Ahead of tonight’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu final in Finland, we got the opportunity to speak to Catharina Zühlke, who will perform “Eternity” and open the show. We spoke to Catharina about returning to UMK after a three year absence, her musical beginnings at a wedding, performing in Africa and the meanings behind her entry…

Hello Catharina!

First of all thank you for your time talking to us. How are you? What has changed for you in the years since we last talked?

Thank you so much! I’m super excited about the UMK 2020 Finals! Last time we talked I was a finalist in UMK 2017 with my song called “Perfect Villain”. Since then I have made a lot of new music and also I have been performing mostly all over Finland.

The song that you will be presenting for UMK is “Eternity”. What can you tell us about the song?

The song is written in the loving memory for my mother who passed away 6 years ago to the disease known as ALS. The song is about love and its power. The only thing that will live in this world after we are gone is love. It will live through generations in the hearts of the people who we have touched, until eternity.

What was the inspiration for the song, and did you write it specifically for UMK and Eurovision?

One evening I was hanging out with my producer Henrik Tala. We ended up discussing about my mom and how she passed away. At some point Henrik stopped, went through the files on his phone and played me a demo of this song. I immediately fell in love with the song and I felt it touching me deep. The next day we went to the studio to finalise the nuances of the song to fit exactly how I felt. Everything came together very easy and we knew that we would send it to the UMK competition. Of course we are aiming to represent Finland in the Eurovision this year but the important thing was to get to sing the message of the song out loud.

This is your second time participating in UMK, with your first time being in 2017. What are you planning differently this time to reach a better place?

Last time I placed second in the UMK. I was really happy that so many people supported me and I got really nice and constructive feedback. This year I’m stronger. The song is really personal to me and this time I had the courage to show my “soft side”. This year I will sing my heart out!

Has going through the UMK process helped improve you as a musician and performer? What has been some of the most valuable feedback you’ve received as a result of your UMK appearance?

UMK is a really great experience to artist. We get to do so many exciting things! For example; we get to be involved in the planning of the live stage performance. Of course performing on a big stage boosts one’s self confidence. On top of that, UMK has been a great platform for me to get to know my amazing fans.

Do you think performing at the Eurovision Song Contest will have a positive impact on your career?

Yes i do! I’m aiming for an international career as an artist. After 2017 my songs have been played on the radio domestically and internationally. I also got to perform in Africa! I love Eurovision and it would be a dream to come true to perform there this year. I believe I have a lot of “sleeping fans” out in the world and my appearance in Eurovision would wake them up! 😉

What is the best bit of advice you have ever been given?

Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.

What’s the one thing that might surprise people about you?

Hmm.. I might surprise people with my personality. I’m a determined artist but also I’m  really goofy, wacky and gentle person. I laugh to myself everyday!

Can you tell us about your first experience with music?

I performed my very first own song when I was 4 years old. It was my Dad’s cousin’s wedding. The wedding band took a break and I got on stage to sing my song. Since then, I have not been silenced! 😀

Thanks for your time. We wish you the best of luck for the upcoming competition. Maybe we see you in May in Rotterdam!

Catharina Zühlke will take part in tonight’s Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu final with “Eternity”, in the hope to represent Finland at Eurovision 2020. #YOU can follow Catharina on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify.

What do #YOU think of Catharina Zühlke’s entry? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!

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