“If you can’t change the situation, you must change your attitude to the situation.” The words of Latvia’s Samanta Tina in our recent Zoom interview when discussing her live-on-tape performance of “The Moon Is Rising.”
The Eurovision 2021 singer tells me she was not happy with how it went, but adds that it’s actually an opportunity to make things better for Rotterdam.
“This year was totally different than we’re used to,” she says of the required back-up performance, filmed in case Eurovision enters a lockdown situation. “This year was the first time where we needed to take the back-up videos. That was an exclusive chance to see how it’s gonna look when it’s filmed. And I already changed everything.”
“I had this great and exclusive chance to see how it’s going to look and I didn’t like it…[in Rotterdam] it’s gonna be the way it should be.”
Samanta Tina: Eurovision 2021 interview on “The Moon Is Rising”
Samanta is a woman on the move. She’s got people to see and places to be. So we were both amused and somewhat honoured to learn that she’d pulled her car over to the side of the road so that she can take our call amid her myriad responsibilities and commitments.
So what’s the blood moon and why is it rising? Well, she says, it’s about signifying change and possibility — even while we’re struggling with a global crisis.
“The blood moon has nothing [to do] with blood as we think,” she says. “The blood moon is one of the four versions of the full moon. When the moon is hiding from the sun, but some light is coming to the moon and it’s still getting red. It’s like a physical situation that’s happening during that time on the Earth. It’s what people are feeling and seeing, a magical time but in a positive way.”
“I would like to make a full moon on the stage to have all the audience listen up: ‘Everything’s gonna be fine.’ We are all queens — men and women. We must accept this situation because right now we cannot change the situation. I’m living with the thought that if I can’t change the situation, I must change the attitude to the situation.”
That could refer explicitly to the global pandemic. But it also refers to the many social cleavages and rifts that have been amplified over the past year.
“During the song I’m asking all women who are different in our society to use those two beautiful hands and make this crown by themselves to accept yourself — to start to love yourself because you are different and not worse than others.”
“We all want love. We all want to love. I am about the equality. We must love ourselves and make this crown not to have just a good compliment from others — hey you’re beautiful. For one hour maybe it works. But then you’re going home and thinking, ‘I have bad this, bad that, I must be better at that, be a better mother, better sister, better daughter or wife…not accepting yourself the way you are. That’s the biggest crown you can make for your life. I believe when you’re gonna accept yourself, others will accept you.”
Her message of self-love and acceptance extends to members of the LGBT community. That’s one reason she includes a short scene of two women kissing in her music video. Samanta says she was upset to learn that some ultra-conservatives in her country had launched a petition to have her removed from Eurovision. They claim she’s undermining the institution of family with what they consider a scandalous video.
“I was really shocked,” Samanta says. “I was trying to talk about equality. I was open to talking about women’s power — that we all are equal and we don’t need to hide, that you need to start to love yourself. And then I get this straight in my face. I was like, ‘Oh, really? Are you kidding me?'”
On some level, the reaction is further proof that her song and music video are important and necessary right now. “It showed me that those stereotypes — what is right and what is not right — is still alive. And it’s essential information about what people from other generations still can’t talk about.”
Finally, I asked Samanta if her performance will lean in the direction of Halloween and werewolf imagery — as the title “The Moon Is Rising” might suggest. The answer is no.
“It’s not a spooky performance,” she says. “We’re going to travel a bit. We’re going to open a world from where we all came from.”
Are you excited to find out what that means? Do you think the stage show will take the song to another level? Let us know in the comments box below!