Would you believe it, it’s July already!? A full six weeks have passed since the 2013 Eurovision final, and the fans and broadcasters alike are inevitably turning their attention to next year’s contest in Denmark. It is with this mindset that I have the honour of introducing a new series of articles where Rory and I will be looking at artists from all over Europe who could potentially be candidates for Eurovision next year. And – as ever – we will be looking for your views on our recommendations!
Today’s article is concerned with my personal recommendations for Russia, the first of which is Eva Polna (Ева Польна). The 38-year-old singer’s career dates back to the late 1990s, when she was drafted in as the lead vocalist for the group “Gosti Iz Budushchego” (Guests from the Future). After enjoying a decade of commercial success with the band, she embarked on a solo career in 2009, and has since released a number of singles which have been met with acclaim in Russian-speaking territories.
One of these such singles was “Ves Mir Na Ladoni”:
If the September 1st rule didn’t apply, then I would be sat here willing the Russians to send this exact song in 2014. As far as I’m concerned, it would be perfect for the contest. The melody is a listen-once-and-it’s-stuck kinda thing, and the insane amount of syllables in each chorus only adds to infectious nature. And even if we put aside the merits of the song for a second, I’d just like to draw your attention to the fact that this song was a massive hit all over Eastern Europe last autumn. And I mean massive. If Russia sends this woman next year, they will be sending an artist riding a wave of popularity, whose music more than stands up to the challenge of the contest.
Another example I think would work as a more alternative entry for the country would be her 2011 single “Korabli”:
This one is a much more laid-back slice of soothing electropop, with a stunning melody and an atmospheric backing. From performances I’ve seen of this song online, I’d say Eva can more than pull off this vibe live, and a song of this style may well stand out as something just a little different.
I’ve been a fan of Eva’s music for over a year now, and I would love to see her on the Eurovision stage. Russia have sent novelty in the last couple of years, I think it’s high time they just went with what’s actually popular in their own country, rather than a calculated attack on the Eurovision crown tailored to push all the right buttons across the continent.
In this series, I’m aiming to avoid showcasing past participants – regardless of how much I’d love to see the Buranovskiye Babushki make recurrent appearances until there are none of them left (*sob*) – I’m aiming to promote the as yet non-ESC musicians of Europe. With this in mind, my secondary selection for Russia would be this lady here:
Oksana Pochepa is one of those “singer and model” figures which Russia seems to churn out every now and again – and as a result, she comes with the prerequisite that she will have one or more rich parents, a questionable vocal capacity and a great deal more boobs in her videos than the majority of Eurovision fans want to see, if you catch my drift. However… her musical style is from the Jamala school of quirky, retro-inspired and very very cool. If she came up with something like “Utro Bez Tebya” (above) for Eurovision, I wouldn’t be disappointed at all.
If you have the time, have a listen to these other Russian artists that we would both recommend for Eurovision:
Gijsbert Groenvald from the Netherlands: I like this but she looks like a young Bette Middler in that ridiculous outfit! 🙂 This song (Ves Mir Na Ladoni): 7/10
Nathan Stella from the Netherlands: Oh I know this song, it’s very nice! ^^ I’d still love Sergey Lazarev for Russia 🙂
Orxan Agayev from Azerbaijan: She’s so amazing! I want her to represent them
Phillipe Canty from France: I would love Anastasia Prikhodko to represent Russia again. One of the most beautiful voices of Russia!
So there seems to be general agreement for the suggestion of Eva Polna, however a number of other contemporary Russian names have been put forward. Overall, it would appear that what we really want from Russia is a credible pop artist with a great voice, who will be able to hopefully carry the country to another respectable placing in the 2014 contest. Do you agree? Feel free to comment below!