Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
04
August
2017

Is Salvador Sobral already tired of Eurovision?

Is Salvador Sobral already tired of Eurovision?

Salvador Sobral Portugal 2017)

He will play a role in next year’s Portuguese national selection, Festival Da Canção. As this year’s winner, he is also expected to appear at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. However, currently it looks like Salvador Sobral wants nothing to do with it. 

RTP is bringing some unprecedented new changes to Portugal’s national selection this year, as Salvador Sobral will be in charge of selecting one of the 20 songs that will be competing to represent the country in next year’s Eurovision.

While this is an obvious homage to the singer for bringing Portugal’s first Eurovision trophy home, it may not exactly be what Salvador wanted as parts of his future plans as he already looks sick and tired of all this Eurovision phenomena around him. Even though, the event is to blame for the relaunching of his commercial career, the Portuguese Pop Idol is now refusing to sing Amar Pelos Dois at his concerts.

That happened last July, 26th during one of his gigs. While everyone was aware that it was a joint concert with another singer, the entire audience expected the little treat at the end, but it didn’t happen. After waiting about 15 minutes, it was obvious Luísa’s brother wasn’t returning to sing the Eurovision winning entry. The crowd ended up booing him before leaving the venue.

See alsoEurovision final on the 12th of May 2018 at the MEO Arena in Lisbon, Portugal

But that’s not the only situation. A month ago, during the benefit concert in wake of Pedrógrão Grande’s fire victims, the Portuguese singer headlined every news titles for a quite inappropriate comment that raised suspicions that, not only he isn’t enjoying this sudden success but he never really wanted to breakthrough in the first place: “I feel like I can do anything and you’ll applaud me. What if I fart right now? I want to see your reaction!

Well, thankfully, he didn’t put that into practice and apologised a few days later for the comment.

Though those two events caused headlines and a lot of buzz, Salvador Sobral’s lack of interest in the song and in Eurovision was already obvious even before the competition took place. Besides his common comments that he had never watched a single edition of the show, during rehearsals, the Eurovision winner attempted to make a few changes to the song.

One can only hope that by March – when Festival da Canção will take place – people’s hype for Salvador won’t bother him anymore and will allow him to take a back seat and experience Eurovision in a completely different way… Maybe even being responsible for the winning song if his selected composer wins – a similar scenario to what happened to Luísa Sobral this year.

Portuguese composers will submit songs to Portugal’s national selection

Next year will mark the 50th edition of Portugal’s national selection for Eurovision – Festival Da Canção – and will have 20 songs competing. The program will be divided into three shows: two semifinals and one final. The first two will take place in RTP’s studios and each will present ten songs.

The grand final, which will take place in Multiusos Guimarães next March, 4th as part of RTP’s promise to promote other cities, will then gather the five finalists of each semifinal and select the winner that will represent Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 next May, 12th.

Due to the success – and the unexpected final result – of last year’s Festival da Canção that ended up being the country’s first victory, RTP will maintain its decision on inviting certain composers but not at 100% as mentioned before. Out of the 20 entries, 17 will be invited by the broadcaster to write a song, produce it and select a singer. The three remaining spots will be decided in a completely unprecedented way.

Besides Salvador’s choice, the two remaining spots will be open to Portuguese composers: one selected through a radio channel program – “Master Class” – and the other being submitted through RTP’s website by anyone whose nationality is Portuguese or is currently living in the country.

Categories: Eurovisionary

04
August
2017

Sergey Lazarev releases new single Tak Krasivo

Sergey Lazarev releases new single Tak Krasivo

Sergey Lazarev at Stockholm's red carpet event in 2016.

Today, the Russian representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sergey Lazarev, released new single Tak Krasivo (So beautiful) from his upcoming album.

The Russian popstar knows no rest. Following the huge success in Stockholm, where he came 3rd behind Ukraine and Australia, Sergey has been very active with his musical career. He released several singles – Breaking Away, the Russian version of his Eurovision entry Pust’ Ves’ Mir Podojdyot (Let the World Wait), Idealny Mir (Ideal World), and, Lucky Stranger (both in English and Russian).

He has taken part in numerous music awards in Russia. He’s been awarded The Artist of the Year, The Breakthrough of the Year, and, twice, The Best Singer.

Along with many Eurovision contestants from Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan such as Ani Lorak, LOBODA, Nikki and Polina Gagarina, Sergey performed at the Russian sponsored song festival Zhara (Heat) that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan on July 27th to 30th.

Now, Sergey is set to surprise his fans. The surprise is that, starting today, August 4th, every 3-4 weeks, Sergey will be releasing a new single from the upcoming album, that way fans can remain engaged for a longer period of time.

The new single Tak Krasivo is a song about love and how beautiful it is. It’s a slow tempo and mellow track. Towards the end of the song, Sergey shows the power of his voice and aims at high notes.

The singer noted that, in today’s music world, it’s not necessarily exciting to release a full album without previously sparking interest for it, and, for that reason, he does not want to take away the opportunity from the fans to enjoy every song. The album will exclusively contain new songs and no remixes or remakes of previous songs. Sergey has promised a December release of the album.

You can can listen to Sergey’s new single following this iTunes link.

Categories: Eurovisionary

01
August
2017

What’s going on with Russia for Eurovision 2018?

What’s going on with Russia for Eurovision 2018?

Sergey Lazarev with the Russian flag

Russian broadcaster quickly pledged to send Julia Samoylova for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest after she was denied entry to Ukraine and this year’s contest. Yet several other artists have their eyes set on the event. What is Russia up to these days and is it living up to its promise?

The contest has been broadcast on two different Russian state channels VGTRK and Channel 1, taking turns in broadcasting each year. Shortly after Julia’s ban from Ukraine for illegal border crossing on the territory of the Crimea and withdrawal from the contest, this year’s Russian broadcaster Channel 1 confirmed that it had spoken to the head director of VGTRK. Both channels came to agreement that Julia would be representing Russia  in the following year.

On July 26th, Julia Samoylova’s press-secretary reported that Julia is still waiting for the official confirmation of her Eurovision 2018 participation to take place in Lisbon, Portugal. She added that Julia has dreams to represent Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest. But also that she hasn’t yet started preparing due to no official confirmation from Russia-1 (VGTRK), next year’s broadcaster. The singer is currently working in the studio recording her new song Vdrug Ryadom Drug (Suddenly A Friend is Near) to be released in the near future.

The fact that Julia still hasn’t received an official confirmation from VGTRK puts her in an awkward situation. Unless there is an official statement from a broadcaster regarding a contestant, nothing is set in stone. Therefore, the promise of Julia made by VGTRK can’t be valid. Will Julia be going to Lisbon after all?

Earlier this month, The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) gave Channel 1 a warning for not broadcasting the contest while Ukraine received a heavy fine of 200,000 euros for not letting the Russian representative into the country.

Considering that the decision appear to be made for Julia to represent Russia again in 2018, hints that Russia would again be making an internal choice.

Last December, The Tolmachevy Twins have expressed their interest to return to Eurovision again in 2018. The sisters won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Bucharest, Romania scoring 154 points. In 2014 the sisters entered, yet again, the contest though, this time the adult Eurovision. They came 7th with 89 points. If the sisters do make a comeback in 2018, it will mark their 3rd participation in the contest. This could set the Tolmachevy Twins the record as the only Russian artists to enter the contest 3 times. At this time, the Tolmachevy Twins share the title with Dima Bilan both entering a Eurovision twice.

Earlier today, Russia’s representative in 2016 Sergey Lazarev posted pictures together with Dima Bilan from traveling to Portugal on his Instagram. The artist revealed the purpose of the travel as shooting a video, as part of the collaboration project, for the song Prosti Menya (Forgive Me). Surprisingly, the artist chose Portugal as a shooting spot, meaning there might be more than just a shooting involved. Potentially, some future Eurovision plans. Sergey came 3rd in 2016 with 491 points.

Who will represent Russia in the Eurovision Song Contest in Portugal is still unclear. After a series of huge successes, Russia has its bar set high. Will Russia venture to send Julia and keep the promise of making her wish to represent the country come true? Or will it decide for the Tolmachevy Twins, Sergey Lazarev, or perhaps somebody else? We shall hopefully soon find out.

Categories: Eurovisionary

01
August
2017

Bucks Fizz to return with their first album in three decades

Bucks Fizz to return with their first album in three decades

Bucks Fizz are rebranding and releasing their first new album in three decades. Now known as simply The Fizz, their new single has been premiered on BBC’s Radio 2 this morning.

After 35 years, Bucks Fizz are back with a new name, a new single and a new album. Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston have returned to the music industry alongside former Sweet Dreams member Bobby McVey is replaced Bobby G. Together they go by the name The Fizz. Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine show the group also announced their new tour which is scheduled to take place in September along with their new album entitled The F-Z of Pop.

The group had to re-brand as it was alleged that original member Bobby G owns the copyright to the name Bucks Fizz and subsequently tours with this name performing with three other members. In 2011 Bobby G attended a court hearing against Cheryl, Mike and Jay for using the name The Original Bucks Fizz. The Judge agreed with Bobby G that the name was an impediment on their trademark name and thereafter the group renamed themselves The Fizz.

The new single Dancing In The Rain was premiered on BBC’s Radio 2 this morning and will be released with a new album which has been produced by Mike Stock who was part of the dynamic Stock, Aitken and Waterman writing trio of the 1980’s. 

Speaking about the new project, Original member Cheryl Baker said “I cannot tell you how happy I am to have been back in the studio, my favourite place”.

Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom in 1981 with their catchy song Making Your Mind Up. They narrowly beat the German entry with just 4 points separating them. Following their victory, Bucks Fizz went on to sell over 50 million records with several number one hits. The Bucks Fizz line up has changed dramatically over the years with no less than 16 members performing in the group at one point or another.

You can remind yourself of the original line up, their victory and their iconic performance in the video below.

Categories: Eurovisionary

29
July
2017

Iveta Mukuchyan and Aram Mp3 celebrate Lovely Armenia in new project

Iveta Mukuchyan and Aram Mp3 celebrate Lovely Armenia in new project

Iveta Mukuchyan and Aram Mp3 are now working on a series of songs about their native land – “Hayastan Jan” – or lovely Armenia. Both of them are former Eurovision representatives. Iveta took part last year, and Aram back in 2014.

Two of Armenia’s Eurovision contestants Iveta Mukuchyan and Aram Mp3 who shook Europe with their songs LoveWave and Not Alone respectively, have now joined forces in a music project that aims at coming back to the origins of the Armenian culture.

The project is called Dashterov – it is a 40 minute long music project, featuring revamped traditional Armenian songs from Al Eghnim to Nazan Im Yary. Iveta and Aram Mp3 are mixing traditional with modern and hopefully creating something truly special.

First came Al Eghnim, followed by the second Qamin Zana  and the third is Ghapama. The project is full of club bangers with it’s unique fusion of folk music and techno/house beats.

At the first song Al Eghnim, Iveta and Aram Mp3 use a snippet from Daft Punk’s famous ’00s anthem Around the World as well as Earth, Wind & Fire’s ’80s disco classic Let’s Groove.  Dashterov takes the Armenian cultural themes to a new level of modernity and internationality, which sounds like something Eurovision fans will enjoy.

The new project is not the only work that Iveta Mukuchyan has dedicated to Armenia.  Hayastan Jan (Lovely Armenia), composed and performed by Iveta, is a song that tells a story of coming back to the origins of the singer.

She should be able to relate to that as she lived away from her native land in Hamburg, Germany, and travelled all over the world as a Eurovision contestant. She returned  to Armenia and rediscovered her native land.

The video for Hayastan Jan is even composed around Iveta’s Eurovision experience.

The mountains’ wind is kissing the poppy field, My heart is calling you, oh my lovely Armenia!

Gonna say ‘bye’ to far-far-away shores, Gonna say ‘hello’ to my native land, my lovely Armenia!

Oh, my mountains’ world, you’re the best for me, For me, you’re the fairest and the most native.

There’s a part of me in your mountains, There’s a part of me in your apricots,

There’s a part of me in your name, Oh, my lovely Armenia!

(Go to the full lyrics and translation of Hayastan Jan)

For the upcoming songs of Dashterov as well as other Armenian cultural music projects, keep an eye on the Facebook pages of Iveta Mukuchyan and Aram Mp3.

Categories: Eurovisionary

28
July
2017

The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part two

The lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part two

Jacques Houdek, Nathan Trent, Demy, Dihaj

We check up on what the this year’s finalists have been doing since they returned home from Kiev, Ukraine. In this part two of three we look at the participants from Croatia, Azerbaijan, United Kingdom, Austria, Belarus, Armenia and Greece.

It is now end of July, and it has been more than two months since the Eurovision weeks back in May in Kyiv, Ukraine. Only twenty-six out of forty-two countries managed to qualify for the final, which was won by Portugal.

But how about the rest of the candidates that were competing in the final, what have they been up to? In this, the second of three articles, we are going to take a look at the qualifiers’ lives since May. What have they done so far? Any new music? Let’s start!

Contents

  • 1 Jacques Houdek (Croatia)
  • 2 Dihaj (Azerbaijan)
  • 3 Lucie Jones (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Nathan Trent (Austria)
  • 5 NaviBand (Belarus)
  • 6 Artsvik (Armenia)
  • 7 Demy (Greece)

Jacques Houdek (Croatia)

Jacques Houdek (Croatia 2017)

Jacques Houdek represented his country at the Eurovision Song Contest this year with the song My Friend. He gave Croatia their best result since 2006, as he ended 13th on the scoreboard in the Grand Final. However, the singer was not too happy about the support that the Croatian government gave him.

Shortly after returning home, he spoke about how he was not satisfied with the level of support Croatia provided him. He pointed out that he was not happy with the way the Croatian President apparently was too busy to meet him before he went to Kyiv to participate in the contest.

Also, he added that he was especially unhappy that no former Yugoslav Republic countries gave him any points – apart from Montenegro. Jacques states that this occurred because Croatia was the only country from that region that qualified for the final.

Other than acoustic versions or remixes, Jacques has not released any new music this year.

Dihaj (Azerbaijan)

Dihaj (Azerbaijan 2017)

28-year-old Azerbaijani singer and songwriter Diana Hajiyeva (Dihaj) finished 14th in the final in Kyiv with the song Skeletons. The song tells the story of a brave and strong girl who loves a bad boy.

Dihaj gave a solo concert in Baku’s Green Theatre in mid July. The concert was named The End Of Sunrise, and also featured the winner of the international jazz festival in Montreux, Isfar Sarabski, and the winner of the Turkish vocal TV show O Ses Türkiye, Elnur Huseynov (The latter has also previously represented Azerbaijan in 2008 and in 2016).

Also, at the concert, Dihaj and her band promoted their debut album, named TEOS.

Lucie Jones (United Kingdom)

Lucie Jones (United Kingdom 2017)

Lucie Bethan Jones is a Welsh singer and actress. She first appeared in the show business when she sang at the X Factor UK in 2009, where she finished eighth. This year, she decided to take a step further and represented the United Kingdom at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest.

But now, Lucie is getting married to her fiance Ethan Boroian, who is a chef. Lucie revealed to the world in what way her boyfriend had proposed to her: it took Ethan eighteen months to film a video, in which he romantically asks Lucie to marry him by holding up sheets of paper, on each of them written one of the words from the phrase: ‘Will you marry me?’

From the first few weeks, they began dating, and Ethan knew straight away that Lucie was the one for him, and began filming the video from that moment on. The video was taken in every location Ethan went to in those eighteen months of their relationship, and, finally, the time had come after those eighteen months of their romance when Ethan decided it was time to ask Lucie to marry him showing her this video, and she said ‘yes’!

When the engagement was officially announced, Lucie couldn’t stop posting pictures on every social media of her fabulous wedding ring, and,- there’s more to it – there is a special history behind the ring!

‘It’s got a diamond that his dad gave his mum for their 10th wedding anniversary and that just means so much’, said Lucie shortly after she accepted his proposal.

Nathan Trent (Austria)

Nathan Trent
(Austria 2017)

Nathan Trent (Nathanaele Koll) is an Austrian singer. He represented his home country at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, with his song Running On Air.

He is one of the artists from this year’s Eurovision that has been most active since May – for instance, he released two new versions of Running On Air, one in Italian, and one in Spanish.

Also, Nathan Trent made an appearance at the Vienna Life Ball this year and sang Higher Love.

He made a lot of covers during the Eurovision week, and, after May, songs like J’ai Cherche by Amir (France 2016), L’essenziale by Marco Mengoni (Italy 2013), I’m Alive by Elhaida Dani (Albania 2015), Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöw (Sweden 2015) and, of course, he had to make his own cover of the winning song this year – Amar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral.

NaviBand (Belarus)

NaviBand
(Belarus 2017)

Naviband is a Belarusian duo that represented their country this year at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Historyja Majho Zyccia, and finished 17th in the final in Kyiv with 83 points.

On the 25th of June, it was the 20th anniversary of the first bottle of Coca-Cola produced in the first Coca-Cola factory in Belarus, and, for that special occasion, Naviband composed a song for the company with the theme music Taste The Feeling in Belarusian.

‘We are incredibly proud to have the opportunity to give people Belarusian culture through advertising. We sang this song in our style – the way we feel it,’ said Artem Lukyanenko. ‘We are very pleased that the Coca-Cola company is interested in us and trusts us – two young performers,’ Kseniya Zhuk added.

For shooting the video for the song Pasprabuy … Adchuy, NaviBand travelled across the country to capture their favourite places in Minsk, Vitebsk, Brest, Mogilev, Grodno and Gomel.

Listen to the Belarusian version of Taste The Feeling by NaviBand.

Artsvik (Armenia)

Artsvik (Armenia 2017)

Artsvik Harutyunyan is an Armenian singer. She represented Armenia at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing 18th with 79 points for the song Fly With Me.

So far, Artsvik has attended many photo shoots, one of them to sponsor make-up. Just as she has appeared in different Armenian TV shows, but no new music has yet been released.

See alsoThe lives of the Eurovision 2017 finalists since May – Part one

Demy (Greece)

Demy
(Greece 2017)

Dimitra Papadea (Demy) is a Greek singer who represented her country Greece this year at the 62nd Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. She finished 19th on the scoreboard, receiving 77 points. However, she is one of the first participants of the Eurovision Song Contest this year that released a single straight after May.

She came back to Greece right after her Eurovision experience and recorded new songs and took part in many photo shoots. And, finally, on June 19th, her new single was released, named M’Ekdikeisai, (You’re Taking Revenge On Me).

Check out Demy’s new song.

Categories: Eurovisionary

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