Back in March, Estonian broadcaster ERR confirmed that Eesti Laul 2020 winner Uku Suviste had been invited back to Eesti Laul 2021 for a shot at Eurovision 2021. The “What Love Is” singer will get a direct pass to the semi-finals of Estonia’s national selection. Now Uku has spoken about how this has changed his songwriting style.
Uku was a guest on Estonia’s Raadio 2, where he chatted about his journey so far for Eesti Laul 2021.
Having a guaranteed place in the contest semi-finals, Uku won’t have to first pass the initial preliminary round of the contest, where a jury will select the 24 semi-finalists without knowing the identity of the artists. Uku says not having to pass this round has affected the way he writes, knowing his song won’t specifically have to grab the attention of the selection panel.
He explained, “When we write a song for a competition, there are small filters in our heads that we use based on how we imagine who is listening to the song and how they are analysing it.”
Uku said that the preliminary round is the toughest round to pass and most of his previous entries have not made it past the panel. But he’s excited at the prospect of being able to write without having to keep the selection process in mind.
While Uku has earned a pass straight to the semi-finals, his song will still need to impress the Eesti Laul 2021 jury and televoters enough to qualify for the grand final — and be in the running to return as Estonia’s act for Eurovision 2021.
Uku has also revealed that several songwriters have already contacted him, hoping for a collaboration. Uku is an experienced songwriter himself and has co-written his three previous Eesti Laul entries, twice with Estonian producer Oliver Mazurtshak and once with American lyricist — and “Dream Team” affiliate — Sharon Vaughn. But, as Uku explained, it would be foolish of him not to write his own Eesti Laul 2021 entry.
Uku also says he was grateful that ERR confirmed his invitation for 2021 so early in the process. The March decision has ensured that he has plenty of time to work on his entry for Eesti Laul 2021.
What kind of song will Uku Suviste bring to Eesti Laul 2021?
While Uku Suviste’s Eesti Laul 2020 winning song “What Love Is” was a romantic power ballad in English, he isn’t limited to this one style.
Earlier this month Uku released his follow-up single “Müüdud ja Pakitud”. While it’s also a love song, this time Uku is performing in a more upbeat, funky soul style. The lyrics to the song are in Estonian, showing that Uku is just as comfortable delivering pop in his native tongue.
His previous Eesti Laul entries — “Pretty Little Liar” and “Supernatural” — were an attitude-laden pop-soul track and a fresh piece of synthpop, respectively. If history is anything to go by, whatever Uku comes up with for Eesti Laul 2021, it’s sure to sound nothing like his previous efforts.
What do you think? What style of song should Uku take to Eesti Laul 2021? Should ERR have given him a pass to the grand final? Tell us your thoughts below!