Summer is always the quiet period for Eurovision fans as we wait for national finals to start once again. Thankfully, the music will always continue and a number of past Eurovision artists are still producing new songs for us to enjoy.
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 our latest weekly roundup with a selection of just some of the songs and music videos released recently by Eurovision stars.
New music from Eurovision artists: 2021 | Week 26
Helena Paparizou & Joanne – “Twist In My Sobriety”
Helena Paparizou has been a judge on The Voice of Greece for five seasons, but it wasn’t until the latest 2020/2021 season that one of her acts finally went on to win the competition. The Eurovision 2005 champion has now collaborated with winning singer Joanne (full name Ioanna Georgakopoulou) for the song “Twist In My Sobriety”. Joanne originally released the cover of Tanita Tikaram’s 1988 hit as a solo single. This duet version with mentor Helena was put together for a performance at the Greek Mad VMA awards.
In fact, that isn’t the only duet that Helena will be performing at the award show. The two-time Eurovision star has also teamed up with Anastasios Rammos for a new version of “Gia Pia Agapi” (“For More Love”). Helena first released the solo version as part of her latest album Apohrosis.
Netta and Static & Ben El – “אפס מאמץ”
Static & Ben El were members of the judging panel for Israel’s Eurovision artist selection show HaKokhav HaBa. Now, the duo have finally collaborated with Netta, who won the show’s fifth season in 2018 and went on to win Eurovision. They’ve come together for the song “אפס מאמץ” (“Zero effort”), a chilled pop track with a laid-back feel. This matches the lyrics of the song, which are all about not working too hard and taking time to relax: “You do not have to work hard / Ah ah, no no, ah ah / Do not be afraid to say that you are tired / Because you’re class / With zero effort”.
Lior Narkis and Static & Ben El – “כוסות ריקות”
Netta isn’t the only Eurovision star that Static & Ben El have collaborated with recently. The pair have put out a series of new songs over the past week, including one with Israel’s 2003 representative Lior Narkis. This track is “כוסות ריקות” (“Empty glasses”) and it’s more in line with Static & Ben El’s usual upbeat and catchy pop offerings. The artists sing about partying the night away and making sure that their glass is always full: “Israelis do not like empty glasses / Tell the bartender that if he gives respect / Let’s fill me more, more, more, more, more”.
Alexander Rybak (feat. Felix Peikli) – “Beethoven Jazz”
And now for an instrumental interlude. Alexander Rybak is busy studying Music Composition for the Screen at Columbia College Chicago. For one of his assignments, the Eurovision 2009 champion was asked to produce a jazz version of a classical piece of music. The result is “Beethoven Jazz”, a re-arrangement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Rybak brought in clarinet player Felix Peikli to play alongside his violin.
Dilara Kazimova – “Qaralama”
Dilara Kazimova is taking her music out into the great outdoors. The music video for her latest single, “Qaralama”, sees Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2014 singer performing in a barren valley underneath the strong sunshine. The song itself is a steady soft rock offering that features a subtle woodwind melody underneath the guitars, drum and keyboard.
Victor Crone – “Waiting On Your Love”
Victor Crone’s new single is titled “Waiting On Your Love”. While you might think this means Estonia’s Eurovision 2019 star is planning on holding out for his lover, the lyrics are in fact the opposite: “No I don’t think that I’ll be waiting on your love / I’m feeling something brand new / Better off without you / Drive into the setting sun”. Sonically, it’s a pop rock track with a solid blend of guitars and drums underlying Victor’s vocals.
NICO – “La fel și eu”
Eurovision 2008 singer Nico brings us the pop rock song “La fel și eu” (“So do I”), complete with guitar solo halfway through. It’s a track all about perseverance and picking yourself up when you’re down. The Romanian star asks listeners to stay strong and keep aiming for success: “Promise me you will succeed / When you look at yourself in the mirror / Hmm, you’re more than you think / Teach me to love you first”.
Michael Rice – “Wasted Youth”
Michael Rice was inspired by his school days for his new single “Wasted Youth”. At least, the time he spent with friends outside of school rather than the education itself. The UK’s Eurovision 2019 star sings about living in the moment and the connections he made with friends: “I can’t hide it / You can’t fight it / All we’ve got is you and I […] Can we do it again / Wasted youth”. Michael talked more about the inspiration for the song on social media:
“I wrote ‘Wasted Youth’ about growing up as a teenager. Myself & my friends would meet up after school on a Friday and we’d all go to a hill & look over our town & see all the lights, play music, mess around and make the best memories. Those were the best days of my life, so I had to make a song about it! When we are young we are like rebels, we have no fear or responsibilities, we live in the moment and that’s what I really wanted to capture in the lyrics of this song.”
Izza – “Silence”
Izza may be better known to Eurovision fans as Levina – Germany’s representative for Eurovision 2017. The star has since gone through a rebrand and her latest single under this new name is “Silence”. The single discusses the feelings that come along with a relationship, and how it’s OK that things might not work out: “I don’t want to smile / Pretend I’m fine, before I lie to you / And I don’t need us both / To make the most out of me and you”. It’s a song of two parts: it starts off stripped back with Izza’s vocals over minimal production; later on, extra drums, guitar and harmonies are added in to build the song. This transition represents the story of the single, as Izza noted in a recent interview with Wonderland magazine:
“We wanted to make an emotional and quite stripped back song that shows the contradiction of the way we can feel sometimes. The lyrics of the chorus are quite vulnerable and we wanted to show this in the production too – so it’s basically just the vocal without much instrumentation. But at 2:19 minutes it all changes, and it goes big. I wanted almost like a rocky vibe – a release of all these vulnerable emotions. Letting go of all the thoughts and just accept that emotions can be messy and that’s okay.”
VAL – Pauza
Eurovision 2020 contestants VAL have returned to release their first bit of new music in about twelve months, bar the NAVIBAND collaboration on the single “Volnyja sny” earlier this year. The Belarusian duo have treated us to more than just a single, they’ve released their second EP, titled Pauza (Pause). The extended play contains three Russian-language tracks: “Pauza” (“Pause”), “Proshay” (“Farewell”) and “Pustyak” (“Guy”). In this EP, they return to their more ambient dance style, similar to their first EP V moey komnate and their Eurovision song “Da vidna”. (Renske)
Demy, Sigma & Grandbois – “ELA”
Eurovision 2017 star Demy has released the single “ELA” (“Come”). The Greek singer has collaborated with rapper Sigma and music producer Grandbois for the song. It’s mostly sung in Greek, but they do also throw in a couple of lines in Italian and Spanish, with Demy asking her lover to spend time with her: “La vita bella / Come to me / Look me in the eyes / Boast everything and come”. Sonically, it’s a solid Greek pop song with a touch of traditional instrumentation in the background.
Michał Szpak – “Hiob”
“This is the first song I have ever dared to write”, notes Michał Szpak. The polish singer adds songwriter to his CV with the tender and raw single “Hiob”. Michał is accompanied by a piano and a second voice that has been digitally processed. The music video features clips of the Eurovision 2016 star singing at the piano and also submerged in a lily pad pond.
Sébastien Tellier – “Feels Like Summer”
Sébastien Tellier’s summer single is not as cheery and upbeat as those from other artists. Instead, the French singer has released a cover of Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer”. Tellier takes the steady hip-hop track and switches in his electronica musical style. The Eurovision 2008 alum recorded the song at the start of summer 2020, as noted in the audio video’s description:
“[Sébastien Tellier’s] very personal take recalls the haziness of a particularly troubled summer at the time, and the luminous melancholy that he shares with Childish Gambino.”
Intars Busulis, Asnate Rancāne & Aurēlija Rancāne – “Dancotāji”
On 23 and 24 June, Latvians celebrate Līgo Day and Jāņi Day, an annual festival for the summer solstice. To coincide with this year’s event, Eurovision 2009 star Intars Busulis released the song “Dancotāji” (“Dancers”) alongside sisters Asnate and Aurēlija Rancāne. The track is clearly inspired by traditional Latvian sounds and the sisters perform in a more folk style (similar to white voice).
Daniel Kajmakoski – “Glumim da volim (2021)”
Daniel Kajmakoski recently appeared on Serbian TV show Studio, where artists from across the Balkans record and perform previous hits in new arrangements. For his appearance, the North Macedonian star sang “Glumim da volim” (“I pretend to love”). Daniel delivered a spirited version of the song with electronic flourishes. Stood on a podium, the Eurovision 2015 singer had one screen behind him and two other projection screens either side.
Jonatan Cerrada – “Stay”
“[23 June] is my brother’s birthday and also the date that I chose to share with you this song that I wrote for him. It’s a tribute to all the people that we have lost and that we truly miss.” Jonatan Cerrada is opening up with his new single. Mixing acoustic guitar, piano and string instrumentation, “Stay” is a ballad that France’s Eurovision 2004 star delivers with a breathy vocal line. In the lyrics, Jonatan wishes that he could have spent more time with his brother: “I reach for you / But you were gone by morning […] Our dreams were meant to win / Hold on / Just wanted you to stay / Just for one day”.
Laura Rizzotto – “Strangers”
From strangers, to lovers, and back to strangers again. That’s the storyline of Laura Rizzotto’s new single. Latvia’s Eurovision 2018 star sings a break-up song to her partner and declares that she’s got to put herself first for the time being: “I want you / To know that I gave you all that I had / But I don’t want to / Lead you on and leave you like that”. Musically, it’s a gentle indie ballad with a consistent acoustic guitar melody underneath. The song is written and produced by an entirely female team, which Laura excitedly shared on social media:
“So excited to finally share this song made by a 100% FEMALE team! In a male dominated industry (no shade, I love working with my boys) I can’t help but feel extra love for this project for highlighting the collaborative power of these ground breaking, insanely talented and hard working women.”
Boris Novković – “Ljeto je”
Boris Novković’s latest single is “Ljeto je” (“It’s summer”). Croatia’s Eurovision 2005 representative brings us a summery soft rock song that has a saxophone solo two-thirds of the way through. Boris sings about being with his lover in the season’s hot temperatures: “And I need you in summer and winter / More and more somehow it seems / When you are with me the world stops / While I love you at plus thirty-five”. The accompanying music video features Boris and the saxophonist lounging around by a pool. Though, the star noted on social media that he stepped out of his comfort zone for the costume choices:
“For the first time in my career, I was persuaded to wear bright and open colours. Red Hawaiian and blue swimsuits were a challenge for me, since I’ve spent my entire career in black and mostly dark colours.”
Il Volo & Paula Fernandes – “Grande Amore”
Il Volo claimed third place at Eurovision 2015 with their entry “Grande Amore”. Recently, the Italian operatic trio released a new version of the song, which features Brazilian singer Paula Fernandes. Paula adds a new flavour to the song by bringing in some Portuguese lyrics. Otherwise, the production remains much the same and the song is still as powerful six years later.
Gebrasy – “Resolution”
Pabandom iš Naujo! 2021 runner-up Gebrasy has released his first English-language song since his Eurovision 2021 bid “Where’d You Wanna Go?”. The singer-songwriter and English graduate from Kaunas sings about an archetypal runaway story in his newest track “Resolution”. The music video and song somewhat remind of the work of The Common Linnets, featuring classic country elements. In the song’s first verse, Gebrasy discusses the desire to leave and build a new life: “I’ve said goodbye to all my friends / I don’t know how this story ends / But I’ve packed all my things, keep on moving”. (Renske)
Click on the links below to read our individual articles on other new music released in the past week by Eurovision and national final stars:
Elena Tsagrinou & Dimitris Tatarakis – “Telika I Zoi Sinehizetai”
Fabrizio & Claudia Faniello – “Another Summer Night 2K21”
The Weather Girls – “Pride Strong” (prod. Jimmie Wilson)
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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