ESC+Plus has talked to Antti Koivula, lead singer of My First Band, finalists of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision. They will perform “Paradise” in the final of UMK 2017 set to take place on January 28th.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Finnish national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical careers and important achievements?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): First of all Hi, it’s Antti, the lead singer on behalf of the band answering on these questions 🙂
We’re five long time friends who have been making music and playing together from the beginning of millennium. We’ve released three albums from which the latest one, ‘Corazon’ was an international release back in 2014.
In 2014 We were the support act for Sunrise Avenue on their arena tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and after that we had our own sold out headliner tour which was also a great experience!
We love touring, playing live shows and travelling with our music. Our contestant song ‘Paradise’ is the first single release from our upcoming fourth album, which is to be released next year.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2017”?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): Over the years we’ve received a lot of comments and heard talk about how we should participate in the nation selection for Eurovision. Apparently people feel our music is in someway Eurovision friendly. That’s a great compliment since we appreciate a great live show, strong songs and energetic atmosphere!
This year the timing of the contest was right for us, we had a great song ready at the same time UMK started to search for songs for 2017 selection, and we decided to go for it!
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): I think you can never expect anything, especially when it comes to the world of Eurovision! Though we believed strongly for our song we know there’s a lot of great songwriters out there. So definitely making it to the national finals is a happy surprise! We’re pretty nervous and excited about it, we’ve never been to any music competitions! But now that we’re in, we’ve decided to go with the flow and have a great time!
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Finland?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): It would mean a lot! Of course representing your country would be a great honour. We as a band have great respect towards all our representatives from earlier years, it would be thrilling to be a part of that gang.
Also as a musician making it to the Eurovision finals and to be able to sing your heart out on that enormous stage would be a dream come true!
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): Paradise is an intimate, fun and flirty song. It’s all about the meaning and importance of human touch. Furthermore, it’s about that mind blowing effect that only touch can create.
We find are some what kept to ourselves, a bit of shy to have that kind of connection so we also want to encourage people to share that connection. I think listeners can all make their own interpretation of what is their personal paradise.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): I think our biggest strengths are the experience and the power that a band creates. We’ve already gained some experience on what it’s like to perform in an arena scale concerts, it’s great fun but for first timers it can be a lot to chew on.
Also the fact we’re a band is an advantage. Finland has had quite nice results when the representative has been a band, for instance Softengine did a great job not to mention Lordi of course!
There’s a possibility to an unstoppable energy every time when a group of people perform music in a live situation!
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for UMK 2017?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): Yes, we’ve started to mold it already. I think it’s going to be fun and sexy, without forgetting dancing. You’ve got to dance with that song!
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): Yes we do, as musicians we’ve also performed some of the most beloved Eurovision songs in our earlier years. We even used to have a live club during the Helsinki finals. We performed only Eurovision songs from Finland and elsewhere.
My personal all time favourite from the Eurovision world (at this very moment =D) is I treni di Tozeur by Alice & Battiato. I’m a fan of Franco Battiato and that song has some mystery to it, not to mention the story behind the lyrics.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): Without a doubt, Loreen. Since that is a dream that could actually still happen, I’m keeping my fingers crossed our paths cross at some point. A duet would be great!
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Antti Koivula (My First Band): We love the enthusiastic take you have on music, live performance and total celebration of life! Never change! XO