We’re excited to bring you a new interview with Finnish star and UMK contestant Robin Packalen!

Robin is a well-known and listened to artist in Finland, whose music has sold over 370,000 copies as of 2014 alone. He first popped up in the music scene in 2008 when he won the Finnish youth singing contest Staraskaba, and then competed for the country in the New Wave Junior Contest in Moscow. And his fans have been adamant about wanting him to partake in the national selection and go to Eurovision, and this year was the perfect time to honor their desires!

Today I’m joined by Finland’s very own Robin Packalen – Robin welcome to ESCUnited and thank you for taking some time out of your day to interview with us! How are you doing?

I’m doing great! This time between the release of the UMK song and the UMK finals seems to go really fast. It’s been wild but I’ve just been enjoying it! 

You are massively popular in Finland, having been marked in the top 70 best-selling artists of all time in Finland and winning four Grammys in Finland. With all this success you’ve already achieved, what made you decide that UMK was the next step in your career?

I didn’t know this statistic before but it’s nice to know! I have been asked to be a part of this song contest for over a decade. However it’s always been a bit bad timing and also at some point I didn’t see UMK as my thing as much as I do now. All the stars were aligned this year and that is why I decided to take part to it this year.

How would you describe your music and sound to our readers who may not have listened to your music before? Are there any musicians who inspire or influence you musically?

I’m a very positive guy and I think that you could hear my personality and positivity on my songs. My sound is very versatile. I’ve never had one style that I wanna follow cuz I’ve always felt that I can pull off a rock song as well as a delicate love ballad. Therefore I’ve kinda used it to my advantage, where I’m known for my voice rather than style of the music itself. However recently I’ve fell into pop/funk and you can definitely hear it in my next album

Now I’m going to ask some easy rapid fire questions to help our readers get to know you better. What is one thing our readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I do paramotoring when I’m on my free time. 

If you were tapped to record a Eurovision cover album but you got to choose the track list, what Eurovision songs would you put on the album and why?

Heros by Måns – Because the show was so cool

Alexander Rybak, Fairytale – Because of the violin riff which is just great!

Duncan Lawrence, Arcade – It’s so emotional. Chorus melody is amazing!

Blind Channel, Dark side – Because I know the boys and I love their songs! 

Daqi Freyr, 10 years – Think about things. – Cuz it’s so special

Måneskin, Zitti e buoni – Its got an attitude that I like! 

Benjamin ingrosso, Dance you off – style is closest to what i also like to make. 

I have to ask you about your song “Girls Like You” cowritten by Zoe Moss and Joonas Parkkonen who worked on the last two winning songs. How did this songwriting team come about and what was the songwriting process like?

This came team came about when we scouted songwriters in LA to make some songs with me and my friend who’s also a producer called Joonas Parkkonen. We found Zoe when our mutual friend hooked us up. The day when this song came to be started tough. We didn’t really have anything in mind for that specific writing day. We were exhausted from the amount of sessions that we’ve had so far during our trip to LA.

When Zoe jumped in things started happening. I’m not kidding when I say that it was three hours and we were done with the song. I loved it from the beginning. I didn’t want it to be just an other single after an other, so then I got an idea to take part to this years UMK with this song. 

If you were to describe your plans for the UMK live-show using only ten words – what would you say?

Dangerous, unexpected, colorful, elevated, sophisticated, physical, flirty, playful, energetic, gnarly.

Now I have to ask you about Eurovision, since the winner of UMK will go on to represent Finland in Liverpool this May. What does a typical Eurovision week look like for you, and are you a big fan of the contest yourself?

When it comes to the Eurovision song contest I must admit that I’ve always watched the semi finals and the finals but I’ve never really been a Eurovision fan. I would love to see how the Eurovision week would look like in Liverpool but that one we don’t know yet. 

For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?

They can find my music from everywhere. Apple music, Spotify, Youtube, Tidal. Depends on what you’re using.

In closing, do you have a final message you’d like to share with the readers of ESCUnited?

Sleep well and enjoy your life! Do the things you love the most cuz it makes it all so much more enjoyable. Also don’t forget to love and care for your close ones.

Robin Packalen is one of seven artists competing in the Finnish national selection UMK on February 25th, which will determine the country’s artist for the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this coming May. 

Are #YOU team Robin for Finland? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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