At Eesti Laul 2020, he surged to victory with “What Love Is”, a ballad that explored one of the world’s most timeless questions.
And now, with his spot in the Eesti Laul 2021 semi-finals guaranteed, Uku Suviste is hard at work penning an entry he hopes will finally get him to Eurovision in 2021.
On Tuesday, the Greek creative director Ilias Kokotos shared Instagram footage of the Estonian star collaborating (via Zoom) with noted Greek composer and Eurovision maestro Dimitris Kontopoulos.
The story also tagged Dimitris’s collaborators Sharon Vaughn (“Waterline” and “Release Me”) and Philipp Kirkorov (“Scream” and “You Are The Only One”), and vocal coach Victoria Chalkiti, who will work with Uku and Moldova’s Natalia Gordienko.
Uku Suviste at Eesti Laul 2021
As you’ll recall, producers behind Eesti Laul 2021 have given Uku an automatic spot in the semi-finals this year. That’s down to him winning in 2020, but missing out on Eurovision because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the summer, Uku spoke about how having a guaranteed place in Eesti Laul 2021 has changed his songwriting style. He said that not having to pass the preliminary selection round means his song won’t have to grab the attention of the selection panel. That could pave the way for more experimentation and a potentially slower build.
The show will keep the same format as in recent years. There will be two semi-finals held on 18 and 20 February. In each semi-final, the 24 competing acts will battle for the 12 places in the grand final on 6 March 2022.
Entries for Eesti Laul 2021 opened on 1 September and close on 6 November. Each performer or group can submit up to five songs. And foreign creatives are welcome — just so long as they partner with at least one resident Estonian songwriter or performer.
Entrants are expected to submit not just their song but also ideas for the staging. The broadcaster wants artists to share “their vision of the possible stage show with the central idea, possible props and colour schemes.”
It’s expected that Uku will partner with Greek stage director Fokas Evangelinos if he makes it to Eurovision.
As Uku narrows down his selection, what genre are you hoping for? Are there any elements of “What Love Is” that you hope to see him carry over? Let us know down below!