WOMEX announced its first official showcase artists yesterday, and Finland’s Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha were among the acts chosen to perform at the event. Väärä Raha, whose music is a blend of Balkan gypsy music, Russian romances and old Finnish humppa, will perform at the world’s most important world and folk music event in October in Budapest, Hungary.
Jaakko Laitinen, the frontman of the group comments on his initial thoughts after the announcement: ”We were really surprised and happy. You look at the numbers of how many bands are applying and how few get approved, and you see that the statistical possibility to get invited is really small. But we did it, and now we'll get to show everybody why we are said to be the wildest live band in Finland!”
Regarding the group’s connection to Hungary, Laitinen says:
“Väärä Raha has played in many countries, but not in Hungary. I have a personal connection for the country, because I used to live in Szeged, city in South Hungary almost ten years ago. Officially I was there as an exchange student studying librarian and information studies, but in reality I chose the location because of music of the region. Although I could and can not dance, I was a regular visitor of the táncházes, enjoying the music and vibes. I was influenced so much by Hungary, so it will be great to come back and give something back. I wish to have some time road-tripping in the country before or after WOMEX.”
This summer Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha will tour around Finland, mostly in Lapland, at summer festivals and weddings. In the fall the group will play international shows in Italy and Denmark. In Germany Väärä Raha will play at Noch Besser Leben and Altstadtfest in Jena, and at Supamolly in Berlin. On album plans Laitinen says: “New songs are getting ready, and at some point we'll start making our fourth album, although we were planning to make two albums this time, one sweet and acoustic, another crazy and electric. But we'll see, these kind of plans tend to live and change.”
WOMEX will be held in Budapest, Hungary on 21–25 October 2015.