Thursday, September 28, 2017


Belgium has revealed its artists for the Eurovision song contest 2018 in Lisbon, being the very first one doing so and it's Laura Groeseneken. She's 27 year old singer-songwriter and keyboard player.


Reigning Eurovision champion RTP has chosen the composers for the national selection Festival da Canção 2018. Just like this year, after their relaunched the contest, they have chosen composers to come up with a song, who can choose the artist for the song. This year Luisa Sobral was chosen, she wrote Amar pelos dois and chose her brother Salvador to sing it and the rest is history.
This blogger is very excited to see Diogo Piçarra in the list, an Eurovision wish for years already. Now fingers crossed he decides to perform his own song! Other names are from Eurovision veteram Josè Cid to rapper Capicua. 

Salvador and Luisa also had a chance to pick up one and chose Janeiro, and Onis was selected through a radio selection amongst new composers without any releases so far, Serrado and Dias were picked among the 346 open submission for any Portuguese or authors living in Portugal. Overall the demand was so high RTP in the end picked up 26 composers instead of 20; 13 for each semifinal and 7 will reach the final. 

Aline Frazão, Armando Teixeira, Benjamim, Bruno Cardoso aka Xinobi, Capicua, Diogo Clemente, Diogo Piçarra, Francisco Rebelo, Fernando Tordo (ESC 73, 77),  Isaura, João Afonso, Jorge Palma, José Cid (ESC 80, 98), JP Simões, Júlio Resende, Mallu Magalhães, Miguel Ângelo, Minta (Francisca Cortesão), Nuno Rafael, Paulo Flores, Paulo Praça, Tito Paris, Janeiro , Daniela Onis, Peter Serrado, Rita Dias

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Cyprus returns to national final format after milking dry the last one staged in 2015. Then  the winner Giannis Karagiannis went to Eurovision, as did 3rd placed Minus One the year after, and 4th placed Hovig this year! And what about the runner up Panagiotis Kufogiannis? Well, he went on to win X Factor Greece this summer! Quite a cast!
So, for the Eurovision 2018 they will once again stage a talent search where Cypriots and anyone with Cypriot origins is welcome to take part. 
The song for Lisbon 2018 will be written and produced by Alex P. aka Alex Papaconstantinou, who is no stranger to Eurovision having already co-written/produced Always (Azerbaijan 2009), Yassou Maria (Greece 2007), La la love (Cyprus 2012) as well as some songs to worldwide stars like Marc Anthony's Grammy winning  Vivir mi vida, Enrique Iglesias' Billboard #1 I like how it feels and Jennifer Lopez's Live it up, but also this forgotten favorite from Melodifestivalen, Roma!
The past two years Cyprus has bought the song from Swedish guru Thomas G:son, without getting much for their money except a final place as both ended 21st. 

Monday, September 25, 2017


Fashion Icon. That's not what comes to mind when thinking of Céline Dion really is it? Icon perhaps but certainly not fashion one. But weird things happen and the somewhat glumsy, glum and ordinary looking housewife with a lot of money but no style kind of Céline has transformed herself this year.
Six months after the death of her husband she hired Law Roach has her stylist. Roach says she has no fear and they both don't care what people think. The restyling has also helped Dion in her grieving process and rebooting her career. Like it or dislike it, she won't go unnoticed anymore. Watch out Lady Gaga, there's a new crazy in town! Check out below some of her styles over the past few months that have sent Vogue and the fashion world into frenzy. 
Below Céline as we used to know her..... ;-p


Michele Bravi has released already third single and video of his latest album, Diamanti. Beware, the chorus is a real earworm!
Alexia returns with Fragile fermo immagine. It's the third single of her latest album. Isn't it time she returns to Sanremo (and does Eurovision?) 
Giusy Ferreri with Federico Zampaglione deliver L'Amore mi perseguita. Another great track from this artists I may have negletted over the years. This latest album is a HIT. Fantastic track. And congrats Giusy, a fresh mother of Beatrice, born September 10
L'Estate sta finendo, or Summer is ending. Yes indeed. And Francesco Guasti has made a cover of this Righeira cover, featuring the original singer Johnson Righeira. Maybe not as boombastic as the original but with the same melancholy..... 


Francesco Gabbani released limited vinyl edition of Pachidermi e pappagalli
Saade has a photo shoot before Så mycket bättre stars airing
Robin Stjernberg looking fashionable in his new neighbourhood
Faniello bros having a good times
As are Nathan and Miruna
Miruna also looks gorgeous in the sun
as does Kurt Calleja in gorgeous Maltese setting
and Imri in Thailand
and Lindita in US
and Måns Z in Santorini
and Joci.... errr..... ok
In other news Helena P promotes Bioten
Lordi shows the incredients for the 9th stuido album
Isaiah got his first car
Kristian met the unnameble
La Zilli relaxed before the release of a new single
Omar got a doggy fan
Hovig has a pose with pots
and Levina sums up this past week.
Have a good one!

Saturday, September 23, 2017


It's been widely reported the Portuguese Eurovision song contest 2017 winner Salvador Sobral had to put his career on hold and concentrate on his health problems late this summer. Now the news are getting worse: After his initial stay in hospital he was able to go back home, but these past few days he had to be urgently readmitted to the Santa Cruz hospital near Lisbon and is currently in intensive care. It is also said he can only have three visitors a day, and only one person at the time and his condition "very delicate".
His health problems were first evident during the Portuguese national selection, and in between the semifinal and the final he already had another operation and visit to the hospital. After his win he did no promotion whatsoever, and with the special permit from EBU did not attend the first technical rehearsals (instead her sister and writer of his song took his place on stage) and made his first appearance in Kyiv only at the Red Carpet and Welcome Party. The rumours about his condition spread and were also ridiculated by some as not true but as a gimmick to get attention. Nothing was really confirmed by his team about his need for a heart transplant or else either.
After winning Eurovison he hasn't travelled the Europe either, but only had a series of concerts in Portugal, the last ones were cancelled and instead he announced he had to put his career on hold via a Youtube video (September 5) and that he would be giving his last concert on September 8. 
Since then the said visit to hospital to get all ready for the transplant and to rest, and now the past few days the seriousness of his condition. He is said to be calm and positive about finding a suitable donor in time, despite the urgency. A compatible donor will have to have the same blood type, weight and height as Sobral aged only 27, as well as a form of genetic compatibility to minimise the possibilities that the transplant could end up being rejected. The most likely donor will be a road traffic accident victim, as it is not common that someone under the age of 50 could (otherwise) be a donor. Successful transplants can see patients return to lead a normal life, with survival rates five years in the region of 75%.
More feelings, less fireworks for Salvador now.

Friday, September 22, 2017



So it seems. According Italian media but still waiting or the official confirmation. Besides being the Artistic Director Claudio Baglioni will also be hosting the 68th festival of Sanremo in February. But he won't be alone but will have a different co-host(s) every night, and most likely they all will return for the Grand final. 
If I have some doubts about Baglioni as Artistic Director - makes me think that his musical taste and line of selection will be more like: "Al Banos in, Baby Ks out" - but I hope he will surprise me and have a valid and varied cast of old and new artists, very popular and some less popular ones to create a nice mix of ballads and uptempo. 
To follow up Carlo Conti's three succesful years won't be easy. Not only did Conti present a string of hits and worthy Eurovision entries (nothing has been officially yet said about the Sanremo winner once again going to Eurovision, but Rai has confirmed Lisbon 2018), he also managed to increse the audience share every year from 48,6% to 49,6% and finally top it all this year with 50,7%.
Claudio Baglioni (66) will celebrate his 50th anniversary in business next year.
Baglioni has done some variety television before. In 1997 he did Anima mia with Fabio Fazio, and last year special night Capitani coraggiosi with Gianni Morandi, and his own concert special. 
In 2009 he released a double duets album Q.P.G.A.. including most everyone, from Alice to Battiato. Hopefully he gets them involved in Sanremo, too :-)
Good luck Claudio!


Mikko Leppilampi, the host of Eurovision song contest 2007 
in Helsinki, turns 39 today.

Mikko shot to the fame when he landed his first movie role back in 2003 and besides getting the lead role he also won Jussi award aka the Finnish Oscar for it. In the next years he did 9 more films and a musical before he landed the hosting role in the 2007 Eurovision song contest next to Jaana Pelkonen. Since then he has done 17 more films, acted in seven tv-series, released an album as a singer, and hosted a variety of top tv-series from Dancing with stars to various top award and gala evenings, and countless visits to other series either as a host or a guest. In one word: he's been on screen ever since!
Even in ads....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Amir has released the video for his latest, and first offering from his second album Addictions to be released on October 27. États d'amour musically continues the familiar Amir sound from his first album and is catchy as catchy can be. The video literally goes through various states and seasons of love as he moves in with his fiancee. The story goes through emotions with an artistic choreography....  Maybe he isn't the greatest dancer but he's adorable anyways  and the song's another goodie .-)
Here's also the Making of video....


It's September and the Eurovision 2018 season is officially on. I will feature in coming days names that could be in UMK18, if only...... I say if only, as most likely we won't see any of them in there for UMK is profilied as a newcomers contest instead of being our own Sanremo or Melodifestivalen. In short: a major contest all the big names want to take part not only to win but to boost their record sales and score hits. But one can dream, right? I have thrown in some not so known names for variety. Let's go.... Vol.11 Check out the previous posts by scrolling down.

JVG came to success in 2011 with Häissä, a song that topped all various charts and was easily the biggest hit of summer 2011. Since then they have released five albums and 14 Top-5 singles and have won five Emma (aka Finnish Grammys) awards. Their latest album Popkorni was released this month without any pre-advertising or information and as a digital one only. It occupied the whole Spotify Top-10 in the next 24 hrs... Listen to Tarkenee (below), Tuulisii,  Matti & Teppo, Takajeejee, Voitolla yöhön, Huominen on huomenna
Janna's parents are well known musicians, and her mother Maarit an Euroviisut veteran. Her first releases were in English and published in Asia and Europe as well, but the only trace of that career on Youtube is her last single Strip down. Four years later she came back in Finnish and scored a megahit with Sä et ole hullu (below). Läpinäkyvää, Tytöt lähtee tanssimaan, Paljon onnee and Anna mä puhallan have followed. Sadly she's lately been more in public thanks to her short and stormy marriage and nasty divorce.... 
Jesse Kaikuranta was one of the biggest success stories from the first edition of The Voice, even if he didn't win. #1 debut single Vie minut kotiin (below) and #1 platinum album followed. Two albums later and other songs like Järjetön rakkaus, Näytän sulle rannan, Minä ja hän, Vielä yksi laulu. his star may not be shining so brightly anymore and UMK could be a relaunch for his talent. Even if I recall him saying he's not interested in Eurovision.... Never say never :-)
Laura Närhi became famous as the lead singer of Kemopetrol. They released five albums between 2000-2011. Laura has released two solo albums and five Top-10 singles: Tämä on totta, Mä annan sut pois (below), #1 Hetken tie on kevyt, Tuhlari and Siskoni. Check out also Supersankari, She's one of those "unknown known ones" and could use a platform like UMK to make her a household name....

Monday, September 18, 2017


As an Eurovision fan travelling to a new Eurovision country is always also an adventure to the local record stores - if they only exist anymore. I was in Prague last week and they do have several stores left but....  not so much for a collector of this genre...
The only Eurovision artists I saw were Kabát and Karel Gott. But then again, Kabát was all over the place; streets full of their tour ads and their CDs in every shop. The band's been together since 1983 and still seem to be the Czechia's finest and most popular rock band, filling stadiums and arenas. Their Mala dama deserved so much more in Helsinki 2007!
Karel Gott is still very popular, at the tender age of 78, it seems. He has released dozens of albums since his Eurovision (for Austria) in 1968. He has already retired twice but seems to come back due to the popular demand again and again.  The Golden Voice of Prague joined forces with rock band No Name this summer for Kto dokáže for example..... and his CDs were widely available as well. Dozens of compilations!
Then we have Kristina! She may be Slovakian, but she enjoys chart success in both countries ever since her debut in 2007. And no wonder, I got her compilation album Tie naj, and it's full of valid quality songs. If you thought she's only ethnic pop à la Horehronie, you couldn't be more wrong. She's got ballads, uptempo, acoustic, reggaeton, from Christmasy songs to Bond-esque tunes and Ice Hockey World Champs anthems..... a perfect pop mixture and voice to make it all work. Hello, Slovakian tv: Just her back. These ten years she has surely matured in every way to handle that stage better!

Check out her hits after the jump:


It's September and the Eurovision 2018 season is officially on. I will feature in coming days names that could be in UMK18, if only...... I say if only, as most likely we won't see any of them in there for UMK is profilied as a newcomers contest instead of being our own Sanremo or Melodifestivalen. In short: a major contest all the big names want to take part not only to win but to boost their record sales and score hits. But one can dream, right? I have thrown in some not so known names for variety. Let's go.... Vol.10 Check out the previous posts by scrolling down.

Vesala is singer-songwriter, actress and playwriter, started in hugely popular PMMP before going solo, writes hit songs to other artists as well and Lauri's ex-wife and mother of his kid. Past few years it seems everything she touches turns into a success and she's got her shelves full of awards to prove it. This week it was revealed she has written the Finnish version of  hit musical Mamma Mia! One succesful solo album so far, and a string of hits like Tequila (below), Älä droppaa mun tunnelmaa, Ei pysty hengittää, Tytöt ei soita kitaraa.....
Lauri or Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus fame is not only a singer-songwriter but also architect, interior designer, textile and furniture designer plus tv-host these days. And as said, Vesala's ex-husband. The artistic couple sure has some creativity between them! Lauri has also written songs to others and one can only hope he would come up with something to UMK as well, like Rakkauslaulu he wrote with Vesala to Johanna Kurkela for example! Lauri had a solo career going on while The Rasmus was on break, with hits like Heavy (below), In the city, What are you waiting for?
Before that he also did some featured ones like Bittersweet with HIM's Ville Valo in Apocalyptica's album. 
Aki Samuli kickstarted his career in Tangomarkkinat 2015, the biggest Finnish music festival for tango singers. He took a step towards pop immediately but despite two albums he hasn't quite made an wider mpact yet. UMK could relaunch his career in the pop scene. Listen to Clandestino (below), Saattaja, Ei kukaan ketään, Sä et oo mun äiti, Yks biisin aihe vaan
Nelli Matula is a coming up singer-songwriter who has already scored two #1s as featured artists, Robin's Hula hula and Prioeetat's Eyo, and #2 in summer safe sex campaing song Tyynysotaa. Lemmikki (below) and its video caused quite a media stir when released late last year. Here's also Kato vaan. This fall she will become a household name in tv's reality musical variety show Tähdet tähdet.

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