Finland: Käärijä wins UMK 2023 – To Eurovision with "Cha Cha Cha"

Käärijä wins UMK 2023, and with that the honor of representing Finland at Eurovision 2023 with the song "Cha Cha Cha"

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2023, simply known as UMK, took place in Turku, Logomo, and was hosted by the Finnish singer, songwriter and music judge Samu Haber.

The show featured guest performances from last year's participants Bess (Ram pam pam) and the winner, The Rasmus (Jezebel).

The seven competing songs were all performed and, at the end, the televote as well as the international jury vote decided that Käärijä should go to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with the song "Cha Cha Cha."

Finland 2023: Käärijä – "Cha Cha Cha"

Cha Cha Cha was written by Aleksi Nurmi, Jere Pöyhönen, Johannes Naukkarinen, and Jukka Sorsa.

Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2023

The televote accounted for 75% of the decision, whereas the international juries accounted for the remaining 25%. Tonight's finalists were chosen from 362 applicants by a jury of music industry professionals led by Tapio Hakanen, YleX’s Head of Music.


Jere Pöyhönen is an artist who is almost impossible to define. Unabashed and unpredictable, Käärijä loves to break boundaries, follow his own beat, and explore new things. Käärijä’s debut album Fantastista was released in 2020. The artist’s music takes on a whole new dimension live – indeed, Käärijä’s unfettered live performances are what he’s known for.

Käärijä’s passion for music started with drumming. In grade school he began taking drum lessons, but when he started middle school his interest turned to rap: Käärijä started to practice his freestyling during English classes.

His debut single, Urheilujätkä, was released in 2016, and since that time Käärijä has done his own thing. Käärijä hates being confined to a specific genre, preferring to combine elements from, among others, rap, metal and electronic music. His lyrics deal with everyday things, the passage from youth to the threshold of adulthood, from house parties to after-parties.

Käärijä has watched Eurovision since he was a little boy, with Verka Serduchka’s Dancing Lasha Tumbai being an especially memorable performance. He's also been interested in UMK for several years. This year, he was 150% sure that he would be submitting an entry, because when Cha Cha Cha came along, Käärijä knew the time was right.

– Finland is a party country, a heavy metal country and a pop country. This song brings all of those together, he says.

Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest

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Finland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961, and has participated ever since, except six years, mostly because of previous years' poor results.

Finland 2013: Krista Siegfrids - "Marry Me"

The Finnish have won the competition once, in 2006, with the song "Hard Rock Hallelujah," performed by Lordi. Since then, Finland's best result is a 6th place finish in 2021.

Since the introduction of the Semi-finals in 2004, Finland has qualified for the Grand Final 10 out of 18 times.

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