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: 2021 | Week 2
Athena Manoukian – “You Should Know”
She was set to serve the fierce R&B, hip-hop track “Chains On You” at Eurovision 2020. While that didn’t come to pass, Athena Manoukian is continuing her music career with the new single “You Should Know”. This latest track slow things down a bit, with the Greek-Armenian star delivering an R&B ballad. Lyrically, Athena sings about moving on from someone who messed with her feelings: “‘Cos you should know / How to save my soul / In your mind there’s no place to go / Take it, drop it, break it, crash it / Is that not enough”.
Emma and Alessandra Amoroso – “Pezzo Di Cuore”
Italy’s Eurovision 2014 star Emma is joining forces with Alessandra Amoroso for the new duet “Prexxo Di Cuore” (“Piece Of Heart”). The two singers deliver a powerful ballad with luscious string accompaniment. Singing both solo and in unison, Emma and Alessandra discuss a situation where they know that a relationship isn’t working but they’ve already invested too much in it: “I gave you a piece of my heart / I take all the blame / I tried to learn love / I tried to learn love / But he’s stronger than me”.
Alfred García – “Los Espabilados”
After a year off, Alfred García returns with a new single. The rousing anthem “Los Espabilados” is the theme song of an upcoming Spanish TV series of the same name, focused on a group of young people who escape from a psychiatric hospital. The series’ stars feature alongside Alfred in the music video — and they all get very wet! Alfred is also showing off his new look, with longer hair and a retro-style flared suit. Alfred says “Los Espabilados” is the first single off his eventual second album — but there’s currently no word on when that will be released. (Robyn)
Ermal Meta – “No Satisfaction”
Italian star Ermal Meta is busy preparing for his appearance at Sanremo 2021. But, the Eurovision 2018 star has also found time to release another new song for fans. “No Satisfaction” is a rock song that mixes the usual array of drums and guitars with more electro sounds and digitally-processed vocals in some of the verses. The track is predominantly sung in Italian, a part from the repeated title line, with Meta discussing the lack of satisfaction in his everyday life compared to those of higher status: “I who live by consensus / I who sell feelings … Me digging with my hands / In the pockets of relatives / You who live and do not feel it / And give me suggestions … I no longer find satisfaction / In this new generation”.
Benjamin Ingrosso – En Gång I Tiden
Benjamin Ingrosso has spent the majority of his music career singing in English. However, the Eurovision 2018 star has recently fallen in love again with Swedish-language pop. Ingrosso has now released En Gång I Tiden (Once Upon A Time), a full album of Swedish-language songs that includes two of the songs he performed on TV show Så Mycket Bättre at the end of 2020. As ever, the singer’s music is proving popular, with all eight of the songs on the LP featuring on Sweden’s Spotify Top 50 chart the day after its release. In a post to his followers on Instagram, Ingrosso explained more about why he decided to release an album in Swedish:
“The past years pandemic put a lot of things on hold for me, as for everyone. We haven’t been able to travel and I spent a lot more time at home. But with many things cancelled and blocked new opportunities arised. As an example I got to participate in a tv show called “Så Mycket Bättre” that gave me the chance to interpret some of my biggest Swedish idols and inspirations. All of this together made me realize how much I love and miss singing in Swedish, which led me to making this coming album. This album will show even more sides of me as a writer, producer and artist and the inspiration truly comes from the love for Swedish pop and all of the great Swedish musicians that’s been my source of inspiration since I was a kid.”
Tamta – “Awake”
“I looked for myself behind the shadow of the moon and I got blinded by the staggering beauty. I saw the sun, I saw the cycle of life and I saw the universe within me.” The opening quote to Tamta’s new music video sets the scene for the astrological-themed MV. “Awake” is the opening track to the Eurovision 2019 star’s latest EP released last year. Unlike the upbeat tracks we generally know her for, this song shows off a softer side of Tamta’s personality. Having recently celebrated her 40th birthday on 10 January, Tamta’s star sign is Capricorn and this is highlighted in the video.
ELDAR and Nazpəri Dostəliyeva – “Bizi Tanrı Qorusun”
ELDAR sang alongside Nigar Jamal at Eurovision 2011. For his latest single, the Azerbaijani star is swapping duet partners and collaborating with Nazpəri Dostəliyeva. “Bizi Tanrı Qorusun” (“God bless us”) is a relatively old-fashioned ballad that will appeal most to those who like a classic feel to their music. ELDAR and Nazpəri sing of unity and love: “Do not let any flower wither / Let the heart sing / Let people stand hand in hand / God bless us”.
Birnir (feat. Páll Óskar) – “Spurningar”
Páll Óskar is adding a touch of camp to the new single by fellow Icelandic artist Birnir, titled “Spurningar” (“Questions”). Starting off with a dark electro vibe, things turn much brighter once the Eurovision 1997 star enters the song. This transition is also seen in the music video, with Páll acting as a sort of ethereal guardian while backed up by four dancers dressed in mirror-ball body suits. While Birnir is mostly known as a rapper, this collaboration with Páll adds a bit of pop into his discography – it seems to have gone well as the song topped the Icelandic Spotify chart the day after its release. The two artists sing about the questions flowing though your mind about whether it’s right to fall in love with a particular person: “Big questions my brain asks / My heart has no answer … Nothing is as it was / I would love to love you / But you know this is not it”.
Tim Schou – “Comeback”
Tim Schou took part in Eurovision 2011 as part of the band A Friend In London. In the years since, the Danish singer has been building his solo career. And now, he’s announced that his debut solo album is set to be released later this year. The first single from the LP is “Comeback”. A catchy indie-pop song, Tim sings about re-kindling a relationship with someone he used to know: “Like a season changes / Friendships go through phases / Yeah, I know / We could be the world’s biggest comeback”. It’s a good starter that has us eager to see what the rest of the album sounds like.
Laura Rizzotto – “Ross & Rach”
The Latvian-Brazilian star of Eurovision 2018 has taken inspiration from the iconic comedy series Friends for her new single. As the title suggests, “Ross & Rach” looks to the relationship of Ross and Rachel, with Laura realising “What we have is never ‘Ross and Rach’ love”. The song is an examination of a rocky relationship, but the video adds a dash of humour. Directed by Laura’s sister Carolina Rizzotto, the video has Laura playing both a café worker and a sultry brunette, both of whom are dealing with different types of relationship issues. The video is packed full of cultural references and Easter eggs, and — sure to appear to Eurovision fans — there’s even a Latvian flag to be found! (Robyn)
Cezar Ouatu – “Se amarsi e’”
Romanian countertenor Cezar Ouatu has put his stellar vocals to the new single “Se amarsi e’” (“If to love each other and”). It’s a classical piano-driven ballad that the Eurovision 2013 star sings in Italian. In the lyrics, Cezar discusses a lost love: “If to love each other is to be reborn / I will never know / I was there next to you / But already far away by now”. The Romanian star predominantly sings in his lower register, but delivers the second verse in the higher octave that made his Eurovision performance so iconic.
Bonnie Tyler – “The Best Is yet to Come”
On 26 February, Bonnie Tyler is set to release her new album. To tease her fans, the British singer has dropped the LP’s title track “The Best Is yet to Come”. It’s an updated take on the classic Bonnie sound. The Eurovision 2013 star’s gravelly vocals lie over guitars and a driving drum beat, as she sings about looking forward to the future: “Whoa, the best is yet to come / We’ve got the bad days on the run / Turn your head up to the sun / And the best is yet to come”.
Robin Stjernberg – “Pretty”
In between writing a number of songs for other artists, Sweden’s Robin Stjernberg has now kept one for himself. The Eurovision 2013 star has released “Pretty”. It’s a piano-driven ballad that adds in some underlying string instrumentation towards the end. The accompanying music video sees Stjernberg playing the piano on a balcony as he sings to his ex-lover: “Say something pretty like you used to do / Before it got ugly, before I lost you / Oh, just say something pretty now”.
Olga Seryabkina – “ZODIAC”
Former Serebro member Olga Seryabkina is taking inspiration from the stars for her latest single. “ZODIAC” is a mid-tempo pop track backed by synth, drum and electric guitar, and with the Russian singer’s sultry vocals laid on top. In the lyrics, the Eurovision 2007 star discusses the moments of passion she has with her lover: “Feel the moment / For two and no one else … In retrospect / We are so beautiful / Impatient / And so happy”.
Paula Seling – “Inima, tu canta”
Paula Seling kicked off the year by releasing a music video for her song “Inima, tu canta” (“Heart, you sing”). The track originally comes from the Romanian star’s 2015 album Povesti de iarna (Winter stories). The video sees Paula walking across various wintry and snowy landscapes; this is interspersed with clips of wolves. On Instagram, the two-time Eurovision singer commented more about what she had felt when writing the song:
“I always feel the beginning of a cold and fearful year, as it starts, devastated by the steam and the big dreams of the holidays, alone and insecure. The lights left over from Christmas, the messages waiting to be answered, the thoughts gathered, the memories … That’s how I wrote this song: at the beginning of the year, with thoughts haunting like wolves, with owls watching every movement in the night, with the window painted with ice flowers, with the image of an unjust hunter.”
Bujāns – “Masku Faktors”
If you thought we’d be leaving the 80s-inspired music behind in 2020, then think again. Latvia’s Intars Busulis is giving us another taste of the genre. The Eurovision 2009 star has formed the new duo Bujāns alongside Eurovision 2006 singer Reinis Sējāns. They’ve released “Masku Faktors”, which adds a rockier touch to the 80s theme. The music video verges into the realm of parody, with Busulis and Sējāns taking their performance slightly over the top – they’re accompanied by dancing aliens from the bridge onwards.
Hari Mata Hari – “Ja Sam Sam Što Nemam Tebe”
Bosnian singer Hari Mata Hari recently released “Ja Sam Sam Što Nemam Tebe” (“I’m Lonely Because I Don’t Have You”). A soft ballad, it’s predominantly piano driven but there’s also a flute solo in the bridge. The Eurovision 2006 star sings about the loneliness he feels now that one particular person is no longer in his life: “Now I don’t know where to find a place for me in this wide world / I’m not lonely cause I have no one / I’m lonely because I don’t have you”.
Jessy Matador – “Je suis blasé”
Jessy Matador got all of Europe dancing at Eurovision 2010, and the fun party vibe has often continued into his post-contest discography. The French star’s latest release is “Je suis blasé” and it once again aims to get the listener up and moving through its two minute duration.
Minus One – “What’s Up?”
Minus One gave their fans a New Year’s gift with the release of “What’s Up?”. It’s a cover of the song originally by American alternative-rock group 4 Non Blondes. Minus One’s version is a relatively faithful rendition of the original, though the Eurovision 2016 band naturally update the production for today. We can expect more cover songs from the Cypriot band in the future, as they’ll be releasing the new cover album Got It Covered at some point in 2021.
Oscar Zia – “Skuggor”
Ahead of hosting the second semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2021 alongside Christer Björkman, Oscar Zia has dropped the new single “Skuggor” (“Shadows”). It’s a mid-tempo pop track that simultaneously has a light and dark feel to it. This goes along with the lyrics of the song, with the Swedish star singing about the balance between the two forces: “Breaking into ten thousand pieces / Everything’s falling apart / The darkness feels so much stronger than before / But I promise you / That nothing is over / You only see shadows if there is light”.
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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