This Saturday, the pop rock band Haloo Helsinki! scored four wins at the Emma Gala, an annual awards show recognising the best Finnish music. Hallo Helsinki! won best band of the year and best album, best rock album and best-selling album for their sixth studio album, 2017's Hulluden Highway. The four-person band was founded in 2006 and features Elli Haloo on bass and vocals, guitarists Leo Hakanen and Jere Marttila and drummer Jukka Soldan.
Young singer and songwriter Alma won two Emmas at the 2018 ceremony: song of the year ("Chasing Highs") and export artist of the year, while pop singer Antti Tuisku won male artist of the year and pop album of the year (Anatude). Hip hop artist Cheek won both of the Gala's audience awards for artist of the year and best music video of the year ("Enkelit").
Other significant prize winners were female artist of the year Evelina, newcomer of the year Leo, and critics' choice for 2018 Litku Klemetti. The Emma award for the year's best live performance went to the late 90s band Ultra Bra for its series of sold-out comeback concerts.
Since 1983, Finland has arranged the Emma awards to recognise the top performing musical acts in Finland, in much the same way as the Grammys are awarded annually in the US and the Brit Awards in the UK.
The annual Emma Gala is organised by IFPI Finland, the Finnish branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a non-profit organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. Made up of big labels and independent producers, IFPI Finland members represent 95 percent of the music market in Finland.
IFPI Finland members first rank the artists in the various categories, but the final winners of the coveted Emma awards are chosen by people active in the recording industry, along with music critics, retailers and radio station personnel.
The 2018 Emma Gala took place at Espoo's Metro Areena and was broadcast live by the commercial TV channel Nelonen.