24
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Albania – we are discussing Arilena Ara and Fall From The Sky

Eurovision 2020 entries: Albania – we are discussing Arilena Ara and Fall From The Sky

Arilena Ara got the ticket to represent Albania after winning her native Festivali i Këngës in late 2019.

This would be the time when fans would still be discussing the results of Rotterdam 2020 had the event not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here at EuroVisionary, we keep the discussion going by revisiting the entries that had been selected for this year’s Eurovision. Today, we turn to Albania’s Arilena Ara and Fall From The Sky.

Arilena Ara became known in her country when she won the second edition of The X-Factor Albania in 2013. The young artist went on to compete in music competition Kënga Magjike in 2017, which resulted in a third place for Arilena as well as her song Nëntori becoming number one in Romania’s Airplay 100 chart.

In December 2019, the artist won the 58th edition of Festivali I Këngës with Shaj. The long running song contest also acts as Albania’s national selection for Eurovision. Arilena would thus have represented her country in Rotterdam 2020 with her song, which was later given an English version and renamed as Fall From The Sky.

Prior to the cancellation, Albania featured at an unpromising 28th position in the betting odds. But what do we here at EuroVisionary think about the entry? Could Arilena and Fall From The Sky have proven the betting odds wrong? These are some of our views:

Theo – ‘Nothing for me to complain about here really. Nice song, strong vocal delivery, fairly classy staging at Festivali I Këngës, even the more recent English version sounds good to me. I know it is not as characteristic as the songs from, say, Bulgaria or Romania, but, to me, this sounds like a well constructed classic ballad with enough musical content to keep me engaged. Not sure it has a huge following in general but I personally quite enjoy it when it comes on – and I am not even a typical ballad person.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Slovenia – we are discussing Ana Soklič and Voda

Álvaro – ‘I like the English version better than the original song she performed at Festivali i Këngës. Arilena has a good voice and she could have defended her song in her semi-final. However, I can see the parallel with Lindita’s song, World. Another power, classic ballad that may end up being ignored by the audience.’

Giannis – ‘I like Arilena very much. I knew her as an artist before her win in FiK. Her voice is so powerful and the song is so dramatic that keeps you in all 3 minutes. I hope Arilena will have another chance next year.’

Michael – ‘Albania always have the problem of first to choose song and first in alphabetical recaps, then everything gets compared to it. This is a pleasant inoffensive entry this year from a superb singer, yet the song has neither the wow factor, nor is it awful. Therefore, as so often happens with Albania, they would make the final and then come 17th. I’d be happy though to see Arilena again next year.’

Elvir – ‘Albania has a long tradition of making bad revamps. So, when I heard that Shaj will become Fall From The Sky, my first thought was: “Oh, no! Not again.” But surprisingly, Albania managed to produce a good revamp this time. Fall From The Sky is powerful, dramatic and bombastic and, as such, it would fit perfectly in a James Bond movie.

Josef – ‘Arilena Ara is another artist I have followed for some years and wished to see at Eurovision. When she was announced as a national final participant, I was happy as I really love Arilena as an artist. When the songs were out, I was maybe a little bit disappointed but still I liked it. I did not believe she could win, the bigger that surprise was when she did. The English version is as good as the Albanian one, but I think that it was not needed at all. According to the opinions of others all over the internet, I think that Albania would be a borderline qualifier. I would have been happy if she had qualified for the final though. And I hope to see Arilena also next year.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing yet another 2020 entry!

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Albania’s Arilena Ara and Fall From The Sky in the video below.

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

23
May
2020

Success Strategies for Business Owners in 2020

If you own and operate your own company, there are all sorts of things you can do to move from startup to established, without having to spend a fortune, take on a partner, or throw in the towel and go to work in the corporate sector. Think of it, you went the entrepreneurial route because you had a dream. Just because things have slowed down, there’s no reason to abandon your long-term goals. Here are five strategies that can reinvigorate your innovative spirit and enliven your company’s prospects.

Cut Expenses

To succeed in 2020 and beyond, you need to minimize your expenses. This process is simpler than it sounds. Go over your monthly budget with a fine-tooth comb and relentlessly eliminate anything that is not absolutely necessary for the day to day survival of your company. Take aim at things like office janitorial services if you have a small space. Do the job yourself for 20 minutes each evening.

Join a Wholesale Club

For less than $75, you can join a local wholesale club and buy all sorts of office equipment and supplies on the cheap. It beats acquiring items piecemeal online or from specialty stores. If you own a company, you should also own a wholesale club membership. Consider applying for the club’s credit card as well in order to enhance your new firm’s credit rating.

Get a College Degree

Whether you have a couple of years of college under your belt or have never taken a single academic course since graduating from high school, in the modern business world a degree is almost a necessity. Many people balk at the cost of education, but there are realistic solutions to that dilemma. The best work around is getting a student loan to cover tuition and related expenses. These days, student loans are super-simple to apply for. You can even fill out the short form online and submit it directly to the lender. One of the big advantages of education loans is interest rates. Plus, you’ll have access to longer repayment periods and very competitive terms. There’s no need to delay getting a college degree in today’s competitive business environment. A diploma puts you one step ahead and demonstrates your dedication to achieving a level of expertise needed to run your own firm.

Hire a Freelancer to Freshen Up Your Website

Unless you’re a techie, finding a freelancer who can spend a few hours polishing up your company website is key. This is a clever way to outsource an essential task that has the potential to bring in new customers rather quickly. Have the web expert focus on your landing page, shopping cart, and payment portal. Those tend to be the three areas where small entities lose potential online customers.

Simplify Your Mission Statement

This gets into the core of what you do but can have a profound impact on your chances for long-term success. Take a look at your mission statement with a view to simplifying it. Consider offering fewer or less complex products and services. For example, if you currently sell bicycle parts and accessories, think about cutting your product list and only keeping your best sellers.

Categories: Oiko Times

23
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Slovenia – we are discussing Ana Soklič and Voda

Eurovision 2020 entries: Slovenia – we are discussing Ana Soklič and Voda

Ana Soklič at Slovenian selection EMA 2020.

This would have been the time when we would all still be talking about the results of Rotterdam 2020 if the event had not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at EuroVisionary, we though we would keep the discussion going by revisiting the entries that had been selected for this year. Today, it’s time for Slovenia’s Ana Soklič and her song Voda.

Ana Soklič won the ticket to represent Slovenia at Eurovision after winning this year’s Evrovizijska Melodija (EMA), the country’s long-running national selection. 36 year-old Ana is also the lyricist of Voda (Water) and co-wrote the music. The artist is expected to return and represent Slovenia in Rotterdam next year.

Slovenia was in the unfortunate position of being last in the betting odds prior to the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. But what do we think about the entry? These are some of our views here at EuroVisionary:

Theo – ‘I had summarily dismissed this one on first hearing. It had sounded too old fashioned and bland to me. I guess other people must have felt the same way because the song was last in the betting odds. However, I have since come to appreciate the strength in the voice of Ana Soklič. It will be interesting to see what entry she will come back with next year. I am now somewhat of a convert regarding the song, too, though I still think it would have been unlikely for Slovenia to have done well this year.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Latvia – we are discussing Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing

Elvir – ‘I totally forgot Slovenia’s entry after listening to it for the very first time. But when they launched the revamped version of Voda, I began to feel much more positive about it. After Ana Soklič’s performance at Eurovision Home Concert, which was one of the best overall, Slovenia entered my top 10. Ana is such a great artist and I am so happy that she will be back in Rotterdam next year.’

Michael – ‘Slovenia – one of the oddities of Eurovision. Ana is one of the best, if not the best singer from 2020, but Voda is one of the worst songs. Sure her cover of Suus was incredible, but she was bringing Voda. Judging by the other songs you can find on the internet, Ana doesn’t sing for mass appeal and, if she won’t bring a better song in 2021, we won’t see Slovenia in the finals again until 2022 at the earliest.’

Wouter – ‘In my show report, I wrote: “only one word seems to do justice to this song, her voice, the music and performance – amazing!” I stand by what I said in February. I’ll “say yes” to covering EMA2021 if they choose to hold one just for her .’

Charlotte – ‘Strong vocal performance. Though I have no clue what she sings about, I somehow end up believing it. It’s dramatic, mysterious and intriguing. Looking forward to what she comes with next year.’

Josef – ‘Slovenia is a masterpiece. Ana Soklič is one of the best female singers in 2020 and so is Water. Its only disadvantage is how out of the mainstream this is. In combination with the orchestral backing track done in the revamp, Water became really epic – only not for the regular Eurovision audience. Let’s hope for another good song next year, but maybe one with better chances to succeed as I am afraid that Water would stay in the semi-final.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing yet another entry that had been selected for Rotterdam 2020!

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Slovenia’s Ana Soklič and Voda in the video below:

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

23
May
2020

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Welcome To The Summer

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Welcome To The Summer

http://media.blubrry.com/eurovision/p/archive.org/download/escinsight_20200522_694/escinsight_20200522_694.mp3

The Eurovision pace is going to calm down over the next few months. Before the summer kicks off, let’s go over the news from Shine A Light and the last seven days..

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Welcome To The Summer

As the Eurovision Summer begins, we move into the ‘off-season’. Ewan Spence and the ESC Insight team bring you the news from the world of the Contest, including Junior Eurovision 2020, Eurovision 2021, and #EurovisionAgain’s 1974.

Stay in touch with the Eurovision Song Contest over the summer months by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A direct RSS feed is  available. We also have our email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

22
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Latvia – we are discussing Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing

Eurovision 2020 entries: Latvia – we are discussing Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing

Samanta Tīna was to represent Latvia with Still Breathing after winning national selection Supernova 2020.

This would have been the week when we would still be discussing the results of Rotterdam 2020 if the event had not been postponed for a year due to COVID-19. Here at EuroVisionary, we thought we would keep the discussion going by revisiting the entries that had been selected for this year’s Eurovision. Today, it’s time for Latvia’s Samanta Tīna and her song Still Breathing.

When Eurovision 2020 got cancelled, one had to feel for artists like Samanta Tīna, who had tried many times in the past to compete in the contest having their dream taken away – or, at least, postponed – once more.

In her case, the artist had previously taken part in Latvian selections in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019 but also in the Lithuanian selections in 2013 and 2017. It was only this year that the 31 year-old finally managed to win Supernova, Latvia’s selection format for Eurovision since 2015. Fortunately, it has been confirmed that she will be returning to represent Latvia in Rotterdam 2021.

Still Breathing was co-written by Samanta Tīna herself and Aminata Savadogo, who is a fan favourite in her own right. Having represented Latvia in 2015 with her iconic Love Injected (6th place), Aminata also wrote Justs’ Heartbeat the following year (Latvia 2016, 15th place).

The 2020 Latvian entry was only at 35th place in the betting odds prior to Eurovision’s cancellation. But what do we here at EuroVisionary think about Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing? These are some of our views:

Theo – ‘Whether intentional or not, this feels more like happening/performance art rather than a proper entry to me. The video, especially, provides some poignant images referring to stereotypical societal expectations of women, e.g. semi-clad dancers rocking toy pushchairs with their stilettos. When it comes to the song itself, I had dismissed it initially though I now catch myself increasingly liking elements of it.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi's Cleopatra

Michael – ‘A bit of fun from a crazy artist who is full of ideas and makes you wonder what she’ll do next. A very modern entry which I believe would have done so much better than the polls indicate. Can’t get enough of Samanta.’

Álvaro – ‘I feel bad for Samanta after finally getting a pass to go to Eurovision. But, besides that, I like this experimental sound of her song and the meaningful lyrics. I imagine that she was working on her live performance because I could barely understand what she was saying in her winning performance. But, overall, it was an interesting music proposal.’

Josef – ‘I loved Samanta Tina, especially when she started taking part in national selections in 2012 and also in 2013. Her song I Need a Hero is still her best attempt. Even though I was not a fan of her recent songs, I still like her as an artist. She is a good singer and a good performer. Still Breathing is just not my favourite style, Aminata’s handwriting is there very easily recognisable, which would normally be a positive. I think Latvia would have stayed in the semifinal.’

Charlotte – ‘This song brings out all the worst in me. I am sorry, but I have no other option than to skip this. If I didn’t, I would rip out my hair, smash a glass or throw around pieces of furniture… For me, this is one of the worst entries this year. It gets on my nerves and I simply can’t stand the sound of it. Sorry Samanta and sorry, Latvia. Better luck next year .’

Wouter – ‘What she (i.e. Charlotte) said… but at least they keep disinfecting the place all the time.’

See alsoEurope shines a light as alternative Eurovision show takes place – Rotterdam 2021 confirmed!

Elvir – ‘Latvia’s entry is my least favourite entry in 2020. I really can’t say anything positive about Still Breathing. All I can hear is noise, noise, noise. A perfect song as the toilet-break. Actually, this is one of the most annoying songs in Eurovision’s history.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing yet another entry for what would have been Eurovision 2020!

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Latvia’s Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing in the following video:

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

21
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi’s Cleopatra

Eurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi’s Cleopatra

Efendi (Azerbaijan 2020)

Samira Efendi, a.k.a. Efendi, was supposed to fly the flag of the land of fire this year if Eurovision had not been cancelled due to COVID-19. Today, we are discussing her entry Cleopatra for what would have been Rotterdam 2020.

After several years of trying, Efendi was found eligible to represent Azerbaijan in the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Rotterdam. Her entry Cleopatra was presented on 6th of March by a very pretentious video.

29 year old Samira has been in the music industry since her childhood. She began singing at festivals at the age of 18 and this grew her popularity in her home country. She also gained a 3rd place in The Voice of Azerbaijan 2015-2016.

Efendi is one of the artists who will fly the flag for their country next year in Rotterdam.

Could it have been the second victory for Azerbaijan with Efendi this year? Let’s hear the opinion of our authors.

Michael – ‘This is one of my favourites this year. A really strong performance in the video, which I assume would have translated on the stage. Modern, fresh and good on the eye, Azerbaijan would surely have kept its great track record with this entry.’

Charlotte – ‘I quite like Efendi – she has something interesting in her voice, which I am drawn a little to. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t count for the song. I think I am 20 years too old for this, so, instead of commenting too much, I will await what the younger ones think.’

See alsoEurovision 2020: San Marino – we are discussing Senhit and Freaky!

Álvaro –  ‘Cleopatra is not my cup of tea but I can see where the hype comes from. If you enjoy Eleni’s Fuego you will certainly miss Efendi’s entry. However, even if it is not one of my favourites, once you hear it, it is difficult to get that chorus out of your head. Help!

Ashleigh –  ‘Azerbaijan were back with a bang this year. Effendi is the kind of Boss Girl Diva that we all love to see in Eurovision. I’m still not convinced about the strange chant before the chorus, I still find it a little off putting as it breaks up the rhythm of the song. I had Cleopatra in 3rd place in my pre-contest rankings. Without the chanting, it might have been 1st. I have no doubt that Azerbaijan would have again had a top 10 finish in the grand final.’

Josef – ‘Efendi is a beautiful woman and a good singer as well. Paired with such a great song as Cleopatra definitely is, it is top 10 material. This could have been staged so well, I hope for a similar type of song for next year. It is difficult for 2020 artists to come up with something better next year as there will always be the comparison with this year’s entry.’

Theo – ‘When I first heard the song, I thought that was the kind of spiciness Eurovision 2020 needed more of. I like the eastern elements in the music production though, melody-wise, I would have preferred something more interesting here and there. Cleopatra has been done many times before in music, but it is always interesting to see tributes to the Ptolemaic queen of Egypt as far as I am concerned. I really like Efendi (both in general and as Cleopatra in particular).She is full of attitude and looks like someone who would have had great stage presence in Rotterdam. Upper half of the leader board for me.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Poland – we are discussing Empires by Alicja Szemplińska

Güneç – ‘When I heard that Samira Efendi (Efendi) was going to represent Azerbaijan, I was like “at last” since I knew that she has been very anxious about it and had tried to participate at Eurovision many times before. And, when I first saw the video and heard Cleopatra, I was really happy. That’s because I loved the song and I want Azerbaijan to have a good place in the scoreboard. The song is catchy, unique, exotic, naughty, and everything. I was so curious about the stage performance for this entry but it’s a shame in my opinion we couldn’t see it. Hope she will treat us with even a better song next year.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing yet another entry that had been selected for Eurovision 2020!

EuroVisionary

You can revisit Efendi and her entry Cleopatra in the video below.

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

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