It’s that time of year again when we ponder and dream about which artists would be fantastic picks for their countries at Eurovision. And while the 2020 off-season is different than all the ones that have come before, we’re still running our annual “Wednesday Wishlist” series.
Of course, many broadcasters have already selected their 2021 representatives, so consider these lists more as a chance to discover new music rather than 2021 hopes — we’re not proposing for any singers to be replaced.
Who knows, perhaps some of the wishlist names will have a free schedule come 2022?
As this is all fantasy, we’ve also taken a look at absentee countries, both long and short term. Because in our ideal contest everyone comes to the party.
To make sure that no one gets left out, we went through countries in alphabetical order. So, in this concluding week, we’re starting with San Marino and working through to the United Kingdom.
San Marino: Helia
Edd: Whilst San Marino has succeeded in giving us some iconic Eurovision performances, they’ve rarely strayed far from the pop genre. One new area they could explore is hard rock, by sending their very own metalcore band Helia. This San Marinese quintuplet mixes AWS-esque screamo verses with a Softengine style chorus to create an undeniably epic sound. Their work has already seen large success – their cover of Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” has over seven million views. The group has been largely inactive since 2016 and the individual members have all embarked on side projects. However, a 2017 tweet confirms that “Helia ain’t dead”. A comeback is long overdue.
Mario: Edita Aradinovic is currently one of Serbia’s biggest rising stars. She started out the girl band Ministarke and remained a member from 2013 to 2018. Upon embarking on a solo career, Edita played it safe and collaborated with many known stars from the Balkans. However, her most recent single “Slobodno me rani” helped her reach new heights. The number currently sits at #14 in ex-Yugoslavia’s top 100 chart and has amassed over 11 million hits on YouTube in less than two months.
Jonathan: Born in Trnava, SIMA initially gained attention after appearing on the first season of Hlas Česko Slovenska (The Voice Czech Slovak) in 2012. Following the release of her first single “Vnímaš” in 2015, the Slovak star has gone on to become one of the country’s top contemporary artists and now regularly racks up millions of views on her music videos. SIMA’s music has transitioned between drum and bass, pop and hip-hop/rap, giving her a versatile catalogue of hits that show she’s capable of evolving with the ever-changing music industry. When Slovakia (hopefully) return to Eurovision, selecting SIMA would be a great way for the country to showcase their modern musical output to the rest of Europe.
Slovenia: Mark Zebra
Antony: Mark Zebra may be one of the newest names on Slovenia’s music scene, but he’s already made an impact! Several of his songs have a traditional flair, amassing considerable views on YouTube. Coupled with some on-trend Latin/reggaeton tracks, Mark is paving his way to becoming one of the hottest names in Slovene music. With this cheeky and playful singer and an upbeat song, Slovenia could have some serious fun at Eurovision.
Spain: Lola Indigo
Jordi: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that motto is embedded in Lola Indigo’s genes. Miriam Doblas, a.k.a Mimi, has been fighting for her career since she first stepped on a stage. Her path to fame brought her to big talent shows such as Fama, ¡a bailar! and Operación Triunfo. And she also danced all over the world with choreographers that worked for stars like Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. She was catapulted to fame after releasing “Ya No Quiero Ná”. Today, Lola Indigo has an MTV EMA for best Spanish act, a Los40 New Artist of the Year gong and up to five platinum records, including “4 Besos”. Spain has not yet explored the Latin genre at Eurovision, despite its worldwide popularity. Plus, Lola Indigo has previously expressed an interest in Eurovision! Please, gimme perreo.
Sweden: Sandro Cavazza
Padraig: Sandro Cavazza is a name that many outside of Sweden might not be familiar with. However, they’ve almost certainly heard him on the radio. That’s because Sandro provided guest vocals for some of the world’s biggest DJs and producers including Kygo, Lost Frequencies and the late Avicii. “Without You”, one of his many collabs with Avicii, is perhaps his best-known song, becoming something of a posthumous swansong to the superstar DJ following his death in 2018. Sandro is a hitmaker in his own right too, scoring multiple entries in the Swedish charts. “High with Somebody” is arguably his breakout single, cracking the top ten in 2018.
Antranig: Here’s a group that gives Serebro and Dolly Style a run for their money in terms of lineup changes. Chrigel Glanzmann founded this project in 2002 and remains a key part of the act, with numerous members coming in and out of the group over the years. They combine elements of melodic death metal with traditional Celtic music, creating a truly unique blend. Their music feature works in many languages, including the extinct Gaulish language, while their music involves a variety of traditional instruments. These range from bagpipes and gaita to crumhorn and sitar. Eluveitie boasts a sound that is simply incomparable and would be a real standout on the Eurovision stage.
Katie: There is a whole catalogue of amazing new Turkish music to choose from. So, it may seem a little strange that I’ve gone for Tarkan, who many outside of Turkey know only through a song released over twenty years ago. But let’s just think for a second about how legendary “Şımarık”, or “Kiss Kiss”, is. Whenever any movie – literally ever – switches to a scene in Istanbul, you can bet this song is in the background. You can’t have a shisha bar night in Berlin without hearing it at least once, and did I play this song in the car during a road trip only last week? You bet I did! For Turkey to make its long-awaited return to Eurovision in 2021 after nine years, TRT would need an artist who’d make an unforgettable entrance onto the Eurovision stage. And who better to deliver ICONIC and a song we’ll all still be listening to in twenty years time, than the Prince of the Bosporus himself?
Ukraine: Alina Pash
Sebastian: The best thing about Alina Pash is that you really can’t predict what she’ll pull out of her musical bag. At times Alina spits bars, it’s almost hypnotic. At best, her greatest appeal is her ability to mix Ukrainian ethno sounds with a hip hop undertone – which always creates a sense of mood and movement to her performances. Alina holds herself to some high morals in her music, including fighting the stigma against the LGBTQ+ community and commenting on gender equality. And girl has some big cojones to rap the Ukrainian national anthem in front of the sitting President of Ukraine, among millions of spectators. For Alina, Eurovision should be a walk in the park.
United Kingdom: Sam Fender
Lucy: Indie as a genre is possibly the greatest export from the UK musically, so why do we never see it at Eurovision? One of the most exciting examples of late is Sam Fender. Sam’s brutally honest lyrics paired with Springsteen-esque melodies won him the Brits’ Critics Choice Award in 2019 – a prize given to the best emerging talent in the UK — previous winners include Adele and Sam Smith. He is known for being able to cover intense topics such as male suicide, living in poverty – and yes, Brexit – with complete understanding and tact. “Hypersonic Missiles” is no different, managing to make a song about nuclear weapons sound anthemic and romantic. Also, this song was voted the Hottest Record of the Year 2019 by BBC Radio 1 listeners to boot. It would be a great way to change things up for UK fans.
What do you think of our choices? Who would you choose? Let us know in the comments.