Saturday, June 30, 2018

ITALY: NOW OR NEVER - LISA WINS ORA O MAI PIÚ, JALISSE RUNNER UP

Rai1 launched a new show this summer Ora o mai più or a second chance for those forgotten singers of the 80s and 90s to retake their spotlight and maybe place in the charts. Four prime time shows and an album to be released on July 10 in every Italian newspaper stand. Plus dueting with the big names of the business who were their coaches and doing covers. And finally in the last episode a new song that should relaunch their career.... Inviting, isn't it? 
This blogger has been following Italian music since very early 80s so the whole cast was very familiar (with the exception of Stefano Sani, tbh) and I even own most of the hit records they had made in the past.
From the very first episode Lisa was a front runner winning the first and second show - there were coaches like Marco Masini, Loredana Berté, Zarrillo, Marcella Bella and Patty Pravo with Eurovision veteran Fausto Leali who voted along with the public - but Eurovision veterans Jalisse stormed to victory in the third one. Lisa may have won the show but Jalisse surely benefits from it as well, maybe having been able to showcase who they are and what they can do and make people forget their prejudices, clearly evident even among the coaches in the first episode. 
If we look at the separete votes in all episodes by the coaches and public, Lisa wins with the coaches, Marco Armani surprisingly second followed by Jalisse and Massimo Di Cataldo. But for the public it's a close run: Jalisse wins followed by Lisa and Di Cataldo. 
This blogger is very happy for Lisa's win as I think Sempre is one of the best Italian songs ever and totally deserved to win Sanremo (it placed 3rd in 1998) and Jalisse 2nd and Massimo Di Cataldo third suits me just fine. Di Cataldo most likely will relaunch his career big time after this and who knows we will see him and Lisa in Sanremo 2019...?

Click below the names of the artists for their signature hits, and their coach for some duet + THE NEW SONG

1. Lisa with Marco Masini (416) 
2. Jalisse with Michele Zarrillo (403)
ORA
4. Marco Armani with Red Canzian (389)
TI DIRÓ
LA GENTE NON PARLA

*Donatella Milani left the programme after the first episode 
and was replaced by Francesca Alotta

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

FINLAND: ARTISTS YLE SHOULD CONSIDER FOR #UMK2019, vol.4

Here comes the last set of hits from the Finnish airwaves this summer for now. YLE might be keeping an ear for possible #UMK2019 and Eurovision song contest entrants. Or possibly not....

Ilta is a new Finnish-German artist, who started at the top being the featured artist in megastar Cheek's #1 Sillat. Another featuring followed with some Adele covers before she released her first solo effort Koukkuun that went streaming gold. Let's see if she can make it and battle out off the shadows to spotlight among all these new up and coming female artists....
If Antti Tuisku is the male #1 in most everyone's wish list, Jenni Vartiainen is a true wet dream. When YLE announced they go internal again in 2019 media and chatrooms shouted out for Jenni in unison. She' working on her 4th album at the moment (all previous ones have sold multiplatinum). Meanwhile she has released alresdy four singles off it, this Väärään suuntaan was a radioplay #1, and her latest Voulez vous made it to #1 in download charts... as were the other two: Turvasana and Se oikea. If only.....!!!
Eetu has been in various bands before but is now launching his solo career and Bae is the very first single. And the first song he wrote himself, the melody back in 2010 and the lyrics recently. No way YLE is looking at his direction but that piano arrangement is original and the song's very catchy so worth a note.
Neon2 dominated the Finnish charts in early 1990's with Kemiaa, Polku and Tässä talossa, that was their debut and came 2nd in 1992 Syksyn Sävel contest. They have reunited occasionally a few times in between but now they seem to be back for real with Itseni kaltainen and I was a fan back then and this newest one Ikuisesti aina feels very nostalgic and nicely familiar..... 2014 they participated in a reality series We want more where they wrote and released a new song Kaunis.

Monday, June 25, 2018

FINLAND: ARTISTS YLE SHOULD CONSIDER FOR #UMK2019, vol.3

Another set of artist having success on Finnish radio waves this summer, that could be or not be suitable for #UMK2019 and Eurovision song contest 2019....

Pete Parkkonen has been around for years ever since Idols 4. He has sung in English and Finnish and even various genres but even if most everyone agrees he's one of the most talented performers  he hasn't quite make it as Big as he should be. Like previously presented Elias Koskinen also Pete won Tähdet tähdet variety show showing he's confortable with any genre and shines on stage. His most notable hit is Kohta sataa, with its video that made him a sex symbol overnight.... He's definately one card to consider... Kävi niin, kävi näin has been just released with its summer vibe. 
Sanni has been scoring hit after hit the past few years, and caused quite a few scandals along the way with her frank lyrics. Että mitähän vittua translates literally to What the fuck while her latest is Pornoo. Yes, Porn. But don't let the titles fool you, the lyrics are very clever and not at all vulgar. She's all around musician and songwriter. She's also got the look and the voice that would stand out in Israel 2019. Plus pop songs that stick to your head with one hearing...
Grand old lady Katri Helena (72) can still kick some ass and her latest is Jos se on palavaa. She's done it twice already (1979 and 1993) so why not a third time? After all she won in 1992 Euroviisut with similar concept YLE is aiming now: internally selected artists (Marjorie, Paula Koivuniemi and Arja Koriseva besides her) each with two songs....  15 of her albums have sold gold, platinum or multiplatinum..... This wekend she shocked the nation as she wasn't feeling well during her midsummeer concert and ambulance was called to the spot etc. A first for her. She's at home recovering now.
Vilma Alina is one of those many female artists mentioned in previous posts trying to emerge and break it for real. Several radio hits and collaborations and debut album released she's waiting for the Big One. Here's her Syliin featuring Jon-Jon. Other songs include Uhanalasii, Juha88, Tänään eei nukuta....

Sunday, June 24, 2018

FINLAND: ARTISTS YLE SHOULD CONSIDER FOR #UMK2019, vol.2

Let's have a look what else there is in the charts this summer, that could be of interest for YLE's internal choice for #UMK2019 and Eurovision song contest as well...

Kaija Koo is a true veteran who has re-invented herself over and over and now being over 50 is more popular than ever and gets side kicks like the most popular rapper Cheek or the very hot Reino Nordin as her featured acts. Paa mut cooleriin was released just in time for Midsummer. Her breakthrough hit was legendary Kuka keksi rakkauden back in 1993. Tinakenkätyttö is another goodie among her countless hits.
Reino Nordin has had incredible past a couple of years. The actor turned singer has had already seven top-10 hits in a row including two #1's, this Kuinka paljon voi rakastaa and Ytimeen, and his Antaudun was maybe the biggest radio hit overal of 2017. 
Vesta is the latest critic's sensation, up and coming singer but she has broken into radios as well. Ota varovasti is the main single off her debut album that stopped the charts for 3 weeks. Other songs include Sun katu, She's also been a featured artist for many others, like Kauriinmetsästäjät and Töölön Ketterä
Ellinoora is another artist loved by critics and she has already picked a few awards. Besides her solo stuff (Leijonakuningas and Elefantin paino being her biggest hits) she's also been featuring in other artists hits like JVG and Roope Salminen & Koirat. She has already released two hits from her second album to be released, Nartut and this Bäng bäng typerä sydän, hot in charts right now and apparently about to make a final breakthrough. Finland is filled with talented female artists right now and she may have been a bit shadowed my several of them before...

Saturday, June 23, 2018

FINLAND: ARTISTS YLE SHOULD CONSIDER FOR #UMK2019, vol.1

Now that YLE has confirmed internal choice for the artist for #UMK2019 and Eurovision song contest let's see what's cooking in the charts while they are making decisions....

 
Mikko Harju is a newcomer with already a string of radio hits and lots of very devoted fans. His songs have been streamed millions of times giving him already two platinum singles (Mä olen tässä and Taivas ei oo rajana) and one gold (Sinä riität). He just released his debut album and this is the title track, Sinä olet elämä
Antti Tuisku is propably YLE's and most fans' wet dream for Eurovision. The one and only real male pop star in Finland would certainly be a popular choice but how would he stand against European comparison? Hmmm... His latest Kumipuku is this summer's safe sex anthem. Check out also Hanuri, Mä hiihdän and Hyökyaalto
Olavi Uusivirta is singer, actor and tv-presenter known for his energetic live performances. He celebrates his 15th anniversary as recording artist this year. His latest Kesäyön uni fits perfectly the Finnish  summer mood. His duet Nuori ja kaunis with Finnish Swede Anna Järvinen is already a classic, as is his On niin helppoo olla onnellinen
Elias Kaskinen with his band Päivän Sankarit has released Puolet, Elias himself won last winter a variery show Tähdet tähdet proving he can hold any genre and stage (just Youtube his name and Tähdet tähdet and you will find euphoric gems like this :-) ) and is hotter than ever. Businesswise that is. He could be a wildcad to play.... 

Friday, June 22, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: MASOE - PARADIS

Better late than never is the case of Masoe who has released a video for his Paradis. The song was one of my favorites in the Destination Eurovision 2018 for France (same concept is coming also for 2019 btw) but didn't quite impress in the semifinal placing only 7th out of nine. There's something about it I liked since the first hearing.... especially the chorus and his falsetto voice. It's all very French somehow. Love it. Hopefully he tries again in 2019!

Friday, June 15, 2018

FINLAND: INTERNAL SELECTION FOR THE ARTIST AGAIN IN 2019

Yle has revealed that next year's UMK will be handled out like this year's, aka internal selection for the artist who can handle the big stage, live performance and has high tolerance for stress. This way they are able to invest more on staging and the rest, they say. 
They don't know yet however if there will be one artist or several, and how the song(s) will be selected. Yle has contacted record labels, artists, songwriters and producers for ideas. In other words: depends who they manage to get and on what conditions
The Finnish musicians association approves Yle is clear from the beginning this time and has offered their help, but Yle hasn't yet agreed nor disagreed on that. This year Yle angered them when they changed the rules and threw away the 300 submissions wasting their time and money for nothing when Yle went for Saara Aalto instead all of sudden. 
Fans and common people pretty much in unison have named Jenni Vartiainen as the suitable and dream one for 2019....

Thursday, June 14, 2018

SANREMO 2019: CLAUDIO BAGLIONI RETURNS

When Claudio Baglioni was announced the Musical director for Sanremo 2018, as well as the host, many were sceptical - this blogger included - but after the record breaking success of the edition it was only logical Rai would want him again. And after negotiations since February the deal is done and oops, he'll do it again in 2019. Most likely his winning format will stay aka more music, less talk and endless guests that had nothing to do with music. In fact he pretty much zeroed that in 2018. If I could say one wish: a little younger and modern acts please. Just a little. No one needs rappers, it is proven in 2018. 
This year he had fabulous Michelle Hunziger and equally fabulous Pierfrancesco Favino as his co-hosts. The question is: How can he top that? And will he host again? 
Rai is yet to give any further information regarding the 69th festival such as dates etc. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

CUBA: GENTE DE ZONA IS BACK - AND WITH KYLIE, J.LO AND IL VOLO

It's no seecret to any reader of this blog Gente De Zona has become my favorite ever since I started planning by trip to Cuba about a year ago. To my great surprise and pleasure they are indeed number one band there as they were played everywhere during all my holidays. All the time. everywhere.
Their fame has spread all over the globe also thanks to their numerous collaborations and songs they have written for from Enrique Iglesias to Marc Anthony and many other local names. Recently they also turned Laura Pausini's ballad and Kylie's country into Cubaton heaven. Their most recent ones include Eurovision veterans Il Volo, beforementioned fifty and fabulous Kylie Minogue, Jennifer Lopez and this week they have finally released also something on their own, too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

ITALY: METAMORO GIVE UP THE COPYRIGHTS FOR EMERGENCY

Italian Eurovision stars Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro have decided to give up the copyrights of their Sanremo winner and Eurovision 5th placed entry Non mi avete fatto niente to EMERGENCY thus giving its profits to charity joining Musica per Emergency project. 
EMERGENCY is an independent and neutral Italian association founded in 1994 to offer free and high quality medical and surgical care to victims of wars, anti-personnel mines and poverty. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.
This blogger respects!

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: LISANDRO CUXI - EVA

The French national selection had way too many songs I liked to feature here so here's the runner up, Lisandro Cuxi's Eva. It seems the live performances are no longer available so here's an alternative

Monday, June 04, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: NIKA ZORJAN - USPAVANKA

Nika Zorjan didn't even pass the Slovenian semifinal (thanks to the jury) but I took a liking to her song. Uspavanka despite the questionable staging... 
 


Sunday, June 03, 2018

GERMANY: DSCHINGHIS KHAN CONQUERS MOSCOW AGAIN - 39 YEARS LATER

One of Eurovision legend Ralph Siegel's most succesful songs - if not the most sold one - Moskau is reborn. Back in 1979 is charted all over Europe hitting #1 in Germany, Japan, Russia and Australia of all places and has since sold millions in dozens of versions in different languages. And here we have some more new versions and videos, reproduced by Siegel himself with British born Jay Khan and the German lyrics revisited by Bernd Meinunger for the occasion of the FIFAWorld Championships in Russia this summer. Original band members Edina Pop and Henriette Strobel provide vocals as well with the recent band members while the Russian and Spanish versions have featured lead singers Alexander Malinin with his daughter and Mexican Jorge Jiménez and Marifer Medrano. 
Moskau Moskau lives again in a worldwide event, after being used as a theme songs during Moscow Olympics by Aussies and played all over the world. Now this summer, soccer games give us an excuse to listen this pearl of a song again. Over and over again!

Check out all the versions below:

Dschinghis Khan & Jay Khan - Moscow Moscow (English version)
Dschinghis Khan & Jay Khan - Moskau Moskau (German Football version)
Dschinghis Khan, Alexander Malinin & Ustinya Malina - Москва (Russian version)
Dschinghis Khan, Jorge Jiménez & Marifer Medrano - Moscú (Spanish version)
Dschinghis Khan - Москва, Moscow, Moscú (International Version)
Dschinghis Khan - Moscú, Moscow, Москва (International Version)
Dschinghis Khan & Jay Khan - Moskau, Москва, Moscú, Moscow (Internationale Version)
Dschinghis Khan & Jay Khan - Moscow, Москва, Moscú (International Version)

And here's their legendary Eurovision performance - I remember the Finnish commentator mumbling in confusion "there was a person on stage who didn't sing!" Was it the first time?

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: JOHN LUNDVIK - MY TURN

John Lundvik may have placed only 3rd in Melodifestivalen, but he hit #1 in the charts and considering Austria's success with a similar gospely song and somewhat similar singer ... with Sanna Nielsen's lighting and Celine Dion's jacket, who knows? Did we miss Sweden's 7th win? For sure Cesar Sampson is grateful John wasn't in Lisbon!

Saturday, June 02, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: ALEJANDRO FUENTES - TENGO OTRA

Just like Swiss Reyes also Norwegian Fuentes is Chilean born. If Reyes only flirted with the Latin sound Fuentes goes full blast into Cubaton/Reggaeton with his Tengo otra in the national final. Not very Norwegian but out of that context this works as well as the original ones from the Caribian!

Friday, June 01, 2018

GERMANY: IT'S ALL ABOUT MOSCOW, MOSCOW AGAIN THIS SUMMER WITH DSCHINGIS KHAN

Eurovision 1979 legends Dschingis Khan are still going strong and this summer their megahit - and one of this blogger's all time favorite songs - Ralph Siegel's stunning Moskau has been taken as this summer's football anthem! How very fitting. And awesome!
The song, originally releaseed in 1979 was later released in 1980 in English for the Moscow Olympic Games and has been covered dozens of times in various languages, for example Finnish. It has sold zillions!
Stay tuned for more!

EUROVISION 2018 - SONGS THAT NEVER WERE: ALEJANDRO REYES - COMPASS

Alejandro Reys was the Swiss national final runner up and my favorite with his Compass. Chilean born Alejandro later released the song also in Spanish (check Spotify)

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