Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with their song “Friend Of A Friend”. It’s a track that gives us synth, a beat to make us move, and a meme-worthy bridge.
Czech broadcaster ČT selected Lake Malawi through the second edition of its Eurovision Song CZ process. Conducted entirely online, the selection consisted of eight acts. The group won out based on a combination of international jury and public app votes.
The three-piece band hail from Třinec on the Czech border with Poland, and are bringing one of the most energetic performances to Tel Aviv this year. It’s impossible not to jump around during the chorus. So as the contest draws closer, we’ve decided to compile 10 facts about Lake Malawi. Let’s do this!
1. It’s all in the name
Why name yourself after a lake in the southern African nation of Malawi, amongst others, when you’re Czech? Well, Lake Malawi chose to have the word “lake” in their band name after a lyric in the Bon Iver song “Calgary”. Albert was staying with friends in Prague and saw Lake Malawi on the map whilst the song was a big part of his life at the time, so the name was born.
2. Who are they?
Lake Malawi consists of Albert Černý (vocals, keyboard and guitar), Jeroným Šubrt (bassist an keyboardist), and drummer Antonín Hrabal. They came together as a band after Albert’s previous band Charlie Straight broke up.
3. “Friend of Friend” was created by friends
When speaking with wiwibloggs back in January, Albert told us that he wrote “Friend of a Friend” with a Polish writer and a fellow Czech artist. He listened to the demo over and over, knowing he had to do something with the song as it was a bit different to his normal style. After getting advice from a friend (of a friend of a friend of a friend), the track was submitted to ESCZ and the rest is history.
4. They’ve gigged internationally
The group have always wanted to make it outside of the Czech Republic. And they’ve certainly done some pretty gigs in and out of the country. They’ve performed all over Czechia, of course, as well as Slovakia, Poland, Austria and the UK. Over the years, they’ve supported megastars Thirty Seconds To Mars and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, as well as British indie band the Kooks and British/Lebanese icon MIKA.
5. They are inspired by Coldplay
In the band’s blog, Albert writes that British four-piece Coldplay made him want to write music. “The Scientist” provided much inspiration, but “Fix You” is his absolute favourite song. Albert says that “Friend of a Friend” is much more upbeat than the music he normally creates, which is not surprising given his reference points. He also loves another Brit-band The 1975, which could serve as a more fast-paced influence.
6. They are award winners
Lake Malawi have won many gongs, including Czech Music Academy Awards, Slavik Awards, and an award from MTV.
7. The English accent…
When one hears “Friend of a Friend”, you can’t not sing/talk along with the line “She was my neighbour, when we were thirteen…”. The strong British-style accent came about from the band’s time working and writing in the UK. From this, Albert picked up his famous London drawl which we all love.
8. Their drummer is a glider pilot
Drummer Antonín Hrabal is a trained glider pilot! He hopes to get back to training once the craziness of the Eurovision bubble ends. His dream is to learn flight-acrobatics, which is where the efforts of putting in the time will pay off.
9. The actual Lake Malawi is on their bucket list
In our interview, Albert says that he hasn’t been to any of the theree countries that own at least part of the actual Lake Malawi. As this was before they won ESCZ, he said if they were to win they’d make sure they went… you know what to do now, boys! Get that plane down to Africa and cross it off the checklist!
10. They have an album and EP
Lake Malawi released an album called Surrounded By Light back in November 2017. It’s available on Spotify and other streaming services. They also self-released an EP in 2015 called We Are Making Love Again.
Are you excited to hear “Friend Of A Friend” in Tel Aviv? Can they match Mikolas Josef’s top ten success? Let us know in the comments.