A quick game of catch-up…
Ok, I’ll admit it, I’ve been a bad blogger. Due to illness, travel, and that pesky 40-hour-per-week job of mine, a few major bits of news haven’t quite made it to the site yet! (What can I say? The ESC Insider is a one-woman project, and sadly, I only have two hands.) Let’s take a quick look back at the four internal artist selections that were made in Spain, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro.
Over in Spain, after weeks of rumors, popular folk-pop-rock band El Sueño de Morfeo finally confirmed that they would be representing their homeland in Malmö. After Pastora Soler’s impressive performance in Azerbaijan, ESdM looks to continue TVE’s hot streak, putting their decade of experience to work for a nation that hasn’t taken a Eurovision crown since the 4-way tie in 1969. The group from Asturias, who have five albums to their name, is led by the charming Raquel del Rosario. No stranger to musical competition, Raquel was a featured vocalist in the 2011 San Remo festival, taking her duet with Luca Barbarossa, “Fino in Fondo“, to the finals. The group’s song will be determined via a National Final in February, but to hold us over, here’s a track from their most recent album, “Buscamos sonrisas”:
After a difficult Eurovision last year, where they failed to qualify from the Semis for the first time, Georgia is back in fighting form and raring to go for Malmö. Internally selecting Sopho Gelovani and Nodiko Tatishvili, broadcaster GPB have paired the accomplished duo with a song written by Swede Thomas G:Son, composer of “Euphoria”. Georgia is also returning to their tried-and-true tradition of sending women named “Sopho” to Eurovision; Miss Gelovani will be the 4th singer by that name in the country’s six-year history in the competition. Sopho and Nodiko, both alums of the local “Idol” franchise, “Geostar”, have worked together in the past, generally performing slower, more romantic ballads. Here’s an example, taken from a performance on local television:
Moving on to Macedonia, broadcaster MRT needed to have a major ace up their sleeve in order to continue the momentum of Kaliopi’s strong performance in Azerbaijan. Like Georgia, FYROM has decided on a duet. Unlike Georgia, however, rather than focusing purely on up-and-coming talent, the Macedonians have combined the forces of a contemporary voice and a name that’s been on the local scene since the late 1950s: Vlatko Lozanovski and Esma Redžepova. Considered by some to be the grande dame of Romani music, Esma’s influence stretches beyond the boundaries of song. Featured in numerous films, she is also the foster mother of nearly fifty children, the creator of a local youth music school, active in Macedonian politics, and has even been rumored to have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Esma, who will be 69 years old when she heads to Malmö, will perform with Vlatko, who will be 27. Lozanoski came in 4th place in SkopjeFest 2009 and 2010 with “Blisku do mene” and “Letam Kon Tebe“, respectively. His second album, “Preku sedum morinja”, released in 2012, was met with acclaim. It is unclear what Esma and Vlatko’s impending collaboration will sound like, but we’ll find out some time in February.
Finally, the folks in Montenegro have decided to follow up the efforts of Rambo Amadeus with local hip-hop outfit Who See. The two-man project is the work of Dedduh (Dejan Dedović) and Noyz (Mario Đorđević), who first put their heads together in 2002. With two albums under their belt, Who See recently took home the honor of being MTV Europe’s winner for Best Adriatic Act, and their song “Reggaeton Montenegro” was considered one of the biggest hits in the region last year. Not bad for a couple of guys from the Bay of Kotor! Dedduh and Noyz are recording their entry in Belgrade, and will unveil the song in early March.