Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Kyiv Bonus Entertainment

DRI Vidlik EP by Onuka
Openings and intervals are an integral part of the Eurovision experience, but most of the time I notice them only when rewatching the events as on the night it’s the time for pooring drinks, totting up votes and topping up the peanut bowls.

These are this years interval acts that have their music released for the public. All are for sale through the digital stores, although not in all territories. And you can Spotify them. I've even made a playlist so you don't have to, scroll to end of this post.

Semi 1 was opened by Monatik (Монатік) who performed his song Spinning. The track was released on May 9 through your favorite digital stores.
The track was originally released in its original version Кружит (Kruzhit, Circles) in 2016 on the album звучит (Zvuchit, Sounds). The album was also released on CD.

Jamala and DakhaBrakha, from Jamala's facebook
Jamala gave us a new version of 1944 in the interval of Semi 1. This Symphonic version was released as a digital track. The other song she performed, Заманили (Zamanyly, Lured , seduced),  is a digital single from 2016.
The track was originally released by Jamala with DakhaBrakha (ДахаБраха). DakhaBrakha are a world music quartet from Kyiv.
I think it was quite rude not to credit DakhaBrakha on the night, as it’s their joint version you hear at the interval.
Anyway, it was the best Jamala performance of the contest and the song has been released in two versions (digital).
Jamala’s third song was I Believe In U, which was performed in the Final Interval. This was released as a digital single on May 14.

Ruslana, the winner of the 2004 contest, also appeared in the Final. She performed her new song It’s Magical.
The song has been released on May 14 in its English and Ukrainian (Я Люблю) versions.
In Kyiv Ruslana performed a bi-lingual version

Pic stolen from Instarix
By far my favorite bonus act was Onuka. They performed a medley of songs with the National Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Ukraine.
The songs included Other and Vidlik (the one with the words in the background) both to be found on the 2016 EP Vidlik. The Vidlik EP was released digitally but also as a white vinyl 12”inch.
First part Misto / Around Me and last part Untitled (where we begin) can be be found (as seperate tracks) on their 2014 album Onuka, which is well worth checking out too.
I hadn't heard of Onuka before the contest, but I'll be checking them out if there's new work. They're all I wanted Fusedmarc to be (and I really tried...)
Vidlik could benefit from a stunning remix though, as the original studio version may be a bit too hardcore for the dancefloor.

Verka Serduchka
There was no escaping Verka Serduchka and her Mamma, and rightfully so. But business is business and the digital compilation The Best Of Verka Serduchka was released to coincide with the contest.
This digital collection includes a 2015 mix of the 2007 entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai. It’s very similar to some of the old versions but with a few new sounds here and there.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bulgaria - Beautiful mess - Kristian Kostov

Digital release image (Virginia)
2 - 615 pts /1 - 403 pts in semi 2
The Bulgarian entry for 2017 is Beautiful Mess by Kristian Kostov (Кристиан Костов).
The song is written by Borislav Malinov, Sebastian Armann, Joacim Bo Persson, Alex Omar and Alexander Blay.

Kristian's 2nd place is the best result for Bulgaria, beating last years 4th place for Poli Genova's If Love Was A Crime.

Listen here (lyric video)

Beautiful Mess was released as a digital single on March 13 (Virginia records) and again on April 21 (Cosmos)

A promo cdsingle is issued. It's a cd-rom with 1-track audio and other content like a wave file, lyrics, bio and pictures.

Remixes were released the day after Kostov's semi final (May 12), see versions below.

promo, pic from e-bay
Born in 2000 on March 15, Kristian Kostov is the first Eurovision star born in this century.*

He was a runner up in the Bulgarian X-factor (2015/2016)
His most recent single is You Got Me Girl which he recorded in English and in Bulgarian (Не Си За Мен, Ne zi za men).

Malinov, Armann and Persson were also behind last years successfull Bulgarian entry If Love Was A Crime.
The trio also co-wrote the entry of Macedonia this year (With Alex Omar) and Malinov and Perssson have their name under the Serbian entry too.

Remixes DRI
Beautiful mess - ESC version
- Kyiv 2CD, promo
Beautiful mess - Hit The Floor remix
Beautiful mess - Baron Grand Sunset remix
- remixes: digital releases
Beautiful mess - Instrumental
- digital release

Bulgaria top 50: 3, 2, 3, 8, 8, 9, 13, 23, 34, -
Sweden top 100: 51, 100, -
Netherlands top 100: 91, -
Switzerland top 100: 85, -
Austria top 75: 60, -
Portugal top 50: 50, -
France top 200: 160, -
Spain top 50: 38, -

2nd release DRI (Cosmos)
Links and sources
Thanks to Krzysztof 
Kristian Kostov: VKontakte, Facebook
More Bulgarian entries to check out: 20162013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

Poli Genova gave Bulgaria their best result ever in last years contest. Will they be able to top that this year?.

* Century, Schmentury. "Of the 2000's" if you insist the century started in 2001.
Anyway, I think the singer born longest ago is Lale Andersen (Germany 1961) who was born in 1905 closely followed by Jacques Pills (Monaco 1959) who was born in 1906.
So not a 100 years between the first born and last born yet.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Estonia - Verona - Koit Toome & Laura

Digital Release Image
14 - 85 pts in semi 2
Koit Toome & Laura won the Estonian selection Eesti Laul with their song Verona.
The song is written by Sven Lõhmus who already has a few Eurovision entries to his name.
The single version of Verona was released as a digital single on Januari 1.
The Eurovision edit and karaoke were released on April 12.
The Eurovision version can be seen and heard here.

Both Koit and Laura have been on the Eurovision stage before.
Koit Toome's Mere Lapsed (Children of the sea) ended 11th in the 1998 contest in Birmingham.
Laura was a member of Suntribe who tried their luck in the Kyiv contest of 2005 with the fabulous Let's Get Loud.
More about those below.

12"inch Vinyl
Vinyl's glorious return has not escaped Eurovision. Koit & Laura release a 12"inch maxi with six versions of Verona. Released on Moonwalk records. (4742423000156)
Vinyl back of sleeve, taken from Moonwalk records
A 1. Verona - Radio Version
A 2. Verona - Italian Version
A 3. Verona - Moon Taxi Remix
B 1. Verona - Eurovision 2017 Version
B 2. Verona - Club Remix
B 3. Verona - 1985 Version
The Radio version is the same version as the first single version (with the birds chirping in the intro)
The 12"inch comes with a download code for all six tracks (Mp3 246 and Wave files)
This Maxi single and other Verona goodies are available at the Verona Shop (here).

A digital EP release has five versions of Verona.
1. Verona - Italian Version
2. Verona - Moon Taxi Remix
3. Verona - Int'l Radio edit 
4. Verona - Club Remix
5. Verona - 1985 Version
The Int'l radio edit is almost the same as the Eurovision version, but has an extra bit of vocal intro. This is the only release that has this version.

The 12 inch
Verona - Eurovision version
- digital release, 12"inch, Kyiv 2CD
Verona - Single version a.k.a Radio version
- (first) digital release, 12"Inch
Verona - Italian version
- 12"inch, digital release (EP)
Verona - Moon Taxi remix
- 12"inch, digital release (EP)
Verona - Club remix
- 12"inch, digital release (EP)
Verona - 1985 version
- 12"inch, digital release (EP)
Verona - Int'l Radio version
- digital release (EP)
 Verona - Eesti laul version
- website only
Verona - karaoke (of ESC version)
- digital release

Laura's Greatest Hits
Laura release her greatest hits album to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest.
The CD includes two versions of Verona (incl. the Italian one) and all her solo Eesti Laul entries (see below: Laura's Laul)
The full tracklist and picture are at the end of this page. Release date May 8, Moonwalk records.
The Cd will be available from the Verona shop.

Eesti Laul 2017
20 songs were lined up for the Estonian selection Eesti Laul including some familiar voices like Lenna Kuurmaa (Vanilla Ninja), Elina Born, Ivo Linna and eventual winners Koit Toome ja Laura.
You can still listen to the songs at the ERR/ETV Eesti laul pages.

Koit Toome 1998 4 track promo
Koit Toome
Koit Toome entered the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Mere Lapsed. He ended 11th. He recorded quite a few version of the song, more details about those  at the end of this post/page.
In 2007 he entered Eurolaul with the song Veidi Veel (A little bit more) but that failed to reach the three-song superfinal.

Koit's Eurolaul/Eestilaul efforts:
1998 - Mere Lapsed (winner, 11th in ESC)
2003 - Know what I Feel (2nd)
2007 - Veidi Veel (outside top 3)
The Estonian selection for Eurovision was named Eurolaul (Eurosong) from 1993 up to 2008. Since 2009 it's named Eesti Laul (Estonian song).

Suntribe & Laura 1st cdsingle
Laura's Laul 
Laura (Laura Põldvere, Laura Remmel for a short while) has entered the Estonian selection several times. in 2005 she was a member of winning combo Suntribe but also ended 2nd as a solo singer with Moonwalk.
Suntribe ended up 20th in the (single) semifinal of the contest in Kyiv.
2005 Let's get loud - Suntribe (Winner, 20th in ESC semi)
2005 Moonwalk (2nd)
2007 Sunflowers (3rd)
2009 Destiny (3rd)
2016 Supersonic (2nd)

Two cdsingles were released of Suntribes's Eurovision entry, the first one (pictured above left) included Let's Get Loud and runner up Moonwalk. (see end of this post)
Laura is the second artist returning to a Kyiv contest, Omar Naber being the other one.

Sven Lõhmus Eurovision entries
2005 - Let's get loud - Suntribe (20th in semi)
2009 - Rändajad - Urban Symphony (6th in final
2011 - Rockefeller Street - Getter Jaani (24th in final)
In total 18 songs by Sven Lõhmus entered the Estonian selection. They include all Laura songs and the majestic Club Kung Fu by Vanilla Ninja from 2003 that so should have won.

Links and sources
Special thanks to Martin!
Laura: Website, Facebook
Koit Toome: Facebook
Verona shop
ERR/ETV Eesti laul pages
Eurovision Colectors Guide 1956-2005
Check out these Estonian gems: 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 2009

From the Eurovision Vaults
Koit Toome 4 track promo
Mere Lapsed versions
Mere lapsed - version with piano intro
Children of the sea - English with piano intro
- also on promo cds Koit Toome with 3 other songs (picture)
Children of the sea - seascape edit
Children of the sea - deep blu remix
- all four above on cds promo (ETVCD 002)
Mere lapsed - Estonian with acoustic guitar intro
- on VA CD Eesti üheksakümnendad 1 (2000)
Mere lapsed  - seascape edit in Estonian
- on VA CD Eesti superhitt 3 (Aidem Pot Rec.POT CD 1052)
Mere lapsed - 2007 version
- on Koit Toome CD Allikas (private issue, no label)

Let's Get Loud versions
ETV Promo cds
For the national final (Eurolaul) Suntribe had four members, for Eurovision there were five.
Let's get loud  - Eurolaul version
- only on cds (Sky Plus / First Media 650 5214), also including Laura’s Moonwalk
Let's get loud  - Eurovision version*
Let's get loud  - extended     
Let's get loud  - moon taxi remix
Let's get loud  - moon taxi remix extended
- Above four on ETV / Moonwalk promo cds, no numbers
There's another edit of the Moon Taxi remix, but I don't know its source
* It reads Original version, but it is the later Eurovision version

The (fantastic) CD Moon Taxi by Estonian DJ's Moon Taxi includes two remixes of Let's Get Loud, two of Moonwalk and also one of the 2006 Estonian entry Through My Window by Sandra Oxenryd.

Laura's Greatest Hits tracklist
1. Supersonic
2. 94-95
3. Verona (koos Koit Toomega)
4. Moonwalk
5. Sunflowers
6. Muusa
7. 581 C
8. Lihtsad asjad (feat. Raivo Tafenau)
9. Destiny
10. Pühakud
11. Ultra
12. Südasuve rohtunud teed
13. Võid kindel olla 14. Kustuta kuuvalgus
15. 2020
16. Sädemeid taevast
17. Verona [Italian version]

Denmark - Where I Am - Anja Nissen

Digital release image
20 - 77 pts /10 - 101 pts in semi 2
Anja Nissen won the Danish Melodi Grand Prix 2017 and she took her song Where I Am to the final in Kyiv.
Where I Am is written by Anja Nissen herself, Angel Tupai and Michael D'Arcy.
The song has been released on the digital album Melodi Grand Prix 2017.
It's also out as a digital single. (ABC/Universal)

7th Heaven have remixed the song, the remix is available through the CD Pool DJ service only.
But you can have a listen here.

A 6-track EP including Where I Am is released on may 5.

Where I Am (MGP performance Youtube)

Anja Nissen is an Australian singer from Danish parentage, so it's no surprise she entered the Australian edition of The Voice (3rd series, 2014).
She won the whole thing with a little help from coach Will.I.Am.
Nissen is no stranger to talent shows and contests, at 12 years old she entered Australia Got talent and made it to the semi finals.

Anja has released one album so far, the self titled record included songs performed on The Voice and some other coverversions.
In 2016 Anja Nissen ended 2nd in the Danish MGP with the Emmelie De Forrest penned Never Alone.

10 songs competed for the ticket to Ukraine.
You can listen to the songs here at DR or here at DR's Youtube.
The songs have been released through iTunes, no info on a CD release.

Where I am - DMGP/ESC version
- digital release, Kyiv 2CD
Where I am - karaoke
- digital release (official karaoke album)
Where I am - 7th Heaven remix(es)
- CD POOL DJ Pack May 2017 (digital release, subscribers only)

Links and sources
Anja Nissen: Website, Facebook
DR DMGP pages
More about Denmarks recent entries: 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

Australia - Don't Come Easy - Isaiah

cd single
9 - 173 pts /6 - 160 pts in semi 1
Isaiah Firebrace represented Australia with the song Don't Come Easy.
The song is written by David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii (DNA songs) who also wrote last years entry for Dami Im.
Firebrace is the winner of X-Factor Australia 2016.
His most recent single It's Gotta Be You was a reasonable hit in the charts of Australia, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

A 1 track cdsingle is released on March 17 (see comments)
(Sony Music Australia  88985429332).
It's now available at Bearecords. (here).

The Eurovision song has been released as a digital single worldwide (Sony)
The karaoke version released with the single track (digital) is instrumental whereas the karaoke on the official karaoke album has backing vocals. (see comments)

Watch and listen here at SBS.

7th Heaven Remix DRI
7th Heaven have remixed the song and the remix has been released digitally. You can listen at Isaiah's Vevo/Youtube

Don't come easy - single/esc version
- cdsingle, Kyiv 2CD
Don't come easy - karaoke
- digital release (official karaoke album)
Don't come easy - karaoke (= instrumental)
- digital release (single)
Don't come easy - 7th heaven Pop radio remix
-  digital release

Afrikaans cover DRI
Australia top 100: 69
Sweden top 100: 50, 98

South African singer Hanco recorded an Afrikaans version Dis Nie Maklik Nie (It's not easy). Released on February 9 2018, out now through mosts digital sources.
Hanco Facebook

Debut album Isaiah
Links and sources
Thanks to Alexandre, to Krzysztof and to Paul
Isaiah at Bearecords
Isaiah: WebsiteFacebook
Australia's Eurovision Historette: 2016 - 2015
Eurovision baby Australia impressed with its first steps, will they take it one step further in Kyiv?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The 2017 Musthave: The KYIV ESCZine

The Handbook For Kyiv
Like every year, OGAE have published their yearly guide to the Eurovision Song Contest.
If you just get one Eurovision publication this year, this is the one worth getting.

The 160-page, A5 size handbook is wonderful guide to all the artists and songs of this years contest.
It has background stories of all the participating artists and the National Selections that were held this year. All is illustrated with pictures of the artists. 
The foreword is by Jon Ola Sand.

Special thanks to Ivor Lyttle.

ESC-zine website
The 160 page booklet is also available here through BeaRecords.

Contact your local OGAE club: List of OGAE NationalFan Clubs.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Serbia - In Too Deep - Tijana Bogićević

Picture from RTS press message
11 - 98 pts in semi 2
Serbia celebrated 10 years of Eurovision in Kyiv with Tijana Bogićević (Тијана Богићевић).
Tijana's song In Too Deep is written bij Borislav Milanov, Bo Persson, Johan Alkenas and Lisa Ann-Mari Linder.

The official video is here at's Youtube

You can download the song and the instrumental and karaoke versions here at OGAE Serbia. They are available as mp3 and as wave files.
A Serbian version titled Tvoja is also uploaded. It has a different (ballad) arragement.
All downloads are free and legal, thank you RTS and OGAE Serbia!

All released versions can now be found at your favorite digital stores

For Kyiv promotion a USB stick was issued.

In too deep - ESC/single version
- website download, digital release, Kyiv 2CD
In too deep - Instrumental
- has been available on website
In too deep - karaoke
- digital release (official karaoke album)
Tvoja / Твоја - Serbian ballad version
- digital release
all at OGAE Serbia (downloads)

Digital release image
Tijana recorded a version of In Too Deep with American singer Sing Sing (Marc Robertson).
I don't know if it ever will be released but you can watch a video here.

Tijana Bogićević (Тијана Богићевић) tried to get to Eurovision in 2009, but she got stuck in the semi-final of Beovizija, the Serbian selection for Eurovision.
She was a backing vocalist for Nina, the Serbian singer in Düsseldorf (2011)

Links and sources: 
Tijana Bogićević: Facebook
RTS Eurovision pages
The recent entries of Serbia are here: 20162015 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Montenegro - Space - Slavko Kalezić

16 - 56 pts in semi 1
RTCG chose Slavko Kalezić as the singer for Montenegro in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. The song, written by Momčila Zekovića and Adis Eminić, is titled Space.
The song was revealed on March 10 and released as a digital single on March 18

Official video here at
promo cds
RTCG have issued a promo cd-rom with Space plus the karaoke and instrumental versions and the videoclip. (see versions below for details).
The disc also includes the video.

A remix by Marko Drežnjak is on soundcloud for a free download (click ...more and choose download). It's a wave file (so it's huge) but I guess you can convert that yourself to mp3.

Slavko's first shot at fame was when he participatated in X-Factor Adria. He was chosen by coach Željko Joksimović but failed to reach the final stages of the show. 
(The competition was eventually won by Daniel Kajmakoski)
He has released several singles and the album San O Vječnosti (2014)

Digital release image
Space - Eurovision / single version
Space - karaoke (= instrumental)
Space - Winter instrumental
- all on promo cds
Space - karaoke (with backing vocals)
- digital release (with the single)
Space - remix by Marko Drežnjak
- soundcloud
The official karaoke album has the instrumental version (not the karaoke with b-vox)
The Winter instrumental is a slow version with piano.

Picture taken from Slavko's Facebook

Album  San O Vječnosti
Links and sources
‎Thanks to Krzysztof 
Slavko Kalezić Facebook
Montenegro in Eurovision 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009