lördag 30 juli 2011

Paradise Oskar about life after Eurovision

Jakobstad (Pietarsaari) is located on the west coast of Finland. If you happen to be there during summertime you have the chance to listen to different kinds of music. A sunny day in July and I had the possibility to meet with two of Finland’s Eurovision representatives: Paradise Oskar from 2011 and Geir Rönning from 2005.

Both artists performed at the music festival WATTS Up in connection with Jakobs Dagar. 1st of August Paradise Oskar will be in Gothenburg participating in the Swedish TV-program “Lotta på Liseberg” together with the Danish ESC-group A Friend In London and Norwegian Stella Mwangi.

Here is my interview with Paradise Oskar. En svensk version av intervjun hittar du HÄR.

It’s a few months since Eurovision Song Contest. What have you been doing after Düsseldorf?
I have done gigs around Finland and tried to find some time to relax and revert to normal life.. It was rather hectic before and during Eurovision.

What is you best memory from Eurovision?
If I mention one thing it’s the positive energy which ran through the whole arrangement. The people and the atmosphere were unique and I have never experienced anything similar.

Anything you found less positive?
I wouldn’t say so. As an artist I prefer to perform live and in Düsseldorf I did many sing-back performances. But so it is and I focused on the positive things.

Do you think Eurovision is good for your career?
Absolutly. There are very few events where it’s possible to get so much attention. A lot of people know now who I am and also that I wrote the song myself. It’s a good experience and good for my CV.

Anything special you learnt that you will bring with you in the future?
Be yourself. Even if people try to convert you or steer you into a certain direction, it’s important to do things according to what feels alright for yourself.

Your first album ”Sunday Songs” was released in May. How is it going?
The album release was in connection with Eurovision and it got less attention because of the Eurovision focus. Now I’m touring around and more and more people discover that I have an album and many more songs than “Da Da Dam”. As a musician I work continuously to bring out my music.

Have you been on any charts here in Finland?
”Sunday Songs” reached number four on the album chart which is quite good considering it’s an English album. Usually it is the Finnish albums that reach the top-positions.

Will you continue to use Paradise Oskar as your alias?
It’s not necessary for me to keep Paradise Oskar. It would be interesting to change into a new alias for each album. On the other hand it’s easier for the audience if the album would be name as Paradise Oskar volume 1, volume 2 etc. We will see…

Do people mix up Paradise Oskar with Axel Ehenström?
People who know me, see me as Axel. Those who don’t know me might believe that Paradise Oskar is some kind of superstar or rock-star. It’s quite interesting to act, and communicate, via a media person as Paradise Oskar. Nobody knows anything about his private life – because he hasn’t got one.

Did you feel like a ’superstar’ when you came back from Düsseldorf?
That feeling was closer during Eurovision. The weekend I arrived home, Finland won the world championship in ice hockey. That was a big thing and the ice hockey team got the full media focus. I could quickly return to normal life, which I was happy for.

Would you like to participate in Eurovision Song Contest again?
I like the concept and Eurovision was a fantastic two weeks ‘once-in-a-life-time-happening’. I would not mind writing songs for others but I do not want to participate as an artist. It’s a lot of show biz and stuff around which are not really ‘me’.

What about your future plans?
I will continue my studies and to write new songs. Hopefully people will like them so I can earn my living from music.

During the concert in Jakobstad we had the possibility to listen to one brand new song named “Robert’s Street”.

The interview was done 22 July in cooperation with Oikotimes.com, Poplight.se and Radio International.

Visit Paradise Oskar’s web site:  www.paradiseoskarmusic.com
Photo, video: Lilian

onsdag 13 juli 2011

Do you remember Laura and "Addicted To You"?

"Addicted To You" was the Finnish entry in Eurovision Song Contest 2002 in Tallinn. Laura Voutilainen was singing, dressed in white trousers and a blue blouse with an indefinite design. This was my first Eurovision-final on spot. A great experience and a year with many excellent songs. I still think that Laura was worth a much better position than place 20 despite her outfit...

"Addicted To You" var Finlands bidrag i Eurovision Song Contest 2002 i Tallinn. Laura Voutilainen framförde låten iklädd vita byxor och en blå blus i diffus design. Detta var min första Eurovisionsfinal på plats och självklart en fantastisk upplevelse samt ett år med många topplåtar. Jag är fortfarade övertygad om att Laura var värd en bättre placering än 20:de - trots hennes klädsel...

On the 3rd of July Laura performed with her band at the nightclub Le Bonk in Helsinki. The event was arranged by OGAE Finland in connection with Helsinki Pride. This was the first time I heard her live since 2002 and I have to say that the tempo on stage in "Addicted To You" was a bit 'wilder' than in Tallinn.

3:de juli uppträdde Laura med sitt band på nattklubben Le Bonk i Helsingfors. Det var ett evenemang ordnat av eurovisionsklubben i Finland i anslutning till pridefestivalen. Jag har inte hört Laura live sedan 2002 och jag måste säga att tempot på scenen i "Addicted To You" var något högre än i Tallinn.

In this video clip Laura is joined by the dragshow artist Jukka K.
I detta videoklipp får Laura sällskap av dragshowartisten Jukka K.

"Ennen Sua" with the original title "Neka Mi Ne Svane". This was the Croatian entry in Eurovision 1998 sung by Danijela. "Ennen Sua" med originaltiteln "Neka Mi Ne Svane" var Kroatiens Eurovisionsbidag 1998, framförd av Danijela.

Photos, videos: Lilian

söndag 10 juli 2011

Summer in the city of Helsinki

Att turista på nära håll är ofta ett bortglömt nöje. Ta en tur till Finland och Helsingfors! Staden kändes nästan exotiskt - speciellt som vädret under min weekend-tripp var av tropisk karaktär. 
We tend to forget that it is possible to be a tourist in our neighbouring countries. So take a trip to Helsinki. The city felt almost exotic - especially as the weather was tropical during my visit. 

Handla på Stockmann. Även i juli kan man hitta tomtar i julgubbens hemland.
Shopping at Stockmann - Even in July you can buy Santa Claus.

Sola på klipporna och svalka dig med en simtur mitt i stan.
Take a swin in the sea in the middle of the city.

I Helsingfors kan man fortfarande tvätta mattor på traditionellt sätt. För detta ändamål finns speciella tvättbryggor.
Helsinki has special wharfs for washing carpets in the traditional way. 

7000 personer deltog i paraden i Helsingfors Pride 2011.
7000 people participated in the Helsinki Pride parade 2011.

Ät muikor (småfisk) på Salutorget och ta en glass till dessert.
Eat 'muikor' (small fried fishes) at the market square and take an ice creme as dessert.

Helsinki by night. Drag show artist Jukka K as Schlager-Carola and Laura Voutilainen (ESC 2002 "Addicted to you") performing at the OGAE Finland party at Le Bonk.

Photos: Lilian, who visited Helsinki 2-4 Juli 2011.