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 5
Mahmood – “Inuyasha”
Mahmood has never made secret his love for things such as Pokémon and anime. And now the Italian star is bringing that into his music. His new single is titled “Inuyasha”, which is the name of a manga/anime series centred around a half-dog demon, half-human character called Inuyasha. The Eurovision 2019 runner-up dresses as his own version of Inuyasha, with a bit of Italian fashion flair, for the music video: “I was in the seventh grade when I watched Inuyasha’s episodes on MTV at midnight. I never thought that one day I would be able to transform.” Sonically, the track is a strong mid-tempo hip-hop offering that Mahmood takes further with his passion and charisma.
Amber – “Put Away Your Money”
It’s been almost six years since Amber represented Malta at Eurovision 2015 and now she’s back with a bold new single. “Put Away Your Money” is a slick pop track with a strong message — Amber doesn’t need bling, she just wants her sweetie to be around. Or as she sings, “I don’t want your presents / Just want you present, here with me”. The song was co-written and produced by the Danish superstar producer (and former Dansk Melodi Grand Prix boss) Cutfather. The lyrics do contain some profanity, but it’s all in keeping with the attitude of the song. The music video has Amber rocking a similar look to Srbuk at Eurovision 2019 — but she’s joined by a posse of shirtless hunks who show the Maltese queen some respect. (Robyn)
Alexander Rybak – “Mitt Andre Hjem”
Eurovision 2009 champion Alexander Rybak is currently studying hard for an MFA in Music Composition for the Screen. But, in between his studies, he’s managed to find time to release the new song “Mitt Andre Hjem” (“My Second Home”). It’s a soft Norwegian-language ballad, perfect for a cosy winter’s night while tucked in bed. Rybak begins accompanied solely by an acoustic guitar, but further instrumentation and backing vocals are added in for the chorus – this naturally includes a violin.
Sakis Rouvas – “Υπεράνθρωπος”
Sakis Rouvas delivered two upbeat bops at Eurovision, but for his latest single he’s instead serving up a rousing ballad. The Greek star showcases his prowess on “Υπεράνθρωπος” (“Superhuman”), which will feature on his new album that is set for release this year. Sakis sings about a person who is constantly a burden on his life and seems to take pleasure in his suffering: “Life is an uphill / On top of that, you appeared / And my burdens are way too heavy / I am not a superhuman / I’m only a little person / Who yields under pain”.
Sarah McTernan and HalfTraxx – “Loving You”
Sarah McTernan is loving you, and Irish listeners are certainly loving Sarah. Mere 24 hours since the release, her newest single “Loving you” went straight to #1 on the Pop Charts on iTunes and #2 on the overall iTunes chart. It has been heard by over a quarter of million listeners across various Irish radio stations, including Dublin’s 98FM, Spin 103.8, Red FM and FM104. The song comes as a collaboration between the Eurovision 2019 entrant and the newly formed EDM duo Halftraxx, consisting of Greg Lynch and Paul Finnin. Drawing influence from Pink, Daughters and Becky Hill, “Loving you” follows the same direction of Sarah’s Eurovision entry “22”, being a sweet and innocent pop number. The song is about instant connections that young lovers feel. Honey, we’ve all been there! (Mario)
ohFrank – Dandelion
Last year, Eurovision 2013 star Robin Stjernberg formed the new musical duo ohFrank alongside fellow Swedish singer Benjamin Roustaing. Eight months later, and the two singers have now released their first EP together. Titled Dandelion, it contains five songs, including previous singles “Schizophrenic”, “Millennial” and “Venice”, plus an instrumental opening and acoustic version of “Venice”. Speaking more about their experience of performing as ohFrank, the duo noted:
“At first we just hung out, we drank too much beer, got to do some travelling together. And now fast forward a couple of years we’re a band, we’ve done our first TV & radio appearance, went on a wee tour, made music in a cabin whilst fighting off bears etc…. Anyway, we hope you love the music as much as we do! And thank you for being on this journey with us, there’s more to come.”
Compact Disco (feat. Hősök) – “Minden rendben”
Compact Disco’s new song has been ten years in the making. Back then, the Eurovision 2012 alumni talked to Hungarian group Hősök about collaborating on a track together. Now, they’ve finally joined forces and released “Minden rendben” (“Everything is alright”). It’s a positive and catchy song that mixes electronic, pop and hip-hop influences. The two groups sing about how they’ll continue to support their loved one even if they make the odd mistake: “As long as the roses open, nothing is wrong / As long as the girls are beautiful, nothing is wrong / As long as the coffee is black, nothing is wrong / As long as I see you, everything is fine”.
Jan Johansen – “Julia”
Jan Johansen’s latest single is “Julia”. Sweden’s Eurovision 1995 star delivers a happy and feel-good track to brighten up the long winter days. As the song title suggests, the track sees Johansen singing about a person named Julia.
Miki Núñez – “No M’ho Esperava”
Miki Núñez recently released the music video for his latest single “No M’ho Esperava” (“I Didn’t Expect It”), which comes from his recent album Iceberg. Not as upbeat as some of his other work, “No M’ho Esperava” is a mid-tempo Latin-pop offering that has more of a personal and emotional touch to it. In the lyrics, which are sung in Catalan, Spain’s Eurovision 2019 star details how he didn’t always expect to be on the path he is on now: “I didn’t expect it, I was lucky / And I have made life my starting point / I don’t know how to do it better”. In the music video, we see a child playing a younger version of Miki and witness some of the struggles he went through.
Iveta Mukuchyan – “Anhasaneli”
After giving us a couple of more upbeat tracks in 2020, Iveta Mukuchyan is slowing things down a touch for her first single of 2021. “Anhasaneli” (“Not available”) mixes elements of R&B and jazz/blues to create a song that is elegant but also has a punch to it. While it might not have too many peaks and troughs in the studio version, it’s the sort of track that Armenia’s Eurovision 2016 star would truly make her own with a live vocal performance.
Alexey Vorobyov – “Колыбельная”
Alexey Vorobyov (otherwise known as Alex Sparrow) included the song “Колыбельная” (“Lullaby”) on his 2020 EP Аудиозаметки. Now, Russia’s Eurovision 2011 singer has released a music video for the track. It predominantly sees Vorobyov sitting by a roaring fire, though we momentarily see him sprout wings and his eyes flash red. In the lyrics, the Russian star comforts his loved one as they drift off to sleep, telling them that he’ll protect them from any monsters: “Do you hear rustles – out there in the dark? / Don’t be afraid, they don’t see us / Hide quietly in the deep / Nobody else will hurt you”.
Lior Narkis and Offir Cohen – “חלקת אלוהים”
Israel’s Lior Narkis is thanking God for the path his life has taken through his latest single “חלקת אלוהים” (“God’s plot”). It’s a ballad that begins solely with piano accompaniment but then builds with the addition of string instrumentation. The Eurovision 2003 star discusses how meeting his partner helped connect the pieces of his heart: “And my God’s plot and yours / Just when I gave up appearing like an angel / The heart dispersed into a million pieces / Now that you’re here they connect”.
Zlata Ognevich – “Погляд”
On 12 January, Zlata Ognevich celebrated her 35th birthday. On the same day, the Ukrainian star dropped the music video for her song “Погляд” (“View”). The track originally comes from her 2020 album Погляд. It’s a soft piano ballad in which the Eurovision 2013 bronze medallist professes her love for those close to her: “I love you so much / I love you very much / As the first touch, and look”. The video sees Zlata enjoying a summer’s day sat outside a caravan attempting to draw a picture of her loved one. However, going by the number of sheets of paper thrown away, she doesn’t quite seem able to capture their essence.
Lena Philipsson – “Lära så länge man lever”
Following the release of her album Maria Magdalena in 2020, Lena Philipsson has been producing music videos for each of the songs on the LP. Now, the Swedish star has dropped the ninth and final music video, this time for “Lära så länge man lever” (“Learn as long as you live”). The track sees the Eurovision 2004 star deliver some good solid schlager whilst stating it was worth going through a break-up in order to learn for the future: “I should have learned / Never trust love again … It was worth it / Though the heart has been terribly tormented … But you get to learn as long as you live / Learn as long as you believe”. The music video is set at a wedding reception, with Lena playing a variety of different characters.
Lauris Reiniks and Alise Haijima – “Savējais”
Lauris Reiniks represented Latvia on home soil at Eurovision 2003 as part of the group F.L.Y.. For his latest single(s), Reiniks is looking further afield than just Latvia and bringing together all three Baltic nations. The Eurovision alum has recorded three different versions of the song in Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian. Each is an old-school duet with a female singer – Latvian “Savējais” with Supernova 2020 contestant Alise Haijima, Lithuanian “Savi” with three-time Eurovizijos atranka contestant Liepa, and Estonian “Sinuga” with Eurolaul 2008 / Eesti Laul 2015 contestant Luisa Värk.
AMAYA – “Goodbye…”
AMAYA waved “Goodbye…” to 2020 with her new single. It’s a beautiful ballad that mixes melodic string instrumentation with a the strumming of a bass guitar. Slovenia’s Eurovision 2011 star delivers a delicate and emotional vocal performance as she sings about the heartache that still lingers from a past relationship. In a post to fans on Instagram, AMAYA noted that this song acts as a turning point in the way she wants to release new music:
“Can I be completely honest with you? I’ve written so much music that I never released because I was scared it wasn’t HIT material, it didn’t belong in any genre, I didn’t have the right circumstances etc,… I spent so much time contemplating by myself but after this year I think I started realising how much this behaviour has crippled me. I don’t think sharing our art and truth has ever killed anyone! Quite the opposite. I decided to release this song with the video after the unique 2020 as to finally close some chapters in my life. By myself. Because I WANTED to and because I LOVE it! As L’Oréal would say “because I’m worth it.” Heartache is a real thing and I didn’t believe it when they said it could last for half of the time that you’ve been in a relationship.”
Nina – “Neispricane price”
We know her for the funky and quirky “Caroban” from Eurovision 2011. Now, in the music video for her latest single, Serbia’s Nina can be seen wandering the woods near her new hometown Sydney. Her self-written track “Neispricane price” (“Untold stories”) teaches us how each happy ending has its back story of “could-have-been”. Her movements can be seen as different ways a lover’s life could have ended had actions been taken differently. We see Nina picking up her phone to call the bae at one point, only to be thrown away later, as she sings: “They have found happiness with another / A new world / But between them a trace remains / Of a story untold”. (Mario)
Danny Saucedo and Sabina Ddumba – “Fan va har vi gjort”
On Saturday, he secured his place in the grand final of Melodifestivalen 2021 with the song “Dandi Dansa”. But on Friday, Danny Saucedo also released the new single “Fan va har vi gjort” (“Damn what have we done”). A collaboration with fellow Swedish singer Sabina Ddumba, it’s a pop ballad that nicely blends the two artists’ vocals together. Lyrically, Danny and Sabina sing about a story where two best friends take an awkward new step in their relationship: “What have we done? / You do not sleep with your best friend / Standing naked in front of each other, there is no turning back / I know we both want to stay but one of us has to go”.
Sarah Dawn Finer – Songs For Comfort
In 2009, Sarah Dawn Finer competed at Melodifestivalen for the second time with “Moving On” and released an album of the same name in 2010. Eleven years on, and the Swedish star has finally returned to the English language for her new EP Songs For Comfort. The EP contains six songs – five covers songs and the brand new song “Be Gentle”. As might be expected from the title, the songs are aimed at bringing comfort to anyone who might be feeling a bit low at the present time. Sarah is planning to release a series of EPs, all under the name “Songs for …”.
Lidia Ganeva – “after the movie”
We met her as a ten-year-old who represented Bulgaria at Junior Eurovision 2016. But in 2021, Lidia Ganeva is a grown up and has big aspirations for music. Taking inspiration from Ariana Grande, Lidia’s newest release “after the movie” is a fine R’n’b piece backed by an almost Christmassy composition. In the lyrics, Lidia apologises to her bae for not being her best self lately. As the track moves along, the lyrics seem to suggest that Lidia has decided to break things off, singing “instead I picked some flowers and made them more alive / they live in me, I’m finally so me / I’m finally free”. The track was produced by an all-Bulgarian team, but mixed in Espoo, Finland, where the Bulgarian star currently resides. (Mario)
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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