We are getting close to Belarus’ national selection for Eurovision 2017, which takes place on January 20. In recent weeks the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — has been listening to and reviewing all of the songs. We finally turn to Nikita Hodas with “Voices In My Head”. He hears them calling, but what will our voices say? Read on and find out!
Nikita Hodas – “Voices in My Head”
“Voices in My Head” reviews
Kristin: At first, I didn’t quite know what to think when he picked up the book and started reading. But then… he just got to me. His voice, the song, and everything about it seems right somehow. I can’t put my finger on it, and for once, I’m not going to over analyse. I’m just going to enjoy.
William: Nikita is a Belarusian Ed Sheeran, but less annoying. His wispy voice has soul, grit and character, and it’s clear he is feeling something deep. The mixture of spoken word and emotive singing is incredibly daring and suggests he’s less of an aspiring pop star and more of an artist. I am feeling this and I’m feeling him.
Mikhail: This is simple, yet it manages to catch my attention. It tells a story which I want to follow. It leads me somewhere in the countryside and helps me relax and see my problems as small compared to the huge world. I really enjoy it. It reminds me a little bit of Sweden’s Frans and I think it can succeed. But Nikita has to learn the poem by heart.
Sami: Just like most of the songs in the Belarusian selection, I’m not really sure what the singer is trying to say, but I do like the music. It’s sweet and simple and for some reason you want to listen to it again. But even after few listens, I can’t remember much of the melody or the lyrics, which will make it hard for this to do well in the actual contest.
Antranig: This is a song with a beautiful melody that will sweep you away like a summer breeze. Unfortunately, there is a spoken word part which completely ruins the chilled atmosphere of the song. While perfect English isn’t compulsory for me, when you have spoken word going on, it needs to be run through a grammar checker. There’s potential here for a good revamp and I like that it tries to be different.
Robyn: Nikita is doing that delicate male folk singer thing that makes me just want to give him a hug and tell him it’s going to be ok. The song is pretty ordinary until it reaches the spoken-word part, and then suddenly it gets interesting. And while “Voices in My Head” picks up from there, it doesn’t quite pick up enough. It feels less like song and more like a musical performance poetry piece — just not quite right for Eurovision.
Chris: Look, spoken word might have made a bit of a comeback this year. But I’ll see you with them hands and tell you this is terrible. It’s 100% not a Eurovision song; not in a “too good for Eurovision” kind of way, but more “nobody would vote for this”. Dislike from start to finish.
Luis: Nikita’s song is perfect to listen to while studying. That doesn’t necessarily disqualify it for Eurovision, but it’s not the best sign either. The problem here is that the song is not memorable. The spoken word section is not bad, but the problem is that “Voices in My Head” doesn’t really grow after it. It needs more grit. The good thing is that Nikita does have the voice to lift his song. He needs to take a step away from that vulnerable and demure singer-songwriter image.
In the Belarus Wiwi Jury, we have 17 jurors but only room for 8 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 1 and a high of 10.