For the first five months of each year, Eurovision fans rank and scrutinise one song from each competing artist. However, for many singers, their Eurovision entry is only one step on their musical journey. There is life after Eurovision, and a number of our favourite singers have a thriving musical career outside the bubble.

Vilnius in particular has proven itself to be a melting pot of solid pop music. Lithuania’s former Eurovision contestants have recently presented us with the new singles they’ve been busy recording.

So here’s our latest new music round-up – the Lithuanian edition – featuring Donny Montell, Jurijus, Ieva ZasimauskaitėVaidas Baumila and Monika Linkytė.

Donny Montell – “Ryto Saulė”

First off, a singer who has entered Eurovision as a solo artist not once, but twice. Donny Montell was blindfolded for the start of his performance of “Love is Blind” in Baku 2012, but he tore off the fold (La venda ya cayó!) and gave us a bullet-proof disco number. He then somersaulted all the way to Stockholm 2016, where he performed the kick-ass dance track “I’ve Been Waiting For This Night” and achieved a respectable top ten finish. Both performances are completely unforgettable, and have secured Donny’s spot as Lithuania’s most successful solo artist in Eurovision. Can I hear an Amen?

Now he’s blessing us with a new song called “Ryto Saulė, or “Morning Sun” in English. It’s a slow paced R’n’B number sung in Lithuanian. The perfect soundtrack to your morning coffee whilst watching the morning sun arise across the horizon and welcoming a brand new day with brand new adventures. Donny can do no wrong, and “Ryto Saulė” is just yet more proof of that.

Jurijus – “Mintys”

Lithuania’s most recent contestant – the lion tamer Jurijus Veklenko – actually has more appearances in Eurovision than the aforementioned Donny Montell. Jurijus has graced the Eurovision stage three times. He was one of Andrius Pojavis’ backing vocalists in 2013, he gave his co-dancer the kiss of life in Vienna 2015, and finally got the spotlight all for himself this year in Tel Aviv.

Jurijus has been a busy boy since his return from Israel. His latest achievement is the song “Mintys”, which translates to “Thoughts”, and comes from his new album Mano Sapnuose (In My Dreams). “Mintys” has a heavier beat than “Run with the Lions”, but still has Jurijus’ musical characteristics written all over it. His clear, high-pitched voice carries the song without trouble.

The accompanying music video celebrates Jurijus’ Eurovision journey. It’s full of shots from his promo tour and time in Tel Aviv. Judging by the video, he enjoyed every single minute of his time in the crazy, yet lovely world of Eurovision. Well done Jurijus!

Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “What Do You Want From Me”

Ieva Zasimauskaitė was 2018’s ultimate dark horse. She not only brought Lithuania into the finals with her heartfelt performance of “When We’re Old”, but reached 12th place with 181 points and gave her country their third best result in the contest since their debut in 1994. She definitely made us shed a few tears along the way, with her low key and intimate performance. Sometimes less is clearly more.

Ieva’s latest single “What Do You Want From Me” is an uplifting anthem. The lyrics discuss her search for life’s ultimate purpose, which was founded in the Hare Krishna movement. Ieva is a devoted member and the accompanying music video shows us all aspects of her life, including glimpses of her time at Eurovision 2018 and how Hare Krishna has had a big impact on her.

“What Do You Want From Me” is a strong and powerful call to everyone who is soul searching. Ieva assures us that we will eventually find what we’re looking for. Sometimes it just takes time.

Vaidas Baumila (ft. JUSTÉ) – “Milijonai”

Vaidas Baumila has not been sitting quietly at home since his stint in Vienna 2015, where he shared a steaming kiss with his co-star Monika Linkytė. Now he’s teaming up with yet another dazzling songstress, the 27-year-old R’n’B-soul singer Justé Starinskaité, or simply JUSTÉ. Their collaboration “Milijonai” was released earlier this week.

“Milijonai” may delve into the R’n’B genre, but it also has a strong techno beat bubbling under the surface. Vaidas and JUSTÉ don’t share a kiss in the video, but they have great chemistry nonetheless. “Milijonai” is hopefully only the start of a further collaboration between these two amazing artists, or even the first-step for JUSTÉ to represent Lithuania at Eurovision someday.

Monika Linkytė – “All Alone”

Who better to close up this Lithuanian round-up than Vaidas’ former partner in crime, Monika Linkytė herself. The singer’s latest single “All Alone”, which was released back in March, shows off just how much of a strong, powerful and self-sufficient woman Monika is.

The song tells the story of a woman who is breaking out of a toxic relationship and finding her own way in life. It celebrates the strength within us all, and the fact that we are capable of walking out of a situation where we’ve been kept down and told we’re not good enough. We can still come out strong on the other side.

All of this is wrapped up in a somewhat joyous funk beat, and Monika shines like the gem she is. “All Alone” may have gone a little bit under the radar outside of Lithuania, but we hope we can change that. Monika, you rock!

So here we have our Lithuanian musical round-up. What do you think about the work of these beloved contestants? Which song was your favourite? Please shout out your thoughts in the comment section below.

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4 years ago

Juste is from a group Saules Kliošas (they were in national selection numerous times)

4 years ago

Always nice to see positive articles about my country! We have a lot of good music here, but it’s a shame that most of our biggest artists don’t want to enter Atranka or Eurovision, if we had a better method of selection or an internal selection and attracted our big stars, we could become a competitive country