. According to Käärijä, “the same change that happens in style, also happens inside the head of the main character”. 'Cha Cha Cha' took half an hour to write while Käärijä was watching ice hockey and drinking longdrink, a Finnish alcoholic beverage.
He and his friend thought it sounded like a Eurovision song because they felt the chant of ‘cha cha cha’ was universal and easy to sing along to. Käärijä has described the song as being crazy, a party and dark. 'Cha Cha Cha' is Käärijä’s first single to chart, reaching no.1 in Finland as well as no.13 in Sweden and no.18 in Iceland.
How Käärijä was selected for Eurovision
Käärijä was announced as one of seven participants in Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2023, the Finnish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, on January 11. 'Cha Cha Cha' was released on 18 January 2023, the fifth of the seven songs to be revealed.
At UMK, Käärijä finished in first place with a total of 539 points (467 points from the televote and 72 points from the juries), thereby winning the right to represent Finland at Eurovision.
'Cha Cha Cha' broke the first-day stream record for UMK competition songs with 147,000 streams. UMK 2023 was watched by 2.1 million viewers in Finland, making it the most watched edition of UMK since its debut in 2012.
Finland will compete in semi-final 1 on May 9 (European time) in Liverpool.
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