For Latvia’s Dziesma finalists, the big moment is almost here. This Saturday Latvia will decide which artist and song will represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest. Our Austrian correspondent Patrick Melbler caught up with Olga Rajecka of Olga un Ligo to discuss folk dancing, Eurovision, and the Latvian countryside.
Congratulations on making the final! Are you excited?
Thank you to have this interview with you. Of course! I am sincerely happy for entering the final, this is what we put in a lot of time and effort into and worked so hard for.
Your song “Saule riet” is a traditional folk song. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
The author of the song lyrics is Guntars Racs. We have worked together on many successful projects for many years now. The literal translation of the song would be “Sun Goes Down”. The song is about myself, really, because it tells a story about a girl, who waits for the sunset from the time that day begins; she is waiting for the sunset because that is the time, when the real life of love, friends and joy begins. When or if the sun no longer sets it would not only be the end of all the fun times, but also the end of the world. So, the girl is happy that the sun is setting and love continues. I found an inner girl, who the song is about.
At the semi final you gave a great dance performance. Any special plans for the final?
As in the Semi Final I’ll perform my song with the dance-ensemble “Ligo”, only we will have a costume change and some of the same dance will be varied as well. Our choreographer is one of the best Latvian choreographers, who has enjoyed the success with this dance ensemble, whose history began as far back as 1945, when “Ligo” is founded.
No, I am not worried. I just feel a great responsibility towards the people, who have helped me. I’ve seen a lot of things on stage that are big and small. I have taken part of victory festivals, crowded halls and even stadiums. At the same time, anxiety is always there before any performances, but it goes away, when I get out on the stage.
What feedback did you receive from fellow Latvians?
The reviews are different, but I have to admit that I have received many text messages and calls from all over Latvia, that I have not gotten in a long time. I feel tremendous support from my fans, from both, adults and kids.
Have you heard the other songs competing for the ticket to Copenhagen? Which songs do you like and who do you think is your biggest competition?
Quite frankly, I have not thought about it. Right now my mind is set on the Latvian final, if do good then we will be able to think about the other songs at the Eurovision. It is always good to have Scandinavian singers in the competition, and the colorful Balkan performers and the quality from English songs. We will see what will be the viewer’s choice this year. May the best one win!
I am inspired by the Latvian people. In my long career, I’ve given more than 1,000 concerts and have taken the love from each listener and viewer. Currently I have been learning the art of the folk dance, which provides both physical and mental satisfaction. I have come to understand who I am and where I am, so I just do not know where I’m going, but I trust in God and my friends that I am moving in the right direction.
Are you a Eurovision fan? What is your favourite Latvian entry in Eurovision history?
I could not say that before because it seemed that it was not right for me. I guess I made a mistake, because now I feel very good and inspired. From our most artists I like Prata Vetra, Musiqq and of course, Fomins & Kleins, who first dared to perform with a Latvian song to go to the international competition. I appreciate it and hope to be the next one to represent Latvia.
Do you have a message for our readers on wiwibloggs.com?
If you come to Latvia, definitely make time for the Latvian countryside, not only for the beautiful Riga. I myself am from the city of Lielvarde and believe me, the peace and blessing is in the fields of the countryside, which have no comparison. Latvians are hospitable, though a bit reserved. This is because there are people, who have caused us a lot of pain in the past, so we might seem reserved to the strangers, but as soon as we feel that people come with good intentions, we welcome them as best friends. For the big Eurovision event this year, I would love to see the Latvian language represented , and to have the peace around the world, clean water, blue skies and every child with an ice cream in hand.
It was a honour to speak with you. I wish you good luck and maybe I’ll dance to your song in Copenhagen!
Thank you very much for the time and attention. I truly appreciate each person’s time devoted to me. “Paldies”!
Patrick Melbler contributed this report from Austria. Follow him on Twitter @eurovisionboy77. You can also keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following wiwibloggs.com on Twitter and Facebook.