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 8
Jamala – “Вдячна”
The past year has made many people realise the importance of being grateful for what you have in the moment. This includes Eurovision 2016 winner Jamala, who centres her new song “Вдячна” around this theme. The Ukrainian singer tells her loved one that she wants to enjoy every moment with them: “Don’t wait, just hug me and you here / We have long wanted to run away from sadness / Only music in my mind / I am grateful to you for every day”. Sonically, the track takes Jamala’s sound in an indie-pop direction, but still with the local Ukrainian flair that fans love her music for. Jamala spoke further about the message behind the song on Instagram:
“Being grateful has been the motto of my life for a long time. In recent years, I often think that in our daily haste we forget about the main thing, about why we came to this Earth. People are less and less grateful, less and less give love and care. The main message of the song is to be grateful for every day lived, to appreciate every moment, to hug your relatives, to say that you love them. Don’t waste time!”
Helena Paparizou – “Adiexodo”
Earlier this year, Helena Paparizou released her tenth studio album Αpohrosis (Shades). Since then, Greece’s Eurovision 2005 champion has continued to share gifts with her fans by releasing not one, not two, but seven new music videos. These videos are for all the new songs on the album that hadn’t been released beforehand. That now means Helena has created a music video for every single track on the Apohrosis LP, which the star has handily put in a playlist for us all. The final videos that were revealed this week were for the 8os synth-pop inspired title track and for the album’s dynamic opening song “Adiexodo”.
Connect-R and BRUJA – “Cantareti de Karaoke”
Connect-R accompanied Natalia Gordienko and Arsenium on stage at Eurovision 2006, where the trio represented Moldova. Now, the rapper has released a new collaboration, this time with BRUJA. Their new song is the hip-hop track “Cantareti de Karaoke” (Karaoke singers). Through their rap verses, the two artists take aim at those singers who may think their genre is above hip-hop/rap, even if they predominantly don’t sing live when performing: “I feel like I’m on fire / I caught your eye / It is clear that there is no place for karaoke singers”.
Harel Skaat – “חזק על הרצפה”
Israel’s Harel Skaat has taken the thoughts that gathered in this head throughout 2020 and put them into his new song “חזק על הרצפה” (Hard to the floor). It’s an emotional pop track with some traditional Israeli instrumentation in the background of the chorus. The Eurovision 2010 star discusses how it’s a bad decision to run away from the challenges that face you in life: “At the end of the day / You are in front of the mirror / Choose to live / For better or for worse”. In a note to fans on social media, Harel explained more:
“Hard to the floor. This is what I felt happened to everything I knew until this last, strange and challenging year. Now that we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, these are the words and conclusions I’ll take with me from this year. Never be afraid to look myself in the eye. Never run away, because there is simply nowhere. And God, who accompanies me in many texts, always there to talk for a second before falling hard, on the floor.”
Edsilia Rombley – “Als Ik Weer Bij Jou Ben”
In addition to preparing to host Eurovision 2021, Edsilia Rombley is also working on her new album. The newest single from the upcoming LP is “Als Ik Weer Bij Jou Ben” (When I’m With You Again). It’s a piano-driven ballad but with some lovely length on the notes that almost makes them sound like bell chimes. Lyrically, the two-time Eurovision star sings to a special person who she hasn’t seen in a while, but she knows that the love between them will never fade. It’s a theme that works well in the current climate. Edsilia commented further on Instagram:
“This song is about the unconditional bond you have with someone! Even if the distance is great or you don’t see each other, you can continue to have that strong bond / connection with each other and when you can see each other again, it feels familiar and completely complete again! As it should be with real love that you can feel for someone.”
D’Alva (feat. Cláudia Pascoal) – “Honesty Bar”
Telling the truth is important. Cláudia Pascoal is taking a trip to the “Honesty Bar” for her latest song, in which she collaborates with Portuguese alt-pop duo D’Alva. The Eurovision 2018 star sings in unison with the duo throughout the entirety of the song. In the lyrics, the artists talk about their desire to spend the summer drinking and talking with their lover: “I don’t want a summer song anymore / I want the summer of the song / It can be any / Choose the one you want”.
Sébastien Tellier – “Birthday Boy”
On 22 February, Sébastien Tellier celebrated his 46th birthday. For the occasion, the French star released the new song “Birthday Boy”. Through the song, Tellier discusses the increasing lack of effort that goes into birthday parties as you get older. The audio video description notes that the Eurovision 2008 act was inspired by The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins and Depeche Mode for this particular song, “under the influence of the current gloomy atmosphere : he went cold, intense but still full of hope”.
Bonnie Tyler – The Best Is yet to Come
Bonnie Tyler is hoping that her new album The Best Is yet to Come can help her fans through the difficulties that they might be facing at the moment. The United Kingdom’s Eurovision 2013 star delivers an album that harkens back to her glory years of the 1980s. There’s a solid pop-rock sound running through the 12 song LP, which includes pre-released singles “When the Lights Go Down” and title track “The Best Is yet to Come”. On Instagram, Bonnie commented further about what she hopes fans will get out of the album:
“2020 was a hard year for the entire world. For me, personally not being able to perform and see all the wonderful fans has been hard, but compared to so many who have suffered loss of loved ones, my loss is nothing. I want to reach out to all of you who have battled through a year none of us could have imagined possible. I can’t wait to get back on stage with my band and team and look towards better times together. The BEST is YET TO COME.”
Anne-Marie David – “Veux Tu”
Eurovision 1973 champion Anne-Marie David is getting groovy for her new single “Veux Tu” (Do You Want). It’s a French-language cover of the 2016 Israeli hit “פשוט להיות” (Just Be) performed by Hedva Amrani, who has previously participated in Israel’s Eurovision national finals. Anne-Marie David decided to cover the song as a thank you for the support that the people of Israel have given her since representing Luxembourg at Eurovision 1973 and her home country of France in 1979.
Alexey Vorobyov – “Не полюбит как я”
Alexey Vorobyov (aka Alex Sparrow) has always enjoyed adding an element of humour and fun into his music videos. That continues with his latest video for “Не полюбит как я” (Will not love like me). Russia’s Eurovision 2011 star ends up being the pilot for a journey that his ex-lover is taking. However, Alexey’s plane is not in tip-top shape, and the pair end up crashing into the ocean and being stranded on an island. Hilarity naturally ensues as they learn to deal with their new surroundings. The video goes well with the upbeat electronic production of the song. Lyrically, the Eurovision alum tells his ex-lover that no other man will love them the way he does: “Why are you so beautiful / When you cry for him / When you cry for him / You know / That he won’t love you / Will not love like me”.
Soraya – “Mysterious Times”
Soraya has recorded a cover of 1998 hit “Mysterious Times”, originally performed by Sash! and Tina Cousins. However, rather than bringing her cover forward in time, the Spanish star has gone back a decade and added in the 80s synth-pop sound that has been popular over the last year. The Eurovision 2009 alum joined forces with music producer Julian Poker for the single.
Jamie-Lee – “Soul”
Jamie-Lee is letting her “Soul” lead the way in her new single. It’s the final single from the Eurovision 2016 star’s new EP “서울” (Seoul). The rest of the EP contains the other singles that Jamie-Lee has released over the past couple of years. In the accompanying music video, we see the German singer spending time with her best friend, both at home and out on the streets.
Red Moon – “Fragile”
For her latest single, Red Moon (i.e. Debrah Scarlett) has released a cover of Sting’s “Fragile”. The Norwegian singer transforms the song into a mysterious and atmospheric indie-pop song that features Red Moon’s breathy vocals laid over piano and strings. Talking about why this song has always resonated with her, the Eurovision 2015 star noted:
“During the first lockdown in 2020, I recorded a series of covers of songs I connected to and Sting’s “Fragile” was one of them. I always loved the melody of this song when I was a kid. It wasn’t until later when I really understood and appreciated the lyrics. There’s so much in those few words that hit home, especially with everything that has happened in the last year.”
Ann Sophie – “Replay”
Germany’s Ann Sophie is taking a note from Tamta’s book and putting things on “Replay”. The Eurovision 2015 star delivers an atmospheric pop song in which she declares she’s ready to try things again with her ex-partner: “I’m up for a replay, up for a draft / Showing a future, which I will pass / With you honey, with you / Last time I slipped, yes I was blind / I panicked, but now I made up my mind / For you, baby for you”. Ann Sophie discussed more about the song’s meaning on Instagram:
“We all have our walls. Our insecurities. Our fears. Replay is a song that breaks through those walls. It is about not giving up and giving love another chance. A song that so delicately and elegantly tries to reopen a door that was closed. A song that gives hope and strength by being open and vulnerable. No matter where you are. No matter who you are.”
Aurela Gace – “Një Pikë”
Aurela Gace’s latest single is “Një Pikë” (One Point). While it’s a mid-tempo offering that Albania’s Eurovision 2011 singer delivers with an emotional touch, there’s still enough of a beat underlying the production to get the listener tapping along. It’s not necessarily ethno-pop, but there is definitely a good use of traditional-sounding instrumentation.
Elena Ionescu (feat. Nikolas) – “Juego”
Romania’s Elena Ionescu has collaborated with Nikolas for her latest single “Juego” (Game). The Eurovision 2012 and former Mandinga vocalist delivers a rhythmical track that utilises a few traditional instruments in the background. Lyrically, the two artists sing about how their love for one another is no joke and not something they want to play with: “It’s not like a game, it’s not like a game / I have the ilave and I already know how to treat you / It’s not like a game, it’s not like a game / If you don’t test me baby go ahead”.
Adelén – Jaded
Adelén has evolved a lot since she delivered the tropical dance song “Bombo” at Melodi Grand Prix 2013. Her latest single is “Jaded” and it see the Norwegian singer deliver a much more emotional sound through a linear pop ballad. In the lyrics, Adelén questions why she is lacking in enthusiasm despite all the effort she’s put in over the years to make her dreams come true: “I’ve been up on cloud nine / flew so high I been skimming the sky / so why am I feeling like this / when did I get so jaded?”.
Sheppard – Kaleidoscope Eyes
During 2020, Sheppard took on the challenge of releasing one new single every month. Having completed that, the Eurovision – Australia Decides 2019 alum have collected these songs together for their new album Kaleidoscope Eyes. The LP also includes a few new tracks, such as M.I.A, which the band dropped the music video for on Friday to coincide with the album’s release. The band were no less than ecstatic to announce that the album was finally out:
“There are no words for the emotions we’re feeling right now. Two and half years in the making. 12 singles + 12 music videos released in 12 months – a mammoth challenge we set ourselves that finally comes to an end today. ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ is no longer just the spark of an idea we had. It’s a living body of work that resides in the real world now, and the best part is that it belongs to YOU! We’re so incredibly proud of this effort, and we hope that this 53 minute musical journey brings a little bit of extra joy to your life in some way.”
KHAYAT – “Крок”
A favourite in Ukraine’s Vidbir 2020 selection, KHAYAT is now building towards the release of his new album. The latest single from the LP is “Крок” (Step). It’s got all the flavours that fans have come to love in KHAYAT’s music, though is a bit slower than his Vidbir entry. Speaking more about the meaning of the song, the Ukrainian singer noted:
“This song is about the value of moments, the unquenchable thirst to love each other and the memories we get as a result, because this is the only thing that leaves us with love. And if there is already the same, “only” person, then you should do everything to make them feel the happiest in the world. It is your duty, your mission.”
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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