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Lieminen: “It would be cool to represent Finland in our language” (Finnish semifinalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Lieminen, semifinalist of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision. Lieminen will perform “Pehmeiden arvojen vaalijat” in the last semi-final of UMK 2016 to take place on February 20.

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 2016!

Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

I started playing piano when I was 7 years old, and picked up guitar when 11. One nice memory is when I was 13 I played a gig with some local band in Cyprus with Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran. Never forget that one hah:) Anyway, I have played in all kinds of bands my whole life, from blues to funk to hardcore metal. We made an album with band called Heaven ´n´ Hell which was released in 27 countries or something, did some touring in Europe as well. Good times.

E+: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2016”?

It was quite a coincidence, really. I said to my record label guy that “Hey I should go for the Eurovisions”, half as a joke. Then, six months later he calls me and asks “So, you wanna go to UMK16?. You have to decide right now.” And I was like, “ For sure!”.

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-finals? Did you expect it?

Well it was great, although my goals in the competition are further, hah. I was pretty satisfied with my song, so felt kinda comfortable for getting to the semi-finals.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Finland?

It would be awesome! I´d be honored to say the least and bet it would be a great journey.

E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics? 

The song is a love song. And a party song, too, hah. It´s about “soft values” in life, story about a person who wants to steal his/her loved ones heart. This person is romantic, all about promising to be his/hers for the rest of his/her life.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?

I think it´s a good uplifting party song with nice values in lyrics. Would be cool to represent Finland in Finnish! My live show is gonna be great, too!

E+: If you win the contest, would you prefer to sing in Finnish or in English at Eurovision?

I think singing in finnish would be fresh!

E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “UMK 2016”?

Yes we have, and it´s gonna be awesome!

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?

I watch it from time to time, like last year. Great show! My favorite has to be Abba and t.A.T.u.

E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

How about me and Las Ketchup, lol!

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

My first album was just released on 12.1, so promoting that and gigging. And also the Eurovision finals, hah!

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

Take care of yourself and your friends! Let´s have an awesome Eurovision this year!

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)