THE NEW KARAOKE WORLD CHAMPIONS

Posted on: January 14, 2019
THE NEW KARAOKE WORLD CHAMPIONS

Meet the 2018 KWC Gold Medalists!

We asked our new World Champions these five questions:
1. What were your first thoughts when you realised you had won the World Championship?
2. How do you feel now when you look back at the whole competition, what happened to you during this time?
3. What surprised you most in the competition?
4. What are your future plans with music and singing?
5. Do you have some tips for next years’ contestants?
+ Greetings to all our KWC family

Photo: Arttu Kokkonen

Karaoke World Champion 2018: Mikko Blaze Bordeaux, USA

1. What were your first thoughts when you realised you had won the World Championship?
Shock and Happiness. My knees felt weak and I felt like I was going to faint. I was just so overwhelmed in the happiest way. I also felt relief. I had been working 3 years for this moment and I just exploded with joy. I felt validated.

2. How do you feel now when you look back at the whole competition, what happened to you during this time?
I still smile when I think about it. I’ve received so much love and recognition at home. The whole experience has given me the momentum boost I needed, I also feel extremely validated in my talent. I finally believe in myself and am aiming to achieve even bigger goals I’ve kept on the back burner. I have just loved the whole experience, not only have I grown as an artist, but I have a world-wide network of family. Its beautiful to know that I’m now a part of a vast network of amazing artist. I feel so proud to represent them, and am looking forward to seeing how each of my friends’ careers flourish.

3. What surprised you most in the competition?
The talent. It was off the chain!!! I mean, I just wanted to yell and say why don’t these people have record deals already! I feel like this was one of the most talented groups I’ve sung with and they just slayed their songs. They were also a very friendly and fun group, I got to know folks and got to make some life long friends.

4. What are your future plans with music and singing?
As of right now I’m working on a demo, and then I'd like to release my first album. I’ve got a band, and I’m going to use my prize money to reinvest in myself.

5. Do you have some tips for next years’ contestants?
Song choice and order is everything! Pay attention to the scoring rules and plan accordingly. Push yourself but also pick songs that showcase what you do best. I also think it’s important to be as visually appealing as you are vocally. Dress for the part but also make sure it makes sense for your song. the most important is be sincere and sing from the heart, show the judges why you love music and have fun. I’m also available if folks want more tips!!

Photo: Danielle Beth Uhl

KWC 2018 Duet Category winners Tea Repo & Jyri Paavilainen, Finland

1. What were your first thoughts when you realised you had won the World Championship?

TEA: When I first realized that we won the duet category, I felt so happy and grateful. We were attending with a genre that has rarely (or maybe never?) been used in the competition and we had no idea how it would be appreciated. Winning the KWC has been my dream for years already so this most definitely was one of my biggest dreams coming true. I also felt that I really hope this encourages other people with this genre to take part. Karaoke is for everybody and that is the best part of the competition. Happiness and gratitude, they were my biggest feelings.

JYRI: Truth be told, I first realised I had won the World Championship the following day. When our names were mentioned as the winners, I was in utter disbelief. The whole moment felt surreal. It was amazing to win the competition in front of so many familiar faces, all cheering us on.

2. How do you feel now when you look back at the whole competition, what happened to you during this time?

TEA: During the whole competition I feel that the biggest change in me was being able to trust myself as an artist more and also being more creative. We really wanted to make each song our own and that needed a lot of creativity. Also competing has been very serious to me before. Of course it was very serious but also we just wanted to have fun and more important, we wanted the audience have fun and I think we delivered 🙂

JYRI: For me personally, I grew as an artist and a performer. We did our own arrangements for two of our three songs, which was a whole new challenge for me. I did our opening song, and Tea stepped up with our final song as well, and we ended up with performances that really showcased what we could do. We knew coming in that we were doing something that had not been done on the KWC stage before, and we knew we were either gonna do pretty well or fail completely. It was also an excercise in trust for us, since we lived in different countries for the majority of our prep time. Fortunately we had a long history, and we were able to trust that once we got on the stage, everything would be ok.

3. What surprised you most in the competition?

TEA: Well I was so amazed that we won, so maybe that was the biggest surprise. And I don't mean that I wouldn't have believed in us, I definitely did. But I'm so happy we were able to create feelings with a totally new genre in the competition.

JYRI: Two things, really. First and foremost, the quality of singing on display. There were so many amazing artists, and so many potential champions. And secondly, the amount of support and cheering each other on. It seemed like everyone was there to put on a show first, and compete second.

4. What are your future plans with music and singing?

TEA: I released my first single last year. My future plan and dream is to make and release more music. And enjoy karaoke a lot without that much competing.

JYRI: I hope to put out an EP in 2019, and see where that takes me. It’s been too long since I put out new music, so I’m looking forward to getting something out there.

5. Do you have some tips for next years’ contestants?

TEA: #1 tip is that believe in yourself! And when you make it to the world finals, be proud of yourself. The level of singers is crazy good, no picnic competing on that stage! 😀 Make a plan and strategy for every single performance. Make sure that there is a WHY behind every single song choice. I believe that creating and delivering emotions is even bigger factor than hitting every single high note. For me also enjoying other contestants' performances during the competition gave a lot of strength and positive feelings rather than extra pressure. And have fun, enjoy every single second on stage. Those are your moments. <3

JYRI: I’d say if you want to win, figure out what makes you different from other singers/performers, and lean into that as much as you can. In order to stand out from the field of such amazing performers, you need to be different and interesting, even a bit odd. Do you, and be proud of that. And remember to have fun, enjoy the experience – and network!

+ Thank you for every single person on site and the ones watching the stream. We got so much encouragement throughout the way and it felt awesome when we knew all the time that there were also others believing in us and enjoying our performances. My best friends in life are part of this family, thank you for making my life so much better <3 Life would really suck without karaoke and you. Life needs a little bit 24k Magic every day - and that's what you guys are to me. Lot's of love: Tea <3 🙂

Photo: Arttu Kokkonen

KWC 2018 Champions Round winner Toni K. Laaksonen, Finland

1. What were your first thoughts when you realised you had won the World Championship?
I was in total shock! All I could do was to cry and just thought that I did it. I knew all these years that I might have a change to win and now it did happen!

2. How do you feel now when you look back at the whole competition, what happened to you during this time?
It was a very hectic week for me as I had to go to my daily job in the morning and come straight from work to Apollo. But in a way, as this was my second time around, I could take this sort of a mentor role. At least in spiritual way. I kind a sensed that people respected me for competing in KWC earlier. And it gave me confidence. I could rely on my strengths and just enjoy on stage and show that the stage is our comfort zone. I wasn’t nervous and I could keep the crowd at my grasp.

3. What surprised you most in the competition?
Well to be honest with you, it still is surprise to me how I beat Jenni & Chyeè. They were just brilliant and although I did very well as well I never would have thought that I beat them. And the other thing that surprised me was the overall quality of the competition. Sure I’ve been around for long and I know that there are awesome performers in KWC but still, this level surprised me a bit.

4. What are your future plans with music and singing?
I’m going to continue singing in different competitions and shows. And I would love to have some more live band experience. Maybe form some cover or tribute band.

5. Do you have some tips for next years’ contestants?
Try as many songs as you can and then out of them pick songs that you REALLY love AND songs that really suits your voice. And it would be best if the song had variety in it. Songs where you can show your range and that are touchy are the best. And of course OWN the stage.

+ You guys are the best! In 2011 I wasn’t in Facebook so my contacts to that years performers are few but this time around I wanted to make sure that at the end of the competition I have as many new singing friends from around the world as possible. And now I do! ☺️❤️✌️

Related event: KWC 2018
Posted on: January 14, 2019
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