ESC+Plus has talked to Saara Aalto, runner-up of the Finnish national selection for Eurovision 2011 and semifinalist of “UMK 2016”. Saara will perform “No Fear” in the first semi-final set on February 6.
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!
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Hello! I’m a Finnish singer-songwriter and I call my music Epic Love Pop! I love dramatic and emotional music with a show feeling. I also want to bring love, joy and encouragement for everybody; be yourself and inspire others! I’ve studied piano since I was a little kid and through music schools, singing competitions, my career and concerts (in Finland and all over the world) I’ve gotten lots of experience and confidence to be who I am as an artist. In 2011 I came 2nd in the Finnish final of the Eurovision Song Contest with my own song Blessed With Love. And in 2012 I came 2nd in the Voice of Finland. I’ve published 5 albums with my own record label Yume Records. I’ve performed in musicals and big shows in Finland, and have had concerts together with Andrea Bocelli and Jose Carreras. I’ve also given my voice to Princess Anna in the Finnish version of Frozen. I’m happy to be versatile performer. 🙂
E+: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2016”?
I’ve always had the Eurovision on my mind and now I thought it was a good time to come back. I had composed a song that fit well to the ESC and I thought I would be ready and confident to take part!
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-finals? Did you expect it?
I was really happy, because I had been working a lot with my song “No Fear” and I thought it would be perfect for the ESC.. so I had my hopes high!
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Finland?
It would mean a world to me! It has been my dream since I was a kid. I’d want to show a new side of Finland with my big show.. and be an exotic Finnish snow queen 🙂
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Most of us are afraid of people who are different from us… and some of us might even do bad things to others if they are afraid. With this song I’m singing “No Fear” to all those people who have prejudices towards other people. Why can’t we all just forget our fears and live together on this beautiful Earth. I want this song to be the happy funeral of fear, where people are dancing together!
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
“No Fear” is a very versatile song; it has a little ballad feeling in it but also a big party. It’s hopeful, colorful and strong song. My strengths are my confident performing, strong singing and a big show!
E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “UMK 2016”?
Yes, my show will be on 6.2, so the show is already done.. BUT it still needs a lot of work, because the show is pretty complicated 😉
E+: How do you remember your participation in UMK 2011?
It was a very good experience. It started my career as a solo artist and I was able to publish my first album “Blessed with Love” just after UMK 2011.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorites songs in the history of the competition?
I always watch the ESC and I have many favourites! For example.. My Love Goes Stronger Every Minute (Cyprus 2004), Molitva (Serbia 2007), My number one (Greece 2005), Wild Dance (Ukraine 2004), Rise like a Phoenix (Austria 2014)
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Celine Dion or Lara Fabian.. can’t decide, I want them both!
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
Only Eurovision 😉 and composing new music! Lots of concerts!
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
I really hope this year’s Eurovision will be more amazing than ever!! I can’t wait to meet you all there.. hopefully 😉 I send you lots of love and encouragement and No Fear attitude for this year!
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!