Albania and Romania have released the final versions of their Eurovision entries today and now it’s time for the Czech Republic. ESCZ 2020 winner Benny Cristo has dropped the final version of his song “Kemama” after travelling to Kenya to revamp it.
The song’s synthpop sound is still there, but the biggest change is the introduction of Kenyan-style electric guitar. The guitar flows and meanders around the song, bringing an organic component to the electronic foundation.
The song’s percussion has also been beefed up a little, with stronger drums leading into the chorus.
The revamp was recorded at Supersonic Africa studios in Nairobi, and indeed Supersonic now gets a shoutout at the beginning of the song, along with Benny Cristo and Toronto-based producers The Glowsticks.
Reaction to the “Kemama” revamp
The new version of “Kemama” is sparking mixed results from the Eurovision fandom. Some love the song even more, while others find the new guitar sound to be distracting.
I love revamped KEMAMA come ooon
— Lana ?? ?? (@LanaaESC) March 10, 2020
Kemama is playing in the next room over but you’re forced to sit and listen politely to some guitar bro
— Adam ???????? (@wegottheflow) March 10, 2020
Former Czech Head of Delegation Jan Frost Bors didn’t hold back with his opinions of the song. On Twitter, he wondered “not a beautiful mess… wtf is that?”. He also explained, “5 very intensive working years to get CZ to the top… I feel… well, that escalated quickly”.
not a beautiful mess… wtf is that?
— Jan Frost Bors (@Frostwii) March 10, 2020
However, when it comes to Benny Cristo’s Eurovision performance, most semi-final viewers will be hearing the song for the first time and won’t have the national final version to compare it with. If the new version of “Kemama” works on the Ahoy Arena stage, that’s all that matters.
View this post on Instagram
"KEMAMA" will get a hell of a revamp ? Just spoke to my producer @osama_verse and i will be flying to Kenya to take the song to the next level. This trip will be just as important for the song as it will be for the message behind it. Will be talking about this later, all I can say now is that racism is far from over even when you try to represent the country you were born in ?????? Thx so much for all the love, incredible support, kind words, sharings and reposts.. still cant believe what is happening ?? #teambenny #ESCZ2020 #ceskatelevize #bennycristo #unfoldyourdream #slozsvujsen @eurovision @escz_official @theglowsticks @championshipmusic photo by @benediktrenc stl @cotemerofficial
In early February, Benny Cristo teased the revamp of “Kemama”, promising the song “will get a hell of a revamp”.
He also explained that doing the revamp in Kenya “will be just as important for the song as it will be for the message behind it.”
What do you think of the revamp of “Kemama”? Can it take the Czech Republic to the Eurovision grand final? Tell us your thoughts below!