“Hello You”: Doron’s song for the new Israeli-UAE relations!

The normalisation of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has produced its first musical collaboration: “Ahlan Bik”, or “Hello you” in Arabic.

“This is a historic moment,” said Israeli singer Elkana Marziano, whose duet with Emirati artist Walid Aljasim has clocked more than 1.1 million YouTube views since it was posted on September 30.

Marziano, 28, is a former winner of Israel’s version of The Voice, a singing competition TV show, and an Arabic speaker influenced by the Mizrahi culture of Jews from the Arab world.

He told AFP that he and Aljasim had collaborated over the Zoom video-conferencing service, with some parts of the song recorded in Dubai and others in Israel.

“The understanding was immediate,” Marziano said of the partnership.

One online commentator, who posted under the name Shaked Sharon, said: “With this song, you feel the new Middle East.”

The ‘new Middle East’? 

In August, Israel and the UAE announced that they had reached a US-brokered deal to normalise ties, following years of discreet economic and security cooperation.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, approved the UAE deal on Thursday.

Bahrain ultimately joined the pact known as the Abraham Accords signed at the White House last month, making it and the UAE the third a fourth Arab states to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

Israel signed a peace agreement with neighbouring Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted that the Gulf deals highlight shifting priorities in the region.

The right-winger has insisted that more Arab states want ties with Israel even though its conflict with the Palestinians remains unresolved.

The UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has said the pact “opens the way to a new era of cooperation”.

Palestinian leaders have condemned the deals and called on the Arab world to withhold establishing ties with Israel until it reaches a viable peace with the Palestinians.

While some YouTube commenters have celebrated “Ahlan Bik”, others have condemned the song and Israeli-Emirati normalisation, while calling for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Live concert

The song was written by Doron Medalie, who also wrote “Toy”, which won the 2018 Eurovision contest in Israel.

The chorus — “I hear you friend far away, far away” — is repeated in the three languages, while the music video’s action pivots from Marziano dancing with friends in Israel to Aljasim in Dubai.

Marziano said that peace was a common theme in Israeli music, which has regularly been in conflict with its neighbours since its founding in 1948.

He said it was a “personal victory” to see young Israelis and Emiratis interacting online to discuss the song on his YouTube page, adding that he is planning a live concert with Aljasim when the coronavirus pandemic ends.

“I am very moved by the idea of singing this song, and others, on the same stage (with Aljasim),” Marziano told AFP.

Source: Moneycontrol

Laka: “The problem of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Eurovision is also the religion of our representative”!

Laka is one of the most popular and successful songwriters in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2008 with his sister represented the country in Belgrade with the song Pokušaj, taking tenth place.

It is known that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s public broadcaster is facing significant financial problems, hence its abstention from the contest.

In a recent interview, Laka believes that financial resources can be found if the country’s broadcaster decides to return to the contest. But then the problem will be the choice of the artist and the religion / ethnicity to which he belongs. Laka, however, speaks with nostalgia about his previous participation and declares his presence in a possible comeback.

Once the state is interested in being promoted in Europe, money will be found for the Eurovision Song Contest, but it will still be difficult to choose who will represent the country, a Serb, a Croat, a Bosnian, a Christian or a Muslim. It was great for us at the Eurovision Song Contest, so I would love to participate in this event again.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, which in the 1990s was the focus of fierce fighting between Serbs on the one hand and Bosniaks and Croats on the other, is now a single state entity, with two federal republics and another autonomous region.

About 55% of the country belongs to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the remaining 45% belongs to the Republika Srpska. There is even the small autonomous region of Brcko. In each of these federal districts, another ethnic group predominates. Demographically, about 50% of the population identifies as Bosniaks, 35% as Serbs, 10% as Croats, and the remaining 5% belong to other ethnicities.

The above puzzle, of course, from time to time created problems in the selection of the representative, since artists from the two most important components of the country (Bosniaks and Serbs) had to be selected.

Thus while e.g. in 2008 the country was represented by Laka, who is Bosnian, last year Marija Sestic, who is of Serbian origin, was chosen.

Laka addresses this problem with his above statement. However, we wish Bosnia and Herzegovina to return to the Eurovision Song Contest soon and give us other entries, such as Pokušaj, which you can enjoy below:

Source: avaz.ba

Australia: Listen to Dami Im’s song for Australia Decides 2021 | “Paper Dragon” is out!

During this year’s Australia Decides, Dami Im, who appeared as a guest, revealed that in 2021 she would also participate as a contestant, claiming for the second time the representation of Australia in Eurovision.

Dami Im’s plan was later overturned, as the cancellation of the competition and the decision of the country’s public broadcaster to give Montaigne, the winner of Australia Decides 2020, another chance, resulted in the non-realization of the national final for Australia in 2021. So, if Dami Im really wants to return to Eurovision she will have to wait until 2022.

Dami Im, who signed with a new record label, ABC Music, has revealed that her new single, Paper Dragon, which has been officially released on all digital platforms, is the song with which she would participate in Australia Decides 2021 .

Below you can listen the song:

Could Dami Im with this song achieve a better result than the second place of 2016, with Sound of Silence?

Prikhodko was hounded because of her participation in Eurovision with Russia | “Russia ceased to exist for me”

Singer Anastasia Prikhodko complained on the air “4 channels”that she was hounded in Ukraine because of her participation in the international music contest “Eurovision” from Russia.

“I still hear a lot of unpleasant statements like the fact that I am from Russia, a tin can,” she said, adding that the persecution pursues her and she is “very offended for that”.

According to Prikhodko, at one time she left to work in Russia due to the fact that she was not appreciated in Ukraine. She noted that people do not understand that “the Ukrainians disqualified her under the power that was.” She took part in the Ukrainian national selection, before she submitted Mamo in Russia, but she eliminated in the semi final.

The artist said that the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko could not do anything, because it was a dishonest competition where bribes took place. She stated that she was “disqualified as an inconvenient participant” in Ukraine and then she went to Russia.

In February last year, Prikhodko announced that she was not proud of her participation in Eurovision from Russia. She stated that she “regrets that her story was connected with Russia.” The singer noted that after the annexation of Crimea, this country “ceased to exist” for her.

Anastasia Prikhodko gained fame after winning the Russian television project “Star Factory – 7” in 2007. In 2009, the singer represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Mamo” in Russian and Ukrainian and took 11th place.

Source: pledgetimes

UK: Katrina believes James Newman’s song was one of the strongest, BBC have sent since 1997!

In an interview with escbubble, the UK’s last winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Katrina, claims that this year’s entry of the UK with James Newman, was one of the strongest songs BBC have sent since 1997.

Katrina supports James Newman

Katrina recently released her new album, which includes the song she suggested to the BBC for Eurovision 2020. The song is called I Want To Love Again and you can listen to it below:

Of course, in the interview she was also asked about this year’s participation of the United Kingdom and James Newman.

I think it was right on track. It was one of the strongest songs that we’ve entered since 1997… I think he’s a class writer and that’s exactly what we need to be doing and where we should be.

As for the BBC’s strategy in the contest, Katrina believes that the right recipe for 2020 has been followed and they must stick to it.

We’re on track. I think what James did is much better.. there’s no reason not to submit something really strong and really commercial.

With James Newman at Eurovision 2021?

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that has not yet announced its intentions in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. It is unknown at this time if James Newman will have another chance.

However, he does not seem to give up, after the previous days he revealed through his social networks that he is preparing new songs, together with the creators of One Last Breath, this year’s participation of the United Kingdom in the contest. It is possible that one of these songs will be suggested to the BBC.

James Newman would represent the UK at Eurovision 2020, with the song One Last Breath. You can listen it below:

Would you like to see James Newman representing the UK in Eurovision Song Contest 2021?

Belarus: Eurostars are divided into camps for the civil conflict!

Belarus has been on an unprecedented course of instability and concern for the past month following the results of the August 9th presidential election. The former Soviet country has attracted global interest because of the strong reaction of its citizens to the face of the longest-serving leader in the country’s history, Alexander Lukashenko, directly questioning the outcome of the recent presidential election. The country’s eurostars are taking a stand, with most on the side of the insurgents. Read more

Go_A: “Ukraine has its own language and culture and we have a chance to show it” | Exclusive interview! (video)

EurovisionFun had the pleasure and the honor of hosting Go_A in an exclusive interview. Go_A is a Ukrainian electro-folk band and consists of Kateryna Pavlenko, Ihor Didenchuk, Taras Shevchenko και Ivan Hryhoriak. This year, after their victory in the national final Vidbir 2020, they were set to represent Ukraine in Eurovision with the song “Solovey“, while from very early, after the cancellation of the competition, it was announced that they will internally represent the country in 2021 in Rotterdam.

Info: The idea to form a band that will combine modern electronic music with ethnic motifs first came to Taras Shevchenko in 2011, but the first attempts to work with actual musicians were in 2012. At the end of that year, in December, the first song “Koliada” was released. The band’s name means “return to the roots” and was made by combining the English word “Go” with the Greek letter “Alpha“, which symbolizes the beginning of everything.


Interview with Go_A

First of all, thank you for this interview. You won Vidbir 2020 and you would represent Ukraine in Eurovision 2020 with the song “Solovey”. How you felt after winnng your country’s national final this year?

Actually it was quite a surprise for us. We couldn’t believe that a band that had been staying in musical underground for 7 years without a manager or label support could win such contest. So our first impression was “Ok, what’s the catch?”. But then we felt a great responsibility, because we understood we were the first band in Eurovision history that would perform a song fully in Ukrainian. We find it very important. As one of our European fans said, not many people in Europe or the rest of the world know that Ukraine has its own language and culture – and we have a chance to show it.

How you felt after the heartbreaking announcement that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was cancelled?

Taras: When Eurovision was cancelled everything happened so fast, there hadn’t any time for feelings.  We were working in the studio when we received two messages on my phone. The first one – Eurovision was cancelled, the second one – UA:PBC (which is responsible for Eurovision in Ukraine) had decided that we would be the Ukraine’s entry for Eurovision 2021.

Could you tell us more about your team behind “Solovey”? Will be the same team for your next year’s entry?

The song was written by Taras & Kate so next year it will be the same way. As for the performance team – we are looking for professionals that will help us implement our ideas.

“Solovey” has a unique and traditional sound and it’s in Ukrainian language. What that, singing in your own language, means to you? Will you still use traditional sounds and Ukrainian in 2021?

Our aim is to show our cultural heritage to the whole world because we believe it should take its place in pop music the same way it has already happened with Indian, Arabian and Latin folk music. And of course it includes us singing in Ukrainian and using traditional Ukrainian sound techniques.

As I said before, your song was among the few traditional songs this year. Do you believe that in the future contests, the countries should prefer to use traditional sounds and their own language?

We think that depends on the artist. Every artist expresses his/her thoughts and emotions through the song’s lyrics. Some of them are great in writing songs in English, others prefer to do it in their own language. Our song Solovey wouldn’t sound like Solovey any more if it was translated in English but still there are a lot of great songs in English and I can’t imagine them being performed in a different language. Again, it’s all about the artist’s attitude.

In 2016, Jamala won Eurovision for Ukraine. How would you feel if you were the 3d act which will bring the contest in your country?

We would consider it to be a great honor and responsibility. But based on our experience of winning Ukraine’s national selection we understand it’s difficult to predict one’s feelings till the very moment.

The last years, Ukraine used to organize a national final. How did you feel when you noticed that you have internally selected for 2021?

We had very little time to feel anything. For us it was like “Ok, we need to write another song for the next year, so lets get started”.

As you already let us know, you will create five songs for your personal national final so people will choose the best one. Have you already some songs on hand? Have you started the preparation about that?

The idea first came up as a joke but then we realized it was a good way to show some respect to people who voted for us this year. We started to work in the studio right after Eurovision had been cancelled and so far we have several pieces of music. But you’d never know which song will be THE song or in our case – one of several songs. I mean, in the past we had situations when we did a song, put it on the shelf, then listened to it in several days and realized it wasn’t “us”, it didn’t feel like a Go_A song – so we just threw it away. Maybe we’ll treat our song we did for the last two months the same way. Maybe not. Time will tell.

This year, Greece would be represented by the 17 years old Stefania with the song “Supergirl”. Stefania also already confirmed for 2021. What do you think about her?

“SUPERG!RL” is incredibly powerful and yet very tender song, and so is Stefania herself. Can’t wait to hear her new song for Eurovision 2021.

*In closing, Go_A sent a message to EurovisionFun as well as to all Greeks who will be invited to vote for Ukraine at Eurovision 2021!*

We warmly thank Go_A for this interview and we wish them best of luck next year in Rotterdam!

Eurovision: Dimitris Kontopoulos equaled the composer’s record with most entries in the same contest

Dimitris Kontopoulos wrote his own story yesterday, after equaling Borislav Milanov’s record of 2017 with his three entries in the same contest last night.

He equalized the composer’s record with most entries in the same competition
Dimitris Kontopoulos has three songs in this year’s competition. Greece’s SUPERG! RL, ​​Moldova’s Prison and Estonia’s What Love Is. This is something that happened once again during the contest.

In 2017, Borislav Milanov was the composer, among other co-creators of course, of the holdings of Serbia, FYROM and Bulgaria. Of course, only one of his three songs made it to the finals. Particularly the Bulgarian one, “Beautiful Mess”, which finally won the second place.

In order to prevent the malevolent ones that are abundant this year, Dimitris Kontopoulos typically (although he has rights reserved normally), does not sign the Estonian song as a composer, but as a producer. This was done so that there would be no problem with the rules of Eesti Laul, since the candidate songs should have at least 50% Estonian creators. So, Sharon Vaughn, who is an American citizen and composer Uku Suviste himself, seems a regular lyricist.

Record for Sharon Vaughn. Will D. Kontopoulos write history in Rotterdam?

The record holder is lyricist Sharon Vaughn, as no lyricist in the history of the competition has ever signed three entries in the same competition!

However, Dimitris Kontopoulos is also expected to write history, but to be sure, he will write a new story, since if all three of his entries go to the final, he will be the only composer in the history of the competition with three songs in the final!

Recall that last year John Lundvik was a composer for Sweden and the United Kingdom, as Thomas G: Son has previously been a composer for two.

In stubbornness, the Dream Team and Dimitris Kontopoulos, in particular, remain dynamic and successful in Eurovision, continuing to enjoy the recognition and recognition of many countries!

Helena Paparizou: The video she sent for her absence from the big Eurovision concert in Amsterdam

Helena Paparizou considered as Greece’s  No. 1 pop singer and the only Eurovision winner on behalf of Greece.

On the night of December 15th, a big concert entitled ‘Het Grote Songfestivalfeest’ took place in Amsterdam and more specifically at the crowded Ziggo Dome Stage, with Eurovision winners and stars such as Johnny Logan, Sandra Kim, Ruslana, Dana International , Loreen and Charlotte Perrelli.

Due to her obligations with “The Voice of Greece”, Helena Paparizou was unable to provide the present, however, she sent her own message through a video. Indeed, during its screening, people gave up Europe’s “Number one” by singing the 2005 song.

Watch below Elena’s video:

 

Eurostars: Watch the Eurostars performances at Het Grote Songfestivalfeest (videos)

The Het Grote Songfestivalfeest concert was held at Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome on Sunday 15th with more than 30 eurostars, raising 12,000 spectators. It was the first Eurovision event on Dutch soil, let’s not forget that in a few months it will host the next ESC.

This big party was a co-operation of the public channel AVROTROS with PILOTSTUDIO. Presenter was Cornald Maas, a television figure who has been linked in the Netherlands like no other with our favorite contest. While many of our favorite artists, who wrote their own story on the pages of the competition were  present, as we said above,

Below are some of their appearances:

Loreen – Euphoria (Sweden 2012):

Eleni Foureira – Fuego (Cyprus 2018):

Mahmood – Soldi (Italy 2019):

Johnny Logan – What’s another year, Hold me now (Ireland 1980, 1987):

Katrina – Love shine a light (United Kingdom 1997):

Charlotte Perrelli – Hero (Sweden 2008):

Sergey Lazarev – You’re the only one (Russia 2016):

Dana International – Diva (Israel 1998):

You can see the other impressions HERE.

The entire concert will be televised by Dutch public television at New Year’s Eve.

Source: YouTube / Steurovision