Category: Uncategorized

Serhat for San Marino 2019

Serhat for San Marino 2019

🇸🇲 San Marino 2019 / “Say Na Na Na”

Photograph by Cem Talu

Grand Final | 19th Place | 77 points

Semi Final 1 | 8th Place | 150 points | Qualified

Ahmet Serhat Hacıpaşalıoğlu, simply known by the mononym Serhat, is a Turkish singer who was chosen by SMRTV to return and represent San Marino at Tel Aviv 2019 with the song “Say Na Na Na”. After previously competing for the microstate at Stockholm 2016 with “I Didn’t Know”, and despite not qualifying, Serhat continued to build his career. Despite San Marino’s history of poor results at the contest, Serhat has achieved the third best results for the country, falling just behind four-time representative and San Marino’s sole one-time qualifier Valentina Monetta (San Marino 2012, 2013, and 2014, and with Jimmie Wilson in 2017).

“Say Na Na Na” invites the listener to celebrate the joy life despite the trying times they’re in, especially in the current climate. The lyrics say that no matter how hopeless things seem or how dark the road ahead may be, that you should embrace the beauty of life and there’s always a place for you here to be yourself. Serhat, under the condition he would compete for San Marino once again if he had the right song, wrote the track while in Cologne, and called SMRTV shortly after to confirm his return.

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Serhat had initially graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Istanbul before choosing to pursue a career in entertainment. He founded his own production studio, End Productions, and was the producer and host of Riziko!, the Turkish version of Jeopardy!, from 1994 to 2000. His international career blossomed with the success of the single “Total Disguise” in 2004, where the single charted 11th in Greece and later led to a remake of the song with Eurovision winner Helena Paparizou (Greece 2005) in 2018. After competing at Stockholm 2016, Serhat rereleased “I Didn’t Know” with Grammy nominee Martha Walsh, for which led to him being the first Eurovision artist to be on the US Billboard charts in over ten years.

Follow Serhat on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to Serhat’s extended discography, including “I Didn’t Know” and “Total Disguise”, on Spotify.

Victor Crone for Estonia 2019

Victor Crone for Estonia 2019

🇪🇪 Estonia 2019 / “Storm”

Photograph by Stina Kase

Grand Final | 20th Place | 76 points

Semi Final 1 | 4th Place | 165 points | Qualified

Victor Fritz-Crone, who has occasionally performed under the name Vic Heart, will represent Estonia with “Storm” at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the Estonian national final, Eesti Laul. Though he was born and raised in Sweden, Crone moved to America in his teens to study music before returning to Europe. He had attempted to represent Sweden by competing in Melodifestivalen in 2015, but lost in the second chance round. He then latered moved to Estonia, where he began to release the occasional single.

“Storm” was intentionally written to be open to interpretation, as it’s lyrics are vague and unassuming. But Crone states that, generally, the song revolves surviving hardship and working through to what lies beyond it.

Crone comes from Österåker and was born into a musically inclined family, though he did not embrace his own talent until his teenage years. He then moved to the United States for a few years, writing music in Nashville, New York City, and Los Angeles. Returning to Sweden, Crone competed in Melodifestivalen 2015 with the song “Det rår vi inte för”, though he did not win. The following year he met Stig Rästa (with Elina Born, Estonia 2015), who convinced him to move to Estonia where he’s been ever since. Despite being a Swede by birth, the Estonian public have formed behind him as their representative at Tel Aviv 2019.

Watch “Storm” below and follow Victor Crone on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to his discography on Spotify.

Eliot for Belgium 2019

Eliot for Belgium 2019

🇧🇪 Belgium 2019 / “Wake Up”

Photograph by Wouter Struyf

Semi Final 1 | 13th Place | 70 points | Did Not Qualify

Eliot Vassamillet, who performs under Eliot, was chosen internally by Belgium‘s public broadcaster to represent the country with the song “Wake Up” at Tel Aviv 2019. He’s a relatively fresh voice, only having acquired national attention after appearing Belgian edition of The Voice, where he reached the live shows before being eliminated. Though he is still a high school student, he’s toured the country for several concerts.

“Wake Up” is particularly poignant for Eliot’s generation, as the song is a call for the youth of today to open their eyes to what the world has become and to come together and work to make it a better place. The song is written by Peter Dumoulin, who was behind Belgium 2017’s entry, “City Lights” by Blanche.

Eliot grew up in Mons, he was given his first guitar when he was seven and has studied music theory while in school. After appearing on The Voice in late 2018, Eliot was approached by Dumoulin and the two began to collaborate, with the first demos of “Wake Up” coming to light soon after. Between being in his senior, his girlfriend, and publicity work for Eurovision, Eliot’s last few months leading up to Tel Aviv 2019 have been rough with all his permitted absences being consumed by the contest.

Eliot, after having an initially rough first impression in his first public appearances with “Wake Up”, ultimately failed to qualify in the first semi final. With his Eurovision chapter behind, Eliot has since performed several concerts in Belgium and has continued to work on new music.

Watch “Wake Up” below, and follow Eliot on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to “Wake Up” on Spotify.

Kate Miller-Heidke for Australia 2019

Kate Miller-Heidke for Australia 2019

🇦🇺 Australia 2019 / “Zero Gravity”

Photograph by Jo Duck

Grand Final | 9th Place | 284 points

Semi Final 1 | 1st Place | 261 points | Qualified

Kate Miller-Heidke won the inaugural Eurovision: Australia Decides national final with the song “Zero Gravity” and will represent the country in their fifth year at the contest at Tel Aviv 2019. Boasting a broadcast musical skill set and being classically trained, Miller-Heidke has a broad discography covering the ground of pop, folk, and opera. Her accolades and performances are spread throughout the English-speaking world, having top charting albums in Australia, performing in New York operas, and working in British theaters.

“Zero Gravity” combines pop and opera in a crescendo meant to emulate the emotion of breaking free of depression and finally feeling yourself again. For Kate personally, the song is about her overcoming her post-natal depression and the wave of relief that came with it. The song has no music video, in part due to Miller-Heidke having split with her label nearly a decade ago and hasn’t produced a music video since, and instead the official video is her winning performance at Australia decides.

Miller-Heidke was trained at the Queensland Conservatorium, where she developed her vocal abilities as a classical singer. She is married and has one child. With four albums under her belt in addition to a ‘best of’ compilation, Miller-Heidke has a larger discography than most of her competing peers. Her album O Vertigo! was crowded funded, being the highest funded Australian music project at the time and debuted at four on the Australian charts. In addition, her second and third albums, Curiouser and Nightflight, both reached number two on the Australian charts.

She ultimately finished first in her semi-final, beating out runner-ups Lake Malawi and Hatari, and ultimately came in ninth in the Grand Final. During the Eurovision season, she was awarded by Hatari with their first Honorary Mallet and later won the prestigious Marcel Bezençon Award for best artist.

Watch “Zero Gravity” below, and follow Kate Miller-Heidke on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to O Vertigo!, Curiouser, Nightflight, and the rest of her discography on Spotify.