The Eurovision season is hotting up. And over the course of the next few months, we will all fall in and out of love with scores of new national final and Eurovision entries. But that doesn’t mean we forget about the artists from past contests.
Contrary to the commonly perpetuated myth about the song contest killing careers, we’re always thrilled to report that singers and performers associated with both Eurovision itself and the various national selections are thriving.
Here is a selection of just some of the songs and music videos released in the last week or so.
New music from Eurovision artists (2020: Week 4, part two)
Loreen – “Euphoria” (ATLAS version)
“Euphoria” is one of the most iconic Eurovision winners of all time. And for eight consecutive years, it has won the annual ESC 250 countdown. However, Loreen’s sound has shifted significantly since she brought Sweden its fifth victory. In a nod towards her Moroccan roots, she performed the track in a “Berber-roots” style at this week’s Guldbaggegalan film awards ceremony. It’s a taster of what to expect on her upcoming album ATLAS. (Padraig)
Arash vs Ilkay Sencan – “Mary Jane”
He’s the Swede of Iranian descent who — through a series of diversions along his family tree — ended up representing Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2009. “Always” went on to become a Eurovision classic, and since then he’s spent much of his time writing hits for others — including Margaret’s “Cool Me Down” from the Polish selection in 2016. However, he’s still very much a recording artist. His latest track is “Mary Jane”, a collab with Ilkay Sencan. “Mary Jane” is often used as slang for marijuana. And, judging by the trippy music video, that’s most likely what Arash is singing about. (Padraig)
Cesár Samspon – “Lazy Suit”
After a series of rather serious tracks like “Nobody But You” and “Stone Cold”, Austria’s Cesár Sampson finally lightens up on “Lazy Suit”. Writing on Instagram, the 2018 jury winner says: “[The song] was born this summer after I came off the phone with my love Frederika Kurtulikova. At the time she was representing Slovakia at Miss World and with thousands of kilometers separating us for many weeks we made a promise to each other – “Once we’re back home, our careers will take a back seat – only laziness for at least a month!” This song was recorded about an hour after that phone call, art imitating life, huh?”. (Padraig)
Lena – “Skinny Bitch”
Eurovision 2010 winner Lena has had a tremendous rise to fame over the past decade. Naturally, with lots of new fans also comes haters. In her new single “Skinny Bitch”, the German singer tells us how to deal with the people that might want to bring you down: “F*** the haters, they don’t know you”. The song comes from the star’s latest album Only Love, L, and the accompanying music video incorporates clips from Lena’s recent tour.
Sebalter – “Gente Simpatica”
His whistling remains one of the iconic sounds of Eurovision 2014, and that’s exactly how Sebalter starts his new song “Gente Simpatica” (“Nice People”). An upbeat pop song sung in Italian, the Swiss singer still retains the cheery and positive persona that people fell in love with him for six years ago.
Oscar Zia – “Dansar”
Three-time Melodifestivalen entrant Oscar Zia has dropped the new single “Dansar” (“Dancer”). The song references Oscar’s breakup with his ex-boyfriend last year: “When everything felt like hell, I needed a world to disappear into.”Dansar” is a metaphor for how I previously closed my eyes to problems. … Dancing away your problems may sound clumsy, but it works for a while and cushions what’s hard”.
Leea Nanos – “Bad Girl”
Leea Nanos was the baby of Australia’s inaugural national selection in 2019. But now on “Bad Girl” she’s all grown up. She explains the evoloution: “Bad Girl I’ve worked on since last year. This song isn’t like my others , I wanted to create something that totally represented how I feel right now. I’ve had so many people have a say about what I should do in my life. This song is my journey. That the most dangerous people are those who know who they are and what they want , because no one can stop them. Don’t tell me no”. (Padraig)
Tamta – “My Zone”
For her first single of the new year, Cyprus’ Greek-Georgian 2019 representative moves away from the pop bops she’s known for. Instead, “My Zone” is a highly electronic effort. At times, Tamta’s vocals are barely recognisable beneath layers of technical wizardry. Its the official theme tune to the upcoming Belgian movie Losers Revolution. (Padraig)
Mahmood – “Rapide” (Official Music Video)
Mahmood initially released the audio for “Rapide” last week — you can read our review here — and now he’s dropped the music video. It fits nicely with the track, examining themes of masculinity, heartbreak and sadness. (Padraig)
Moss feat. ZOË – “No Remedy”
She may only be the featured artist, but Austria’s ZOË is very much the star of “No Remedy”. It’s the debut single of Moss, a 17-year-old producer which the record label describes as a super talent. The accompanying PR describes the track as “a vibrant and romantic pop-electronic hit with a thrilling future bass drop”. (Padraig)
Kanita – “Fllad”
She was a shock non-qualifier in Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 58 in December. However, Kanita is wasting no time getting back up on the proverbial horse. Just one month after national final disappointment with “Ankth”, she’s dropped “Fllad”. At roughly three-minutes long, could this have been a contendor for FiK? (Padraig)
Sheppard – “Phoenix”
They were the third place finishers in Australia’s 2019 selection with the upbeat and optimistic “On My Way”. However, Sheppard’s newest release is much bleaker. Written, recorded and filmed in just a couple of days, “Phoenix” is a direct response to the current bushfire crisis in Australia. The band explain: “Although Australia is going through one of the most difficult disasters in its history, we have been in awe witnessing the generosity of humanity. Though the flames are massive, we’ll rise up through the ashes”. All proceeds from the song go directly to charities dealing with the ongoing disaster. (Padraig)
Elodie & Fabri Fibra – “Mal Di Testa”
In a few week’s time she’ll be taking to the Sanremo stage for the second time. But, in the meantime, Elodie isn’t sitting idly by and is continuing to release new music. Following on from her collaboration with Gemitaiz earlier this year, the Italian star has now teamed up with Fabri Fibra on the new song “Mal Di Testa” (“Headache”). The music video is shot in vertical and features short clips from other Italian stars, including Eurovision 2019 runner-up Mahmood, singing along to the lyrics while complaining of having a headache.
Manel Navarro feat. Belén Aguilera – “Que Te Vaya Bien”
He brought the summer vibes to Eurovision 2017 with Hawaiian shirts and surfboards. Now, Manel Navarro has slowed things down for his new single “Que Te Vaya Bien” (“Good Luck”), which features Belén Aguilera. A piano-driven ballad, Belén sings the first verse before Manel comes in and the two Spanish singers harmonise their vocals for the final chorus.
Dolly Style – “FRKN PERFECT”
Swedish trio Dolly Style have gone through numerous line-up changes since their first Melodifestivalen appearance in 2015. The latest line-up of Holly, Molly and Polly have now released the new single “FRKN PERFECT”. Slightly more mature than some of the group’s previous songs, it’s a solid pop song that sees the girls moving on from their failed relationships.
Michael van der Aa feat. Kate Miller-Heidke – “The Aleph”
Kate Miller-Heidke may have lost to a Dutch singer at Eurovision 2019, but thankfully that hasn’t put her off teaming up with other artists from The Netherlands. Michael can der Aa is a Dutch composer, mostly known for writing classical music. However, for his latest work, “The Aleph”, Michael has leaned in a more contemporary direction and utilised more modern production elements. Kate provides the vocals for the piece and features in the slow-motion music video.
Omar Rudberg – “Dum”
Omar Rudberg has appeared twice at Melodifestivalen, once as part of FO&O and once solo. The Swedish singer of Venuzuelan roots is usually known for upbeat pop/R’n’B songs with a Spanish influence. For his new song, however, Omar has slowed things down a notch. “Dum” (“Stupid”) is a piano-driven Swedish-language ballad that lets the star show off his more emotional and fragile side.
María Isabel – “Dos de la Tarde”
Junior Eurovision 2004 winner María Isabel has grown up in the limelight. Her sound has matured over the past 15 years, and at present has lead her to “Dos de la Tarde” (2 p.m.). A contemporary Latin-flavoured pop song, the new track would fit well on many a summer Spotify playlist.
Elena Temnikova – “Неон”
One third of Russia’s Eurovision 2007 act Serebro, Elena Temnikova has had a successful solo career over the past few years. Her new single is “Неон” (“Neon”). Although a lot of her previous solo material has leaned in a R’n’B direction, “Неон” has more of a dance beat in the chorus. On Instagram, Elena notes that the song’s lyrics are “about the fact that you simply can’t give up. If there is a strong intention, the cosmos will hear everything”.
Bishara and Leia – “Say It Ain’t So”
At only 16-years-old, Melodifestivalen 2019 runner-up Bishara is still at the beginning of his musical career. Nevertheless, the Swedish singer is still putting in the work and has dropped the new single “Say It Ain’t So” with Leia. Bishara sings the first verse and chorus before Leia takes over for the second verse. The music video sees both artists confronting each other in the living room.
Which song is your favourite? Have we missed out on any? Do you have any artists you want to shout out to? Let us know in the comments.