Eesti Laul 2016 — Estonia’s national selection for Eurovision — is just around the corner! Amongst the 20 acts competing in the show are the funky, electronic group known as Würffel with the song “I’m Facing North”. wiwiblogger Luis had a chat with two thirds of the group, Kaspar Kalluste and Rosanna Lints, and they spilled all the tea on their song, their performance and their story. Are you ready? Let’s do this!
Each of you had individual careers before collaborating together and creating Würffel. How did the idea of collaborating come about?
Kaspar: We’ve all done many different things–that’s true. I’ve played in different jazz groups with the very best musicians. I also work a lot with different pop artists as a producer and songwriter. But the story behind Würffel is around eleven years ago, Tarvi and I went to Georg Ots music school together and we became really good friends. We’ve played in many different groups and TV shows together. For example we played in Ott Lepland’s group and also there are many others. At some point we just started making music together, and then Tarvi and I decided to form a group which we called Würffel. Rosanna joined us later on but we’d met her beforehand, so we already had an idea as to what kind of singer we needed and we thing she was the best choice.
In just two years you’ve released an EP, an album and several singles, and now you’re entering Eesti Laul. That’s quite impressive! Why have you decided to take part this year?
Kaspar: I’m actually not the biggest fan of song contests because music is my life. I don’t like to get points for what I do. I think it’s just irrelevant if you do what you really love. But I was asked to take part for several years and this year, we decided to enter with a song that we thought is going to be our next single. So it was fairly simple because we had the song already.
Your YouTube channel shows an evolution of your musical style. Do you like to change your style regularly or is it just about how you feel in that moment?
Kaspar: Good question! We have been searching for our sound and I think our latest songs have the sound we’ve been looking for. At first we used live instruments, but now we’re looking for more electronic sounds. I feel that it’s a lot more fun to program all the musical elements, so I took the challenge. Our next album (due in March 2016), will definitely be more electronic.
Now let’s get a bit more into “I’m Facing North”. Some of our readers love the 80’s feeling of the song. Why did you decide to go for this kind of sound?
Kaspar: It’s really hard to tell because when I wrote that song it felt great at the very first moment. I don’t know what’s the case with the 80’s. I don’t listen to 80’s music too often, but I can see the similarities. I think it’s nice that the readers like it. An Estonian trio playing sounds from 80’s. Why not?
Was the song quick to create or did it take a lot of work?
Kaspar: I just sent the song to Rosanna and she came up with the lyrics right away. I had really good feeling with the song and she instantly knew what I was looking for. Production wise we kept it simple. We thought that the song didn’t need much to deliver the feeling and vibe we wanted.
Can you tell us a bit about the staging of your performance? Will you keep it simple or can we expect any surprises?
Kaspar: We will keep it electronic and simple. Also we invited two backing vocalists to join us for the show. But there’s going to be a well prepared, minimalistic performance.
Rosanna, you’ve taken part twice in Eesti Laul before, both as a solo artist and with POP Maniacs. What memories do you keep from those experiences?
Rosanna: In both years I worked with the very talented singer-songwriter Rolf Roosalu, and as he has a lot of experience with the show and is also a really nice person. It was a pleasure to work with him. Also in both years we had a choreography and awesome dancers – that always makes things more fun for me.
You also finished third at Eesti Otsib Superstaari five years ago at a very young age. How important was that for your career?
Rosanna: If it weren’t for that show, I’d probably be studying medicine at university. Being a musician is a very risky choice. I’m very grateful for the opportunity, because making music makes a huge difference for me emotionally.
Kaspar, you come from a jazz background, mainly as a drummer, while Tarvi has studied piano. How has the transition from jazz music into synthetic pop been?
Kaspar: I have always been very open minded when it comes to music. Different genres just make it more interesting. I still play in many jazz groups and I find it very interesting and refreshing. Improvised music is something that keeps me going. But I love to write pop songs! There are some limits and that’s something that makes the process somehow challenging. I’m really happy that I started with classical piano at the age of seven. It gave me the opportunity to write music and ability to perform my ideas on an instrument that is really like an orchestra. At some point I started to play drums and got a masters degree from Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Jazz department. So the background is really jazzy but I think jazz education is the best way to learn the vocabulary.
Both of you have collaborated with some Estonian Eurovision stars like Ott Lepland and some others from Eesti Laul, such as Ithaka Maria and Luisa Värk. Do you enjoy composing music for other artists more or do you prefer making music for your own group?
Kaspar: We do both. I’ve written many songs for Ott and we have wrote some together with Tarvi as well. Now we have the focus more on our group but we still write for others sometimes.
This year Eesti Laul takes place at Saku Suurhall, the arena that hosted Eurovision 2002. There will be a huge crowd. Does that put any more pressure on you or are you used to performing in front of so many people?
There’s no pressure concerning the crowd. We haven’t played with Würffel for so many people but with different groups there has been many big concerts. For example we warmed up for Aerosmith with Tanel Padar & The Sun in 2007 in Riga and there were at least 25,000 fans, it was huge.
Finally, do you have a message for our readers at wiwibloggs.com?
With Würffel, what matters is not so much the reality you are in, as where it leads you. Stay cool, stay tuned!
With Würffel, what matters isn’t the reality you’re in, but where it leads you. Stay cool and stay tuned.