Finnish singer Saara Aalto, who will compete in the Eurovision Song Contest in May, says she is "very proud to be lesbian."
In 2012, the 30-year-old singer came in second in the Finnish version of The Voice and later competed on The X Factor U.K.. She eventually became a judge on X Factor Finland and even provided the voice of Anna in the Finnish dub of Frozen.
After her appearance on the British singing competition, Aalto found even more success in the U.K.
“In Finland I was too theatrical, too flamboyant,” she tells Pink News. “In Finland they like 'neighborhood girl' artists—I wasn’t like that.”
Though she's dated men in the past (and hasn't ruled them out in the future) she's been with her girlfriend, Meri, for a year.
Aalto describes her Eurovision entry, "Monsters," as being about “living life as you want, finding your strength, being brave as who you are, and not being afraid to show it.”
She calls the track “sassy, fun, colorful, and versatile” and the accompanying video embodies that vibe: It's a technicolor gay fantasy with Aalto writhing around with a a coterie of boys in makeup and vinyl.
While she knew she was attracted to women from a young age, Aalto only went public with Meri in 2016, around the time she appeared on X Factor. She insists, though, being queer "was never an issue.”
“I have always been very fine with who I am and never cared about people’s opinions,” she adds. “If people say nasty things then they are sad with their lives. If you are a balanced, positive person you don’t say bad things to each other. All those people who say bad things are miserable, and I don’t want them to affect my decisions or my life.”