ESC+Plus has talked to Lauri Yrjölä, finalist of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision. The singer will perform “Helppo elämä” in the at UMK 2017 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!
Lauri Yrjölä: Thank you and anytime!
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Lauri Yrjölä: My life pretty much revolves around music all the time. I only started playing the guitar and listening to music when I was 15. Before that there weren’t any signs of my musicality. Singing came along because no one else wanted to sing when we we’re putting our first bands together. In the last few years I’ve been writing my lyrics in Finnish and that really feels like home. Now besides being an artist I play in a band called Ottilia where we play our original Finnish rock. Before that I had a band called Year of the Dog where I sang and played the guitar and wrote our tunes in English. We actually made it to the international finals in the Emergenza festival back in the day.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2017”?
Lauri Yrjölä: I wrote 12 songs last Nov. and decided that I need to perform them as an artist. Then in the summer I realized that UMK would be a great way to gain publicity for my and Finnish pop music overall and I wrote a few more songs and with my producer Kasperi Kallio we picked out Helppo elämä and sent it in.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Lauri Yrjölä: I was hoping for it and it felt really good when the call came in. It was a good sign that people might like what I do even though I don’t have a record deal yet and I’m new to everyone.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Finland?
Lauri Yrjölä: It would be an honor to represent Finland since 2017 is our centennial year and my song is in Finnish.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Lauri Yrjölä: I’m singing about a bohemian person who wants to think deeply and save the world and be compassionate but who has no discipline or perseverance. Someone that wants things quick and easy. That person is quite the opposite of me in the sense that I like to put time and effort in whatever I do.
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?
Lauri Yrjölä: I think I’m a good person to show what Finland has to offer in pop music today. And since I write and sing in Finnish it comes from the heart and I don’t have to make any compromises with the language. I also believe that it comes across to the audience even when they don’t understand the language. Like, I don’t understand French but I love the Chansons 🙂
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for UMK 2017?
Lauri Yrjölä: Yeah we have a plot but I won’t reveal anything yet. But I won’t be playing the guitar.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Lauri Yrjölä: I have a weak spot for country music so my favorite has to be Calm After the Storm by the Common Linnets.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Lauri Yrjölä: Perhaps Celine Dion. We could do a power ballad.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Lauri Yrjölä: Go and give Helppo elämä a go. Would be nice to hear what you think of it. Comment in my Twitter @LauriYrjola, Facebook @yrjolalauri or Instagram @lauriyrjola. Those are the easiest ways to reach me.