This year, Finland has to be one of the most underrated countries in the Eurovision Song Contest considering the great performance that Pernilla has been giving during her respective runs which have not been too easy considering the nature of her song which might be simple yet is still extremely emotional. The track which she is performing bearing the title När Jag Blundar was written by her brother as an ode to their mother and therefore, the sentimental feeling will surely be astonishing when it is performing following the likes of Belgium on the stage of the first semi-final. It will be quite interesting which ballad will ultimately stand out the most on the night.
Finland have quite the history in the Eurovision Song Contest and until a couple of years back, they were the longest participating nation not to score a victory but Lordi did change that with their track Hard Rock Hallelujah. Pernilla is quite different and following years of rock and metal, the genre that YLE has been represented by has been calmer, different and somewhat enjoyable noting last years' entry Da Da Dam by Paradise Oskar. They kept to the same formula with such a beautiful ballad. In this special interview on the bus of Finland, Pernilla speaks about the message of the song, the rehearsals and how she manages to keep so calm throughout.
In recent weeks, we have been quite busy by interacting with acts that will be representing their countries in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Some of the artists are already well known in their country but nevertheless, there are also a number of performers who are still up and coming and that their victory was somewhat unexpected as is the case presented to the people here. One has to note that one of the more recent winners, in the form of Finland will be represented by the young Pernilla and her song När Jag Blundar. It will be quite interesting to see the result she will achieve. She has taken some time out of her schedule to speak exclusively to our web portal here at escflashmalta.
Finland have been predominantly represented at the Eurovision Song Contest by either Finnish or English and their best results have been with the latter but nevertheless, the song that you will be presenting is entitled När Jag Blundar is actually in Swedish, a language which will be making its appearance at the event for the very first time since 1998 when the neighbouring country of Sweden were represented by Jill Johnson with the song Kärleken är which finished in tenth place. Nevertheless, Finland also presented a song in Swedish back in 1990 entitled Fri? performed by the band Beat but failed to achieve more than eight points. What is the idea behind using this language and what is the message behind the song?
My brother and I made this song for our mothers 50´s birthday and this is our mother tongue. I couldn´t sing this song in any other language, it would not have the same emotional feeling.
Despite a progress in the general assessment in terms of results for the country, the Finnish broadcaster responsible for the participation in the music event, YLE, have decided in favour of changing the annual pre-selection process and making it an accessible showcase for upcoming artists. There were a number of people who had already been seen within the music seen because the exposure was actually quite high but the final set of people were all somewhat newcomers to the Finnish music scene. With six entries, vying for the victory in the end, did you believe that you were going to be announced as the winner and what was your initial reaction to the result?
I have to admit that I really didn´t think I was going this far, not eaven to the 40 selected. So when I found out that I was chosen to the 40 set, I already was so proud and pleased. And then suddenly we came to the top 12 and top 6 and top 3, I still cant describe how thankful and hay I am. At the moment when they called my name and said I was the winner I was just screaming to my cellist "no no, is this really true??".
We have spoken deeply about the message of the song that you will be presenting on behalf of Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest and it has been noted down that it is very much a family affair with the music and the lyrics written specifically for you by your very own brother, Jonas, who is a well known music producer in the country. The message conveyed is for your mother, who in turn is a huge fan of the music showcase. How much do you believe in the idea of the family and honestly, would you have changed anything within the track which you might not have liked even if it is such an important family issue?
This was a song that vi honestly made with my brother to our mother when she turned 50 years. We wanted to make a song that tells her how much we respect and love our mother. Every time I sing this song, I think of my mother, it´s a very emotional feeling.
Up until a couple of years ago, Finland was the longest competing nation in the Eurovision Song Contest waiting for their first victory but this changed when Lordi and their rock track entitled Hard Rock Hallelujah swept to a surprise victory just ahead of the Russian entry. Nevertheless, the results since then have been somewhat successful with Finland managing to make it through to the finals on each and every occasion except for once, with Kuunkuiskaajat and their song Työlki ellää just missing out by a couple of points. What is your view of the history of your nation in the annual music competition and why do you think, have the results leaped to successful finishes in recent years?
I don´t know why Finland haven´t got so many points earlier in the history. Maybe we just haven´t had that good songs, except of course for Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi!
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most popular music events in the world at the moment especially due to the fact that a number of performers are once more finding fame through their performances at the event by virtue of receiving a lot of exposure and thus recording labels are even more interesting in the products that are being offered as seen by the success of artists such as Helena Paparizou, Alexander Rybak, Lena Meyer-Landrut and Jedward for example. This particular showcase will be the biggest thus far from a personal point of view though at a young twenty-one years of age, where do you see your career as a vocalist heading in say a years’ time?
I don´t know yet what is going to happen. But I hope I will start working on an album in the summer, with my brother! To get the chance to represent your country in the Eurovision Song Contest, is good promotional for any artist!
The first semi-final of this years’ edition of the musical event is being touted as a slightly easier route to qualify though nothing could be taken for granted at this point in time because one could never rule our any of the competing nations because they tend to bring out the best of their entry on the night and therefore end up impressing both the juries and the tele-voters at home. What could you tell us about the way that you will be performing your song on the night and is there anything special that you would like to get across with the performance that you will be sending across to the rest of the continent including the countries not competing in the first semi-final such as Malta whose representative is Kurt Calleja?
I want everything to stay as a surprise, but i can tell that the performance will be very emotional and down to earth! I sing from my heart and that´s why this song is so honest as it can be.
Would you like to say anything to our readers and your fans at escflashmalta.com?
Thank you for reading and that you like my song! I'm very thankful of all support you give me. Hugs!
A collective group of countries come together to form a continent but then again, the definition is too broad in the sense of the word and therefore, there is more than meets the eye at times. When it comes to Europe, most of the countries are re-grouped into smaller areas such as the Baltics, the Balkans or even Scandinavia. There is a specification based on history or even geographical location but these countries look out for each other despite for example having had to face themselves in civil wars throughout the years. The next country to be analysed further by our critics is none other than Finland who will be represented by the young Pernilla with the song När Jag Blundar written by Jonas Karlsson, who happens to be the brother of the performer.
Pernilla has a strong and emotional voice, which has received acclaim in Finland. “När Jag Blundar was written for my mother. I relate to the lyrics deeply and I hope this comes through in a universal way – after all, there is an instinctive bond between a mother and a child, regardless of whether they are present in each other’s lives or not. The song expresses gratitude for motherly love and understanding”, Pernilla says.
När Jag Blundar was written by Pernilla’s brother Jonas Karlsson, who is an acclaimed producer in Finland. “This is a family project and I like it that way. These people know me like no-one else and I am able to express myself openly, which is important to me. In addition, my mother is huge fan of the Eurovision Song Contest so you can imagine how overjoyed she is that a song that was written for her by her son and sung by her daughter will be performed in Baku!", Pernilla laughs. Pernilla belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. “People have asked me whether I will sing in Swedish in Baku. Yes, I will. När Jag Blundar was written in Swedish. It would now be difficult for me to capture the emotional depth in another language”.
Pernilla has always been involved in music, albeit not professionally: “Music has been my dear friend and I have been singing and dancing more or less my whole life. When I was 15 I won a contest called The Smallest Schlager Competition in the World. Nonetheless, I continued to concentrate on my other passion, handball. It is only now that I will pursue music wholeheartedly and professionally,” Pernilla says. Currently Pernilla is working on new material with her brother Jonas.
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
Jan Van Dijck
- I personally like this song, but just as a song for the ESC and that’s where it was composed for, to compete in the Contest. The song itself is a bit repetitive. Maybe to the final, maybe not but I believe that six (6) points are deserved.
- This is tender, liberating and has an individual artistic quality about it. The Finnish accent is so strong that you nearly forget it is sung in Swedish, but that makes it all even more charming. I would love to see this do well, but I don’t really believe it will. Qualification should be Finland’s highest ambition. I will give this seven (7) points.
- A nice melody with a hurtful voice. Not a very exciting performance, gets a bit dull after a while. This song has a stripped down production that works well with her voice. We are not really getting into this song, so four (4) points from us.
Composer: Jonas Karlsson
Author: Jonas Karlsson
Song: När Jag Blundar
History of the Nation
Finland was one of the longest competing nations in the Eurovision Song Contest without a victory prior to the year 2006 actually and therefore they might have slowly been giving up on winning but more using the event as a platform to promote their music. In the years leading up to that prestigious moment, they did miss out on a number of years. It is widely known that their 2000 entrant Nina Astrom had actually beat the popular band Nightwish with her track A Little Bit for example and they could have been the first winners should things had went differently. Prior to the victory with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah, their best result had been achieved back in 1973 when Marion Rung took to the stage with the song Tom Tom Tom. Since then though, results have been better and most of the time, Finland has been in the final only missing out in 2010.