05
August
2020

Greek musician Agathonas Iakovidis died at the age of 65

Greek musician Agathonas Iakovidis died at the age of 65

Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas Iakovidis - Greece

Agathonas Iakovidis died today at his house in Langadas, Greece. The 2013 Greek Eurovision participant suffered from a heart attack.

Agathonas Iakovadis was born in Evangelismos in Greece in 1955. He was a professional rempetiko musician starting his career from 1974. Three years later, he released his first album.

He participated at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest as a guest star for the group Koza Mostra and the song Alcohol Is Free. As a matter of fact, it was a surprise to Greek fans as he was known not to be that into popular music or Eurovision. He played the bouzouki and took some vocals as well. The song was an uptempo song and with a great performance on stage it achieved a 6th place with 152 points in the grand final.

The sad news today was reported by Greek Skai TV. Unfortunately, it comes just the day after the news from Serbia that tripple Eurovision participant Rajko Dujmić had passed away after a traffic accident – also just 65 year old.

You were a father, brother and friend. It was an honour I met you’.

Ilias Kozas, frontsinger of Koza Mostra

We on EuroVisionary stand with Agathonas Iakovidis’ friends, family, loved ones and fans and express our condolences.

In the video below, you can enjoy the 2013 Greeck Eurovision entry:

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05
August
2020

Rajko Dujmić – 1989 Eurovision winning composer – dies at age 65

Rajko Dujmić – 1989 Eurovision winning composer – dies at age 65

Rajko Dujmić

Rajko Dujmić, probably one of the most successful composers in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest, died today at age of 65. He composed “Rock Me” – the song that won the contest for Yugoslavia back in 1989.


Rajko Dujmić died today at the Rijeka Clinical Hospital after he was involved in a traffic accident in the village of Stari Laz, Croatia, on the 29th July.

Dujmić was on of the most famous songwriters, composers and music producers in the former Yugoslavia. He was best known as a member of one of the most popular music acts in the region, the pop band “Novi Fosili”, which he joined back in 1976. Some of their biggest hits are Za Dobra Stara Vremena, Milena, Sanjaj Me, Košulja Plava and Šuti Moj Dječače Plavi. “Novi Fosili” disbanded in 2001, but members of the most memorable lineup gathered again in 2005 for some revival concerts.

During his impressive carrier, Rajko Dujmić was involved in 1821 music pieces either as composer, songwriter or producer. He also received Croatian music award Porin for life time achievement in 2013.

Rajko Dujmić in the Eurovision Song Contest

Dujmić participated in the contest for the first time in 1987 in Brussels as a member of “Novi Fosili” and as a composer of their entry Ja Sam Za Ples. Yugoslavia finished 4th back then – the country’s at that time best result along 1962 and 1983, when they achieved the same result.

The year after in Dublin, Dujmić was back for Yugoslavia once again as a composer. “Srebrna Krila” performed the song titled Mangup, which ended 6th in the final.

Finally in his 3rd attempt in 1989 in Lausanne, Dujmić managed to win the contest. He composed the song Rock Me, performed by the pop band “Riva”, which gave Yugoslavia their first and only victory in the Eurovision Song Contest.

You can re-watch Yugoslavia’s winner song from 1989 in the embedded video below:

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05
August
2020

Eurovision 2016: Austria’s Zoë in focus

Eurovision 2016: Austria’s Zoë in focus

ZOË

At the Eurovision final in 2016, only one of the songs didn’t include any English in its lyrics. That was Austria’s Zoë who sung her song entirely in French. This was also the first time that Austria sent a song in French, bringing some variety in terms of languages.

In February 2016, the local Austrian broadcaster organised a national selection to chose their representative. Wer singt für Österreich? took place on the 12th of February 2016. Zoë Straub won the competition and the right to represent Austria in Stockholm, Sweden.

Contents

  • 1 Loin d’ici – opinions from fans
  • 2 A mini Biography to Zoë

For the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Zoë sung her pop song Loin d’ici (Far from here). The song talks about going on a journey in the search for paradise with a loved one. Zoë performed in the first semi-final where her performance included colourful backdrops representing idyllic landscapes. She qualified for the final where she finished in 13th place with 151 points. However, she ended in 8th place with the televoting. This was a huge improvement from the previous year in which Austria came in last with 0 points.

Loin d’ici is written by Zoë herself together with her father, Christof Straub.

Loin d’ici – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Austrian entry from 2016, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Álvaro S. – I adore the innocence and sense of joy this song gives me. Zoë’s carefree performance is simply lovely. I also like to appreciate the beautiful visual effects on the screens + the bridge. Magnifique, J’aime bien Zoë.

🇬🇧 Mhairi O. – The song is very catchy although it is a little bit repetitive for my taste. I feel the staging is better than the song. At one point I believed she could have won.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – In 2016, I wasn’t able to appreciate this as much – until I saw Zoë perform it at Eurovision In Concert. Then I understood just how much quality this song had. Seeing how fans reacted to it at that pre-concert in Amsterdam, I knew this would be a fan favourite. It’s really a cute and charming song, and though, she at Eurovision never quite managed to hit that magic from Amsterdam, I still like it. It will never be a favourite of mine, but I enjoy it very much.

See alsoEurovision 2006: Belgium's Kate Ryan in focus

🇳🇴 Steinar M. – I know this is a huge fan favourite – but not with me. OK – a cute girl, with a cute stage background. But….it’s just TOO Cute. And too sugary and simple musically. Chocolate taste well, but this is as if I have eaten too many chocolate bars in a row. Cutie overdose. Her father was a well known indie musician in Austria, I wish we could hear more of that in this song. Interesting to notice that the expert jury didn’t want this song to qualify, they wanted the great rock song from Montenegro instead. If only….!

🇱🇹 Konstancija S. – I really love this song. I love the beat, which is relevant even today, after four years. The singer is really professional – her voice is very suitable for this song. Actually I have one more observation, it’s often said, that songs for Eurovision should be in English as everyone in the world can understand that. But this song is a perfect proof of the Beethoven phrase: Music is a universal language that everyone understands. It doesn’t matter that it is not in English, everyone understands. So it is a perfect evaluation for the composers and lyrics writers.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – A wonderful song by Zoë for Austria in 2016. One of my favourite Austrian entries. The song is very sweet as are the vocals. One thing I didn’t like about the performance was the styling.. Her hair, her dress and her skin are pretty much the same colour and it just looks odd…and makes her look washed out. Even now when I watch it back the styling bugs me. But a wonderful song.

See alsoRajko Dujmić – 1989 Eurovision winning composer – dies at age 65

🇷🇸 Miljan T. –  2016 was a very strong year and still many fans consider it the best Eurovision in a long time, especially technically. Austria surprised us all with sending a song in French, and though the studio version was OK, the absolutely flawless vocal presentation and scene backdrop made it a very magical experience.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – A decent enough wishy washy entry which amazed me why it was so popular in the arena in Stockholm, but juries and viewers didn’t quite salvate about it so much. Light weight and enjoyable and definitely the best choice Austria had to send that year, as I remember their national final that year very well.

🇨🇿 Josef S. –  Zoë should have represented Austria already in 2015 as her song Quel Filou was miles better than The MakesMakes. But her time to shine came in 2016 and she had perfect song. One of my favourites in Stockholm. I love her singing in French as she’s good at it. Loin d’ici is a fairytale-like disco-pop song where Zoë is the main princess. It is not French-chanson style like in 2015 and maybe it’s good for the overall acceptance of the song. TOP 10 placing is well deserved, she could have finished even higher. One of my favourite Austrian entries ever. I love Zoë!

Enjoy Zoë’s performance from the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about Zoë.

EuroVisionary

A mini Biography to Zoë

Born in Vienna, Zoë Straub is a singer and actress. Her interest for French pop started in her childhood. She attended the Lycée Français de Vienne, a French high school.

After Conchita’s victory, Zoë tried to represent Austria in Vienna for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. Her song Quel Filou came in third place in the national final. She got to represent her country the next year instead where she reached the final and achieved a 13th place. Her album Debut includes both singles. After her Eurovision participation, she has released more singles in French.

Zoë participated in the San Marino national selection in 2018 as a jury member.

In February 2020, she announced that she gave birth to her first son and in May 2020, she released her EP Amour Fou the Remixes.

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04
August
2020

Ruslana campaigns against illegal deforestation of Carpathian Mountains

Ruslana campaigns against illegal deforestation of Carpathian Mountains

Ruslana's Safe Karpaty campaign

With deforestation causing Ukraine’s worse cases of flooding in over 30 years as well as the continuing threat of animals losing their natural habitat, Ruslana has decided to do something about it. She has introduced a social campaign in the hope of creating a Carpathian Guard Initiative to save the Carpathian Mountains from illegal deforestation.

The winner of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest, Ruslana has created a social campaign ‘The Carpathians are a place of power’. Her aim? To stop the illegal deforestation of the Carpathian Mountains.

The Carpathian Mountains are a mountain range that spread across central and eastern Europe, being the third longest mountain range in Europe after the Urals and the Scandinavian Mountains. The mountain range are the habitat of the largest European population of brown bears as well as wolves and lynxes. It is believed that many of these animals will lose their homes to deforestation as well as the effects this has on the population of Ukraine, including the increase in flash floods which was saw recently where 27 people died and tens of thousands were left homeless.

The Carpathians, known in Ukraine as Karpaty have always been a source of inspiration for Ruslana with many of her early music videos shot in various regions of the Carpathians. She isn’t the only artist in Ukraine to get behind this initiative as Vidbir 2017 runners-up The Hardkiss have also shown their passion towards the cause.

Ruslana has created a campaign video which is narrated in Ukrainian with English subtitles showing the devastating effects of illegal deforestation on the Carpathian and it’s wildlife. You can watch it in the embedded video below.

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04
August
2020

Eurovision 1981: Switzerland’s Peter, Sue and Marc in focus

Eurovision 1981: Switzerland’s Peter, Sue and Marc in focus

Peter, Sue and Marc performing Io Senza Te at the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest

It’s perhaps a little unfair to title this article, Eurovision 1981, as this was in fact the last and fourth time, Peter, Sue and Marc represented Switzerland. However we are discussing ‘Io Senza Te’, their Italian language entry from 1981.

Italian was the  fourth language the trio had competed with, equalling the placing they gained in 1976 with the English, Djambo Djambo.

On February 21, 1981, Peter, Sue and Marc opened the Concours Eurovision in Geneva, competing against future entrant Marielle Farre (Switzerland 1983 and 1985). Whilst on this occasion, Mariella, both performed and finished last, our trio gained an outstanding win, beating second place, Swiss Union, and so they headed of to Dublin, where performing second to last, they gained 4th place with 121 points.

Io Senza Te – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Swiss entry from 1981, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

Michael O. – Despite loving Bucks Fizz, this to me was the song that should have won in 1981. I couldn’t believe at the start of the voting many countries ignored the song or scored it low. Others though had it in first place. The song is a classic ballad, made even better with the pan pipes. A wonderful melody and sung in Italian. I love it.

  🇯🇪 Pawel J. – Simple but beautiful song from Switzerland. I feel like it should’ve been performed by only one person –  it would’ve made much more of an emotional impact I think. Regardless of that, I do quite like it but could’ve that song take the Swiss to the very top that year? I doubt it very much.

Charlotte J – This is such a lovely song. I totally adore it and Italian is the most beautiful language to sing in, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I often forget about this song when listening to ‘old’ Eurovision entries, but that doesn’t make it any less good. Every time, I do hear it, I am reminded of its quality once again.

See alsoRuslana campaigns against illegal deforestation of Carpathian Mountains

Elena T. – This was before I was even born and this is also the first time I have heard this great song by Switzerland! I love how everything used to be simple and the main focus was the actual song! Lovely love song and very catchy! I enjoyed listening to it for sure!

Josef S. – This ballad is exactly what I love about older Eurovision entries – nice melody, orchestra (I miss it a lot!), national language lyrics and good vocals. I didn’t know Io Senza Te before but now I think I have another add-on to my Eurovision playlist. Good job, Switzerland!

Aaron S. – I liked Io Senza Te, although no one was taking the win away from Bucks Fizz in 1981, I think this is Peter, Sue and Marc’s strongest entry of their four. I like the use of instruments on stage to support the orchestra and think it all came together very well with the beautiful Italian language.

See also16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

Alvaro S. –  Although my favourite entry from Peter, Sue and Marc at Eurovision is Djambo, Djambo I like the peaceful feeling this entry gives me. The melody is beautiful in contrast with the sad content of the lyrics and it is the type of song that benefited with the live orchestra.

Ashleigh K. – Well, thank you for bringing this song to my attention. A beautiful entry from Switzerland. I love the pan flute intro and the vocals were also beautiful, the male vocal in particular was very strong. A thumbs up from me.

In the embedded video below you can travel back to 1981 and enjoy Peter, Sue and Marc’s Io Senza Te. Below the video you can read more about this trio.

Peter, Sue and Marc – a mini biography

Sue Schell was born in New York and moved to Bern when she was eight years old. She met Marc Dietrich in 1968, and with Marc’s friend Peter Reber, they formed the trio that would represent Switzerland four times.

In 1971 they sang in French, gaining 12th place with Les Illusions De Nos Vingt Ans, but they did better 5 years later in 1976 coming fourth with Djambo Djambo.

In 1979 they joined Pfuri, Gorps and Kniri, for the novelty, Trodler und Co, which finished 10th, and then finally Io Senza Te gave them another 4th place in 1981.

The trio were not all about Eurovision though and scored several hits during the seventies, including Cindy, Charlie Chaplin, Amazonas and Birds of Paradise, in Germany and Japan, as well as at home. They released 10 albums and even have a musical written about them.

The group split in 1981 leaving the song Bye Bye Friends as a parting gift, but they have reunited at times over the years for one off concert appearances.

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03
August
2020

Eurovision 2007: Belarus’ Dmitry Koldun in focus

Eurovision 2007: Belarus’ Dmitry Koldun in focus

Dmitry Koldun at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest

He became the first Belarusian act to qualify for the Eurovision final. His 6th place is to day still the country’s best ever result. Many fans still love and remember Dmitry Koldun’s ‘Work Your Magic’.

A national selection, Eurofest 2007, was held in order to select the Eurovision representative from Belarus. After winning the public vote in the first round, Dmitry Koldun qualified for a second round of voting that took place behind closed doors. Here he was up against two personal favourites from the jury members. We don’t know what went on behind those doors, but eventually Koldun was announced as the winner.

Contents

  • 1 Work Your Magic – opinions from fans
  • 2 Dmitry Koldun – a mimi biography

Work Your Magic is written by the Russian/Greek ‘dream team’ Philip Kirkorov and Dimitris Kontopoulos. Karen Kavaleryan provided the lyrics.

At the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, the song finished 6th after a 4th place in it’s semi-final. The 6th place, which is still Belarus’ best ever Eurovision result, came to be after the maximum 12 points from a total of five countries: Armenia, Israel, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

Work Your Magic – opinions from fans

In order to find out what Eurovision fans today think of this Belarusian entry from 2007, we asked our Eurovision Fan Panel. It includes team members as well as fans from all over the world.

🇦🇺 Vivienne F. – When I first heard it, I loved how it sounded like a James Bond type theme song. Then Dmitry singing sultrily with his addictive Belarusian accent drew me in. The chorus is easy to sing along to and I love the step ball change type of choreography during the chorus that we could try to do at home. Even though it was about magic etc, he was a Belarusian James Bond for me. It was a favourite of mine to win along with Bulgaria and Ukraine.

🇬🇧 Michael O. – This was a step forward for Belarus reflected in its finishing position. A respectable entry and the beginning of the wall on stage, so much loved by Kirkorov, which he used again in 2016 with Sergey and 2018 for DoReDos. A more than decent effort.

🇩🇰 Charlotte J. – Listening to this again, I realise that my taste has slightly changed over the years. I remember this as one of my personal favourites in 2007 (Iceland first, and Belarus was either second or third). I also remember that I found his accent charming. Today, it’s less charming, and it actually slightly annoys me. I am embarrassed to say so, as I am not a native English speaker either. I still like the song, just not as much as I remember that I use to. It’s interesting how I never before drew the comparison between this choreography and what we saw from Russia’s Sergey Lazarev in 2016. But now, I can easily tell that this appear almost like a rehearsal for what would come 9 years later.

🇲🇹 Christopher D. – Musically this song is OK. But I did not agree with the hype around Belarus’s act that year. Vocally Koldun was really bad and his pronunciation of the English language was terrible. I totally did not agree with a top ten position in the final. Belarus has sent much more deserving and amazing artists, and for me Koldun is not one of them.

See also16 fans about their favourite Eurovision country

🇵🇹 Enio P. – This one is my favourite entry ever from Belarus! Yes, his English is below average (to say the least!) but the “Ricky Martin from the east” look, the strong voice, the active dancers on stage and the fireworks (of course!) brought this entry all that characterises Eurovision! I stood with the words “work your magic” buzzing in my head for weeks!

🇨🇴 🇫🇮 Alvaro S. – This is so cheesy but that is the charm of it. If I did not know that the Russian character from the Netflix Fire Saga film was based on Filipp Kirkorov I would have guessed this was one of the main inspirations behind that character. It is curious how the Eastern European countries have unintentionally (?) given us so many camp moments we love to watch.

🇺🇸 Grace W. – Work Your Magic is an okay song, kind of repetitive, but it screams early to mid Eurovision. Dmitry’s voice is a bit too nasally and the way he stares at the camera is weird. A 5/10 for the Princess Diana lookalike and his mediocre song.

See alsoEurovision 2008: Ukraine's Ani Lorak in focus

🇮🇪 John D. – This was to date the highest placing for Belarus but not their best entry in my opinion. It was recognisably a Phillip Kirkorov production sung by a confident singer who unfortunately went off key in places. I could never take this performance seriously as it reminds me of an Australian or an American comedian sending up the Eurovision. It wouldn’t look out of place in the Fire Saga film. It may have been better not sung in English.

🇬🇧 Ashleigh K. – The best thing about this song is the staging. I had actually forgotten about the backing dancers climbing the wall and this must have been where Sergey Lazarev’s team got their inspiration from. Dmitry seems sweet, he is a smiley guy and I think the viewers would have responded well to this but I don’t like the way his vocals sound in the live performance. It sounds much better in the studio version.

🇨🇿 Josef Š. – As I started watching Eurovision in 2007 I have good memories for that year. Dmitry Koldun was one of my favourites. That song by the famous Dream team with Philipp Kirkorov is just as good as it looks like. The melody is memorable with not so difficult lyrics. Dmitry is quite handsome too, so a perfect combination. Very well deserved final result. I wish Belarus would send more songs like this even nowadays.

EuroVisionary

Enjoy Dmitry Koldun’s performance from the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in the embedded video. Below the video, you can read more about him.

Dmitry Koldun – a mimi biography

Before music started to attract more, Dmitry started his studies at medical school. Later, he swapped over to study chemistry. Maybe connected or not, but Koldun has been quoted for saying that he believe his childhood issues with his hair is due to the Chernobyl disaster that took place in Ukraine when he was six months old.

His 2007 Eurovision participation kicked off his career. The entry Work Your Magic reached the charts in Russia, Latvia, Spain and Sweden, and landed him a record deal, although he had to change producer several times before it was finally released in 2009.

Koldun also starred in the Russian musical ‘The Star and the Death of Joaquín Murety’.

British commentator, late Sir Terry Wogan, described Dmitry Koldun as a male version of late Princess Diana. By a coincidence, Koldun’s mother actually started a Belarusian Princess Diana fan club.

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