Tonight Russia’s Channel One is letting its viewers choose its Eurovision 2021 entry. There will only be room for a few acts to take the stage, but the Russian press has rumoured an awful lot of names. We have summarised the names being whispered the most.
Speaking during a Russian morning show, Yuriy Aksyuta revealed that the public can start voting as soon as the names are revealed.
The show will include several guest performances. Eurovision 2020 act Little Big will be performing as well as Natalia Gordienko with her hit “SUGAR”. We are also set to see Dima Bilan, Polina Gagarina, Philipp Kirkorov, and Dmitry Koldun.
Russian tabloid website Super.ru published a shortlist earlier that included Egor Kreed and Morgenshtern. Rumours rose to a new level earlier today when Russian Eurovision mircoblog eurovision.daddy showed what appeared to be rehearsal footage with Manizha, #2Mashi and TherrMaitz.
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Rumoured acts for Russia’s Eurovision 2021 national final
29-year-old Manizha was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After the Tajik Civil War, her family relocated to Moscow. She first dipped her toe in the music business back in 2009. Performing under the name the name Ru.Kola, she showed great promise with “Neglect”. In 2018, she became the first Russian artist to be given the “Deezer Next” treatment. Deezer is a French-based music streaming service and their “Next” initiative highlights the music of select artists from around the globe through increased exposure in playlists. Her current and unique sound combines soul with traditional and electric flair. Despite all the mixing and matching, during an interview in 2018, Manizha told us her music is “super simple, music from my heart, that’s all” and that it reflects “realness.” A woman of our own heart.
#2Маши (pronounced as “Dve Mashi”, meaning “two Mashas”) is a musical duet between Mariya “Masha” Zaitseva and Mariya “Masha” Sheikh. The two Mashas met each other during a holiday in Thailand and found that their hobbies and music tastes were alike. So alike that they decided to start a collaboration, making music with pop, easy-listening and dance elements. The duo broke through with the song “Bosaya” in 2018, and its music video was among the top 20 most watched music videos in Russia’s TopHit charts for almost nine months straight. Their commercial success didn’t stop there. With “Mama, ya tantsuyu”, the duo won the award for Best Dance Song at the 2019 Russian National Music Awards.
Anton Belyaev & Therr Maitz
Magadan-born Anton Belyaev (41) is mostly known as a singer-songwriter in his native country and as part of the indie group Therr Maitz, combining pop and lounge music. With that group, he won Best Russian Act at the 2016 MTV European Music Awards. As a solo artist, Belyaev rose to fame on Russia’s answer to The Voice, where he ended up in the semi-final. Although the artist sent in a candidacy for Eurovision in 2014, he later doubted whether Eurovision was good for him, telling Woman’s Day that the contest was a “pure zoo” in his eyes. In 2018, Belyaev was admitted to the Recording Academy, the organisation of music professionals that decide on Grammy nominations.
26-year-old Egor Kreed from Penza took Russia by storm in 2014 with the single “Samaya samaya”. Then signed with Timati‘s Black Star label, the singer broke through in a way that was new for the country: via streaming and radio rather than television festivals. Mixing light rap and singing, pop and hip hop, the singer popularised a totally new genre in his home country. Throughout the years, Egor has been rumoured and suggested for Eurovision multiple times. Next to his work in music, Egor is a gamer and YouTuber. Recently, he joined Channel One’s The Voice Kids as a coach.
23-year-old Alisher Morgenshtern from Ufa is rapper of half Russian, half Bashkir descent. At the age of nineteen, Morgenshtern started to become popular on YouTube for various provocative videos on music and lifestyle. Around the same time, he released his first original composition, which quickly became popular among his, mostly teen-based, following. By 2020, he was one of the most discussed and most streamed artists in Russia, sparking regular controversies around his exhoribant lifestyle and provocative image and songs. In the run up to the national final, Morgenshtern wrote on Instagram that he wanted to go to Eurovision.
29-year-old rapper and singer Danil Prytkov – better known as Niletto – was born in Tyumen but grew up in Ekaterinburg. He first rose to prominence through the Russian singer-songwriter competition “Pesni”. In 2019, he officially broke through with “Lyubimika”, which reached #3 on the TopHit radio charts. A year later, he won Best Russian Act at the MTV European Music Awards. With his deep voice, Niletto offers music that combines elements of pop, hip hop and R&B.
Before her music career, Yulia Zivert travelled the world as a flight attendant. In 2017, she released her first song “Chak” that attracted some attention from radio stations. Her definite breakthrough came in 2018 with the single “Life”, combining both Russian and English with a fresh sound. In 2019, Zivert scored major success with the single “Credo”, topping at one in Russia’s TopHit charts. She repeated that success in 2020 with the single “YATL”, which charted in Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria. Last year, Zivert submitted a song to the Russian selection committee for Eurovision, but was reported to have finished second behind Little Big.
Cream Soda is a relatively new act to the Russian music world. The Moscow duet only debuted in 2018, but achieved a large domestic hit during the first lockdown in Spring 2020 with “Plachu na techno” (“Crying under techno”) in collaboration with Klheb. For this song, they received the prize of Best Dance Song at the Russian National Music Awards. They have proved to be a name to be not forgotten by the Russian audience. Cream Soda combines modern dance music with elements of 1990s dance music. Their latest single, “Atomy”, is a good example of their music.
Who do you think should fly the flag for Russia? Is your favourite Russian artist among this list? Let us know in the comments below!