Latvia’s iconic national selection process – Supernova – returned for a sixth straight year in 2020. After an audition round and a subsequent televised spectacle, Samanta Tina finally managed to clinch a spot in the Eurovision Song Contest — after numerous attempts — with her song “Still Breathing“. The 30-year-old songstress composed the song alongside lyricist and former Eurovision participant Aminata Savadogo.

This collaboration bodes well for the Baltic nation. Despite sending a series of credible entries to the contest, Latvia has only managed to find success with the involvement of Aminata (who placed second with the jury at Eurovision 2015). Perhaps this decade will mark a turning point for the country, ushered in by the empowering “Still Breathing” lyrics and the non-stop attitude and energy of Miss Samanta Tina.

Scroll down for “Still Breathing” lyrics

Latvia in Eurovision 2020: Samanta Tina “Still Breathing”

Samanta Tina — real name Samanta Polakova — is an impeccably seasoned and experienced performer, having competed not only in the Latvian pre-selection for Eurovision six times, but also in the Lithuanian one twice.

Not only that, but the Latvian songstress has taken part in a plethora of talent competitions all over Eastern Europe including The Voice Lithuania, Golden Voices in Moldova, as well as the illustrious Slavianski Bazaar, where she placed second. She’s a petite woman, but her pipes are enormous.

What do the “Still Breathing” lyrics mean?

Samanta has said publicly that her song is an ode to women who are held to unrealistically high standards. They’re meant to be beautiful at all times, while also being perfect mothers and devoted wives — all the while working or chasing their dreams. It’s about the relentlessness of having to do it all and the fight to say, “I’m still breathing” despite the endless struggle.

During the national final performance, Samanta was joined on stage by three backing singers wearing black leotards (rendering them objects of desire) accessorised with head visors and pink bottles of household cleaner (alluding to domestic workers). It’s a deliberately snarky pairing that hints at the message she’s poised to drop.

Of course, you don’t have to be a woman to relate to the song. This is a song of female empowerment that, more broadly, empowers everyone. Samanta highlights the perseverance and strength that lies within all of us to overcome the struggles and difficulties we face — and which can knock the wind out of your lungs. This message is made clear right from the start: Samanta’s backing vocalists chant, “I will keep on going” and that destiny lies within their hands. The stage arrangement — voices in the background, Samanta at front — is telling. The backing vocalists in Samanta’s head are there to subconsciously remind her she “will keep on running,” running til she reaches the end.

It’s in Samanta’s portion of the song that the listener really gets a sense of empowerment coupled with self-development.  The lyrics initially convey internal conflict and a sense of defeat — “Thought I’d never get up, thought I’m gonna give up”. But soon enough that sense of being overwhelmed gives way to confidence and self-belief in an explosive chorus: “Life, lives go on, But I grow strong.”

One of the most potent quotes comes in the bridge: “Life is music, I am a composer”. This sums up Samanta’s power to write her own story.

“Still Breathing” lyrics – Samanta Tina (Latvia ESC 2020)

Written and composed by: Samanta Tina and Aminata Savadogo

I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
Strong enough to take it
I am gonna make it
Destiny is in my hands

Thought I’d never get up
Thought I’m gonna give up
Lost in my way
Many time between

But I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing
Nothing to regret
Never looking back

I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
Strong I am to take it
I am gonna make it
Destiny is in my hands

Life, lives go on (Let the life go on)
I grow strong (So can I get strong)
Life, lives go on (Let the life go on)
But I grow strong

Every day I wake up
Trying to get higher
Be a better woman
Working even harder

I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing
Listening to my heart
Ready for the start

I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
Strong enough to take it
I am gonna make it
Destiny is in my hands

Life, lives go on (Let the life go on)
I grow strong (So can I get strong)
Life, lives go on (Let the life go on)
But I grow strong

Reaching for the stars
I’m knowing getting closer
Life is music
I am a composer
My dreams become so real that
All the love I’m feeling

I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing

I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
Life, life

I will keep on going
I will keep on running
Running till I reach the end
Strong enough to take it
I am gonna make it
Destiny is in my hands

Do Samanta’s lyrics speak to you? Are you a woman out there doing it for yourself? Sound off in the comments below. 

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Kirby
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Kirby

I just wonder how Seleste would have done in Rotterdam. Maybe Annna would have gotten all of Rotterdam Ahoy! attendees dancing to Polyester. Parallel universes…

Leo
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Leo

Pure entertainment

Egg Salad
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Egg Salad

This can claim the absolute gold standard for absence of quality. One of the very worst things I’ve ever heard.

Whisker
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Whisker

The lyrics are mediocre and cliché and can be about many things. If you want to send a message about how hard it is to be a woman, then write the lyrics accordingly. I am not interested in interviews where the artists or composers explain what they want their song to be about. I want the lyrics and the melody and instrumentation and performance to convey the whole message. Last year “Proud” won the jury vote. The lyrics were excellent, they conveyed the message on their own. In “Still breathing” the word woman is included only once. Take that away… Read more »

Dawid
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Dawid

I have no problem with lyrics being about whatever people want. If she has some message to share with people, she can do it during interviews. It’s not like you have to put ideology into every single song. You can have opinion and just say it. If you have good song, they will want to listen about it anyway. That’s what I prefer at least. Imo it’s better than forcing “messages” into everything because “people like that” or pretending that your song has some hidden truth while it’s supposed to be bop or just something you could enjoy.

Eleftheria
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Eleftheria

I think this song is a hit or miss, and it’s place will probably determinate by the staging, it has some good choreography potential but please don’t let her dance like in the final

Kosey
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Kosey

Of course, these lyrics are complete guff, but that’s not what matters. This song is a banger and Samanta is a legend.