17
July
2019

Maraaya remind us that the best things in life are for free on new single “Besplatno”

Maraaya remind us that the best things in life are for free on new single “Besplatno”

Maraaya

Maraaya is back with a new single titled “Besplatno”. It is an atmospheric, chill out song which reminds us of that some of the best things in life, which mean something, are for free.

Maraaya consist of vocalist and songwriter Marjetka and producer and songwriter Raay. They are married and have two sons, named Vid and Oskar. They have a private music school searching for and teaching young talented singers and musicians.

Since their participation at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, where they finished 14th in the final, Maraaya have released a bunch of singles, which over all were well received in their native country of Slovenia. Actually, recently they became the most succesful artist in Slovenia with the most top 10 and number one singles at the official national music charts. Back in 2017, Maraaya was also the first Slovene artist, who signed a contract with Warner Music Group.

Although the single Besplatno, which translates to For Free, officially was released last week, Maraaya already performed the song a month ago. It happened in Vodice (Croatia) at one of the biggest music festivals in the region, where other familiar names such as Regina (Bosnia and Herzegovina 2009), Magazin (Croatia 1995), Severina (Croatia 2006) also performed.

Besplatno is a classic Maraaya track, where the duo worship electronic dance music and Marjetka’s crispy voice. It is cool, fresh summerish and relaxing. Furthermore, the song is describing today’s life, values and lack of empathy as we constantly forget that the best thing, which mean something for someone, are for free.

Below you can listen to the audio version of Maraaya’s latest release:

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Categories: Eurovisionary

16
July
2019

Isaiah is searching for his own “Spirit” on latest release

Isaiah is searching for his own “Spirit” on latest release

Isiah - Spirit

The Australian pop singer Isaiah, who represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contest two years ago, has recently launched a new single “Spirit”. It is a very emotional song about reconnecting with something you once was close with.

Back in 2017, Isiah Firebrace represented Australia at Eurovision finishing 9th in the grand final with the song Don’t Come Easy. Since then, he released two singles – Streets of Gold and Close To Me. Furthermore, Isaiah appeared as a guest quiz master on Have You Been Paying Attention (2018) and as a guest on the comedy show Get Krack!n as well.

Isaiah latest release Spirit is a very personal song which tells a story about rediscovering the things that make your life feel complete. His soft and passionate vocal fits Spirit perfectly as the song is filled with deep thoughts and emotions.

There is no doubt that Spirit means a lot to 29 years-old Australian, which he also explains further on Instagram.

This is a personal story about finding your connection again with something you were once close with, whether it’s your own self, family or friends, whether it’s a long lost passion, it could even been connecting back to your religion or culture or spiritual beliefs … All in all this song is about rediscovering your purpose and what makes you feel complete. It’s about finding your spirit!

Isaiah on Instagram

Isiah – Spirit lyrics

Oh the lights are turned down low
And I’m sitting here alone
Thinking “How’d I get so far from home”
Oh I guess nobody knows
And so the saying goes
You win some, you lose some, still trying to control
Oh since I’ve been away from you
I’ve been searching for a light I could not find
And I’ve been living for a love out of my mind
And I’ve been hanging on a prayer, then I wake and see you there

Spirit I haven’t seen you a little while
I got lost and you got set aside
I heard you been calling
Been busy falling
Spirit I’ve meaning to apologise
I’ve been running and I’m getting tired
I’ve been so foolish
Got no place left to hide

I, I lay my head down on your shoulder
I, I hear you singing it’s not over

Oh you came to me all dressed in gold
You’re the one I’ve always known
In your love I’ve found my home
Oh when I wake I feel you there
You take away all of my cares

Spirit I haven’t seen you a little while
I got lost and you got set aside
I heard you been calling
Been busy falling
Spirit I’ve meaning to apologise
I’ve been running and I’m getting tired
I’ve been so foolish
Got no place left to hide

I, I lay my head down on your shoulder
I, I hear you singing it’s not over

You come to me in the night
And dance around me like a satellite
You sing to me and I feel so high
You call to me when I cry
I was running and you hit me like a blinding light
All I need is you by my side

Breathe it, feel it, heal it, spirit
Breathe it, feel it, heal it, spirit

Below you can listen to Isiah’s new song. Maybe it can help you to find your own spirit: https://youtu.be/4Y7gXuNpP-Q

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Categories: Eurovisionary

14
July
2019

Benjamin Ingrosso sings about his own breakup on new single “Costa Rica”

Benjamin Ingrosso sings about his own breakup on new single “Costa Rica”

Benjamin Ingrosso

Benjamin Ingrosso, who represented Sweden at 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, has released a new single titled “Costa Rica”. It is a song about his own breakup.

The rumor about Benjamin Ingrosso ending his relationship with 23 years-old Linnea Wildmark turned out to be true as his latest track CostaRica, according to the singer himself, is a final confirmation of their breakup. It is also clearly demonstrated by the following lyrics: I want to go to Costa Rica so I can bring back my Linnea.” Costa Rica was apparently one of those places, Linnea loved to visit. Benjamin and Linnea have been an on-and-off couple for the last six years.

This is not the first time that Benjamin writes a song about breakup. The two songs that he performed i the Swedish selection Melodifestivalen. GoodLovin (2017) and Dance You Off (2018) are related to the same topic and the same girl, Linnea. Actually, Benjamin already mentioned it in March this year, that his relationship with Linnea is over. Back than, he released the song titled HappyThoughts, together with an other familiar face from Melodifestivalen – his best friend Felix Sandman. And guess what? This song was also about Benjamin’s crashed relationship.

Although the topic of CostaRica is anything but happy, the song appears pleasant and positive with lots of summerish and chilling vibes.

Costa Rica lyrics

Yeah
You are on your surfboard thinkin’ life is so good
I’m in London waiting for a phone call from you
You can see nothin’ else, only you and yourself
It’s a dream, it ain’t real, you don’t care ’bout how I feel
You fucking love la Costa Rica
But it makes you forget the real ya
Spendin’ the days drinking tequila
You think you live the Pura Vida
You think you live the Pura Vida
You fucking love la Costa Rica

You know
Life is so much more than spending nights on the beach
If you only can grow up, you’ll wake up and see
Girl, you need to find yourself, but that place even help?
You fucking love la Costa Rica (Lalalalala, lala)
But it makes you forget the real ya (Lalalalala, lala)
Spendin’ the days drinking tequila (Lalalalala, lala)
You think you live the Pura Vida
You think you live the Pura Vida
You fucking love la Costa Rica

Brrua
Babe, you are lying to everyone
Saying you love being on your own
All of your friends telling you to stay
‘Cause you got a new region everyday
You fucking love la Costa Rica (Lalalalala, lala)
But it makes you forget the real ya (Lalalalala, lala)
Spendin’ the days drinking tequila (Lalalalala, lala)
You think you live the Pura Vida
You fucking love la Costa Rica

(Babe, you are lying to everyone)
But it makes you forget the real ya
(Saying you love being on your own)
Spendin’ the days drinking tequila
(All of your friends telling you to stay)
You think you live the Pura Vida
(‘Cause you got a new region everyday)
You think you live the Pura Vida
(Babe, you are lying to everyone)
‘Cause it makes you forget the real ya
(Saying you love being on your own)
Spendin’ the days drinking tequila
(All of your friends telling you to stay)
You fucking love la Costa Rica
(‘Cause you got a new region everyday)
You fucking love la Costa Rica
(Babe, you are lying to everyone)
‘Cause you lonely, ooh
(Saying you love being on your own)
(All of your friends telling you to stay)
(‘Cause you got a new region everyday)
I want to go to Costa Rica
So I can bring back my Linnea

While we are waiting for Benjamin’s next release, which probably once more will deal with breakup, you can listen to CostaRica in the embedded video below:

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Categories: Eurovisionary

13
July
2019

Only two cities left in the run to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest

Only two cities left in the run to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest

Rotterdam

5 cities officially submitted a bid, but only two of them seems to have what it takes to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The two cities will get a visit in the beginning of August to further visualize their plans.

First there were nine cities interested in hosting the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest. As they got the material with requirements five of them went on to submit a socalled “bid book”. The cities should use those to explain how they could host the contest next year in May. Some however also used it to explain why they don’t want to live up to the requirements. Utrecht, for example, did not want to guarantee enough hotel rooms or even provide each delegation with their own bus. They explained in their bid book that delegations can use bicyles or public transport like everyone else.

It’s not mentioned which two cities are still in with a chance to host the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, but it is believed that it is Rotterdam and Maastricht. In the beginning of August, the Eurovision Commitee will visit the two cities – and in the second half of August, they expect to announce the winning city.

You produce perhaps the most complex TV show worldwide, It is important that you have a location where you have the space to do that. And then the city itself: do you have the hotel rooms and can you handle the logistics so that not only the visitors, but also all kinds of other people attracted to it can stay in the city centre?

Sietse Bakker, Executive producer Event

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10
July
2019

EuroNoize: No Borders, No Limits

EuroNoize: No Borders, No Limits

What if there was a parallel universe where Eurovision was just a little bit different?

As someone who loves the weirder edge of the music that Eurovision offers up, I was hugely excited to find out about the EuroNoize project, where eleven widely varying underground and DIY bands from around Europe competed on stage at London’s Scala for a trophy designed by Laibach’s Ervin. Back in April, I interviewed Pil and Galia Kollectiv, who are the artists responsible for bringing the project into existence – if you listen to the recording you can hear my interest levels going from ‘high’ to ‘near infinite’ in real time.

This initial meeting eventually and quite naturally led to a situation where I dealt with my 2019 PED by hugging a bright green member of Winny Puuh.

Contrasting Contests

The EuroNoize project intended to examine some of the fundamental assumptions that support nationhood, Europe and Eurovision (which we’ll also refer to as “The Other Contest“). How does international competition in the arts work against an environment of developing far-right populism? What parts of the European experience do we have in common? What does it mean to represent a country? What can you actually do with a song contest?

The EuroNoize format will seem hauntingly familiar to Eurovision fans. Each act is introduced by a video postcard which describes the nation that they represent, and then they perform a song roughly three minutes in length. There were two hosts whose duties included introducing the artists, exhorting the audience to vote and the traditional unscripted banter. There was also a backstage/greenroom host to ask ridiculous non-sequitur questions of the artists as they came off stage, and if you watched the livestream or came to the gig, you’ll know that greenroom host was me.

Ellie at work in the green room (Euronoize.eu)

Ellie at work in the green room (Euronoize.eu)

I wanted to give the participants the full Eurovision experience – the chance to explain what their song was about, to talk about the visual aspects of their performances and to say whatever was on their minds. Before the show, I’d asked all the artists to think about what they might want to use their time to say – I wasn’t wanting to ambush or put pressure on anyone.

EuroNoize was operating under different principles to The Other Contest, and this gave us a lot of freedom to talk. Some artists used their interview time to have fun – the German artist Felix Kubin had a serious problem with gravity, the Czech band Johnny The Horse were concerned that their definite article was observed, Golden Core from Norway told me about free-roaming wild metalheads and Estonia’s Winny Puuh were concerned that I didn’t know about the brutal swamps that plague their homeland.

Some of the other bands wanted to use their time to make statements: the Serbian band E.P.P. wanted to dedicate their song to Čika Boca, which they told me was a ‘beloved political figure’ but which turns out to be a charitable organisation for children with cancer. Greek representatives The Callas intoned a set of political slogans that culminated with ‘Stop Brexit. Or Whatever’. The French representative Hassan K wanted to talk about how racist it is that music which centres non-Western creators is called ‘World Music’. The Russian band Asian Women On The Telephone wanted to tell me about the bodies and secrets in the river in Moscow. Some of the artists, like the Irish band Sissy, were comfortable to be both silly and serious. As well as admiring Michelle’s genuine Riverdance stage outfit and name-checking The Corrs, we talked about their contribution to the Repeal the 8th campaign and how women in Northern Ireland still don’t have access to safe abortion services (although at the time of final editing, maybe that is about to change?).

What Is There To Talk About?

Being able to talk to these bands about genuinely whatever they wanted made me realise how much the restrictions of The Other Contest hold me back. The rules about not politicising or instrumentalising the contest appear to apply just as much to people with press accreditation as they do to artists. Would we all be risking all of our accreditations if an artist wanted to talk to me about abortion rights, the idiocy of Brexit, the injustice of Fortress Europe or racism in the music industry during the contest?

There were so many times during the 2019 season where I would have liked to ask questions that would have been unequivocally political – I would have loved to talk to Tulia about how their love of traditional imagery and music sits against the Polish political environment of increasing nationalism. I would have loved to have a long chats with Mahmood and Bilal about intersectional identity, to talk to Tamara about the problems with commodified ‘Lean In’ feminism, to have a round table discussion with Jonida, Oto, Tamta and maybe even Eleni about the specific experience and pressures of being parts of populations with significant diasporas. There are so many in-depth stories in each contest that don’t get told because the format of Eurovision press forces us to concentrate on the surface, the headlines and the soundbite. When you’re optimising for traffic (as the Eurovision accreditation system encourages community media to do) there is a strong incentive to evoke the most emotion in the fewest words.

Most obviously at the 2019 Contest, the politics rule meant that no-one could really talk at all sensibly to Hatari. Despite thinking they could ride their satire through loopholes in the woolly and imprecise wording of the Eurovision rules, they found that same woolly imprecision was used to almost totally silence them, under threat of disqualification and a fine to their broadcaster.

The imprecise nature of the Eurovision rules on what constitutes ‘politics’ surely has a chilling effect on the subjects that we are willing to talk to Eurovision artists about. If one year we can have an extremely emotive interval act that describes the lives of refugees and the very next year a contestant can be threatened with disqualification for wearing a jumper in support of refugees, how are we supposed to know how much we can talk to Madame Monsieur about ‘Mercy‘? If you don’t know where the line is on a potentially difficult subject, a consensus develops where it’s safer for everyone to avoid anything with ideological weight. I know that’s not a good thing, and I’m not even fully trained journalist.

Refugees Composite - The Grey People, Salvador Sobral, Madame Monsieur (images: EBU/Eurovision.tv)

Refugees Composite – The Grey People, Salvador Sobral, Madame Monsieur (images: EBU/Eurovision.tv)

Sharing The Ethos

At the minute, political matters do come up but are often handled badly – see the genuinely upsetting way in which Mahmood was questioned about his heritage during his press conference, or the way that moderators do not step in to prevent antagonism between press corps members and artists from Azerbaijan and Armenia. It’s tempting to think that if there was a clarification of the rules about talking about political subjects, they could be handled with more professionalism.

One reason why complete freedom of speech worked at EuroNoize and why it might not work at Eurovision was that the EuroNoize bands had all signed up to be part of a project with a specific ethos of international collaboration and that ethos led us to all have complementary political views. The hosts, the bands and the audience were largely self-selected by their shared interest in a positive, inclusive pan-European ideal (whatever that is). If a rogue white supremacist band had turned up on the bill, I would definitely not have felt joyous about giving them a few minutes to share what was on their minds. Totally removing The Other Contest’s prohibitions on political speech would definitely allow views that people find unpalatable or offensive to be associated with the contest. Any changes made must consider the full consequences, intended and unintended.

No Politics Is Political

By specifying that the political ethos of a contest is that it has no political ethos, what is the end result?

To claim to be apolitical is to silently adopt the set of norms and values that is most convenient and close to hand. In the case of Eurovision, it appears the adopted norms are those that do not embarrass or inconvenience the organisation, the contest or the hosts. When the contest heads to somewhere where adopting the norms and values of the hosts involves ignoring the human rights of groups of people, this apolitical stance begins to feel deeply political. When the Eurovision organisers set out the boundaries of what they consider to be political speech, did they ask who they would amplify? Did they ask who they would silence? Did they consider how this set of boundaries could be used against them?

This claim of being apolitical isn’t unique to Eurovision – when major sporting events like the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup or Formula One Racing claim to be apolitical, they also adopt the precise lack of politics that allows them to be hosted in locations which raise eyebrows.

As the world tries to come to terms with the global inequality of rights and opportunities, we need to look at our methods. One way we can bring people together is by sharing our art, sport and culture with each other, but at the same time we’ve got to be vigilant that the ways that we share aren’t silently reinforcing an unjust status quo.

But let’s return to the sweaty May night in London, where the voices of  those eleven fantastic bands were very much amplified. Musically, EuroNoize was just what I needed – loud, challenging and thrilling. The favourites going into the show were Winny Puuh, who effectively removed themselves from the running by playing two songs (and shouting a further third into my microphone backstage) but the competition was eventually won jointly by Ireland’s Sissy and Norway’s Golden Core. It has not yet been reported how they intend to split the trophy.

Sissy, and Golden Core, the joint winners of EuroNoize 2019 (image: EuroNoize.eu)

Sissy, and Golden Core, the joint winners of EuroNoize 2019 (image: EuroNoize.eu)

The very best part of EuroNoize was the same as the best part of The Other Contest – the beautiful sight of musicians and music lovers from different backgrounds meeting, getting to know each other, rocking out to each other’s songs and arranging future collaborations. EuroNoize was a pleasure to see and be part of. I hope we do it again.

Categories: ESC Insight

10
July
2019

Emel França from D Moll goes solo with his summer track “Ljetnji Vjetar”

Emel França from D Moll goes solo with his summer track “Ljetnji Vjetar”

Emel França

Emel França, member of the band D Moll, that represented Montenegro at 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, is ready with his first solo project. Yesterday he released the song titled “Ljetnji Vjetar” which offers plenty of summer vibes and love emotions.

This year in Tel Aviv, the young Montenegrin band D Moll failed to qualify for the Eurovision grand final as they finished second to last in their semi-final performing the song Heaven. Although they still get along together, several of the group members are working on solo projects too.

Following this path, 19 years-old Emel França dropped his first single yesterday. LjetnjiVjetar, which translates to SummerBreeze, is a cool, summerish track about being in love. The sound is very contemporary and mainstream mostly relaying on reaggeton and modern pop vibes.

Ljetnji Vjetar is written and composed by Alisa Polumenta-Brulić, while the Bosnian producer RimDa was responsible for arranging the song.

Here is it! My first solo song. A very important day for me. Another one after my participation at Eurovision. 13 years-boy has fulfilled his dream after he made a promise to himself that he will never give up despite of stage fright and shaky voice during the very first appearance.

I am here, standing in front of you again. More confident and encouraged by Ljetnji Vjetar, which I am sure will awake the feelings which you were hiding from all.

This is not only my debut. This is also an expression of my endless desire, work and effort. This is a big step forward for me.

Thank you very much to my dear ones, that you believe in me and give me unconditional support! This song is for us! Let love and summer wind blow you up. love you!

Emel França on Instagram

Below you can watch the lyric video for Emel França’s Ljetnji Vjetar:

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