The first part of the wait in Finland is over, when on February 9th Saara Aalto released the first candidate song for the country’s national final Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK18). The song is called “Monsters” and it’s a strong, perfectly crafted pop song with a catchy chorus, melodic hooks, modern arrangement and Saara’s voice which can reach both high and low parts of the song. It’s a streamlined dancepop tune with a flamboyant chorus.
Saara’s collaboration with Swedish and British songwriters
Saara has written “Monsters” together with Joy and Linnea Deb from the Swedish songwriting team The Family, and the British producer-songwriter Ki Fitzgerald. The Family is known for Eurovision success: they have written the winning song “Heroes” for Måns Zelmerlöv in 2015. Fitzgerald has collaborated with artists like Jonas Brothers and Pitbull. It only took about four hours for the team to write the song in December. They all agreed that the song should be one of the Eurovision candidates.
The Swedish influences in the music can certainly be heard. The song sounds very international, and in the ears of a Eurovision fan, it sounds like something you could expect from artists like Lady Gaga, Loreen or some of the very best Melodifestivalen entries.
The lyrics continue the theme of Saara’s previous UMK tune “No fear” (2016) about winning your fears and getting rid of monsters inside of your head. “I ain’t scared no more”, she shouts. According to Saara, the song is about traumas and fears and competing them, and feeling accepted as a person. And we can’t escape the thought that Finland has already once won with ‘monsters’ – the country took the victory with the monster band Lordi in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006.
Among the choreographers for the UMK18 show on the 3rd of March is Brian Friedman, who has designed choreographies for big stars such as Britney Spears and Beyoncé. He also choreographed Saara’s X Factor UK performances in 2016. Friedman had told Saara that if she ever needs more choreographies, she should keep in touch – and now is the moment. “His style fits Eurovision so well. We are doing it big and in a bit more special way. It’s also great for Finnish television to have such a professional working for us”, Saara rejoices.
In the music video, we can see Saara as a stylish warrior woman – and in the indoor scenes she looks really sultry surrounded by a group of drag queens. The video definitely shouts “Eurovision!” all over it.
Watch the “Monsters” music video here:
“Monsters” leaked out prematurely – to the joy of Australian Eurovision fans!
The song release was due at midnight Finnish time on Friday, February 9th, but leaked out prematurely because of a small technical mistake. The song became available in each country when their time zone hit midnight. Therefore, to the joy of Australian Eurovision fans, the song became available to them before it reached Europe! According to Saara’s spokesman the other two songs will be timed to release on midnight Finnish time.
Saara has been working on more than 20 new songs very intensively during the past few months. Among those songs, Saara and her team have selected the three songs competing in UMK18, held on 3rd of March. One of those songs will be selected to represent Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.
The two other songs by Saara for UMK18 will be released on Fridays 16th and 23rd of February, at midnight Finnish time. The two songs are called “Domino” and “Queens” – very interesting titles that we’re looking forward to hearing.
Will Saara make it to the ESC opening ceremony in Lisbon?
It will be a busy spring for Saara, and she is going to have some big challenges in her schedule. She is also working as a judge at X Factor Finland, and the show final will take place in the same evening as the Eurovision Song Contest opening ceremony in Lisbon. Saara is not yet ready to reveal her plans for that night. All the Eurovision fans and the media of course hope to see her on the red carpet among the other Eurovision stars.
More videos: Follow Saara Aalto on her road to UMK18 and Eurovision – watch more videos behind the scenes on Yle Arena.
Listen to “Monsters” on Spotify: