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!

Croatia: Listen to the final version of “Divlji old”!

Through his personal YouTube account, Croatia’s representative at Eurovision 2020, Damir Kedžo, has released the final version of the song to compete in the competition, “Divlji old”.

Damir Kedžo won the right to represent his country in Rotterdam literally on the thread, having won the televising by just 260 votes! It should be recalled that the committee voted first for Mia Negovetic and second for Damir Kedžo.

France: Listen to “Mon Alliée”, the country’s final version for Rotterdam

Tom Leeb’s Eurovision 2020 entry, “The Best In Me”, was announced in mid-February and shortly after French Culture Minister Franck Riester described the song’s English chorus as disturbing in response to a question from a center party LREM’s MP.

The issue went on to add that the French representative at Eurovision, which is a national contest, should proudly use the French language, stressing that it prefers the country’s representatives to sing in French and not win, rather than  with an English song.

When the tracks were due to expire, it became known that the title of the French entry had changed with the song now being titled “Mon Alliée”. Apart from the use of a French title, the track has undergone changes as the French have become more used to it, giving it what it had been stressed to lack.

Listen to the final version of France’s entry, “Mon Alliée”, below:

Finland: Through UMK country’s representative in Eurovision 2021!

UMK 2020,the process by which Finland has chosen to participate in the 65th Eurovision Contest, was completed last night. Aksel Kankaanranta was the big winner with the song “Looking Back”.

Just before yesterday’s final, Finland’s public television has confirmed that it will use the same way for Eurovision 2021  to choose its entry.

This year, with an open procedure, 426 songs were submitted to YLE to represent the country in Rotterdam.

The music producer of Ylex to be involved in the selection of Finnish entry for 2021 said:

“The open choice for artists and songs by the country’s creators has received a positive response from both the music industry and the Finnish public. We received great songs from many Finnish artists. The end result was to have a great Final. It is our great pleasure to continue the cooperation between Ylex and UMK. Searching for songs will begin in September, so get a chance to start writing songs from now in the spring”.

Source: YLE

Israel: KAN changes the selection method from 2021 onwards

An announcement of the production of “The Next Star” indicates that this year will be the last year in which Israel selects the artist to represent the country at the Eurovision contest through this talent show.

After 7 years, the decision on how to choose a representative for the country will be taken by KAN and that “The Next Star (HaKokhav HaBa)” will no longer be associated with the competition.

Since 2015, “The Next Star (HaKokhav HaBa)” has been the process of selecting his / her Israeli representative in the Eurovision contest, yielding very good results for the country, including a victory, after years of failures and exclusions.

The 7th season of “The Next Star” is already underway and it will select the country’s representative for Eurovision 2020 for the last year. An innovative change this season is the fact that the public will have the opportunity, beyond artist, to choose the song to be interpreted by the winner, which in recent years has been the exclusive decision of the responsible team of experts.

To date, there is no information on plans for the public broadcaster, which has announced that production companies may propose a new way to opt in for 2021.

Israel at Eurovision

Israel has been participating in the competition since 1973, and its first victory came a few years later, in 1978. Remarkably, it also won the contest in 1979, making it one of the few countries to win two. and / or more consecutive years.

Israel already have 4 wins, with the last one being in 2018, and it is the only non-European country to have won four times. The Next Star (HaKokhav HaBa) has been the method of selecting his / her country representative for the last 6 years, bringing excellent results for the country in the competition – 5 consecutive Grand Final qualifiers, including one victory – after a series years with exclusions.

Below you can see Israel’s winning entry in 2018, with Netta Barzilai and “Toy” reaching the top of the table with 529 points, the most points the country has received in the institution.

Source: KAN

Cyprus: It’s official!Sandro Nicolas will fly to Rotterdam

An official announcement was made minutes ago by the Cyprus Radio Fondation (RIK) that the next representative of the country in the Eurovision song contest is none other than Sandro Nicolas.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation is pleased to present Sandro, the representative of Cyprus in the upcoming 2020…

Posted by CYBC: Eurovision Cyprus on Friday, November 29, 2019

As we first informed you,  23-year-old Greek-German Sandro Nicolas will wear the Cypriot colors at the Eurovision contest after direct assignment.  The song, which will be performed by the talented artist, will be released later.

The chronicle of the choice

Sandro Nicolas was to take part in the selection of artist and songwriter to represent Germany at the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam.  Following a proposal from the well-known Dream Team Project Manager Elias Kokotos, RIK chose the young artist as the most appropriate to represent Cyprus (you can read more HERE).

The songs that RIK is looking at at this point in time, as well as the artist’s team as likely to represent Cyprus at Eurovision 2020 are:

-My getaway

-Falling to pieces

-Never Let You Down

The song with which Cyprus will travel and claim the coveted prize will be announced at a later stage and it is not excluded that it will be another one, as RIK is working feverishly for the best possible representation in the competition!

On Saturday 30/11, Sandro Nicolas arrives in Cyprus for his first television appearances there.

Who is Sandro Nicolas?

Sandro Nicolas was born and raised in Germany by an American father and a Greek mother.  He is now 23 years old, and in 2018 he participated in the German version of « The Voice » reaching the semifinals.  His enchanting voice made it all the way to Sochi, Russia last August to compete in the New Wave 2019, taking the highly honored 6th place among 13 entries.

Bulgaria: The next Bulgarian representative to be announced on November 25th

Following the news that was confirmed yesterday and we first reported that Bulgaria is returning to Eurovision again after a year of absence for financial reasons, the country’s public broadcaster has recently announced further details of its participation for this year.

BNT, through a post on its twitter account a few minutes ago, announced that this year’s representative in Rotterdam  will be announced on November 25th.

Specifically, a press conference will be held in Sofia on November 25, where the public  broadcaster will announce the artist (or group) traveling to the Netherlands in the colors of the country to bring Bulgaria on the road to successful performances.  .

At the same time, during this interview, BNT will announce the production company behind this year’s participation as well as the British company that supports the Bulgarian delegation  this year.

As highlighted by Bulgarian channel sources, the aim of this year is not only to have a good presence on the Eurovision stage but also to develop the domestic music industry through international collaborations that will emerge through the pan-European music contest as well as to showcase the institution of Eurovision as a platform to highlight the Bulgarian musical element.

In 2018, Bulgaria was represented by EQUINOX with the song “Bones” on Altice Arena stage in Portugal,ranking 14th with 166 points.

So stay tuned and in a few days you will learn the coveted name!

The Netherlands changes its official name -What’s the role of drugs, prostitution and Eurovision

The Dutch government has decided to stop the country from being called so and instead use only its real name – the Netherlands – as part of an effort to upgrade its global image.

The national name change, which has been signed by business executives, the tourism council and central government, will be instituted later this year, according to a Guardian report.

Ministers want to shift the focus of the international community from specific aspects of life that the country is widely associated with, such as the culture of “recreational” drugs and the “red lanterns” area in Amsterdam.

Under the new strategy, the Netherlands will be the official name for the next Eurovision song contest to be held in Rotterdam in May and at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The national football team, often referred to as the Netherlands, will now be called only the Netherlands in all official competitions.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Netherlands needed a more uniform and coordinated national “advertising”. “We want to promote the Netherlands as an open, inventive and inclusive country. We have modernized our approach”,he explained. He added: “What is particularly important is that an agreement has been reached between all parties involved on the image of the Netherlands that we want to present to the rest of the world in a meaningful and unambiguous way” ….

As he said, the government is adopting a user-friendly and realistic approach to its name, in order to boost exports, tourism, sport and spread its “Dutch culture and values”.

North and South Holland are provinces on the west coast of the Netherlands. From the 10th to the 16th century, the Netherlands was a politically unified entity and was ruled by the country’s counties. By the 17th century it had become the dominant party of the then Dutch Republic. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, from the Dutch Neder-landen, which means the Netherlands, resulted from Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Earlier this year, the Dutch Tourism Board, whose website is Holland.com, said it would shift its focus from promoting the Netherlands as a whole and focusing on advertising in lesser known parts of the country. It is estimated that by 2030 the country will be visited by around 42 million tourists annually, up from 18 million in 2018. Amsterdam’s famous attractions are also a major attraction, leading to locals’ complaints and complaints about the Dutch crowding. capital city.

Source: The Guardian

This was Russia’s second choice for the Eurovision!

As you already know, Sergey Lazarev brought his motherland back to Eurovision’s top 3 by performing his epic ballad “Scream”. The song is composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos and the lyrics were Sharon Vaughn’s work.

Before the announcement of “Scream”, Sergey admitted that the song was chosen among 2 other recorded songs. Later this day it was released the first part of his EP “Ya ne boyus” (I’m not afraid), in which is included a bonus track in English. The song is called “Goddess” and it’s believed that this was one of the 2 other songs-choices for the contest, as it’s written by Dimitris Kontopoulos and it lasts less than 3 minutes.

The second part of his EP is expected to be released later in November. Probably the third song will be included there.

Could “Goddess” bring the trophy to Russia?

Eurovision 2020: Netflix to broadcast Eurovision 2020 in the USA

A problem that afflicts fans on the other side of the Atlantic seems to have come to an end after EBU announced a while ago that Netflix will have the Eurovision shows available on its platform right after the end of its live broadcasting.

On Monday, July 22, all Netflix subscribers in the US will have  both the semifinals and the final of Eurovision 2019 available.

Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor of all the EBU’s live events, stated:

« The EBU is thrilled that the world’s biggest television entertainment program will now be available to viewers in the US, one of the largest television markets. The US viewers will now enjoy all three fantastic evenings this year for the first time and the entire contest in 2020. This is a perfect timetable with plans to launch an American version of the Contest in 2021 ». 

Until recently, it was impossible to watch the contest, as well as all the videos, later on YouTube, as they were blocked, on the other side of the Atlantic.

A very important development that will bring the US closer to the Eurovision Contest, always backing plans to convey the concept in 2021 there!

This news comes as a follow-up to Netflix’s announcement that it is preparing a film about the Eurovision contest, starring Will Ferell.

Source: EBU