One of the best things about Eurovision is that fans get around 40 new artists to fall in love with each year. We get to follow them on a journey to the contest and then keep listening to the new music they produce after the contest as an added bonus.
With so many new artists emerging each year, it can be difficult at times to keep up with all the new songs that past Eurovision contestants are releasing. So, every once in a while it’s nice to delve into these new offerings and remind ourselves of why we fell in love with these artists in the first place.
Therefore, here’s a roundup of the songs that have been released this year by some of our favourite Eurovision alumni. This time we’re featuring Donny Montell, Eric Saade, Bilal Hassani, Basim, Jessy Matador and Ott Lepland.
Donny Montell – “Man Patinka”
Donny Montell released “Man Patinka” (“I Like”) at the start of August. The track is dominated by electronic instrumentation, but there’s also a recurring riff from a more traditional horn-style instrument added into the mix. The lyrics are all about the feeling of joy you get when you’re dancing the night away and listening to your favourite songs: “I feel so high when this song sounds / And that’s how the spinning beat in my head turns / Music is everything, I like it”.
The music video is all shot by a camera directly facing the two-time Eurovision entrant. Sped up at points, it shows all the antics that the “Love Is Blind” singer gets up to on a night out before he returns home early in the morning.
Eric Saade – “Skit för varandra” and “Postcard” (with Anis Don Demina)
After hosting Melodifestivalen earlier in the year, Eric Saade is continuing his Swedish-language music career. The star released “Skit för varandra” (“Sh*t to each other”) at the start of the summer. The mid-tempo track sees the “Popular” hitmaker discussing the current state of his relationship. He knows that, although the two of them may not always treat each other in the way they should, they still love one another at the end of the day: “I love the way you sometimes hate everything I do / We can be sh*t to each other / But we still want to be together”.
In the music video, Eric sings in front of a bright yellow wall with a series of flowers. Although some of them might go up in flames, or be thrown away, there’s always others that can be added in their place.
Most recently, the Eurovision 2011 bronze medallist teamed up with Melodifestivalen 2019 contestant Anis Don Demina on “Postcard”. Eric sings the chorus and bridge of the track while Anis adds his rap-styling to the verses. Although this variety helps give the track a bit of light and shade, the mid-tempo offering does still feel rather linear and becomes rather repetitive towards the end.
For the accompanying music video, both Eric and Anis travelled out to Paris. Naturally, the Eiffel Tower features prominently – just to make sure you know where the Swedish stars actually are. These shots are interspersed with others filmed on a vintage camera, which feature a woman wandering around the streets of the French capital.
Bilal Hassani – “Je Danse Encore” and “Monarchie Absolue” (feat. Alkpote)
Following on from his debut album Kingdom, Bilal Hassani released an extended reissue of the LP in October. The French star preceded the reissue by dropping the new single “Je Danse Encore” (“I Dance Again”). It’s an emotional ode to Bilal’s mother, with the singer thanking her for everything she’s done for him. However, the chorus is tinged with pain, as Bilal mentions she may not realise how much life is weighing down on him. Nonetheless, he’s still dancing through life and knows that’s exactly what his mother would wish for him to do: “If only you knew, mama / How much I’m hurting, mama / The world is crazy, but me / I’m still dancing, mama”.
The emotions continue in the music video. Bilal surprises his mother with a personal rendition of the song and you can really feel the bond between the two of them. There are additional shots of the two of them from when Bilal was younger scattered throughout the video as well.
In January 2020, Bilal will be joining forces with French rapper Alkpote for the YouTube detective series Flics. But, this collaboration between the two artists started with the single “Monarchie Absolue” (“Absolute Monarchy”) , which also features on the reissue of Kingdom.
It’s a nice R’n’B track that sees Bilal serving a cool and commanding attitude. The music video for the song gives us a taster of what’s to come in Flics. Bilal and Alkpote are suited up and head out on their investigations.
Another notable track on the reissue of Kingdom that might excite Eurovision fans is “Les gens heureux” (“Happy people”). The song features France’s Eurovision 2018 act Madame Monsieur. Considering the duo were also behind Bilal’s Eurovision song “Roi” and a number of other tracks on the album, it’s nice to finally hear their voices combined on the same song.
Baism – “Lov Mig” and “La Historia”
We haven’t really kept up with Basim’s new releases over the last couple of years, but the Eurovision 2014 singer has continued to put out a number of great little tracks that combine Danish production with his Moroccan origins. Basim’s first single of year was “Lov Mig” (“Promise Me”). The song starts with a catchy electronic beat that’s added to in the chorus with extra layers.
Just like Bilal, this song sees Basim singing about his mother. Following her death in 2016, Basim admits it took him too long to understand how much she did for him. In the song, he is speaking to someone else and asks them to promise him that they’ll love their own mother as much as possible: “For nine months she carried me / And nothing will beat that love / Yeah, I’m telling you so you won’t forget / Habibi, promise me you’ll listen to your mother / Because one day you’ll wish she was here”.
“La Historia” (“The History”) followed in July. Again, the track uses a mixture of electronic and percussion instrumentation. But, the rhythm itself is reminiscent of North African music, resulting in an infectious song that straddles regional boundaries.
Lyrically, the “Cliche Love Song” singer talks about buying expensive items for his partner at the time: “A bit of Louis, a bit of Gucci / Of course she’ll like the thing she can’t afford”. However, Basim appears to grow tired of doing this for every new girl that he meets: “No matter where I go I see the same girls / They all look alike, cause they’re copies, yeah-yeah-yeah / Whether it’s Mia or Maria / They wanna be part of the history”.
Jessy Matador – “Pardonner” (with Jessica Errero & DJ Flash) and “Touchez le sol”
In 2010, he got all of Europe going “Allez Ola Olé”, and the music video for the song is still the third most watched video on the official Eurovision YouTube channel. Now, Jessy Matador has released his fourth studio album, El commandante (Commander). The first single from the LP, released in April, was “Pardonner” (“Forgive”) and sees the French-Congolese star working with Jessica Errero and DJ Flash.
In the song, Matador realises that he’s done wrong and not put enough effort into their relationship. He asks Errero to find the strength to forgive him: “I know I ruined everything / And you have not made an effort to keep me … Will you have the courage to forgive me / Mama yé yangayi / I only have my life to give you”. This storyline is shown further in the music video, where Matador tries to stop Errero walking out on him.
The latest single from Matador’s new album is “Touchez le sol” (“Touch the ground”). A party song, the track is full of African flavour and lets the Eurovision alum bring his Congolese roots to the forefront.
The accompanying music video emulates this party feeling. We see Matador and a number of backing dancers doing their thing by day and night in front of a series of corrugated metal sheets.
Ott Lepland – “Uued ootused” and “Kõik mis hea”
Ott Lepland delivered Estonia’s best result at Eurovision throughout the 2010s, after finishing sixth in 2012. Since then, his music career has continued to flourish at home. The star dropped “Uued ootused” (“New expectations”) earlier in May. More playful and upbeat than his Eurovision ballad, the track is initially driven by a recurring guitar riff. Further percussion and guitar instrumentation build in for the chorus, which almost has a rock band feel to it.
This band vibe is seen further in the music video. Lepland performs the song in an abandoned harbour, along with instrumentalists playing guitars, drum and keyboard.
The Estonian star’s latest release is “Kõik mis hea” (“All Good”). This track features bright electronic production that nicely accompanies the “Kuula” singer’s vocals.
The music video starts with Lepland trying to write a new song, but having a bit of artistic block. So, he decides to get some fresh air and heads out onto the streets of London. The singer soon starts getting inspiration from all the sights and sounds he comes across. Though, his imagination also begins to run wild a bit.
What do you make of the new music from these Eurovision alumni? Which songs will you add to your own playlist? And which former Eurovision artists are you still following? Sound off in the comments.
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I appreciate these updates on artists we care about. I fell in love with Ott’s voice in 2012, and I like to hear his new work.