They’re the country that always manage to surprise Eurovision fans with their creative stage shows and catchy songs. And there’s no doubt that Moldova have some things up their sleeves ready for Eurovision 2020.
Recent reports suggest that Moldovan broadcaster TRM will ditch their national final, O melodie pentru Europe, and internally select their act for Rotterdam instead.
The quality of acts competing in O melodie pentru Europe over the years has been varied. Moldova have managed to place in the top 15 in the Eurovision grand final on eight occasions out of its 15 entries to date. Unfortunately, the 2019 contest saw them add to their list of non-qualifications.
By internally selecting their entry for Eurovision 2020, TRM would have the opportunity to pick from the crème de la crème of the Moldovan music scene. There are a number of talented artists that hail from the landlocked country who have gone on to achieve mainstream success in the region. Here’s a selection of ten that we think TRM should consider internally selecting.
Our first pick for this wishlist is Mark Stam. Stam first appeared to the public after auditioning for Moldova are Talent. He unfortunately failed to gain enough support from the judges and didn’t make it to the next stage. Determined not to give up, the singer secured a record contract and began releasing his own music. His big breakthrough came with the song “Doar Noi” (“Just Us”), and particularly the duet version with Alina Eremia, who represented Romania at Junior Eurovision 2005. This introduced him to the Romanian public and Stam’s career has only continued to grow since then – his later single “Impar” topped the Romanian airplay chart.
Stam can sing, dance, and his music videos demonstrate he puts his soul into his work and emotes in each of his performances – he’s a true triple threat. In that sense, he could perhaps be seen as Moldova’s answer to Loïc Nottet, and we’re sure Stam could provide just as good a finish at Eurovision for Moldova.
At 17 years old, Cleopatra Stratan has already had a career that many artists dream of. Born in Chișinău and daughter of fellow Moldovan singer Pavel Stratan, her singing career started at the age of three, when she recorded her debut album La vârsta de 3 ani (At the age of three years). The album went double platinum, earning Cleopatra the Guinness World Records for being the youngest person ever to record their own album and perform their own concert. She’s also the youngest artist to ever receive an MTV award (picking up Best New Artist and Best Song at the 2007 MTV Romania Music Awards) and the youngest artist to achieve a number one hit in a country (with her song “Ghiță” peaking at the top of the Romanian singles chart).
Unlike some child stars however, Stratan has kept her musical career going and continues to release new music. Now that she’s old enough to compete at Eurovision, perhaps it’s time that Stratan showed the rest of Europe her talent and represented her birth country at the contest.
Moldova doesn’t just have successful solo artists. There are a number of groups that hail from the country, including The Motans. Consisting of lead vocalist Denis Roabeș, guitarist Damian Rusu, drummer Ali Said and bassist Matei Căpitanu, the group formed in 2015. Mixing pop, rock and a bit of hip-hop, the quartet have continued to rise up the echelons of the Moldovan and Romanian music scene, even collaborating with top artists such as INNA and Irina Rimes.
Moldova’s best placing at Eurovision comes from a group, after SunStroke Project finished third in 2017. DoReDos also secured a top-ten finish for the country in 2018. The country seems to do well when represented by a group, so perhaps it’s time for The Motans to clear their diaries for next May and fly the Moldovan flag.
Although the quality of songs and performances in O melodie pentru Europe can be questionable, there are still some artists that stand out from the crowd. Diana Brescan has competed in the national final five times in the last six years (she took a break in 2018). Her best results came in 2017 and 2019, when she finished in third place. The Moldovan singer also competed in the seventh season of Vocea României (The Voice of Romania) in 2017, making it to the semi-final.
It’s clear that Brescan is hungry for Eurovision glory. Although some artists just go through the motions of competing at Eurovision, Brescan has the passion and would no doubt make the best of the opportunity to represent her country if paired with the right song. If TRM are looking for someone with that spark in their eye to succeed, Diana Brescan would be a good choice.
It’s no surprise that Irina Rimes’ first single “Visele” skyrocketed to the top of the Romanian charts. The singer was unknown prior to reaching the finals of the Moldovan talent show Star Factory in 2012, but now her fan base has grown as fast as her YouTube view count (which regularly hits the tens of millions for each music video). Rimes has gone on to release two studio albums and is now a coach on The Voice of Romania.
She’s a natural beauty and excels as a live singer. We have no doubt that she would do exceptionally well on the Eurovision stage, should she strive for international recognition. (Bogdan)
If you live outside Eastern Europe, chances are you first met Carla’s Dreams during wiwivision 2016. This Moldovan project – made up of five masked musicians – would bring a completely new side of Chisinau to Eurovision. Their music is raw, rude, adult, and slightly sleazy. But it’s very much accessible to the wider public – they’ve collaborated with Romanian pop diva INNA and scored a number one hit in Russia.
Their on-point music videos have multi-million view counts, yet the band itself is shrouded in an air of mystery – like with Sia, we never see their real faces. For those who like to #SayNoToFastFoodMusic, Carla’s Dreams would bring a slow cooked stew with plenty of flavour. (Luis)
Young, beautiful, and seen as one of the best vocalists in Moldova, here is Nicoleta Nuca. She burst on to the scene during the fourth season of X Factor Romania in 2014, emerging as a front runner to win the whole thing. Alas, she was eliminated in the semi-final, finishing in fifth place. Despite that, her debut single, “Nu Stunt” (which was Moldova’s wiwivision 2015 entry), became a mega-hit.
Nicoleta has continued to release music over recent years, with her new songs racking up millions of views on YouTube. If TRM want to send a power vocalist capable of blowing away the competition, then Nicoleta is the one to choose. (Edd)
He is one of the biggest pop acts to ever emerge from Moldova. In 2009, Dan Balan became the first Moldovan ever to be nominated for a Grammy, as a co-writer on Rihanna and T. I.’s “Live Your Life”. But, the rest of Europe probably knows him best as the man behind O-Zone and their worldwide hit “Dragostea Din Tei”. Not only was he a founder and member of the group, he also wrote and produced many of their songs.
His 2018 single “Allegro Ventigo” – which has racked up more than 85 million views – serves slick summer pop and Latin vibes. Moldova was close to the win with its quirky dance number in 2017. Could their hottest act snatch the crown? (Barnabas)
Yes, the Epic Sax Guy may have been a worldwide hit, but Moldova actually tend to be more successful and memorable at Eurovision when they draw inspiration from their traditional music. Whether they send a grandma beating the drum, an invitation to dance the hora, or a sexy man with a trumpet innuendo, the ethnic flare has it all: original sound, joyfulness and infectious rhythms.
This is where Ionel Istrati comes in. He’s good looking, has a great voice, his English is alright (as attested by his 2014 hit “Wake Me Up”) and a song like “Eu numai, numai (I Only, Only)” would be perfect (And look! Sultry girls washing laundry by the river! Ring any bells?). (Bogdan)
Lately, Moldova is always the country responsible for the fun entries at Eurovision. And acts like DoReDos or SunStroke Project didn’t disappoint on that front. But, maybe it’s time to change things with Alternosfera, an alternative rock group that’s been around since 1998.
Their atmospheric sound combined together with synths is a unique blend that could earn many jury points for its originality. And Marcel Bostan’s voice guarantees that the televoters won’t be indifferent either. (Barnabas)
This wishlist is comprised of contributions from wiwibloggers Jonathan, Bogdan, Luis, Edd and Barnabas.
What do you think of our picks? Which artists do you want to see represent Moldova at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments!