The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — has journeyed to the beautiful city of Minsk to check out the 10 acts competing in Eurofest 2018. With the national final on February 16, each act is busy preparing for the grand final show.
The next entrant up for review is ethno electronic group Shuma with “Chmarki”. As one of only two songs sung in Belorussian this year, will “Chmarki” make its mark? Read on to find out!
Shuma – “Chmarki”
Anthony: Continuing with the language influence following Naviband’s mixed success, the minimal ethno-electronic vibes makes pleasant listening and there is staging potential to make it really stand out. A word of warning — Latvia flopped with “Line” — “Chmarki” will need a stronger end-product if Belarus considers sending this to Lisbon.
Chris: It’s as if Naviband and ONUKA had a baby. This is by far the best option for Belarus this year, even if it would be a considerable risk. Certainly, there’d need to be some good staging to go with it, or it might feel too sparse. Shuma are on to something very good here and hopefully they can rise above the generic pop around them.
Lukas: Shuma is very alternative, and from all the dated pop songs in this selection – it does stand out. The song “Chmarki” is interesting, but after one minute it is the same thing over and over again. It just gets very repetitive and boring. This song needs a revamp if they want to reach a better place in the selection.
Robyn: There’s something unusual going on here and I like it. “Chmarki” has a stripped back vibe, where every sound seems to be there for a reason. It’s not a typical Belarusian entry, so it’s encouraging that BTRC is taking a risk with an act like Shuma. I’m not sure a song like this would necessarily work at Eurovision, but it’s a welcome addition to the national final.
Sebastian: This is perfection, amplified. When an act brings something revolutionary to a national final and executes it well, I am moved beyond emotion. Some might dismiss this as dull, but if you look beyond the surface, we see developed layers of eccentricity. I don’t know how they did it, but their live audition performance is even better than their heavily synthesised recording. A complete sensory experience. I’m mesmerised. Anti-pop in its most glorious form.
In our Eurofest Wiwi Jury, we have 11 jurors who made it to Minsk, but only room for 5 reviews. The rest of our scores can be found below:
Before calculating the average score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped. This is to remove outliers and reduce potential bias. We have removed a low of 3 and a high of 9.5.