Sunday, February 16, 2020

Ahoy! Eurovision 2020

Roll Up Your Sleeves Rotterdam, Eurovision 20/20 is on!
Eurovision sets sail for Rotterdam 2020, bookmark now for all the stuff on the songs, versions, releases of the next Eurovision Song Contest.
The first pages are up now, more to follow soon obviously....

France - Tom Leeb reveals on February 16, Leak drama
Lithuania is on Fire with the Roop
Norway - Celebrating 60 years of Eurovision with Ulrikke, Acoustic single version too
Armenia - Listen to the songs, Athena unchained
Moldova - Songs to listen to
Belgium - Will The 'phonics hoover up the points?
Romania - Roxen to Rotterdam
Italy - Sanreno 2CD and other releases, Diodato wins, LP/CD, now with Sanremo artists full LP/CD release info.
Malta - Destiny's destination: Rotterdam
Latvia - Supernova finalists, Samanta finally wins
Australia - Decided, Montaigne wins
Serbia - Listen to the Beovizija 2020 songs
Israel - Eden wins ticket to Rotterdam
Denmark - Listen to all DMGP songs
Greece - Stefania to Eurovision
Czech Republic - Benny Cristo to Rotterdam
Sweden: Melodifestivalen CD
Spain - Blas Cantó, where have we seen him before? Listen to Universo now!
Finland - Songs
Iceland - Listen to the Söngvakeppnin 2020 songs
Estonia - Listen to the Eesti Laul songs
Absent Friends - But you're not even in the competition....
Portugal - Festival da Canção 2020 out now
North Macedonia - Vasil Garvanliev
Albania - Arilena Ara screaming her way to Rotterdam
Netherlands,The - Jeangu Macrooy representing
Georgia - Tornike Kipiani, Georgian Pop Idol
Austria - Alive - Vincent Bueno
Cyprus - Sandro Nicolas International
Bulgaria - Victoria Victorious? 




As usual, you'll find all official releases (physical and digital), promo info (as much as possible) and the odd coverversion, chart position and important trivia.
And also as usual, I can’t do it without you, so if you have any updates, corrections or other must knows, drop a comment or leave a message at our Facebook page. Thanks in advance.

(Comments are moderated to avoid spam and can take some time to be published, please don’t be anonymous)






The vinyl single from the 2019 winner




France - The Best In Me - Tom Leeb

Tom Leeb will represent France in the Rotterdam Eurovision Song Contest.
A song is already chosen and will be presented on February 16. (France 2, 20.50 cet)
The Best In Me is sung in French and English. iTunes/Applemusic New Zealand released the song on the right date, but forgot about the planned reveal and the time difference, oh well....
It's on youtube if you can't wait until tonight.

His style can be describes as Singer-Songwriter with a hint of Americana.
Tom Leeb is a comedian, actor and singer who has released two albums to date.
- Tom Leeb (mini album from 2018)
- Recollection (September 2019)
So far all his released songs have been in English. Both albums have been released on CD as well as digital.


2019 CD Recollection
Links and sources
Tom Leeb Website, FB

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Lithuania - On Fire - The Roop

Digital release image
The Roop is the winner of Pabandom iš naujo! and will represent Lithuania with On Fire.
The official video is here.
On Fire is written by the trio themselves, they are The Roop are Vaidotas Valiukevičius, Robertas Baranauskas and Mantas Banišauskas.
The song was released as a digital single on January 14.

On Fire is the second attempt to score the Eurovision ticket for The Roop. In 2018 they ended third in the Lithuanian selection with Yes I Do.

Pabandom iš naujo! 2020 was a 6 night selection to find the Lithuanian entry for Rotterdam.
LRT's Youtube channel has all NF performances (Playlist)


Links and sources
The Roop Website FB
LRT's Youtube channel has all NF performances (Playlist)

Norway - Attention - Ulrikke Brandstorp

Digital release image
Attention by Ulrikke Brandstorp is the winner of anniversary Melodi Grand Prix and is the entry for the Rotterdam contest.
The song is written by Christian Ingebrigtsen, Kjetil Mørland and Ulrikke Brandstorp.
The digital single was released on January 31.
An Acoustic live performance version was released as a digital single on February 7.

Watch and listen: MGP winner performance, Acoustic performance


Versions
Attention - single version
- digital release
Attention - Acoustic live performance
- digital release


Acoustic single DRI
Norway is celebrating. 60 years ago Nora Brockstedt was the first to sing for the country in the Eurovision Song Contest in London. Her uplifting Norwegian classic Voi Voi ended 4th.
For the joyous occasion this years preselection Melodi Grand Prix had five pre-rounds with a final on February 15.
Five songs by invited artists are already lined up for the final and each pre-round delivers another finalist
All participating songs were released before each round (Plus 1 sure finalist)
You can listen to the songs at the NRK MGP pages or if you search for MGP 2020 on Spotify you'll find a playlist with the same songs. (or see below player)

Didrik Solli-Tangen was one of the artists straight to the final. He entered for Norway in 2010. This time he took his brother Emil with him.


From Eurocovers
Links and sources
NRK MGP pages


Armenia - Chains On You - Athena Manoukian

Digital release image
Athena Manoukian (Աթենա Մանուկյանին) represents Armenia in the 2020 Eurovision. The song Chains On You is written by Manoukian herself with Greek producer DJ Paco (Constantine Paco).
The digital single was released on February 14.
Listen here at Depri Evratesil Youtube.

More later.....

Armenia selected its Eurovision entry for Rotterdam through the Depri Evratesil contest (To Eurovision, Դեպի Եվրատեսի).
12 songs competed and you can listen to them here (DE's Youtube)
The final was on February 15.






Links and sources
ARMTV Eurovision pages
Athena Manoukian FB

Moldova

Moldova has some chosen finalists for you to listen to. They can be found here (click Participanti)
The final is on February 29
A few names we know from Eurovision are Georgeta Burlacu (2008), Pasha Parfeni (2012) and Natalia Gordienko (2006)


Links and sources
TRM Eurovision WebsiteFB

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Romania - Roxen

Picture supplied by TVR
Roxen will represent Romania in the Rotterdam Eurovision Song Contest.

Romania chose their singer behind closed doors and a song will be chosen in a five-song televised final on March 1.

Roxen (Larisa Roxana Giurgiu) released two singles last year: Ce-ți cântă dragostea (What does your love sing) and I Don't Care.
She also supplied the vocals to You Don't Love Me by Sickotoy which was a top 10 hit in Romania and Bulgaria.

More later....


Links and sources
Roxen FB
TVR / Eurovision Romania

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Italy - Fai rumore - Diodato

Fai Rumore single Digital Release Image

Fai Rumore (Make noise) by Diodato is the winner of the Sanremo 2020 contest and will be the Eurovision song for Rotterdam (confirmed).
The song is written by (Antonio) Diodato himself with Edwyn Roberts.
Here's the official video clip.

Diodato's album Che Vita Meravigliosa
Fai Rumore is out on the album Che Vita Meravigliosa (Wonderful life) on February 14. The album is released on CD and LP. (Carosello records)
The digital single track was released on February 6.
And the song is also included on the Sanremo 2020 2CD (see below)
The song is too long for Eurovision so an edit or reworking can be expected for Rotterdam.

Fai Rumore is Antonio Diodato's 3rdnd Sanremo appearance.
In 2014 he ended 2nd in the Newcomers section (Sezione Nuove Proposte) with the self penned song Babilonia.
In 2018 he performed Adesso with trumpeter Roy Paci which finished 8th. Adesso was released as a vinyl 7" single. (All vinyl details of 2018 can be found here at the Lisbon Collection)
In 2014 Diodato released a coverversion of the 1959 Eurovision classic Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina) originally by Domenico Modugno. Taken from the Diodato album A Ritrovar Bellezza.

Che Vita Meravigliosa is Diodato's 4th album.
- E Forze Sono Pazzo (La Narcisse 2013, CD) the 2014 re-issue includes Babilonia.
- A Ritrovar Bellezza (RCA 2014, CD)
- Cosa Siamo Diventati (Carosello 2017, CD)
- Che Vita Meravigliosa (Carosello 2020, CD, LP)

Versions
Fai Rumore - original version
- LP/CD Que Vita Meravigliosa and CD Sanremo 2020 La Compilation
Fai Rumore - Eurovision version
- to be expected

Charts
Italy top 100 (FIMI): 41, 1

70th Sanremo
The Italian Sanremo contest celebrated its 70th edition this year. It starts on the 4th of February and has the final on the 8th. And then we should know the Italian Eurovision entry.

The 2CD Sanremo 2020 - La Compilation is out on February 7.
It includes all 24 Big songs plus the 8 songs from the newcomers section (Nuove proposte)
Full tracklist with all album release info below.

Italy's returning boy Raphael Gualazzi had another try (and ended 11th) and so did Francesco Gabbani who ended 2nd.

Vinile and more
Many of the artists have new albums out next week or re-issue older records with the Sanremo song added. Lots of stuff on vinyl LP too.  All details are in the tracklist below

So far I have spotted three vinyl singles from this years Sanremo.
Francesco Gabbani - Viceversa (Clear vinyl)
Rita Pavone - Niente (Reslienza 74)
Rancore - Eden

Links and sources
Diodato WebsiteFB
Sanremo FB and RAI pages
Diodato at Eurocovers

Sanremo 2020 La Compilation 2CD
(with album info, release dates from out now to February 28)
CD1
01. Elodie – Andromeda
- on CD This is Elodie (Universal)
02. Elettra Lamborghini – Musica (E Il Resto Scompare)
- on CD Twerking queen (El resto es nada), re-issue (Universal)
03. Alberto Urso – Il Sole Ad Est
- on CD Il sole ad est (Sanremo edition) (Universal)
04. Giordana Angi – Come Mia Madre
- on CD Voglio essere tua (Sanremo edition re-issue) (Universal)
05. Rancore – Eden
- vinyl 7" single (Universal)
06. Achille Lauro – Me ne frego
07. Anastasio – Rosso di rabbia
- on CD Atto zero (RCA)
08. Pinguini Tattici Nucleari – Ringo Starr
- on LP/CD Fuori dall'hype Ringo Starr (re-issue of Fuori dall'hype) (RCA)
09. Francesco Gabbani – Viceversa
- vinyl 7" single & CD Viceversa, also as deluxe edition (BMG)
10. Irene Grandi – Finalmente io
- on CD Grandissimo (Sanremo edition re-issue) (Cose da Grandi)
11. Levante – Tikibombom
- on 2CD Magmamemoria MMXX (Parlophone)
12. Diodato – Fai rumore
- on CD Che vita marivigliosa (Carosello)
13. Marco Masini – Il confronto
- on CD, 2LP and deluxe CD Masini + 1 30th Anniversary (Legacy)
14. Piero Pelù – Gigante
- on CD Pugili fragili (Legacy)
15. Riki – Lo sappiamo entrambi
- album Perdo le parole e mania (No release date yet)
16. Bugo & Morgan – Sincero
- Bugo CD Cristian Bugatti (Tetoyoshi Music)

CD2
01. Michele Zarrillo – Nell’estasi o nel fango
02. Enrico Nigiotti – Baciami adesso
- on CD Nigio (Columbia)
03. Le Vibrazioni – Dov’è
04. Paolo Jannacci – Voglio parlarti adesso
- on CD Canterò (Sanremo edition re-issue) (Ala Bianca)
05. Raphael Gualazzi – Carioca
- on LP/CD Ho un piano (Sugar)
06. Rita Pavone – Niente (Resilienza 74)
- on 7" vinyl single (BMG)
07. Tosca – Ho amato tutto
- on CD Morabeza (re-issue edition) (Leave music)
08. Junior Cally – No grazie
09. Leo Gassmann – Vai bene così*
- on CD Strike (Universal)
10. Eugenio in Via di Gioia – Tsunami
- on CD Tsunami (Universal)
11. Fadi – Due noi
12. Fasma – Per sentirmi vivo
- on CD Io sono Fasma (Sony)
13. Marco Sentieri – Billy blu
14. Tecla – 8 marzo
- album planned on Rusty records, no release date yet
15. Matteo Faustini – Nel bene e nel male
- CD Figli delle favole (Museo dei Sognatori) also has acoustic version
16. Gabriella Martinelli & Lula – Il gigante d’acciaio

* Leo Gassmann won the newcomers contest (Nuove Proposte)


Malta - Destiny Chukunyere

X-Factor picture taken from Destiny's Facebook
Malta will be represented in Rotterdam by Destiny Chukunyere.
She won the X-Factor Malta 19/20 and secured her ticket to Eurovision.
A song will be presented later

Of course Destiny is no stranger, she won the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia, Bulgaria with Not My Soul.
She also was a backing vocalist for the Maltese 2019 entry Chameleon by Michela Pace.

Links and sources
Destiny's FB
X-Factor Malta FB

Latvia - Still breathing - Samanta Tīna

Digital release image
Samanta Tīna (Samanta Poļakova) is the winner of the Latvian Supernova selection. Her song Still Breathing is the Eurovision entry for Rotterdam.
Samanta wrote the music and Aminata Savadogo wrote the lyrics.
Still Breathing was released as a digital single on November 28.

Nobody has been trying to get to Eurovision as hard as Samanta Tīna.
2012 - I Want You Back (duet with Dāvids Kalandija, 2nd place in final)
2012 - For Father (7th in semi-final)
2013 - I Need A Hero (2nd place)
2014 - Stay (3rd place)
2016 - The Love Is Forever (finalist but Samanta withdrew)
2016 - We Live For Love (5th in quarter final)
She also participated in the Lithuanian selection:
2013 - Hey Chiki Mama (Duet with Vudis, 4th in first round)
2017 - Tavo Oda (Your skin), (Duet with Tadas Rimgaila, 7th in first round)

She was the winner of X-Factor latvia in 2010 and was also a finalist in The Voice Lithuania in 2014.


Latvia decided on Februari 8 in Supernova 2020, the contest to select the Eurovision entry.
Latvia's LTV had selected nine finalists for this years final
In an earlier stage 26 contenders were uploaded for us all to enjoy

Wanna have a listen?
Finalists (LTV Youtube playlist) or you can listen to All 26 songs (LTV Youtube playlist)

Links and sources
LTV Supernova pages and FB
Samanta Tīna FB

Australia - Don't break me - Montaigne

We all know that finding a Eurovision entry is not the most urgent thing on peoples minds but Australia's preselection for 2020 went ahead in Goldcoast on February 8.
Digital release image
Montaigne (Jessica Serro) is the winner and she will represent Australia in Rotterdam with the song Don'r Break Me.
It is written by Jessica Serro herself, Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci.
The digital single was released on January 31st.

Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci (a.k.a. DNA Muisc) also wrote three other Australian entries
Sound Of Silence for Dami Im which ended second in Stockholm in 2016,  Don't Come Easy by Isaiah (9th in Kyiv in 2017) and #WeGotLove by Jessica Mauboy (16th in Lisbon 2018)


All competing songs are released seperately and if you search for Australia Decides 2020 on you favorite streaming thingies you'll find them all.


Links and sources
SBS Australia Decides pages
Montaigne WebsiteFB

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Serbia

Serbia has 24 songs lined up for you to listen to.
The contest is held on three consecutive days.
The first semi in on February 28, the 2nd a day later. The final is on March 1.

Semi final 1 songs / Semi final 2 songs

Links and sources
RTS Eurovision pages

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Israel

Israel will be represented in Rotterdam by Eden Alene (עדן אלנה‎) who won her Eurovision ticket by winning the Rising Star contest.
A song selection will take place on March 3.

Eden Alene won the 2017/2018 edition of X-factor Israel and released a few digital singles including a coverversion of Brotherhood Of Man's Save Your Kisses For Me, the 1976 Eurovision winner. (Listen to that here)


More later...


Links and sources
Eden Alene FB (in Hebrew)

Denmark

Denmark are having a pre-semi like round for this years DMGP and a final on March 7.

5 songs already were placed in the final, five more were selected from 9 songs. The public chose 3 (via the internet), a jury another 2.

Listen to the 10 finalists here at DR

Listen to the 9 semi competing songs here at DR

Links and sources
DR DMGP pages

Monday, February 3, 2020

Greece - Superg!rl - Stefania

Picture from Stefania's Facebook
Stefania Liberakakis (Στεφανία Λυμπερακάκη) will sing for Greece in Rotterdam.
Her song, Superg!rl, is written by Dimitris Kontopoulis, Arcade and Sharon Vaughn.
(Arcade are Pavlos Manolis, Anastasios Rammos, Diverno and Gabriel Russell)

Stefania was a member of the group Kisses who sang Kisses And Dancin' at the 2016 Junior Eurovision Song Contest representing the Netherlands and finisheing 8th.

More later....

Links and sources
Stefania FB (Dutch)

Czech Republic - Kemama - Benny Cristo

Kemama by Benny Cristo (full name Ben da Silva Cristóvão ) is the winner of the Czech selection.
The song is written by Osama Verse-Atile, Ben Cristovao, Charles Sarpong and Rudy Ray.
The song was released through most digital stores on Januari 20. But the song will get a makeover for Eurovision.
Watch the videoclip here.
There is also a lovely unplugged version with pianist Adam Albrecht

There were 7 songs in this years Czech selection. to be voted on with the Eurovision.tv app
Here's a Youtube playlist with the competing seven songs.


Benny Cristo first sign of fame was in 2009 when he was a finalist in the Czech / Slovak Superstar contest.
He released a debut album a year later and two more followed. He has released over 20 digital singles in the past 10 years and many did very well in several Czech and Slovak charts.
The 2017 EP Posledni was available as a t-shirt. The QR code on the t-shirt gave access to download the 6 track mini album.

Our Benny is also a successful sportsman (jiu-jitsu and snowboarding) and he's got the medals and the sixpack to show for it.

You can watch most of his videos on his Youtube Channel (as Ben Cristovao).




Links and sources
Benny Cristo WebsiteFB
CTV's ESCZ pages and FB

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Sweden

Sweden's Melodifestivalen's six Saturdays start on February 1. The Final is on March 7.
A few names we know from Eurovision are Robin Bengtsson (2017), Anna Bergendahl (2010) and Victor Crone (Estonia 2019).

The Melodifestivalen 2CD is expected to drop on February 23.
It will be released by Warner Music Sweden (5054197068362) See full tracklist below


Links and sources
SVT Melodifestivalen blog, FB
Thanks to Nina at Warner Music Sweden.
You'll find extensive MF charts statistics in the 2019 Sweden post at the Tel Aviv Collection

Melodifestivalen 2020 CD1
01 Move - The Mamas
02 Moves - Suzi P
03 Take A Chance - Robin Bengtsson
04 Ballerina - Malou Prytz
05 Inga Problem - Ovö
06 Sluta Aldrig Gå - Sonja Aldén
07 Boys With Emotions - Felix Sandman
08 Nobody - Klara Hammarström
09 Miraklernas Tid - Thorsten Flinck*
10 Bulletproof - Dotter
11 Vallmos Amigos (feat Alvaro Estrella) - Mendez
12 Alla Mina Sorger - Linda Bengtzing
13 Talking In My Sleep - Paul Rey
14 Kingdom Come - Anna Bergendahl
* Thorsten Flinck was replaced in the contest by Jan Johansen, but the Thorsten Flinck version will be on the CD release.

Melodifestivalen 2020 CD2
01 Shout It Out - Mariette
02 Livet Börjar Nu - Albin
03 Piga & Dräng - Drängarna
04 Late - Amanda Aasa
05 Vem E Som Oss - Anis Don Demina
06 Crying Rivers - Faith Kakembo
07 Winners - Mohombi
08 We Are One - Frida Öhrn
09 Molnljus - William Stridh
10 Carpool Karaoke - Nanne Grönvall
11 Troubled Waters - Victor Crone
12 Surface - Ellen Benediktson & Simon Peyron
13 Om Du Tror Att Jag Saknar Dig - Jakob Karlberg
14 Brave - Hanna Ferm

Spain - Universo - Blas Cantó

Artwork for the digital single
Blas Canto (Blas Cantó Moreno) represents Spain in the Rotterdam contest.
His self penned song is titled Universo.
The song was revealed on January 30 and released through all digital platforms on the 31st
Here's the video

He has so far released one solo album Complicado from 2018 (CD). It was re-released in 2019 as Complicados, a deluxe version with bonus tracks (2CD).
The album is mainly in Spanish but also includes a few songs in English.
The album was a #1 in the Spanish charts and stayed on the top 100 for 42 weeks.
His latest single is Si Te Vas (from the re-issue edition of the album)

El Camino A Rotterdam
Eurovision history for young Blas started early.
In 2004 he was in the Spanish preselection for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest final with the song Sentir. He lost out to María Isabel who went on to win the whole shebang with Antes Muerta Que Sencilla.
CD Complicados
From 2009 to 2016 He was in a boy band Auryn who tried to get to Eurovision in 2011. They finished top 3 in Destino Eurovisión (2011) but in the end lost out to Lucia Pérez.
Auryn scored 15 top 50 hits in Spain including the #1 Puppeteer (2014). Three of their four albums went to #1

Links and sources
Blas Cantó WebsiteFB

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Finland

Finland's selection Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu UMK will go ahead on March 7.
6 songs by 6 artists are competing and the songs are revealed one by one in the last week of January.
You can watch the songs at UMK's Youtube playlist.


Links and sources
YLE UMK pages and playlist

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Iceland

There's a pretty new logo too
Iceland's Broadcaster has uploaded all songs for the Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2020.
You can listen to all the songs in Icelandic here and  6 of them in English here. (Youtubes)

All songs and their karaoke versions are also available on your favorite streaming devices.

The Icelandic final is on February 29 with two semi's on 8 and 15 February.

I've spotted one familair face, Matti Matt (Mathias Mathiasson) was one of Sjonni's Friends in 2011.


Links and sources
RÚV Söngvakeppnin pages and FB

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Estonia

Estonia's Eesti Laul final is on February 29 with two semi's on 13 and 15 February.
You can listen to all the songs (24) on the Eurolaul pages (scroll a bit, player on the right)
Among the contestants is Laura who we know from Suntribe (2005) and Verona with Koit Toome. (2017).


Links and sources
ERR Eurolaul pages

Absent Friends

Bulgaria and Ukraine (if all goes well) are back but there's always some who don't wanna play.
Hungary chooses to stay home this time. The reason given is that they want to use the A Dal contest (which was used as the preselection for Eurovision) to support national artists. Okay.....
If you can't live without the Hungarian music fest Médiaklikk have an A Dal 2020 page.
Our Kati Wolf / Wolf Kati has a song in the competition

Montenegro also opts out this year. Lack of finance and not being very successful are mentioned as reasons.

Here are the entries of our Absent Friends' past
Hungary: 2019 - 20182017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 2012 - 2011 - 2009
Montenegro: 2019 - 2018 - 2017 -  2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009

And then there's a few that have gone AWOL for a while now.
Bosnia-Herzegovina: 2016 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Turkey: 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 but they had a perfect ambassador in Serhat
Slovakia: 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Portugal

Portugal's Festival da Canção 2020 will have two semi's (Februari 22 and 29) and a final (March 7)

The songs are available now at your favorite digital outlet or you can now listen to all songs on Spotify, Apple music and here at Festival da Canção's Youtube channel.
The past few years there was a CD release of the FdC songs but no details on a 2020 edition yet.



Links and sources
RTP Festival da Canção pages


North Macedonia - Vasil Garvanliev

Patuvam single Digital release image
Vasil Garvanliev (Васил Гарванлиев) represents North Macedonia in Rotterdam.
He already had a little taste of Eurovision as (invisible) backing singer for Tamara Todevska's Proud last year.
His most recent single is Patuvam (I'm suffering) which is a pop tune but if you listen to his 2018 single Gerdan (Necklace) his classical voice shines through. (both can be heard at Vasil's Youtube channel)


From Vasil's bio:
"Vasil was born and raised in Macedonia and has been in the music world since the age of 7. Now 33 and having lived over two decades in Chicago, Milano, Toronto, & London he is finally back home and focusing on a solo career using roots from his country to share with the world.

His 25 year music journey is quite diverse - from a Child pop star, to a member and soloist for the Chicago Children's Choir, to over 50 roles as a Leading Baritone Opera singer, to back up vocals to some of the worlds greatest Artists. Whenever words fail - Vasil just sings."
(excerpt from his biography at Vasil's Facebook)


Links and sources
Vasil Garvanliev FB
Here's a video of Vasil in his younger days

Albania - Shaj - Arilena Ara

2017 hit I'm Sorry (Nëntori)
The first song for Rotterdam:
Arilena Ara is the winner of the 58th Festivali I Këngës with the song Shaj (Shout or Scream).
The song is composed by Darko Dimitrov, Lazar Cvetkovski and the Albanian lyrics are by Lindon Berisha.
Listen here to the studio version at Arilena's YT.

The song is said to have been originally written in English and with Albania there's always a chance we'll get a revamped version for the contest.

Arilena Ara won the 2012/2013 season of X factor Albania.
Her biggest hit so far is Nëntori from 2017, also released in English (I’m sorry) and Russian (Ноябрь) and in variety of remixes.
Here latest single is Doja with Flori Mumajesi, released November 2019.

Composers Dimitrov and Cvetkovski also gave us Proud by Tamara Todevska, North Macedonia's best result in the contest ever.
Dimitrov also co-wrote the Macedonian entries of 2006 (Ninanajna by Elena Risteska), 2013 and 2014 and the Albanian 2015 song.


Links and sources:
Arilena Ara Website, FB

Netherlands - Jeangu Macrooy

2019 album Horizon
Jeangu Macrooy is representing the host country in the 2020 contest.
A song (co) written by Macrooy himself will be presented later.

Macrooy's style is described as Nu Soul but has elements of Jazz and Pop.
His 2017 single High On You was a #1 hit in Suriname (his birth country)

Jeangu Macrooy released two handful of singles and four albums so far:
- Brave enough (2016 mini album, digital only)
- High on you (2017, LP and CD)
- Horizon (2019, LP and CD)
- Live (2019, digital only)


Links and sources:
Jeangu Macrooy Website, FB

Georgia - Tornike Kipiani

Picture taken from Tornike Kipiani's Facebook

Tornike Kipiani (თორნიკე ყიფიანი) is the winner of the Georgian Pop Idol selection 2020. 
In eight episodes Kipiani beat nine other singers and won the ticket to Rotterdam.
The song is will be presented later. Obviously.

In 2014 he won X-Factor Georgia.
I haven't found any music releases for Tornike Kipiani yet but you can find his Pop Idol performances here at  the საქართველოს ვარსკვლავი  Youtube channel.

Links and sources
Tornike Kipiani FB

Austria - Alive - Vincent Bueno

Yes, it's really Invinceble
ORF chose Vincent Bueno to represent Austria in Rotterdam. The song is titled Alive and will be presented later (duh).
Vincent Bueno wrote the song with his team.
Key words of the song will be #alive #fireshots #behindthewall #hiddenhero.

Bueno already gave it a try in 2016. His song All We Need Is That Love ended 4th in Wer singt für Österreich?, the Austrian selection for the Stockholm Eurovision Song Contest.
In 2008 he won Musical! Die Show, an Austrian talent contest to find the next musical star.

Vincent Bueno has released three albums so far
- Step By Step (2009 CD)
- Wieder Leben (German language album from 2016, digital only)
- Invinceble (2018, digital only)
Even though he started out as a musical singer the latest album is a mix of funky pop and soul, never mind the spelling, it's a really good album worth checking out.

Bueno was a backing vocalist for Nathan Trents 2017 entry Running On Air. Also on the studio version / cdsingle. So now you know.

Links and sources
Vincent Bueno WebsiteFB

Cyprus - Sandro Nicolas

In My Blood Digital release image
Sandro Nicolas is the singer for Cyprus in the 2020 contest

Sandro Nicolas (Σάντρο Νικόλα, real name Alessandro Rütten) was a contestant in Das Supertalent (Germany got talent, 2015), The Voice Of Germany (2018) and in Russian international talent show New Wave (representing the U.S.!).
He has so far released one (digital) single, In My Blood, a coverversion of the massive Shawn Mendes hit  which Sandro performed in his The Voice auditions.

Links and sources
Sandro Nicolas only found an old FB so far.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Bulgaria - Victoria Georgieva

2019 single I Wanna Know
After a year contemplating Bulgaria returns to Eurovision with Victoria Georgieva (Виктория Георгиева).

Victoria, a former X-factor contestant,  has released several reasonably succesful singles in Bulgarian but her most recent single is in English: I Wanna Know from June 2019. (released as Victoria without the Georgieva)
She is currently working on her first album which is expected around Eurovision. Although it might be just an EP.

Victoria is dedicated to her work giving Bulgarian stray cats and dogs a new home, so there's that.


Links and sources
Victoria Georgieva WebsiteFB

Belgium - Hooverphonic

2018 CD Looking for Stars
Belgium was the first country to announce their artist for the Rooterdam contest. It's Hooverphonic, the critically acclaimed band that was founded in 1995.
Currently the band is Alex Callier, Raymond Geerts (both original members) and singer Luka Cruysberghs.

The song will be revealed on February 17.

Hooverphonic started out in the Trip Hop era but later on their orchestral arrangements created a more film-score sound. They also dabbled in some psychedelica and retro-pop.
But really, they're hard to put a label on, which is good of course.
The scored 35 top 100 hits in Belgium and a few made it to other charts (5 in Italy!).
Mad About You (2000) is probably their most known song from the early era.
In 2015 they scored a #3 hit with Badaboum. Sadly not a cover of the Minouche Barelli classic but it features Émilie Satt of Madame Monsieur fame.

They have release almost 20 albums, the latest being Looking For Stars with current singer Luka, which is their 14th top 10 album in the Belgian charts.
Looking For Stars is released on CD, LP and cassette. It includes the top 20 hits Romantic and Uptight and their latest single Horrible Person.
If you want a brief history of the first 20 years you can check out the 2018 compilation album Hooverphonic Top 40 (2CD) or 2016 collection The Best Of Hooverphonic (2CD/3LP)

Alec Callier was one of the writers of the 2018 Belgian entry A Matter Of Time by Sennek which unfortunately didn't make it to the final.

Links and sources
Hooverphonic Website, FB

The Eurovision Collectors Guide 1956-2018

The Rotterdam Collection of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be materializing here soon but if you want to find out about the first 63 contests you can check out our facebook for more details on the 10th* edition of the Eurovision Collectors Guide. (here in the Photos section)

If you like what you see, you can download the whole thing as a PDF file here at ESC History
And give us a Like if you have one to spare....

The 2019 Tel Aviv Collection is here.

Sample page


* Actually the new one is #11, but I don't count the #0 edition that only had 10 copies made.

The first 9 Eurovision Collectors Guides