“My dream is that in February I will be able to announce the winner at UMK, who will defeat the others also in Liverpool next May…” YLE have confirmed that Finnish singer, songwriter, and entrepeneur, Samu Haber, will be the sole host of the 2023 edition of Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK).
Whilst Samu has performed as part of the interval act in previous editions of UMK, and even been a part of the management team for Cyan Kicks in 2022, this will be his first time hosting the show, and his first television hosting gig.
“I’m at UMK and part of the machinery that serves the artists. The contestants are excited, and part of the job is that together with the directors, lighting professionals, costumers and all the others, we get the most out of the contestants.
Hosting UMK crowns an insanely great year for me, which has included, among other things, Sunrise Avenue’s farewell tour, a new album in Finnish and the sold out solo tour that followed.”
There can never be too many carnivals in the world
Whilst UMK hosting duties might be unfamiliar teritory for him, Samu is however very familiar with Eurovision, and its national selections, having attended Eurovision 2016 in Stockholm and Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv for example.
“There are never too many carnivals in the world, and I have always followed the shows and national selections. Wonderful songs have been sent from Finland to Eurovision, and the show is truly invested in. In recent years, UMK has grown into a truly wonderful entity. We are boldly proud and flamboyant, and we have really let go of the traumas of the past.”
Haber himself will be joining the carnival of UMK 2023 not only as a host, but as a performer, as Haber himself has confirmed that he will be performing on the night: “A white t-shirt, a guitar and a man can be too casual for Logomo’s stage. At UMK, I can definitely wear slightly bigger sunglasses and more glitter than usual.”
Who is Samu Haber?
Samu Haber is a Finnish/German singer, songwriter, entrepeneur and talent show judge. His career started out with pop-rock band Sunrise (which was later changed to Sunrise Avenue). The band has released three albums and countless singles, selling over 2,000,000 copies worldwide.
Between 2013 and 2017, Samu was a coach on The Voice Germany, and in 2020, he teamed up with Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist Rea Garvey to become a duo coaching team, going on to become the winning team.
Samu has also dabbled in music management, and is currently working with CoMusic Management as a co-manager for new Finnish artists. He also owned a studio, Sonic Kitchen, together with two others, from 2007-2010.
UMK 2023: what we know so far
The final of UMK 2023 will take place in Logomo, Turku, on February 25th at 20:00 CET. A total of seven acts will participate, who will be revealed on January 11th.
The show will also feature a pre-party, and an after party, which is expected to go on until 04:00 EET. Artists including DJ Orkidea, VJ Hellstone, Club La Persé, and Fiona Timantti, among others, are expected to be performing at the after party.
Are you excited for UMK 2023? What are your thoughts on Samu Haber as host? Let us know what you think in the comnents below!