Following his second rehearsal, Rory got a chance to catch up with Käärijä to discuss his Liverpool experience so far.
Watch our interview with Käärijä right here:
During their interview, Rory and Käärijä discussed how he is enjoying his Liverpool experience, as well as how his rehearsals went.
Käärijä’s Eurovision journey so far
Käärijä was selected to represent Finland through the national final UMK 2023. He made it through a field of 7 songs to represent the nation with his song “Cha Cha Cha”
Käärijä will perform last in the first Eurovision 2023 semi-final on May 9th.
On Monday, Käärijä performed on the Eurovision stage for his first rehearsal. You can find out more about his first rehearsal, and our thought’s on that here. on Wednesday Käärijä rehearsed for the second time you can a part of what Luke’s performance will look like on TV here.
Who is Käärijä?
Käärijä is the stage persona of Jere Pöyhönen, a 29-year-old singer songwriter from Vantaa, a suburb of the Finnish capital Helsinki. He first started his journey into music learning how to play the drums, growing to music production when he was 20. As well as this, he had a particular passion for hockey.
In 2014, Jere was rushed to hospital when he was diagnosed with the bowel disease ulcerative colitis, which results in ulcers throughout the colon. The condition worsened until Jere’s life was threatened due to the illness. Emergency surgery resulted in his colon being removed, leaving him with a stoma. The scar eventually healed and can be seen on Jere’s lower right abdomen. However, the incident signalled a turning point in his artistic career, allowing him to focus solely on producing music.
Jere later began to make music as Käärijä in 2017, a play on words for rapping and rolling. Several of the songs in Käärijä’s discography relate to gambling, which ties into the ‘roll of the dice’ motive in his stage name. After releasing music independently, Käärijä was signed to Monsp Records. Two subsequent singles – “Koppi tules” and “Nou roblem” were released. This culminated in his first studio album, Fantastista, being released in 2020. Following this, Käärijä was formally signed to Warner Music Finland.
His song for Eurovision 2023 – “Cha Cha Cha” – was written by Käärijä himself, as well as Jukka Sorsa, Aleksi Nurmi and Johannes Naukkarinen.
Finland’s Eurovision journey
Finland debuted in the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 10th with Laila Kunnunen’s “Valoa ikkunassa.” Since then they have competed 55 times, and appeared in the final 47 times. Finland has finished in the top 10 an impressive 13 times. They have won the contest once in 2006, with Lordi’s performance of “Hard Rock Hallelujah” getting 292 points. Finland’s most recent entry was “Jezebel” by The Rasmus. Qualifying for the final, they gained a total of 38 points, earning them 21st place.
What do you think of our interview with Käärijä? Do you think they will qualify for the final this year? Where would you like Romania to finish this year? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we cover the rehearsals of Eurovision 2023!
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Credit: Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU