The Eurovision 2021 season is hotting up. Over the course of the next few months, we will all fall in and out of love with scores of new national final and Eurovision entries. But that doesn’t mean we forget about the artists from past contests.
Contrary to the commonly perpetuated myth about the song contest killing careers, we’re always thrilled to report that singers and performers associated with both Eurovision itself and the various national selections are thriving.
Here is a selection of just some of the songs and music videos released in the last week or so.
New music from Eurovision artists: 2020 | Week 50
Alban Skenderaj (feat. Arilena Ara) – “A I SHEH”
Last December, Arilena Ara was chosen to represent Albania at Eurovision 2020. As we all know, that sadly didn’t become a reality. This December, the singer has released her first new song since “Shaj”/“Fall From The Sky”. Arilena features on “A I SHEH” (“Do you see them”) by fellow Albanian singer Alban Skenderaj. In the lyrics, the two stars ask whether a certain individual sees all the beautiful things around them: “Do you see the waves crashing on the rocks every time I think of you, do you see them? / They are for you, do you see them?”. The accompanying music video showcases a number of shots of stunning natural vistas.
Loreen – “Du är min man”
Loreen continues her performances on Så mycket bättre with “Du är min man” (“You are my man”). The song was originally sung by Helen Sjöholm alongside Benny Andersson’s orchestra (yes, of ABBA fame). The Eurovision 2012 champion delivered a captivating performance of her atmospheric rendition of the the song, which connected with all the other artists present. Speaking about the chance to perform the song in front of Helen Sjöholm herself, Loreen noted:
“Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet people for the first time, even though it feels like you have hung out your whole life. I had that experience with Helen Sjöholm. You have to look for such a warm, loving and talented woman. We laughed together, talked deep life questions and everything felt so natural. It was a great honor to sing “You are my man” in front of you.”
Additionally on this week’s episode, rapper Newkid covered Loreen’s Melodifestivalen 2011 entry “My Heart Is Refusing Me”. He turned it into the Swedish-language song “Mitt hjärta bara sviker mig”.
Cleo (feat. Weronika Juszczak) – “Number One”
No sooner had Cleo released her latest album SuperNOVA than the Polish star continued the promotion for her next LP, VinyLOVA, coming in March 2021. The latest single from the upcoming album is “Number One”, Cleo’s first song entirely in English. The Eurovision 2014 star teams up with Weronika Juszczak for the happy pop song and delivers a ray of sunshine in the middle of the grey winter. Lyrically, the duo let their partners know that they are their rock in an ever-evolving world: “All around, thе world is changing / But you’re my number one (My only one) / You’re the one that’s never fading / My number one, why, my number one, oh, oh”. The song comes with two accompanying vertical music videos, which you have to play side by side at the same time in order to view the whole thing.
Can Bonomo – “Yine Karşılaşırsak”
Can Bonomo’s new single is “Yine Karşılaşırsak” (“If we meet again”). Turkey’s Eurovision 2012 star sings to someone they knew in the past and hopes that they have even just a faint memory of him: “If we meet again, if you forget my name / Look at me like you know / If I feel so far away / Even that is enough, even that is enough, even that is enough”.
RIKA 360 and Damir Kedžo – “By My Side”
“As a child, I wanted to sing. Just sing. And one of the desires along with singing was for my music to take me around the world and to meet new people and make music with them.”, notes Damir Kedžo. Now, the star has taken one step towards this dream by partnering with Swedish music company RIKA 360 for the new song “By My Side”. It’s a soulful track that lets Croatia’s Eurovision 2020 star show off his vocals. Singing in English, Damir hopes that he will be able to find someone to help him through life: “I wouldn’t mind some sunshine / After all these rainy days I’m going through / I know I have myself to blame / But I really wouldn’t mind / Having someone by my side”.
Ilse DeLange – “I’ll Hold On”
Ilse DeLange only wrote “I’ll Hold On” last week. But, the Dutch star loved the song so much that she decided to record and release it straight away. It’s a slow Americana track in which the Eurovision 2014 silver medallist says she’s holding on until she can see her loved one again: “I’m walking, always walking / Back to you, my friend / With a song inside and them tears to hide / I’m on my way again / I’ll hold on”. Ilse is accompanied by backing vocals from Martijn van Agt, who also co-wrote the song.
Isaiah Firebrace – “You”
Usually when someone titles their new single “You”, the singer spends the song telling us how “it’s all about you” (hey Robin Stjernberg and Vasil). However, Australia’s Isaiah Firebrace is stating the exact opposite in his new song and declaring that he no longer wants anything to do with this particular person: “One of us had to make a move / I’ve had a lot of time to think this through / I want to find someone to love / But it’s just not you”. Sonically, the Eurovision 2017 act delivers a well-produced pop track with a lot of drive that keeps things pushing throughout the song’s two minutes and 51 seconds.
Zlata Ognevich – “Океан”
A few months ago, Zlata Ognevich dropped her new album Богиня (Goddess). Now, the Ukrainian star has released one of its tracks as a new single. “Океан” (“Ocean”) is a pop song with an eclectic mix of sounds in the chorus that still manage to come together as one. Zlata sings about how her lover makes her forget about being a ‘good girl’ and ignore her mother’s teachings: “I forgot what my mother told me / I lost my mind / I forgot and knew when I promised / That he is not the last, not even my first / For me the whole ocean, your love, your love / But the greatest of delusions, your love, your love”. Speaking about the song in the mood video’s description, the Eurovision 2013 bronze medallist noted that the person she speaks of does actually knows about the song:
“I was inspired by a guy I used to like very much. He knows that this song is written about him. I’m sure many girls recognize themselves in it … I accept myself and this is my feminine strength.”
Gaitana – “Далі”
Gaitana is pushing forward from a bad relationship and starting life anew in her new single “Далі” (“On”). The Ukrainian star sings: “Start from scratch / And look for where my house is / But you should know / I can’t help but fly / So I / I go on”. Sonically, Gaitana offers a blend of pop and jazz that features a funky bass riff underlying the Eurovision 2012 star’s vocals.
Ieva Zasimauskaitė – “Jau nieko neliko”
Lithuania’s Ieva Zasimauskaitė has recently released the new single “Jau nieko neliko” (“There was nothing left”). It’s a calm and relaxing track that still adds in a bit of an indie-pop beat to the chorus. The song balances production well so that the Eurovision 2018 star can serenade listeners with her soft vocals.
3JS – “Foto Van Vroeger”
Over the course of 2020, Dutch broadcaster Omroep Max has been putting a ‘Hero of Dutch Music’ in the limelight each month. In November, it was Rob de Nijs, and the month finished with trio 3JS releasing a cover version of De Nijs’ song “Foto Van Vroeger” (“Photo From The Past”). The Eurovision 2011 group kept things simple for their cover, delivering a soft ballad accompanied by acoustic guitar, piano and cello. The lyrics are all about looking back on childhood and wishing you had some of that innocence back: “Deep in my heart I often long for that child back / Children want to be big, well that goes quickly / When life is against me, I think about that time / Although I never became that firefighter, the child did not get lost”.
Musiqq – “Mēs viena koka zari”
‘Tis the season of giving, and for the thirteenth year, charity campaign Eņģeļi pār Latviju (Angels over Latvia) is hoping to raise money for children across the Baltic country who require funds for their healthcare. As part of this, the album Brīnumu radot (Creating a miracle) has been put together, with all sales gong towards the campaign. Eurovision 2011 duo Musiqq are involved with the project and have recorded the pop-ballad “Mēs viena koka zari” (“We are single tree branches”) for the LP. A number of other Latvian stars have also contributed to the album, including Aminata and…
Intars Busulis and Abonementa Orchestra – “Eņģelis Ar Distanci”
Eurovision 2009 alum Intars Busulis has teamed up with the Abonementa Orchestra for his song on Brīnumu radot. “Eņģelis Ar Distanci” (“Angel With Distance”) doesn’t have a full orchestral sound per se. Instead, the Abonementa Orchestra is more closely reminiscent of a band, featuring musicians that play keyboard, drums, guitar, bass and saxophone. They accompany Busulis on the blues-tinged ballad that slowly builds towards the final moments.
Tulia – “Burza”
Tulia are finishing off 2020 with the release of their new song “Burza” (“Storm”). The Polish trio deliver an atmospheric track that slowly builds. The final minute of the song is a nice mix of their traditional chant-style singing and a more contemporary production line. The Eurovision 2019 stars sing to their loved ones, asking them to stay with them while the storm passes: “Stay here, the storm will pass sideways again / Stay here, then we’ll be fine / Stay here, like me, I’m not afraid / Stay here, tell her to go away”.
Margaret Berger – “Hjertemedisin”
In the run-up to Christmas, the Norwegian branch of PwC are helping to release one new song by a Norwegian artist each day. On 5 December, it was the turn of Eurovision 2013 singer Margaret Berger. Her song is “Hjertemedisin” (“Heart medicine”). A light pop track, Berger sings about how her lover is the medicine that can help heal her heart.
Edyta Górniak – “Too Late”
Edyta Górniak was Poland’s first Eurovision entrant in 1994 and she remains their best placing act, finishing in the silver medal position. Her latest song is “Too Late”. It’s a steady ballad that predominantly stays on one level throughout its three minutes without building to a particularly notable climax. Lyrically, Górniak tells her partner that she’s leaving them after the way they’ve treated her: “It’s too late / You’ve done, what you’ve done / And here I stand in the shadows of the ones / You chose over me”.
Sarit Hadad and Stephane Legar – “עושים שמח”
This year’s 40th anniversary Festigal – an annual Israeli musical show for children – is getting closer. Following Harel Skaat and Shiri Maimon, the latest Eurovision star to get involved with the build-up to the show is Sarit Hadad. The Eurovision 2002 participant has collaborated with Stephane Legar for “עושים שמח” (“Make happy”), a mash-up of four previous Festigal songs. The chosen songs include two that Sarit has previously performed at Festigal herself – “חברים בכל מיני צבעים” (“Friends in all kinds of colours”) in 1998, and “נסיכה של שמחה” (“Princess of joy”) in 1999.
Magdolna Rúzsa – Angyalkert
Hungary’s Magdolna Rúzsa has recently written a storybook titled Angyalkert (Angel garden). However, it’s not just a reading experience. The Eurovision 2007 star has added an audio aspect to the project by also releasing an album with a series of songs that go along with the story. Though, regardless of whether you get the book or the album, you do need to understand Hungarian to follow exactly what happens in the story.
Noa – “Good Night My Child”
Sometimes patience is key when it comes to releasing new music, though few will have waited as long as Israel’s Eurovision 2009 singer Noa. Her new single, “Good Night My Child”, was initially written 28 years ago. The lyrics were written by Israeli author Yehonatan Geffen after hearing an interview with a woman in a shelter who had suffered domestic abuse; the music was written by Noa and Gil Dor. The Eurovision alum finally decided to record the song and release it on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It’s a lullaby with acoustic guitar and string accompaniment in which Noa plays the role of a woman singing to her child as she tries to calm their fears while maintaining her own composure.
At Eurovision 2009, Noa sang a duet alongside Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad. The two stars are still in contact and Mira was responsible for creating and directing the music video. All proceeds from the song will be go towards a women’s refuge in Israel.
Aitana – 11 RAZONES
Aitana is finishing off another stellar year with the release of her new album 11 RAZONES (11 REASONS). The LP has a true punk-rock sound flowing through it. The Operación Triunfo 2017 Eurovision Gala runner-up mainly leaves the ballads behind for now and delves straight into a plethora of guitar riffs and drum beats. There are a number of collaborations in amongst the eleven songs, including one with Operación Triunfo 2018 Eurovision Gala contestant Natalia Lacunza. Ahead of the album, Aitana released the music video for the title single “11 RAZONES”. Featuring the Spanish star and her mates rocking out at home, this era of Aitana’s music feels partly reminiscent of the 2000’s punk-rock of Avril Lavigne and Pink.
Feli – “Vantul bate”
Romania’s Feli is learning to compromise in her new single “Vantul bate” (“The wind blows”). The Selecția Națională 2018 contestant sings about the need to compromise in a relationship and to grow together: “I have dark days, you forgive them all / When night comes I reconcile them to you by deeds / I don’t say another word / You love me a little more”. In a post on Instagram, Feli spoke more about the song’s meaning:
“Personally, I think it’s hard to keep a relationship going as long as you want it to be just like you. I learned healthy compromise in my relationship. … If you’re a proud person, it’s pretty hard. If you grew up with a different thinking than him / her, the same. But when we love and learn (still) to live as a couple we do our best to put pride aside when we feel that maybe we are meant to live our lives on earth together. Vantul bate is my love song for my chosen one.”
Which of these new songs is your favourite? Have we missed out on any? Do you have any artists you want to shout out to? Let us know in the comments.
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