Wednesday, October 31, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: ALVARO SOLER

Spain is putting their hope again on new raw talent when selecting someone from Operación Triunfo but should they select someone internally for a chance and have a real chance of doing very well one name comes to mind instantly: Alvaro Soler. He made himself a name elsewhere in Europe and Latin America in 2015 before Spain with El mismo sol and has released a summer hits ever since: Sofia, Animal and La cintura. Unlike many well known names he could attract votes from most of Western, Northern and South Europe if he kept up his summer feel good catchiness..... Spain, wake up, send him before the momentum's gone....

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: ANJEZA SHAHINI

Back in 2004 Anjeza Shahini, a 16-year-old fresh winner of Albanian Idol and Festivali i Këngës had the honors to be her country's debuting artist in the Eurovision song contest in Istanbul. This blogger was also present and faith had it I was among the Albanese group of people in the hall; Anjeza's family and friends and most of the delegation in the audience during the semifinal. To everyone's surprise she made it to the final but those poor people didn't have tickets for the final. One of them gave me the Albanian flag to wave for her in the final instead of them which I did with pleasure. She had Laura Pausini kind of star quality on stage, sitting in the hall you couldn't get your eyes off her and she made that rather akward song work wonders and landed on 7th place in Istanbul..... 
She has tried to get back to Eurovision a few times since (Pse ndal, Në pasqyrë (2nd), Love (2nd) as well as other festivals. I have been waiting. I want her back. She's fierce.
Check out also EnergjiLotë pendimiUjë në shkretëtirë,


Monday, October 29, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: DIOGO PICARRA

I was over the moon when Diogo Piçarra was announced one of the composers and then also as artist for Festival da Canção 2018. Sadly his Canção do Fim was then withdrawn with accusations of plagiarism but if there's justice he's given another chance in 2019. He's the only Portuguese artist I have been actively following the past few years. He has delivered a string of hits, some ballads but some also more electronic beats. He does both in a fab way and I'd love to see him with something like that in Eurovision.... História, Só existo contigo are among my favorites and he has also done some interesting collaborations, like with this year's Isaura in Meu e teu, and Wall of love with Karetus. Hopefully he'd be up for another Eurovision adventure with no hard feelings..... If not 2019, then 2020....


Sunday, October 28, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: PERNILLA WAHLGREN

Her son did it in 2018. She has tried to do it with classics like Piccadilly Circus and Tvillingsjäl, and has been a runner up with Let your spirit fly in Melodifestivalen, and imitating family related Swedish House Mafia formed Swedish Housewives with On top of the world.... She and Benjamin's father scored hits in the 1980's like Paradise and Only your heart. She's theater and musical actress, reality tv star and allaround funny woman with her somewhat weird family. Carola did it. Lena did it. Only she hasn't done it of this bloggers favorite trio of 80's girls. It's about the time. Wouldn't it be iconic if the songbird award passed from son to mom? Aka the original MILF?


Saturday, October 27, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: LORENZO LICITRA

If we think back Italian entries since their return they have made best with yet rather unknown jazz singer Raphael Gualazzi with a song that was pretty much as far from a typical Eurovision entry dreamed by typical Euroboys as can be and placed 2nd to their horror. Then we have televote winners and overal 3rd placed Il Volo, an operatic trio somewhat looked down in Italy by most. 
Now we have a fusion of them in our hands, a Sicilian tenor that can do jazzy swing and pop rock with ease and mix them all together if needed. Despite winning X Factor last year his career hasn't quite exploded yet. Italy has sent their biggest stars with the highest expectations and failed (according themselves only). Why not trying someone known but not yet big, with something typically Italian according Europeans (like Il Volo) and not trying too hard to be modern, international and hip? It doesn't seem to work for you.... Listen to Italia, Who wants to live forever, Million reasons, Like a prayer Hopefully he's shortlisted for Sanremo with a great song....



Friday, October 26, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: KIM WILDE

Kim Wilde has been around since 1980 and sold 10 million albums and 20 millions singles and has had her ups and downs, and has had her own gardening show in television and has hosted radio programmes. Rleased 14 studio albums, scored 7 top-10 singles in the UK and one US #1. And she's still going strong with her latest album Here come the aliens released this spring. She tours Europe and is a household name most everywhere thanks to classics like Kids in America, Cambodia, You keep me hanging on, You came, If I can't have you..... I have been a fan since 80's and still think it wouldn't be too late for her to do it, should BBC go internal....
Below is her smashing pop anthem Pop don't stop - it even clocks 3'00..... Kandy Krush and Birthday from the latest album prove she's still got the perfect pop formula in her. 


Thursday, October 25, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: THE TRAVELLERS

This is another wish that may never happen but I keep asking, as I did a couple of years ago when talking to the guys. Malta should go internal for once and just pick these guys who sing in Maltese and deliver great songs one after another. There clearly was a demand for this kind of music in Maltese on the islands as their first three singles all topped the Maltese charts: SempliċitàDak li Int and Xemx u Xita, all featued in their debut EP in 2016. Last year they released their full album Iljuni fis-Silg with singles Ħafi Paċi KuluriIlkoll Flimkien and Tpenġijiet. I have an idea: 2020 is the 65th Eurovision song contest - why not EBU make a rule for a year: each and everyone in their native language for a change to celebrate the linguistic diversity of Europe and thumbs up for the minorities?



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: INDILA

France may be doing again Destination Eurovision but otherwise a perfect internal choice would be Indila. Even if still a rather new artist all based only on her debut album really - despite many rap collaborations before going solo like L'Algérino's Trinitè, Rohff's Thug mariage and Soprano's Hiro, as well writing songs to other artists like Axel Tony and Matt Pokora -  and its hits she made herself known in various corners of Europe and her style is personal and French enough to stand out. Should she be working on her second album and wanting a major comeback launch, what would be better?
Listen to Tourner dans le vide, SOS, Run run and Love story. Below her #1 hit in Greece, Israel and Turkey, #2 in France and Belgium and #3 in Poland....

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: SAAD LAMJARRED/ سعد لمجرد

Should Morocco return to Eurovision one day soon Saad Lamjarred would be a perfect artist to come back with if he didn't have several rape allegations and investigations in his CV (but even the King of Morocco helped him to get rid of them). His music is pure Moroccan pop but easy enough for Western ears with lyrics in Arabic and French, with some occasional English thrown in. Modern sounds but original and true to their own musical heritage. Saad was born in Rabat to an artistic family his father being classical singer and mother actress and comedian, and Saad himself doesn't seem to be too serious himself, something that would certainly help him in the Eurovision bubble to charm everyone. He has also acted in a soap opera, placed 2nd in a talent show, collected MTV Music award nomination and other awards and nominations.
Listen to Let go, Ghaltana, LM3ALLEM (nearly 675 million views the most viewed Arab video that gives him also the Guinness world record for 500 million views in 3 months) and Ghazali 

ITALY: TOZZI AND RAF TOGETHER AGAIN AFTER 31 YEARS

After Alice & Battiato joined forces after 30 years with new recordings and a highly succesful tour in 2016 another Italian Eurovision couple returns after 30 years, too: Umberto Tozzi and Raf have released a new song, Come una danza, re-recorded Gente di mare and remastered their other hits in a double-CD to be released late November and hit the road next spring in Italy and Europe. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: MARGARET

Margaret is no stranger to Eurovision national finals having participated both in her native Poland and in Sweden's Melodifestivalen with In my Cabana. It's about the time she gets to do it and for Poland. She started as a fashion blogger, recorded soundtracks for television commercials and sung in underground bands. After given a chance her debut single Thank you very much was an international hit and she has delivered hit singles in Poland ever since and two of her three albums have sold platinum. She also collaborated with Canadian grooner Matt Dusk and recorded a cover album of standars like Just the two of us and 'deed I do. Check out also her latest Lollipop and What you do, Byle jak and Elephant. And of course Poland's missed opportunity, Cool me down below

Sunday, October 21, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: DARIN

Darin is no stranger to Eurovision having participated in Melodifestivalen 2010 with You're out of my life, six years after his breakthrough in Idols, and being part of the interval act in 2013 Eurovision semi final. He has become one of the most succesful if not the most succesful Idols born artist in Sweden despite being only runner up (to Daniel Lindström - who? and beating Loreen among others). He started in English but switched to Swedish (and more acoustic sound) in 2014 and it made him even more popular. Seven out of his 8 albums went to #1 so far, and he has also 10 top-10 singles to his credit. He has also written songs for other artists and was even asked to write a song for the Crown Princess Victoria's wedding, Can't stop love. Tvillingen was the most played song in Swedish radios in 2017. His career is also going strong in Asia. 
Check out also Nobody knows, Lovekiller, Mamma mia, Ta mig tillbaka and F your love. If only SVT could manage him get back to Melodifestival and he win it, he could well be the one to give Sweden yet another win with the right song. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: SEREBRO/Серебро

I'm not usually so keen on Eurovision returns - especially those who try and try again after being there already once - but this is one group I'd love to see giving it another try. The line up may have changed so many times that no one can keep track but Olga stays from the original Helsinki 2007 formation and the other girls today are Katya (2016-) and Tatiana (2017-). Despite changing line up almost every year they have kept their hits coming (12 top-10 hits in Russia, 5 #1's) along with three albums and chart success also abroad, especially Italy. They've got their cheeky side and sexy poses and fun catchy songs along with some ballads. Should Russia send them again they would certainly create quite a stir and with some ear worm like Mama Lover or Mi mi mi they could even better their third place with Song #1. Check out also Malo tebya, Chocolate and СЛОМАНА

Friday, October 19, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: IDAN RAICHEL

Israeli Idan Raichel would be an awesome Eurovision entry. Or at least interval act in Tel Aviv next year! Singer-songwriter and musician known internationally for his fusion of electronic and folk music, Hebrew, Arab and Ethiopian music and texts with some gypsy music, tango and jazz thrown in making a mix that is still easy to listen to, catchy and most of all very beautiful and melodic. Real music. He uses a lot of other vocalists on his songs making them all unique and bringing global success. As Israel is again using the talent show for their next entrant maybe he could at least the song for the winner...? After all he has written and collaborated with many other stars, including Italian superstars Mina and Adriano Celentano in Amami amami
Listen to Po co,  Chalomot shel acherim, Mon amour, Todas las palabras, and he also collaborated with Portuguese Eurovision opening act Ana Moura in Sabe Deus


ITALY: MARCO MENGONI IS BACK WITH #VOGLIO#BUONA VITA

 
Undoubtly one of the biggest stars in his native Italy Marco Mengoni has been having a break after his megasuccesses in recent years but now he's back with a new album due next month and today he has launched two new singles both in Italian and Spanish showcasing the stylistic sides of his new effort. Buona vita is Latin influenced number while Voglio is more electronic pop anthem. Listen in all digital forms (I'll add the vids as soon as available)

Thursday, October 18, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST. TAMTA/თამთა/Τάμτα

Georgian Tamta placed 3rd in the Greek national final back in 2007 with With love following her 2nd place in Greek Idol 2004 (only a year after she moved to Greece) that gave her popularity in both Greece and Cyprus. She's been ever since on Eurovision fans radar for a suitable artist for either Greece or Georgia, where she has also been working lately as X Factor judge since 2014, with a one season switch to the Greek one. As Georgia is using Idol to select their entrant for 2019 we won't see her for them next year for sure, but who knows maybe for Greece?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: KENDJI GIRAC

Chances of getting Kendji Girac to do Eurovision anytime soon despite his minor flirting with the idea are rather slim now that France has gotten back to the national final system - unless the new man in charge decides to cancel it all and go internal after all (As Edoardo Grassi was axed in favor of Steven Clerima as HoD after all (and because of) that he has done in the past three years)
Kendji is still only 22 even if it feels like he's been around a lot longer already. He rose to the fame in 2014 when winning The Voice and has released three #1 albums with six top-10 hits. His mix of pop, folk and catchy gipsy music is a cocktail that should work everywhere in Europe. He has it all going and would be a perfect choice if France should go internal again. Just listen to Maria Maria, No me mires ma, Color gitano and Andalouse to gt the idea. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: ALEYNA TIKLI

Turkey is not coming back anytime soon it seems but if they did, Aleyna Tikli should be a  top consideration. She's only 18 but can already put in her CV participation in the most watched Turkish video on Youtube (Cevapsız Çınlama), her debut solo single hitting #1 (below), and three other hits in 2018: Yalnız Çiçek, Dipsiz kuyum and Sevmek Yok. She is studying English in Los Angeles besides belting out hits in her native Turkey where she got noticed in a talent show, as it is these days. She sounds like a perfect match for eventual Eurovision comeback. Hopefully soon!

Monday, October 15, 2018

EUROVISION WISH LIST: MICHALIS HATZIGIANNIS/Μιχάλης Χατζηγιάννης

Μιχάλης Χατζηγιάννης has been around since being somewhat timid 19-year-old guy having a permission during his military service back in 1998 to do Eurovision with self written boombastic Genesis for Cyprus. He has become one of the top artists in the Greek language market in the 2000's delivering hit albums ever since and scoring hits. He's also one of the rare artists from the region I have followed more or less regularly ever since and usually always liked what I hear. Το καλοκαίρι μου has been my summer anthem ever since it was released. His one and only English album also has left an ever lasting mark with More than beautiful and Everyone dance. He has a back catalogue too long to mention filled with ballads and more uptempo songs with ethnic Greek sounds  and even a hint of Slavic melancholy filled with emotion and passion that come across the language barrier making his musical style a perfect mix for Eurovision song contest.
Should either Greece or Cyprus choose internally he should be number one priority to get onboard. Apparently he has been asked before and maybe he isn't so keen on the idea himself but one can dream. Right?
PS. He has also recorded Emma's Sanremo 2012 winner Non è l'inferno in Greek making it totally his own.....

Friday, October 05, 2018

FINLAND: KATRI HELENA INCLUDED IN THE FINNISH MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Helsinki and Finland will get its own museum celebrating Finnish music, a multimedia affair inspired by Stockholm's ABBA Museum among others. It will also include the Finnish Music Hall of Fame and the first ten names included have been revealed. The only living one among the legends is none other than the blue & white voice Katri Helena (73). Her career spans already six decades and she has released over 50 albums, recorded nearly 500 songs and sold over 1,5 million albums. On top of that several international festivals including Eurovision song contest. Twice. 
The museum will be opening in fall 2019 in Helsinki's Pasila district's new Tripla complex.
The other Fame names included are classical composer Jean Sibelius, opera singer and creator of Savonlinna opera festival in Olavinlinna castle Aino Ackté, dance orchestra Dallapé (still existing, since 1925!), singer, musician and composer Georg Malmsten, king of tango Olavi Virta, folk virtuoso Konsta Jylhä, composer, musician, producer, talent scout, arranger and pianist Toivo Kärki, author and composer, musician, singer, actor, writer Reino Helismaa and singer-songwriter, poet Juice Leskinen.  Kärki & Helismaa wrote the Finnish Eurovision entry 1965, Kärki also composed 1969 entry. 

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