Dons has achieved countless accolades in his home country Latvia. But for years the right to sing at Eurovision evaded him — until now.

In February the 39-year-old singer handily won Supernova, the Latvian national final, with his emotional song “Hollow.” Despite the title, it’s chock full of raw emotion and comes with a story about finding your way in a world filled with traps and diversions.

“In our lives there are moments where you feel like a hostage to your own insecurities, demons, inner feelings, relationships, and views,” he told our William in his first English-language interview following his win. “There are so many truths and so many opinions about how you have to live your life instead of your own.”

Scroll down to read the “Hollow” lyrics

Latvia at Eurovision 2024: Dons with “Hollow”

Away from the stage he’s Artūrs Šingirejs. But on stage he is Dons, one of the most popular singers in Latvia. He is, without question, among the top acts in the country. Besides beautiful songs that speak for themselves, he’s won the Latvian Music Recording Awards’ Top Radio Hit award for most-played song of the year eight times and won Latvijas Radio’s Muzikālās Banka Song of the Year five times. 

Earlier in his career, he attempted to represent Latvia in Eurovision on two occasions. And both times he finished as the runner-up: first in 2010 with “My Religion is My Freedom”, and then again in 2014 with “Pēdējā Vēstule”, finishing just 97 votes short of the victory. Nevetheless, “Pēdējā Vēstule” won Song of the Year at both Muzikālās Banka and the Latvian Music Recording Awards.

After a decade those near misses led to a moonshot: “Hollow” was the landslide winner in Supernova 2024. It earned top marks from the jury and the televote, notching up twice as many votes as the runner-up. The Latvian version of the song, “Lauzto šķēpu karaļvalsts”, also snagged the aforementioned awards.

Dons told us that, in hindsight, it’s a blessing he didn’t get to Eurovision sooner. 

“Looking back, I don’t think I was ready or understood the seriousness behind this enormous festival of unity and the Eurovision family — how big it is. You have to be prepared for it. You have to have the right song. And I think in my case ‘Hollow’ is the right song.”

What do the “Hollow” lyrics mean?

Dons elaborated on the theme of entrapment and hard-earned freedom. Despite its tortured feelings, the song is a call to take charge and find hope in the darkness. 

“We’ve all been in those kinds of situations in our lives — where we’re in love and we never get love back. All you need is either a ray of hope, which you catch as a comet and it drags you out of struggle. Or you choose to quit and dig a hole, and you just go into that and give up.”

He wants listeners to keep on fighting.

“There’s always hope,” he says. “Because without hope I say we’re doomed. I feel that hope and the dialogue with whatever you name it — with the Almighty —  you’re asking for help in the moments when you’re down. I couldn’t sing a song without hope because it would be too depressing for me.”

Written during a songwriting camp in Spain, “Hollow” speaks about the emptiness of the world, and the urge to strive for more once you see that it’s not all despair out there. “It’s more like a hole in your shoulders or soul squeezed out by a lot of weight. When you melt. And all it takes is that last glimmer of hope for you to pick yourself up and breathe again until the next moment.”

“Hollow” lyrics — Dons (Latvia Eurovision 2024)

Don’t look now
Oh you’ll see me crying rivers I might drown
Don’t know how
Oh will I ever find my own way out

I don’t wanna lose me so cruelly
I’m drifting in and out of who I am
So help me understand

It’s killing me slow
Try to make me just another believer
Everybody just pretending they’re preachers, preachers
It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Instead of selling out to something so hollow, hollow

Not afraid
Oh to tell you all my sins I can’t escape
No I won’t change
Oh it’s like a bad disease that I can’t shake

I don’t wanna lose me so cruelly
I’m drifting in and out of who I am
So help me understand

It’s killing me slow
Try to make me just another believer
Everybody just pretending they’re preachers, preachers
It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Instead of selling out to something so hollow, hollow

(Never selling out to something so hollow)

It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Insteаd of selling out to something ѕo hollow

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Pauly
Pauly
20 days ago

This is a great song, his voice is awesome!!! I think Latvia will qualify, the song stands out from the rest uptempo ones. Juries will rank it high in the grand final.

Karl
Karl
20 days ago

It’s annoying how it sounds like “hallow” instead of “hollow”

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
19 days ago
Reply to  Karl

That might be down to the backing singers on the track?

Voilà monsieur
Voilà monsieur
21 days ago

If there were juries in the semis, I would be pretty confident that Latvia had a decent shot at qualifying (same with Sudden Lights last year).

Apricot stone
Apricot stone
21 days ago

It doesn’t stand out in any way. NQ, unfortunately.

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Apricot stone

It stands out among all the screaming and shouting, running around, “ethnic” entries, “girl bops”, “non-binary” persons wearing ridiculous costume. If this rightly makes the final will go top 10.

Rory
Rory
20 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

Why do you have “non binary” in quotes? What is ridiculous about Nemo’s song?

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Rory

Because I don’t really know what it means. From what I know, Nemo is intending to wear a dress.

Rory
Rory
19 days ago
Reply to  Jofty

You should probably educate yourself then, just because you don’t have the capacity to understand something doesn’t mean it’s “ridiculous”

Im so fab
Im so fab
21 days ago

Can we let Latvia go through please? I’m still buthurt about Aija…

Despicable Annie
Despicable Annie
21 days ago

I think this song has some of the best-written lyrics this year. A great piece about personal integrity.

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
22 days ago

Quality song.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
21 days ago
Reply to  ANDREW BROWN

shame the public won’t vote for quality anymore, but only novelty trash like winners like Europapa, Tattoo, Heroes, Rise Like a Phoenix

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

And Toy? Be consistent

Pauly
Pauly
20 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Troll account. Heroes Tattoo are not novelty acts. Rise Like a Phoenix was a serious song and Conchita gave us big vocals.

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Pauly

They must think Europapa will win; noooooo!

Rory
Rory
20 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

What is trash like about Tattoo? If you don’t like modern pop music why do you watch a show like Eurovision?

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
22 days ago

My interpretation of this song is that it is about breaking free of conversion therapy. Perhaps it wasn’t intentional, though I’m surprised that this hasn’t been picked up on so far.
I love the poignancy of this song, bravo.

Ari
Ari
22 days ago

I hope Latvia finally qualifies again. Another NQ is possible but would be as unfair as last year. Give them a break.

Marcus
Marcus
21 days ago
Reply to  Ari

Latvia became what Slovenia was for me during several years – quality songs that didn’t get the love they deserved.

esc_fl
esc_fl
21 days ago
Reply to  Marcus

And Slovenia only got better with the years. Here’s hoping Latvia does the same.

Pauly
Pauly
20 days ago
Reply to  Marcus

Slovenia lost it at some point and were sending boring and trash songs. I hope they keep up the momentum after 2023.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
21 days ago
Reply to  Ari

they don’t deserve a break after they gave us the most horrible winner in I Wanna

this ugly baldy deserves his career ended with a last place NQ

#VoteIsrael

Van der Graaf Generator
Van der Graaf Generator
21 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

Whilst I totally respect your opinion, I
actually find him quite handsome. Each to their own …

Im so fab
Im so fab
21 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

I was a better troll than you when I was 5. Try harder.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
21 days ago
Reply to  Im so fab

i just am in a bit of a depression, because i want to remain p.olitical correct regarding israel entry

i listen to Hollow yes, if staged right, he can do better than the other male ballad in the semi, Belgium (which i don’t know how that one will turn out on the stage) and i already know he won’t be last place lol, i am king of overreacting haha, that honour of last place goes to albania 😉

Jofty
Jofty
20 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

And Croatia do after Rock Me Baby?! You know your stuff but there is no need for personal insult.

NoMoreEscAddicted
NoMoreEscAddicted
22 days ago

Let’s go Dons, let’s go Latvia you have my support this year!

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
21 days ago

who even calls himself Dons lmao lmao

Jo.
Jo.
22 days ago

Underrated king, hope he qualifies

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
21 days ago
Reply to  Jo.

”underrated” more like overrated, his career should’ve ended longer time ago