Oto Nemsadze will represent Georgia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “Sul Tsin Iare”. Translated as “Keep On Going”, it’s a Georgian-language rock ballad with distinctive gravelly vocals from Oto.
Georgian Public Broadcaster (GBP) chose Oto through a reworked version of Idol. Ten artists were whittled down over the course of six weeks. The last four standing performed their songs for Eurovision during the season finale, with Oto emerging victorious.
In anticipation for his Eurovision stint, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Oto Nemsadze. Let’s do this!
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This evening our @rezomamsikashvili hang out with #Georgia’s ?? Eurovision 2019 singer @oto_nemsadze and talked about upcoming music video and stage performance for the song “Sul Tsin Iare”. He is promising an epic performance for Tel Aviv. ?? ———————————————————— #Eurovision #Georgia #Tbilisi #SulTsinIare #KeepOnGoing #Friends #Georgian #DareToDream #Sunday #Wiwibloggs #TelAviv2019 #ESC #Eurovision2019 #OtoNemsadze #StayTuned #May #2019
1. He had his first break on Georgian Idol
Oto won’t have to worry about nerves at Eurovision — he’s a pro at televised singing contests. He first came to the public’s attention in 2010 when he competed in and won season five of Geostar (Georgian Idol). He beat Sophie Gelovani into second place. She, of course, went on to represent Georgia at Eurovision 2013 alongside Nodi Tatishvili, the winner of Idol series four.
2. He went international
In 2012, he entered the international song contest 10+10, organised by Georgian broadcaster GPB. The next year, he travelled to Ukraine and finished second on its version of The Voice. His blind audition with “Feeling Good” made all four coaches turn, including Eurovision 2006 singer Tina Karol. By 2016, he was back on Georgian soil and competing in the local edition of the celebrity singing franchise Your Face Sounds Familiar.
3. He’s had Eurovision on his mind
In 2017 he entered Georgia’s national selection together with Group Limbo. The one-night spectacular featured 25 songs, with Oto and his band finishing in joint tenth place. Their song “Dear God” picked up a combined total of 70 points from the public and jury. Tamara Gachechiladze’s “Keep The Faith” came out on top with 122 points. In 2019, he returned to Georgian Idol — this time not only for the victory, but also for the chance to go to Eurovision. He is probably among a very select number to have won a version of Idol twice.
4. Britain’s Got Talent remains on his wishlist
A cherry on the pie could have been Britain’s Got Talent. Oto received an invite to audition for season 11 of the Simon Cowell-helmed talent show. However, visa problems arose. The issue turned out to be too difficult to resolve and Oto was forced to cancel his appearance on the show. The series was won by pianist Tokio Myers while Maltese Junior Eurovision winner Destiny Chukunyere made it to the semi-finals.
5. He’s adept in multiple music genres and styles
Throughout his rich show business career, Oto has proven to be something of a musical chameleon — he can tackle almost anything. He sings in both English and Georgian, and his musical repertoire is wide and varied. Give him Georgian ballads or Brit rock, he’ll perform any genre with aplomb. In January, he sang a mashup of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”, which are definitely not the easiest songs to sing technically.
6. His brother is music composer Besik Nemsadze
Music runs in the Nemsadze family. Oto’s brother Besik Nemsadze is a music composer. He has composed several songs for Oto, including “Dear God” (from Georgia’s 2017 national selection). In fact, his brother was also a participant on Idol this year, but was eliminated after the first live show.
7. He is married to a Georgian theatre star
Oto is married to Sopho Medzmariashvili, an actress in Georgia. She performs mostly in theatrical productions in Tbilisi. When Oto proposed to her, he went all out. Graffiti, flowers, a band, cameras — it was all there. You can watch the full proposal below. It’s a real love story.
8. His mother taught him to sing
Oto told our Georgian correspondent Rezo that it was his mum who taught him to sing. She did so when he was very young, despite not being a singer herself. If you ask us, she did an excellent job.
9. He sang at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships
In 2013, Oto was asked to sing at the opening ceremony for the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Ukraine. He accepted, with his music forming the backdrop for ex-world champion Anna Bessonova showcase performance.
10. His debut album dropped in 2013
Oto’s career took off after his first Idol win. Three years later, he released his debut LP Fiqrebis Zgva. The album included covers of songs from the Georgian composer and singer Otar Ramishvili. He is currently working on a new record.
Are you feeling Oto Nemsadze and his song “Sul Tsin Iare”? How will he do at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments below.