FINLAND – We caught up with the beautiful Hanna Sky who is a finalist in UMK – Finland’s National Selection for Eurovision 2014. We spoke with Hanna about how she got into music and what was her inspiration behind her song “Hope” – which is her first ever song that she wrote and recorded in English.
How did you become involved in music Hanna?
Well I started singing from an early age and became involved with many bands. We would play gigs where I sang cover versions. I really enjoyed it but there came a time when I wanted to create my own music and sing my own songs. I found out that variety is healthy and good for the soul so I wanted and needed to perform my own material.
So are singer songwriters your musical influences?
I have many musical influences. There are many wonderful female singer songwriters that influence me today. I really like Emeli Sande, Ellie Goulding and Alicia Keys. I really think that Alicia Keys is a musical Goddess. I got the chance to see her perform live in Finland and I had goosebumps for the entire show. She truly has a gift that inspires me greatly.
So what interested you in taking part in UMK 2014?
I was looking at the show last year and I thought to myself that I would love to enter. I had been writing songs and had actually written and produced my first English language demo – which in fact was “Hope”. I really wanted to share the song with people as it was a piece of music that I was really proud of. UMK was the perfect opportunity to do that and potentially represent my home country of Finland. So I knew that I had to enter the contest.
Can you tell us how you came to write “Hope”. It has a middle eastern feel to it. Was that your intention?
It was a really interesting how I wrote “Hope”. Usually I write my songs with the melody and lyrics first. This time around I started with beats and chords. So that in itself was a different way of writing for me – and you know I like variety in life. I really enjoyed how the song then began to take form from the first beats and chords.
When it came to the lyrics of the song I wanted it to be a wake up call for people.
In what way?
I am a firm believer that you have to be inspired in your life. Being inspired will help make you strive for your hopes and dreams. I hope that people can take that message from the song and feel inspired in their life. I had faith in my beliefs to be a songwriter and now I am truly blessed to be in UMK and having people hear my music.
The staging of your song “Hope” has changed since we first saw it in the presentation show to the live voting shows now. How did that come to be?
Yes the staging and presentation of the song has evolved over the weeks in UMK. The first presentation of the song to the 4 jury members saw us try to find our feet with the song. I experimented with how the song looked on camera and also with my appearance. Once we got to the live shows we were able to take on board all the suggestions from the jury and I built my family around the song.
By family I mean the backing singers and the dancer that I have with me now. We all have the same dream for the song and we are so supportive of each other. Adding the dancer added another element of interest for the song and hopefully for the audience. I feel so comfortable with me team and we bring out the best in each other.
When you won your Heat in UMK you seemed truly shocked when the judges awarded you their top scores. Why was that?
I had always hoped that I would make the final of UMK but I didn’t think that I would go directly. That comes from the fact that all the other performers are all so talented and diverse. What people don’t see is just how supportive we are of each other. All the acts were encouraging each other even though we were in a contest. That feeling of belonging has really inspired me.
I just couldn’t believe that the judges, who are so respected, liked me and my song. It was such a wonderful surprise for me and the “Hope” family.
If you had a message to the readers of Eurovision Ireland and your supporters in Finland, what would it be?
Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you for all your support. It is truly humbling how people have been so kind to me and my song “Hope”. I can never thank you enough for your words of support. I would like to leave one message with people and that is to believe – believe in yourself and believe in your dreams. We can all do it.
Well we believe in Hanna and her song “Hope”. We want to thank Hanna for taking the time out from her busy rehearsal schedule to talk to us. Her optimism is truly infectious.
Me uskomme sinua Hanna
Make sure to follow our live blog from the Finnish Grand Final of UMK this Saturday.
Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall
Source : Eurovision Ireland