Break out the cello! The Wiwi Jury turns to the next song in its review of Latvia’s Supernova 2018. This time it’s acclaimed cellist (and singer) MADARA, with her Latvian-language entry, “Esamiba“.
MADARA (Madara Fogelmane) has played the cello since her childhood, and has studied it both in Amsterdam and Brussels. It was only in 2017 that she started to perform as both a cellist and singer.
MADARA — “Esamiba”
Chris: In the last couple of years, it’s become clear that you don’t have to conform to regular pop music to do well at Eurovision — or even, to win. Latvia have flirted with the idea of doing “something different” over the last few years, but entering “Esamiba” would be their most daring entry yet. If Madara can perform this live with true gusto, then I wouldn’t dare them to send anything else. Captivating from the first note.
Bernardo: There you have it. A beautiful, well-crafted composition paired with an incredibly beautiful, ethereal voice. It’s classic, yet contemporary. Madara doesn’t need much, because her voice is more than enough. As we enter a new phase where all genres have a relevant place in the Eurovision stage, “Esamiba” is a recipe for success.
Edgars: This is the one that Latvian should send to Lisbon. It was a stand-out from the first round of online voting. Now, it’s even better in the final version with the added backing vocals and effects. It’s would be the first time that Latvia could send a song in their native language and not be ashamed of it. Moldova had their epic violin and sax guy, this is Latvia’s epic cello girl.
Luis: As long as Madara knows her entry needs a show-stopping performance, she’s got this. “Esamiba” is a fantastic composition: it has peaks, lows and it takes you to the Moon and back more than once. The drawback is that the setting isn’t the most suitable. To succeed, she needs to recreate the magic that Salvador Sobral made us feel in Kyiv. Hopefully, she thinks outside the box and brings something totally unique.
William: Oozing spirituality and a sense of the divine, “Esamiba” is much bigger than its three minutes. The symphonic sound seems to be gifted from the Muses, who have imbued it with godliness and majesty, rhythm and words. In a field of songs shooting for Spotify — and all the digital sounds that entails — this takes us back to basics and to our core. It isn’t music, but magic. Despite the quiet song, it would be a bold and deserving choice. And PS: This is waaaaaay better than Enya.
Robyn: “Esamiba” reminds me of “Blackbird”. It’s the kind of song that works as an intimate listening experience on headphones. But songs like that never do well in the context of a rowdy arena setting or watched at home in boozy viewing parties. It seems like a misguided attempt to follow in the footsteps of the 2017 winner, but Latvia should be doing their own thing.
Jordi: Madara and “Esamiba” are the perfect definition of celebrating diversity, in a National Final dominated by the English language. It serves emotion and calm, bringing you to a very relaxing state of mind. The whole composition, the melody, her voice and the feeling she creates, is going to stand out amongst the whole pack. How well this song would compete in a 43-song Eurovision is a worry, but it might just need a little bit more dynamism.
In our Latvia Wiwi Jury, we have 14 jurors but only room for 7 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 4.5 and a high of 9.5.
WIWI JURY VERDICT: 7.79/10
Another change at the top of the rankings, as MADARA proves to be the jury’s favourite so far. But is she your favourite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.