The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — is in Romania, listening to the 12 semi-finalists of Selectia Nationala 2016. It’s time to meet Andra Olteanu and review her Romanian language song “Nai Nai”. Will it make our jurors say “Nay” or “Yay”?
Andra Olteanu – “Nai Nai”
Andra Olteanu – “Nai Nai” reviews
Bogdan: It reminds me a bit of Kristina’s gorgeous entry from 2010, “Horehronie”. That must be why a lot of the Euro-fandom, excluding most Romanians, want this in Stockholm. However, music has evolved in six years. I applaud Andra’s effort (she also co-wrote the song) and the wordplay on the onomatopoeic “nai”, which also means “pan flute”, but I cannot connect with her made-for Eurovision entry. (Plus, it sounds Balkan, which, believe it or not, Romania isn’t. That’s why I also didn’t like our entry back in 2009.)
William: I’m not Romanian, but if I had my way this would be the country’s national anthem. It represents Romania so well: It is rooted in tradition yet has a funky edge. The pulsating rhythm, the sultry vocals, the animalistic grunts — it taps into something tribal, something rooted in my DNA. Cavemen, scientists, hot young things — I think everyone can find something to cling to in this. Well done! J’adore!
Luis: Can somebody make sure that this isn’t taken from a Romanian summer-hits CD compilation from 2002? “Nai Nai” might be catchy, but it’s also very dated and cheap. This could have worked to a certain extent between the parade of ballads of last year, but with a much danceable line up this year, Andra would get lost.
Robyn: There are some fans who are super nostalgic for the Eurovision of the 2000s, and I’m sure they’ll be very happy to hear “Nai Nai”. Maybe there’s a case to be made for entering a song to keep the old-timers happy, but while “Nai Nai” has a lot of fun energy, more importantly I’m sure it’s not a reflection of the Romanian pop music scene of 2016. Just remember – if “Nai Nai” went to Stockholm, it would be up against the vastly superior “Say Yay!”.
Antranig: This is absolutely phenomenal! Voltaj brought the Romanian language back to Eurovision and Andra does it even better with a song that is infectiously catchy. It’s impossible to sit still while this is playing in my ears. Romania needs to send Andra to andra chansen — I mean Eurovision.
Deban: The verses held a lot of suspense. Sadly, the chorus dissipates the positive pointers that were elevated at the start. “Nai Nai” may keep butts moving on the Euroclub dancefloor, but the reality is simple – it is an expired product! The liberal use of auto-tune here makes me question the quality of her live vocals. The refrain reminds me of continental Slavs churning butter.
In the Romanian Wiwi Jury we have 12 Jurors, but only space for 6 reviews. The remaining scores are below:
The highest and lowest scores are removed before calculating the final score. We have dropped a low of 3 and a high of 9.
Wiwi Jury Score: 7.05/10
The semi-final of Selectia Nationala 2016 will take place on 4 March in Baia Mare. An expert jury will select four songs to advance to the final, while televoters will save two more acts. The winner will be chosen by 100% televote on 6 March.
Do you agree with Wiwi Jury? What do you think about “Nai Nai”? By the way, if you like it, don’t forget you can vote for it in our Romania 2016 poll!