ESC+Plus has talked to Emma, finalist of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision. Emma will perform “Circle of Light” in the final of UMK 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.
Emma: First of all, Thank you so much Antonio for your congratulations! I’m really happy to be here in the Eurovision family right now and I’m embracing every moment with joy and love.
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
My name is Emma and I’m from Finland but now living in Stockholm, Sweden since 1,5 year back where I work as a music teacher. I’ve been singing, dancing, acting and writing my own songs since I was a little kid. I’ve been participating in various musicals, choirs and solo projects – but the biggest thing I’ve ever done before UMK was when I was on the fifth season of The voice of Finland where I was first in Michael Monroe’s team and later got switched to Tarja Turunens team. There I grew as a person and as an artist and I finally got to know what I wanted to do with my music career, and after that show I called Heidi Maria Paalanen who is one of the writers of the song and told her “I would like to win the Eurovision song contest 2017, do you know anyone who wants to help me achieve that?” And she gathered a group of Finland’s most amazing people in the industry and that’s how Circle of Light was born along with Saara Törmä, Aku Rannila, Jonas Ohlsson and Heidi Maria Paalanen.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “UMK 2017”?
Emma: I’ve always wanted to sing in the Eurovision song contest but I never knew how I could get there. I needed the right people to help me, and a great song. I never knew how the road to my goal would look like, but I have always followed my heart and intuition and it has gotten me here where I am today, in this competition – and I keep following my heart and I have a strong feeling about this.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Emma: I could not believe it was true! I was so happy and overwhelmed with joy that I didn’t know what to do! I wanted to shout out to the whole world about this secret but I had to keep quiet until the press release. I had a vision in my head all the time of where I’m going to be, but you can never be sure about anything so I didn’t expect it, but at the same time I knew I’m heading for the right direction.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Finland?
Emma: It would mean the world to me to represent Finland. I dream of the day where I could make the Finnish people proud of me, the writers of the song, and us as a team in Eurovision. And if we would have the honour to win then it would be the most amazing feeling for taking home a second win for Finland, and also beeing the first female solo artist with a powerful song winning for Finland in the Eurovision.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Emma: The song is called Circle of light, and it’s a song about where you try to visualise a powering circle around yourself where nothing bad can get inside. No matter what kinds of fears, sorrows or bad energy it can’t get trough because you are strong enough to survive all those feelings or situations that everyone feels or goes trough sometimes in their life. Inside the circle you are always safe.
I myself usually close my eyes, take a deep breath and actually visualise a circle around me. No one, no matter what gets trough, and I only grow stronger inside. This superpower as I like to call it, can be found in each and everyone of us.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Emma: I think everyone can relate to the song and its comforting message no matter of what age you are, nationality you have or lifestyle you live. I have created my own version of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and transformed it to something I like to call Wooden Dance Music (WDM) where I have in this dance pop style added acoustic instruments to make the style warmer and more like me. It has Scandinavian elements to it and one of the most important thing to me is how the performance should look like visually. We have great ideas for the show and we really hope people are going to love it.
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for UMK 2017?
Emma: Yes! We have amazing ideas for the performance, choreography and the visuals for the show. But this is something I want people to be amazed and maybe a bit surprised of so I wont spoil anything. But yes, you can expect great things for the performance.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Emma: I watch Eurovision and has since I can remember. This is really a difficult question because there are so many. I have many memories connected to different years and to different song and different artists. But one of my personal favorites is a song because of its strong and beautiful lyrics in the song with means a lot to me, and that is Måns Zelmerlöw – Heores.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Emma: Wow, there are so many! Absolutely it would be Bonnie Tyler because of her cool and unique voice! But I wouldn’t say no to singing with Celine Dion, Abba or Conchita Wurst.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Emma: I want to let you know that all of the beautiful responses I have received so far will always have a special place in my heart and has given me the widest smile ever and there are not enough thank you for all the love you keep sending me! YOU are my circle of light and because of that I will do everything in my power to give you the best performance of my life.
I wish you all the best, and if you want to ask more questions you are always welcome to write again! Take care.
Thank you so much Emma and Jutta Vetter for this interview. Good luck!