|Vilija Mataciunaite was born in 1986. Rumor has it, that she was not screaming, but singing the day she was born. 2006 was the most productive year in Vilija's career. To begin with, she became a radio host in a national radio station "Lietus" as well as a debut album Mylek, which is about to become the platinum. The same year Vilija won 3rd place in an international competition held in Moldova – "The Crystal Stork". In the same year she graduated Jazz vocal studies at Vilnius College. In 2012 while she was living in UK, Vilija won 1st place in country singer competition "Melange Factor".|
|Blimey. She starts shouting "Attention"like a tutu-toting guard in the gulag. This is dire dubstep with added scat. Her bio says she was born singing, not screaming. Well at some point along the way she lost the singing bit, and reverted to screaming. It keeps up an impressive 2+ minutes of squaking fit, and has successfully kept up the national stereotype developed over many years of tuneless aggression (apart from '07). Right near the bottom of my list but will get some votes for being "modern", albeit being shite "modern".|
|Firelight is a Maltese
country folk pop band formed in June 2013. The driving force of Firelight
is 31 year old Richard Edwards, lead singer, author & composer. He plays
the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, acoustic guitar, & percussion. He
is joined by his sister, Michelle Mifsud (piano), & brothers Wayne William
(backing vocalist) & Daniel Micallef (acoustic guitar).
In 2005, while in the UK he got the chance to perform alongside Leona Lewis, Ray Quinn and other X Factor contestants. He got the thumbs up from the Simon Cowell and made it to the final 80. Firelight’s song Coming Home is a mix of pop, rock and folk rolled into one. Richard and thinks it should be especially poignant for the thousands of emigrants who travel across Europe for work, spending months away from their families.
|Not a country to look back upon themselves, the nurse of the Mediterranean have produced a WW1 promo video, and a song performed by Mumford & second cousins. Notable for the lead singer playing his woodwork GCSE project, "Coming Home" is not at all awful, just a bit "meh". The woman on the faded bontempi pretends to do her bit, and it's nice enough in a folksie kind-of way to make it to Saturday. Borderline but deserves to get through, where it will likely bomb.|
Cristina was born
on March 3rd, 1981 into a family with traditional music roots. From an
early age, music was Cristina’s constant companion. She plays piano
and violin. Cristina’s first education was a chorister and a conductor.
But her vocal abilities motivated her to continue her studies as a vocalist.
Being one of the most powerful voices of Moldova, Cristina is also a lead
singer of the Presidential Orchestra.
watched too much Game of Thrones? The pretence award has been wrestled
from the French and landed in the lap of Cristina: "What am I? Am
I human?" Well the jury's out on that.
Sergej's first appearance,
which occurred 28 years ago, can be taken, tentatively, as the official
beginning of an impressive musical career.
|I think Montenegro are getting the hang of this ESC malarkey. In a year inexplicably bereft of Balkan ballards, confident Sergej will be impressively belting out your archetypal Eastern rouser, replete with slow pacing, unidentifiable instrumentation, and big hand movements. But wait we've also got a roller blader in a tutu. Sophisticated gimmick! Even if he was to progress (and it wouldn't be a surprise if he did), his chances in the final will be badly hit by the noticeable lack of Balkan representation this year. Oh and there's a pint in it if you can spot the Doumbek.|
|Forming The Common Linnets,
Ilse DeLange and Waylon are two exceptional artists who have joined forces
to represent their country at the 2014 ESC with the song Calm After The
Storm. In fact, the two recently travelled to Nashville, Tennesee to prepare
for this honour.
Ilse and Waylon have known each other since they were teenagers, when they both played the country music circuit in Holland. Right from the beginning they shared a love for country and related genres like bluegrass, folk and Americana. The “common linnet” is a songbird that breeds on the heaths in the eastern part of The Netherlands. For Ilse and Waylon, who both hail from that part of the country, this unassuming little bird with its wonderful song is the perfect symbol of what they’re aiming for with their songs.
|My scrawled notes for this one were brief. It read, "dull, slow, tedious". So I'd better expand a tad. It's Country & Western from the Mid-Lowlands. You've got Native American war beat (god knows why), slide guitar backing track, soft Wynette-like voice from her (must be the upbringing in Almelo), and a fella wearing a hat with such a wide brim he looks Amish strutting his Fender Telecaster. The song is ok, but C&W tends to go down poorly in ESC , for the simple matter that the last time I checked a map, the US wasn't in Europe. An early no-hoper, momentum is truly now on it's side. I cannot accept Amsterdam 2015.|
|Carl Espen Thorbjørnsen
was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1982. Carl was raised by his mum, with his
two siblings. They lived on an island outside Bergen, called Osterøy.
Among his cousins, aunts and uncles, you can find the woman behind the song
Silent Storm, Carl’s cousin Josefin Winther, a London based artist
and songwriter born in Bergen in 1986.
As a young man Carl enrolled in the military, and served for six months in Kosovo. In his adult life Carl became a carpenter, specialising in frames and glass. For the past 12 years he has been working for different companies within this industry. He has also done a lot of volunteer work for cancer research, and at night has worked as a doorman at Bergen’s rock bar Garage.
Considering he's a bloke that looks like a carpenter (oh, just checked, he is a carpenter), he emotes as if his shed has developed woodworm. Which is a good thing since "Silent Scream" is pared down to its bare bones. It in the style of "Black" (remember them), but its a lot of all-white (Barrymoretm). There was real excitement during NF season amongst the damp fans but was then subsequently forgotten about in the general hubbub. But I think it's simply the best of the year. Sure it's melancholy, sure it's beyond simple but ahead of the rest in terms of quality, and is fully deserving of success. I've invested in the hope.
|In October 2013, the
famous Polish music producer Donatan and the singer Cleo released together
their hit My Slowianie. Their video clip has become popular on youtube where
it was viewed more than 40 million times.
Donatan is famous in Poland as a music producer. He created music for more than 50 albums. This album is a compilation of the traditional Slavic sounds with some rap elements.
“The Slavic blond girl with the Polish charm and a black voice," they say about Cleo. Cleo is a singer, songwriter, a chorus gospel girl and a painter. She is a woman with many faces, a chameleon discovered by Donatan.
|"Cream and butter tastes so good". Filth, utter unrefined filth. Love it! Add to that the promo video and if they can translate some of the flour-dashed cleavage and blatant phallic massage then I'm all for it. Rap has an extremely tortured ESC past, but when all said and done can 40 million Youtube hits be wrong? Probably. The English version means as always the message is widely & correctly appreciated as being trite shite, but around every May in my house ghetto turbo folk will always be welcome. Clap your hands, and leer freely.|
|Suzy was born in Figueira da Foz and has been active in showbizz since she was a kid as a member of the Children's band "Onda Choc". She performed on stage for the first time at the age of five and has gone on to have a successful career ever since! In late 1999, she released the hit song Nesta Noite Branca. This year she was invited by producer Emanuel to perform his song at the 2014 Portuguese national selection, Festival da Canção. The composer, Emanuel become a phenomenon as an artist with the song Pimba, Pimba which sold in excess of 500,000 copies in the first six months alone! The media called the new movement "Pimba music", which made Emanuel one of the few people to have their name in the Portuguese Language Dictionary. Fun fact: Suzy currently lives in Dubai!|
|I'm getting so long in the tooth you would think I'd be bitter when faced with usual muck the Portuguese churn out once they can be bothered to turn up. But no! There's something strangely warming about welcoming back the tragic generic pop-tat forced horror show, replete with big drums, an felt-tipped extra from Mad Max beyond the Thunderdome, and a game-bird gyrating from side to side desperately attempting to hold a note for more than 3 seconds. It's Fast Show-tastic, and it will of course finish as flat as that last high note. But who cares. Rejoice in this almost existential rubbish.|
|Paula Seling is a romanian
singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, performer,TV personality
and entertainer. She was invited to open the concerts for Beyonce (2007),
Michael Bolton (2007), Chick Corea (1998), Joan Baez (1997). She is an outspoken
supporter of personal freedoms, individual rights and human rights, an inspiration
to young people and through her style, grace and humility she provides an
example for all of us.
OVI is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer and musician who feels most at home when he's performing. The ability to connect with his audience almost instantly is backed by many years of entertaining people. Think of him a bit of a modern Billy Joel. In 2010 he wrote Playing With Fire and sang it in duet with Paula Seling at the ESC, finishing 3rd.
|Never go back they say. The anals of ESC are littered with returnees discarded like the arrogant garbage, so it's with a degree of relief that delightful Paula and little Ovi have a barely passable piano based Eurodance number. It is loaded with gimmick, not least the feline hamster Seling herself, who is allowed free rein to belt out a staggering middle-8 wail which she somehow carries off without Fido going crackers. Other gimmicks include Ovi's ridiculous round piano and (spolier alert) a super hologram beginning which is all very futuristic, but now! May well win the semi, but won't win the Final.|
|Eurovision fans remember
the Tolmachevy Twins from 2006 when the girls, at the age of nine, won the
Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest. The twin sisters Anastasia
and Maria Tolmachevy are from Kursk, a small town 500 km away from Moscow,
where they are living now. They are 17 years old now and are graduating
from the middle school this year.
In 2007, Russia 1 Channel broadcast the documentary film about their 2006 success and in the same year, they stared in the New Year`s Eve television musical Kingdom Of Crooked Mirrors where they sang together with Alla Pugacheva. The sisters also released their album Polovinki (The Halves). Anastasia and Maria took part in the opening act of the First Semi-Final of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
|The Twins from Kursk have similarly prominent gums to Ms Monetta. They have also been conjoined by the hair but don't fret, a quick bit of surgery midst performance and all is well. But what Russian doctors can't seem to fix is the propensity for their singers to be unecessarily breathy. Basically more carefully manufactured pop tat; a message of love which may stick slightly in some craws (boo alert), and with some strong singing allied with clemency for the see-saw shite, this will likely get near the top 10. Or if you believe politics and ESC mix (wrong) you could give them both a kick in the Urals by vetoing the song.|