ESC Xtra

ESC Xtra
16
March
2017

Armenia: 30 second teaser of Artsvik’s ‘Fly With Me’ revealed!

Armenia: 30 second teaser of Artsvik’s ‘Fly With Me’ revealed!

We are all eagerly awaiting the final entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to have its reveal. On March 18th, Armenia will reveal the official music video for their entry Fly With Me, performed by Artsvik. Indeed, Artsvik was selected as Armenia’s 2017 representative after winning Depi Evratesil in December. The brand new show masterminded by Armenia’s Eurovision head of delegation Gohar Gasparyan ran for three months. Thus it allowed any interested artists in Armenia to audition for their chance to represent their country in Kyiv.

The Armenian dream team

The composers of Fly With Me are Lilith and Levon Navasardyan who also composed Not Alone for Aram MP3 in 2014 and LoveWave for Iveta Mukuchyan in 2016. In addition, the lyrics have been written by Avet Barseghyan and David Tserunyan. You can now watch a 30 second teaser of the entry below!

“Championing the diverse and beautiful human nature”

In an official press release regarding the entry, Artsvik explained the meaning behind Fly With Me:

“My song tells a story of a girl, who is the metaphorical symbol of love. She embodies the colors, the stories and the voices that make us who we are. “Fly with me” encourages everyone to come with me on this girl’s journey of championing the diverse and beautiful human nature. I think nowadays it is especially important to embrace our heritage and our traditions. We, the people – our colors, our stories and our voices make up this world. We must never forget that this girl’s light and love is one for all of us.”

Make sure you check out the full video when it is released on March 18th!

What do you think of the teaser for Fly With Me? Furthermore, will Artsvik be a top 10 contender in Kyiv? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

Categories: ESC Xtra

13
March
2017

Kristian Kostov will sing “Beautiful Mess” for Bulgaria in Kyiv

Kristian Kostov will sing “Beautiful Mess” for Bulgaria in Kyiv

After months of intensive work, the Bulgarian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has been revealed by BNT today as “Beautiful Mess”. It will be performed by upcoming talent show star Kristian Kostov. 

The first singer born in the new millennium to enter the competition

Born in Moscow on 15 March 2000, Kristian Kostov has a truly international family. His father is Bulgarian while his mother is from Kazakhstan. The 16 year old, who turns 17 this week, is famous for his appearances on The Voice Kids in Russia in 2014, where Dima Bilan mentored him to the final.

Talking about his experience on The Voice Kids at such a young age, Kristian said:

“Dima is a great guy and he was the one who inspired me to reach the final and give my best week after week. Without him it would have been impossible for me to do it.”

One year after his stint on The Voice Kids in Russia, Kristian was on the Bulgarian seaside for a holiday together with his family. While ordinary young people are normally tempted to just enjoy the sunshine on the beach, Kris had other plans in mind. Instead, he decided to try his luck in the Bulgarian version of X Factor and signed up for one of the regional castings taking place at the time. He finished as the runner-up, becoming a true teen icon in the process, having been mentored under the wing of the famous Bulgarian music producer Stanislava Armoutlieva – head of Virginia Records.

Kristian has more than proven his talent and singing capabilities across the shows, in particular singing Chandelier in the 6 Chair Challenge round at The X Factor Bulgaria. He went on to sing “Sorry” by Justin Bieber during his run in the live-shows to the final.

“This is the biggest and best birthday present I have ever dreamed of”

Following his success, he signed a contract with Virginia Records which brought him to new projects. Last year, Kristian released his first Bulgarian-language single, “Ne si za men”, which also has an English version titled “You Got Me Girl”.

His most recent hit was the joint project with hip-hop artists Pavel and Venci Venc’, “Vdigam LEVEL”, the song topped the charts in Bulgaria for 14 weeks and tallied almost 6 million YouTube views.

Currently Kristian Kostov is among the most famous artists in Bulgaria from the so called “new generation” and has one of the biggest and most devoted fan bases in the country who supports him in every step he takes.

He says:

“This is the biggest and best birthday present I have ever dreamed of. Now I am literally flying from happiness, but this challenge makes me realise the enormous responsibility I have from now on. To represent Bulgaria at such a prestigious music stage certainly is something that requires a lot of work and effort until all of the details are polished. To be one of the youngest participants has been the case for me in almost all of my past appearances on different competitions, but I am sure that I can handle this in the best possible way. In Kyiv I will perform from the bottom of my heart and soul, because the project is really something I feel connected to.”

“It was an experience like in the army”

Just like most teenagers nowadays, Kris is also obsessed with the Internet:

“The truth is that I enjoy communicating with my fans. I run all of my accounts personally and for me it’s like a hobby. I particularly enjoy Instagram the most I must say, although because I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t been that active. For Eurovision I will run a new Twitter account as well, so join me… only if you like, of course!”

Whether you believe it or not, Kristian has a very shy nature. That was even one of the reasons why he got involved with music in the first.

He explains:

“My mother was very concerned that I was so shy and closed-off. That’s why one day we went together to the famous art-school “Neposedy” in Moscow. It is very popular and there are even special castings to enter. It was an experience like in the army – no delays allowed, if you break the rules there are additional activities, they may even terminate your membership and so on. But it really helped me a lot. Despite this, all the shows, concerts, I am what I am and it is very hard to escape from my shy nature. Of course, now I am more confident in my skills than before, but I doubt I will change entirely. For example, when I do a new project, new recording, etc. I never tell anyone unless I start liking it. In some cases I never reach this point. On the positive side, I don’t really need any critics, since I am doing their job on my own!”

“I will perform on that amazing stage looking like a spaceship!”

The invitation to represent Bulgaria at Eurovision comes in a moment when Kristian has quite a tight schedule at his school in Moscow.

“Because I wanted to dedicate my whole life fully to music, I decided to take two years in one and finish high school this year. Of course, this decision brings me many exams and other things to do. Now my most important exam is the Eurovision Song Contest and it is certainly the most difficult one. That is the biggest stage where an European artist could appear; the level of production is just amazing and beyond any words to describe. For years, I’ve watched the contest at home and now I will perform on that amazing stage looking like a spaceship!”

“By the way, why we can’t have Eurovision classes at school?”

Kristian continues with his excitement in representing Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 this year in Kyiv, Ukraine:

“I get excited even by seeing images in my head of all the fans around me, the flags, the chanting. I’ve lived through these images every night since I have been told that I am the chosen one. Now every second my soul is in Kyiv and I just can’t wait to do it. Wherever it’s possible I also watch past shows, and even take notes. And I’m not joking at all, it’s like an universe and it’s a science on it’s own. For example, try explaining how the voting works! By the way, why we can’t have Eurovision classes at school?”

“I like the song, because it’s what I am”

“Beautiful Mess” will be released on Monday 13 March at 17:00 CET. It has been described as a strong contemporary pop ballad with some ethnic instrumentation. This keeps the feeling of the entry very much in Bulgaria despite its modern arrangement.

When asked about his song, Kristian gave an interesting explanation as to why he and his songwriting team chose this title.

““Beautiful Mess” is authentic, interesting and transmits the sentiment and the main idea of the song. I like the song, because it’s what I am. Last November, I started working with Bobby [the composer Borislav Milanov] with the idea to submit a song for Eurovision either for this year or next. We recorded 4 songs, but “Beautiful Mess” was the one I felt genuinely inspired by. As a performer, now I’m trying to find myself and actually this is my first song that has a deeper meaning. And I like it a lot. My vision for the future is actually to do projects that make sense, so that’s a step in the right direction for me. Besides this, my fans will see me in a different light than in my past projects, so I am really curious to find out what their reaction will be.”

“The choice was extremely hard, but that was very pleasant pain to suffer”

It is fair to say that this marks the second year of reinvigorated efforts by BNT to bring the Bulgarian participation at Eurovision to a new level. Similarly to last year with “If Love Was a Crime”, this year’s entry “Beautiful Mess” will be relevant to current music trends and will have an international appeal.

The composers of the song are Borislav Milanov from Bulgaria, Sebastian Armann from Austria, and Joacim Bo Persson from Sweden, all of whom were part of last year’s successful entry “If Love Was A Crime”. The songwriting team is also joined by Alex Omar and Alexander Blay.

The Executive Producer of the Contest in Bulgaria and Head of Delegation, Joana Levieva-Sawyer, is also very satisfied with the final result of the efforts this year. She said:

“To be quite honest – we received more projects than we expected considering the big requirements that we had. The choice was extremely hard, but that was very pleasant pain to suffer.”

Bulgaria have a long-term vision for the future

Joana Levieva-Sawyer continued on, describing Bulgaria’s new found approach to the Eurovision Song Contest.

“We believe that Kristian will represent Bulgaria with dignity and success. He is a very interesting artist and quite an extraordinary young guy. I am speaking not only about his qualities as a performer which are obvious. Initially, I was really shocked by his way of thinking and how mature he is. He also has a very specific sense of humour. This year we will show you a really very interesting character and a song with a message and meaning.”

“Other than that, I really hope the knowledge we get this year from this cooperation will help us to build the long-term future of the contest in our country by establishing a well-produced national final which could be only possible in a close partnership with the Bulgarian music industry and beyond.“

Poli Genova and the “If Love Was a Crime” team brought Bulgaria their record-high 4th place finish in Stockholm last year.

What do you make of Bulgaria’s choice for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017? Let us know in the comments below if “Beautiful Mess” is everything you had hoped it would be!

Categories: ESC Xtra

13
March
2017

Greece: Demy presents new and final version of ‘This Is Love’

Greece: Demy presents new and final version of ‘This Is Love’

Just one week ago, Greece selected This Is Love as Demy’s entry for Kyiv. The song competed against two others in a national final. Both Greek televoters and international Greek diaspora juries together overwhelming selected the dance song as the winner.

Already popular in Greece

While the song has already gone on to become very popular in Greece, it was met with a mixed reaction from Eurovision fans online. A few days ago, the official music video was uploaded to and then swiftly removed from the official Eurovision YouTube channel. Furthermore, the channel revealed that a new version would be uploaded shortly. As a result, this immediately prompted speculation that Greece would make changes to their entry prior to the deadline for entries tomorrow. Indeed, this has turned out to be the case.

Changes to lyrics and production

In the last couple of hours, Demy’s record label Panik Records have uploaded the music video for a brand new version of This Is Love. Only small changes have been made. Most notably, the lyrics to the chorus have been changed. For example “rain falls from above” is now “reaching out for the stars”. Furthermore the production in the chorus and the subsequent breakdown following the first chorus has received some subtle changes, giving these parts of the song extra power compared to before. Watch and listen to the new version below!

What do you think of the changes to the Greek entry for 2017? Do you think it is what Demy needed to challenge for a top 10 spot in the final? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

Categories: ESC Xtra

12
March
2017

Russia sends Yulia Samoylova to Kyiv!

Russia sends Yulia Samoylova to Kyiv!

It was quite uncertain for a while, but Russia have now revealed their entry for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. They will be represented by Yulia Samoylova with the song A Flame Is Burning, which you can see below.

Yulia Samoylova

Yulia Samoylova is a 27 year old singer from Ukhta, Russia. She previously participated in Faktor A, a Russian talent show. Samoylova was born as a healthy child, but her health soon deteriorated. She lost function in her legs, as well as other functions in her body. That resulted in her having to use a wheelchair. Samoylova soon picked up singing, which gave her an opportunity to express herself even more. She found it helps her dealing with her situation.

Uncertainty surrounding Russia

Many fans were in doubt whether Russia would even reveal an entry at all. Several rumours in the past few months suggested that a withdrawal may even be on the cards. This past Thursday, Russia were to air a special TV show where they would discuss Eurovision participation. Many people beforehand guessed that Russia could indeed opt to withdraw, whatever the consequences may be. Such a withdrawal would have been because of a tensed situation between Russia and Ukraine, as the countries are involved in a military conflict with each other.

The other report suggested Russia may not attend tomorrow’s delegation meeting. All heads of delegation of the participating Eurovision nations will come together in Kyiv to officially hand in their entries to EBU. Whether Russia will attend is not yet sure, but there most certainly is an entry ready to be sent in.

Russia’s Eurovision history

Russia is one of the most successful countries of the recent years. They have never missed a final of the contest since the introduction of the semifinals in 2004. Since then, they’ve finished on the podium six times, including one victory. Dima Bilan won the contest in 2008 with Believe. Last year, Sergey Lazarev attempted his luck and finished in third after winning the televote with his You Are The Only One.

Your opinion

We’re curious to know what you think of the Russian entry. Is Russia’s qualification record in danger or is it a solid qualifier? Check out the entry below and let us know what you think in the comments section, on Facebook or on Twitter!

Categories: ESC Xtra

12
March
2017

O.Torvald find “Time” for the London Eurovision Party!

O.Torvald find “Time” for the London Eurovision Party!

It is “Time” to announce our next performer at the London Eurovision Party! Yes, O.Torvald will be coming to the 10th Anniversary event before they represent Ukraine on home turf at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian act won their national selection after coming second in both the public vote and jury vote – much like Jamala did in Stockholm last year in order to win the Eurovision trophy!

The band were formed 12 years ago and have released 7 albums to date including #нашiлюдивсюди (#ourpeopleareeverywhere) in 2016.

Whilst the stage at Café de Paris, Leicester Square, may be a small one – it will be more than enough for O.Torvald to be able to deliver their message with “Time” in front of an intimate crowd on Sunday 2 April, right in the heart of London.

For more information about the event, you can go to the Official Website for the show – or keep up to date on their social media profiles of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also keep up to date with the Official Media Partner escXtra.com for all the latest news and gossip ahead of the event.

Categories: ESC Xtra

12
March
2017

Svala’s ‘Paper’ wins the Icelandic ticket to Kyiv

Svala’s ‘Paper’ wins the Icelandic ticket to Kyiv

Iceland have chosen their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. They closed off the national final season by picking Svala with her song Paper. Svala will now travel to Ukraine to represent her home country in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.

A seemingly easy victory

Svala had a seemingly easy victory tonight. The jury already gave her the highest score, over 2,500 points ahead of the runner-up. Iceland used a rather remarkable voting system where the winner of each juror’s vote received about 3,900 votes. Televote however made their preference clear from the start. In the first round, Svala received 45,258 votes. Runner op Daði Freyr received 25,195. Both of those acts moved on to the superfinal, where Paper was announced as the winner. They did however have a new round of voting before announcing the winner.

Svala the early favourite

The favourite of Söngvakeppnin 2017 was clear from the moment the entries were released. Svala is one of the most popular singers in the country. The fact she even considered entering Söngvakeppnin made her a clear favourite. The song, Paper, gave her the final push. RÚV have not revealed the televoting statistics of the superfinal yet, but one could expect Svala had a fairly big margin in that one too.

On the way to Kyiv

RÚV will now start planning the road to Kyiv. The Icelandic entry will have to perform in the second half of the first semifinal. Iceland will be hoping to get back into the final, after two consecutive years of not making it to Saturday’s show. Last year, Iceland were considered an outsider for victory, but eventually, Hear Them Calling finished in fourteenth place in the semifinal. The gap to tenth place, Croatia, was 82 points. Svala will obviously be hoping to do better than that in Kyiv.

What do you think of the Icelandic entry for Kyiv? Is ‘Paper’ a good way to end the national final season? Let us know below in the comments section, on Facebook or on Twitter!

Categories: ESC Xtra

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