Matti Kalevi Siitonen, nicknamed Fredi, (born July 23, 1942 in Mikkeli) was a Finnish entertainer and musician. Fredi has released 13 studio albums, several collections and singles, of which more than 177,000 copies have been sold beyond the gold record limit.
One of Fredi’s best-known songs is “Kolmatta linjaa takaisin”. Other well-known songs include ”Pieni nukke”, ”Milloinkaan en löydä samanlaista”, ”Vippaa mulle viitonen”, ”Puhu hiljaa rakkaudesta” and ”Avaa sydämesi mulle”.
Matti Siitonen lived in Hämeenlinna in the early 1960s, where he founded the Five Pennies folk band. Siitonen started his solo career as a folk singer under the name Folk-Fredi. His most famous song of the time is “Roskisdyykkarin balladi”.
During his army service, Siitonen founded The Stone Faces, which later became known as the Stone Face, with four others. The quartet became popular and their television series aired in the 1970s was one of the most watched in Finland.
In 1974, Fredi released his best-selling album “Avaa sydämesi mulle”. The album was voted the best Finnish album of the year, and its title track “Avaa sydämesi mulle” ranked second in the Autumn charts. It was released as the first single on the album and reached the top of the charts.
Fredi has represented Finland twice in the Eurovision Song Contest, the first time with “Varjoon – suojaan” in 1967 and the second time with “Pump-pump” as the leader of Fredi and Friends in 1976. The song is on the 1976 album “Laula kanssain”. There is also a Finnish version of the rock classic “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” The album became gold.
In 1978, Fredi released one of his most acclaimed albums “Tänään Fredi”.
Matti Siitonen has also written songs for other artists. One of the best known is Katri Helena’s “Katson sineen taivaan” sung at the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest.
In 2003, Fredi performed with Petri Laaksonen and Pepe Willberg in the Poptenorit trio. In 2005, Fredi released the album “Muuttuvat laulut”, which only included cover versions.
In 2010, Fredi hosted the six-part SuomiTV talk show as Fredi’s Guest.
He has acted in a movie and acted as a voice actor in the Finnish version of the animated film “Notre Dame”.
Siitonen has been married since 1969 to Eva-Riitta Siitonen, former Mayor of Helsinki, ex-MEP of the Coalition Party and former announcer of Advertising TV. They have two children.
Fredi passed away on april 24 2021.