Tag: ESCapade

Conan Osiris for Portugal 2019

Conan Osiris for Portugal 2019

Photograph by Royal Contemporary

Portugal 🇵🇹 2019 | “Telemóveis” (English: Mobile Phones)

Semi Final 1 |15th Place | 51 points | Did Not Qualify

Tiago Miranda, known by his stage name Conan Osiris, won Portugal‘s annual song festival and national selection process Festival da Canção 2019, making him the representative of his country at Tel Aviv 2019 with his song “Telemóveis”.

Born in Lisbon, Osiris grew up learning and teaching himself music. He was part of the group Powny Star before splitting after one EP, starting his solo career shortly after. After composing and singing several songs for fashion shows he released his solo EP, Silk, in 2014 and then later released debut album, Música Normal, in 2016. His sophomore album, Adora Bolos, released in 2018, and was invited by RTP shortly thereafter to compete at Festival da Canção 2019.

“Telemóveis” is song reflective of our time, combining our attachment to our cellphones with the untranslatable Portuguese term “saudade” (meaning that something is or feels missing). The song addresses society’s emotional reliance on their phone and access to their phones and how our world is how often condensed into our mobile devices.

Watch “Telemóveis” below, and follow Conan Osiris on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to his newest album, Adora Bolos, and the rest of his discography on Spotify.

KEiiNO for Norway 2019

KEiiNO for Norway 2019

Photograph by Julia Marie Naglestad

Norway 🇳🇴 2019 / “Spirit in the Sky”

Grand Final | 6th | 330 points

Semi Final 2 | 7th | 210 points| Qualified

KEiiNO, a pop supergroup consisting of Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan, and Tom Hugo, won Norway’s national selection process, Melodi Grand Prix, with the song “Spirit in the Sky” and will represent their country at Tel Aviv 2019. The group came together in late 2018 and debuted themselves in January 2019, with Rotan and Buljo both coming from collaborative works with other people and Hugo having had a solo career in Norway and Sweden and as a songwriter.

Hugo, having written songs for J-pop and K-pop stars and maintaining his own solo career, began writing Keiino’s debut track in the summer of 2018 with his husband. In the process, Hugo brought Rotan, whom he had wanted to work with, and Buljo, an ethnic-Sami singer, to complete writing the track. While the group did intend to go to Melodi Grand Prix with the “Spirit in the Sky”, they did not intend for their journey together end there and have released a handful of singles in preparation for a debut album since Tel Aviv 2019.

Spirit in the Sky” is rooted in traditional Sami culture, with its message reflecting the need to be who you are no matter your gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. While the song’s lyrics recant the struggles of fighting to be who you are and looking for a light to go on, the title lyric is the helping spirit animal, an aspect of Sami beliefs, that serves as a guiding line in the darkness. The song features the unique combination of modern electronic pop and traditional joik, a singing style of the Sami people.

Though they performed poorly amongst the jury voters, KEiiNO won the audience televote in both their semi final and in the grand final.

Follow KEiiNO on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Listen to their extended discography on Spotify.

Tulia for Poland 2019

Tulia for Poland 2019

Photo by Grzegorz Gołębiowski

Poland 🇵🇱 2019 / “Fire of Love (Pali Się)”

Semi Final 1 | 11th | 120 points | Did Not Qualify

Polish folk band Tulia, consisting of Joanna Sinkiewicz, Dominika Siepka, Patrycja Nowicka, and Tulia Biczak, were announced by Poland‘s public broadcaster TVP to have been selected to represent their country at Tel Aviv 2019 with a mixed-language version of their single, “Pali Się”.

The band formed in late 2017 and were named after one of their members, Tulia Biczal. Tulia, the band, quickly rose to fame after a cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” went viral. The group later recorded a music video for their cover and began their rise to fame in Poland from there. With there dark, fantastical representation of traditional Polish garb, Tulia’s self-titled debut album launched them skyward in the public eye in May 2018. In December 2019, Tulia was announced as Poland’s Tel Aviv 2019 representative after their song “Pali Się” was submitted months earlier by their label.

Pali Się” was adapted into “Fire of Love (Pali Się)“, mixing Polish lyrics with English in the traditional Slavic “white singing”, a hard-to-master open throat and full voice style of song. With dark modern folk instrumention, Pali Się is a song about how even how cold and alone one’s heart is, it can be lit anew with the titular fire of love.

Following their Eurovision performance, Joanna Sinkiewicz announced her departure from Tulia in the late summer, with her later announcing her attendance at a music academy in Szczecin.

Follow Tulia on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to their self-titled debut album on Spotify.

Sergey Lazarev for Russia 2019

Sergey Lazarev for Russia 2019

Photograph by Daniil Velichko

Russia 🇷🇺 2019 / “Scream”

Grand Final | 3rd | 370 points

Semi Final 2 |6th| 217 points

Pop star Sergey Vyacheslavovich Lazarev returns to represent Russia again at Eurovision, three years after finishing first in the public televote and third overall at Stockholm 2016, being internally selected with the song “Scream” to compete at Tel Aviv 2019. A former boyband member, Sergey Lazarev is a major pop star in Russia and is adored by Eurovision fans.

Getting his career’s start as a part of the award winning boy band Smash!!, Lazarev split his solo career off from the band in 2004 and continued to see his popularity soar. With six albums and over sixty singles under his belt, Lazarev has one of the most expansive discographies of any recent Eurovision artist. Though he represents Russia and is deeply proud of his country, he is also openly critical of it, expressing solidarity with Russia’s queer community when the country enacted their anti-gay propaganda law and disavowing the forced Crimean annexation. His appearance and top finish at Stockholm 2016 with “You Are The Only One” only further endeared him to greater Europe, and he is poised to do much the same at Tel Aviv 2019.

“Scream” was written and composed to showcase a more emotional and human Lazarev, against the sensual and idealistic one he showcased at Stockholm 2016. Produced by Phillip Kirkorov, the song has all the hallmarks of a dramatic stage show.

Follow Sergey Lazarev on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to “You Are The Only One” and his extended discography on Spotify.

John Lundvik for Sweden 2019

John Lundvik for Sweden 2019

🇸🇪 Sweden 2019 / “Too Late for Love”

Photograph by Sotarn

Grand Final | 5th Place | 334 points

Semi Final 1 | 3rd Place | 238 points | Qualified

John Lundvik, a singer, songwriter, composer and former athlete, competed in and won Sweden‘s popular Melodifestivalen music festival with his song “Too Late for Love” and thus will represent the Scandinavian country at Tel Aviv 2019. He came in third in Melodifestivalen in 2018 and boasts a number of writing credits across Europe.

“Too Late for Love” is a gospel pop song that is relatively self explanatory. The song’s lyrics largely revolve around Lundvik speaking to someone who’s in a dark place and encourages them that he will be by their side to bring light to their proverbial abyss.

Born in London, Lundvik was put in foster care until he was adopted by Swedish parents and moved to Sweden. He was previously a sprinter, competing in races and relays before he turned to music. With numerous writing credits to his name, some of his more notable songs include Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling’s wedding song and fellow competitor Michael Rice‘s entry for the United Kingdom.

Watch “Too Late for Love” below, and follow John Lundvik on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to his discography on Spotify.

Ester Peony for Romania 2019

Ester Peony for Romania 2019

🇷🇴 Romania 2019 / “On a Sunday”

Photograph by Cat Music

Semi Final 2 | 13th Place | 71 points | Did Not Qualify

Ester Alexandra Crețu, who performs under the name Ester Peony, is the representative for Romania at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the national selection process Selecția Națională 2019 with her song “On a Sunday”.

Watch “On a Sunday” below, and follow Ester Peony on Instagram and Facebook. Listen to her debut EP, Dig It, on Spotify.

Jonida Maliqi for Albania 2019

Jonida Maliqi for Albania 2019

🇦🇱 Albania 2019 / “Ktheju Tokës” (English: Return to Your Land)

Photograph by Edvina Meta

Grand Final | 17th Place | 90 points

Semi Final 2 | 9th Place | 96 points | Qualified

Jonida Maliqi is a pop singer with a long history as both a solo artist, theater actress, and presenter in Albania, and with her first victory at Festivali I Këngës with “Ktheju Tokës” in December, she won the right to represent her country at Tel Aviv 2019. She’s a veteran at the long running Festivali I Këngës, participating several times since her debut in 1996 at thirteen years old to hosting the show in 2010. Beyond her musical career, Maliqi is one of Albania’s most popular celebrities and is a known fashion and trend influencer in the country.

Ktheju Tokës“, in Maliqi’s own words, is a song about returning to your roots. The song was written in response to the current migration crisis in Europe and in personal response to Albanian emigration, and is primarily about not forgetting where you came from and your culture. Maliqi, who herself is a very patriotic person, implores that we not forget who we are or where we came from even if we find ourselves somewhere among others.

Maliqi has been involved with music since a very young age, studying violin and piano for several years and performing at numerous festivals and events in Albania. Her second entry in Festivali I Këngës in 1999, before Albania even began participating in Eurovision, reached second place and helped cement her national career.

Follow Jonida Maliqi on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to more of her discography on Spotify.

Luca Hänni for Switzerland 2019

Luca Hänni for Switzerland 2019

🇨🇭 Switzerland 2019 / “She Got Me”

Photograph by SRF and Lukas Maeder

Grand Final | 4th Place | 364 points

Semi Final 1 | 4th Place | 232 points | Qualified

Luca Hänni has been chosen internally by Switzerland‘s public broadcaster SRF to represent the country at Tel Aviv 2019 with his song “She Got Me”. He is an accomplished singer and dancer, winning the German edition of Idol, Deutschland sucht den Superstar, and  competing several reality competitions. With four albums under his belt and a successful modeling career, among other side projects, Hanni is well prepped to be a favorite at Tel Aviv.

“She Got Me” is a well-choreographed uptempo Europop song, detailing a sensual encounter with a woman that brings the two to a proverbial dance floor. The song was written between Hänni and a group of writers at a song writing bootcamp, and was designed to showcase a broad range of Hanni’s talents. 

Born in Bern, Hänni originally had begun work to be a bricklayer, but relied on music as his backup plan has the labor demand fell through. Competing on Deutschland sucht den Superstar at the age of 17, Hänni became the youngest and first non-German to win the show. His debut single, “Don’t Think About Me”, peaked at the top of the charts in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, and his debut album, I Am Luca, did much the same in Switzerland and Germany. His success was followed with his next three albums, Living the Dream, Dance Until We Die, and When We Wake Up, each released one year after another. He later won in the German dance competition Dance Dance Dance in 2017 and competed in the German edition of Ninja Warrior. Additionally, he designs clothes, models, and publishes his own magazine. Tel Aviv will not be Hänni’s first Eurovision experience, as he served as Switzerland’s spokesperson at Kiev 2017. 

Follow Luca Hänni on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to his extended discography on Spotify.

Leonora for Denmark 2019

Leonora for Denmark 2019

🇩🇰 Denmark 2019 / “Love is Forever”

Photograph by Thomas Cato

Grand Final | 12th Place | 120 points

Semi Final 1 | 10th Place | 94 points | Qualified

Leonora Colmor Jepsen, known simply as Leonora, will represent Denmark at Tel Aviv 2019 after winning the Danish national final Dansk Melodi Grand Prix with the song “Love is Forever”. She grew up north of Copenhagen and is an accomplished figure skater and songwriter, though her performances have been at local public venues. “Love is Forever” is her first proper single, and will the first song to bring back the Danish language in over ten years.

The title of “Love is Forever” is the core of its song, as the lyrics stare that love is something that brings us all together and is inside each of us. Leonora brings together several languages in the closing verses of the song, echoing the message the love is for all of us.

Leonora was born and raised Hellerup, a small town north of Copenhagen, and has spent most of her years as a professional ice skater. She’s participated in the Danish Junior Champion competition, the Nordic Championship, and the World Junior Championships. Having since retired from figure skating, bar some choreography, Leonora has moved on to pursue music, staring with Eurovision.

Follow Leonora on Instagram. Listen to “Love is Forever” on Spotify.

Srbuk for Armenia 2019

Srbuk for Armenia 2019

🇦🇲 Armenia 2019 / “Walking Out”

Photograph by AMPTV

Semi Final 2 | 16th Place | 49 points | Did Not Qualify

Srbuk, who’s real name is Srbuhi Sargsyan, was chosen internally and announced as Armenia‘s representative by AMPTV for Tel Aviv 2019 in late 2018, the first artist to be announced. Her song, “Walking Out”, was the last song to be revealed for the contest. She first came to light when competing in X-Factor Armenia and was apart of the band Allusion before splitting off to her solo career in 2016.

“Walking Out” follows the breaking point of an abusive, burdensome love that you invested so much into with so little return. Srbuk prompts answerless questions about her own worth and if she’s willing to put up with endless stream of pain in relationship in the verses, whereupon in the chorus she finds the strength to break it all off and focus on moving on.

Srbuk, while still a relatively fresh artist, has worked with music since she was young, studying at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan. Upon becoming the runner-up of X-Factor Armenia in 2011 saw her career take off. She founded the band Allusion afterwards to play with her at gigs, and later released the single “Yete Karogh Es” (Եթե կարող ես) (English: If You Can) in 2016. In 2018, she competed in the Voice of Ukraine, finishing fourth, and released her second single “Half a Goddess”.

Watch “Walking Out” below, and follow Srbuk on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Listen to “Yete Kerogh Es” and “Half a Goddess” on Spotify.