She’s an Eesti Laul veteran, who consistently ranks among the fan favourites to represent Estonia at Eurovision. Later tonight, Laura Põldvere will take to the stage once more in a bid to win the all elusive ticket to Kyiv.
She’ll be joined by Koit Toome, and together they’ll perform the Shakespeare-themed “Verona”.
Our George recently caught up with Laura for a quick interview. Here’s what she had to say.
Eesti Laul 2017: Laura interview
You’re participating in this year’s Eesti Laul. How do you feel?
Awesome:) like my vocal students say! We just finished recording the semi-finals and it was great fun. I really like working together with Koit — he is determined, a vocal professional and also a man who knows good humour. And our team is amazing. The back vocals, stylists, the people who are responsible for the stage show. It’s an honour to work together with them.
Laura, you’ve participated in Eesti Laul many times in the past. What is it about the contest that attracts you?
Eesti Laul and the Estonian Music Awards are the two biggest events in Estonia that give you the opportunity to put together a high level visual performance.
I guess that is one big thing that attracts a lot of our artists to take part in the competition. And also I think it is a great chance to reach the hearts of so many people at the same time.
A woman came to me a few months ago at a concert and told that my song ‘’581C’’ had helped her family at a very difficult time. It was something that helped them to move on.
So, in order to help people you have to be heard. It is not about me — it is about the music! Music heals your heart.
Laura interview at Eesti Laul 2016
Tell us about last year’s Eesti Laul. How was the whole experience? What would you change? Were you disappointed?
I wouldn’t change a thing, and I can’t change 😀 I remember arguing with a teacher in the 6th grade that there is no destiny, but the older I get, the more I feel there is a path meant for us. Of course, I always would like to improve my vocal performance. This is a never-ending self criticism, which is only good:) My team and I had a great time preparing for the last year’s semi-finals and final show. We did our best 🙂
Tell us a few things about your song, “Verona”. What’s the message behind it? Is it autobiographical?
The song is written by Sven Lõhmus, who I’ve been working together with the past 12 years. And you know, we haven’t had a single fight since then.
We both love stupid humour and a good laugh, so that is one of the reasons we are still working together. Sven and Koit travelled together with their friends in Italy last summer and got into the Italian vibe.
Right after Koit left for Estonia Sven decided to visit Verona and as he was sitting in front of Juliet’s house and sipping cold wine, he had this idea of writing a song about Verona. Not just about the city and Romeo and Juliet’s love, but about the symbol.
Koit Toome & Laura “Verona” (Official Music Video)
“Verona” is the symbol of the memory of long lost love. In a way it is a sad story, but with a happy ending. We are looking back at the time when two people were madly in love. Now they know that this has come to an end and nothing can be done to fix it.
But the memory is something you can’t take away and the memory is a good one. I guess you can say it is something that everyone can relate to — so it is autobiographical 🙂
Can you give us any clues on what to expect on stage?
The best clue is the word ‘’memories’’. Something that is so real, it’s in our mind’s, but the physical side is missing.
How does “Verona” differ from “Supersonic”?
At first I wanted to say that these two songs are so different lyric wise, but the more I think about it, the more I understand that Sven is a philosophical writer. It’s all about LIFE and LIVING. There are so many layers in his lyrics. “Supersonic” was about the overall sense of life, the way we are so fragile and how life can end in a blink of an eye. And “Verona” talks about bits of memories we should cherish. Maybe it sounds crazy, but I guess when you would gather together all lyrics of Sven’s songs that I’ve sung, then you get to the essence of life.
Laura “Supersonic” at Eesti Laul 2016
We’ve seen you in Eesti Laul as a solo artist quite a few times. How did the duet come up? Have you collaborated with Koit in the past?
Yes, I’ve taken part in the Estonian Eurovision since 2005 and this year it is the fifth time. I think I’ve sung duet with Koit just once before ‘’Verona” in 2008 at Pärnu Concert Hall. I remember that I was really afraid to sing together with such an acknowledged singer, and while singing he came so close that I had to take a step backwards with every phrase 😀 As I said before, Sven and Koit were travelling together in Italy last summer and this all led to the idea of our duet 🙂
Elina Born, who’s participated in Eurovision in the past (same as you) is also returning to Eesti Laul this year. Do you think she poses a threat to you?
I think all participants are a great threat — in a good way 🙂 Everybody’s aware that they have to make a great effort. And I’m sure they’re ready to fight their way to Kiev:)
wiwibloggs asks — Eesti Laul 2017 semi-final 1
Which is your favourite Estonian Eurovision song?
I remember when Estonia won the Eurovision in 2001. I was then 13 years old and we lived in the suburban area of Tartu with my family. I remember the feeling that I had when we won. I just screamed and ran outside to the garden, ‘’WE WON! WE WON!’.’ Syndrome of insanity 😀 Still my fave song!
What do you think is unique about your music? Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
I did my master’s degree in free improvisation and that is something I’ve been fascinated about since I was a kid. Making up songs and lyrics and experimenting with my voice. This gives me the musical freedom, courage, inspiration and attention to find beauty in the sound of the train, hissing of the summer lawns.
What are your plans after Eesti Laul?
Uuh… I’m gonna go on a vacation for a bit 🙂 I love travelling and getting to know different cultures. During the past year I have been starting to love cooking again and taken interest in Asian food. Before that I was a huge fan of Indian food. And to be honest. Nowadays it is pretty hard for me to order something at the restaurant, because the home cooked meal is million times better 🙂
Eesti Laul 2017 semi-final 2 — reaction
Do you have a message for your fans at wiwibloggs?
Maybe we should all listen to my brother’s words: ‘’pane täiega – pane südamega’’ – in translation it’s something like that ”give it all, put your heart into it!’’. It sounds stronger in Estonian 🙂