Almost immediately after the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, Vidbir winners Go_A were internally selected to represent Ukraine again in 2021. And now we finally know what song they’ll sing in May — “SHUM”.
Go_A to sing “SHUM” at Eurovision 2021
Released as a single in late January, “SHUM” was immediately touted as a potential song for Rotterdam. However, the Ukrainian delegation was quick to say that it was “not for Eurovision”. Soon after they announced that Go_A would present a number of entries to a professional jury. Just one day before today’s confirmation, it transpired that “SHUM” was one of three songs in the running.
After honouring melodramatic Carpathian folk tales with techno and EDM last year with “Solovey”, Go_A have opted for a somewhat darker style in “SHUM” (“ШУМ”). They describe its meaning as “to awaken and summon spring and hasten the awakening of all living things after winter”.
According to the Ukrainian broadcaster, “SHUM is inspired by a spring ritual folk song of the same name. It is a modern reinterpretation of an archaic game with elements of ancient magic ritual practices.”
The Eurovision version of the song and a new music video will be released in early March.
Jamala, one of the jurors, explained why she voted for the song in a statement from UA:PBC.
“I voted for SHUM — it sounds very modern to me. Live singing decides everything, so I would like to wish Kate confidence that she showed in Vidbir last year. Just sing, and it seems to me that everything will work out well!”
Music producer and composer Ruslan Kvinta said: “I am glad that the band was productive over the year. We see that they invested all their strength, thoughts, ideas, and big love in their creative work.”
Maneken leader and producer Yevhen Filatov mentioned said he hopes the group “show what they have got and represent Ukraine decently.”
Ukraine’s Eurovision 2021 process
On 29 January, public broadcaster UA:PBC announced that a five-person jury would select Go_A’s song for Eurovison 2021. The jury included Ukrainian stars and established music industry experts:
Jamala – singer, winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2016;
Yevhen Filatov – producer, leader of The Manaken band;
Ruslan Kvinta – music producer, composer;
Yaroslav Lodygin – member of the Managing Board of UA: PBC in charge of television;
Dmytro Khorkin – member of the Managing Board of UA: PBC in charge of radio.
According to the song selection rules, Go_A had to present at least two songs for the jury selection. Each jury member evaluated each submitted song. Points from the jury were then added into a rank. The song with most points from the jury would win the selection. If two or more songs got an equal number of points, the winning song were to be decided by majority voting of the jury (more than 50% of the jury members). One jury member could vote for a song only once in that case.
Go_A showcased three different songs to the internal jury: “Rano”, “Tserkovka” and “SHUM”. Snippets of all three were released one day before the final decision was revealed.
“Rano” (Рано) — meaning “Early” — channelled folk-rock vibes. It was the closest to their Eurovision 2020 entry “Solovey” of the three songs. “Rano” bore some lyrically similarity, as the snippet starts with lines as: “Рано рано засвітило сонечко/ Рано рано сопівала голосна”.
“Tserkovka” (Церковка) was the most spiritual entry of the three in terms of lyrics and perhaps the most experimental. The song title literally meant “to church”.
What do you think of the internal jury’s choice? Was it your favourite song from the snippets? Let us know in the comments below!