Latvia Entry: Triana Park - Line

Line - Triana Park |

Now, this was an unexpected surprise from Latvia for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. Unfortunately, Triana Park only got 21 points, placing them 18th in the first Semi-Final, with their song "Line"; they got one point from the jury vote (thanks to Azerbaijan), and they got 20 points in the televote (the UK giving the most points). This was one of my favourites, the song is incredibly catchy for electro-rock, and extremely current. It's such a shame it didn't do well, but I hope Triana Park keeps fighting and makes it big because they deserve a global hit, if this song is anything to go by. Watch Triana Park perform their Eurovision Song Contest 2017 song "Line" in this music video for the song, that sees Agnese Rakovska in interesting costumes, giving emotion through her voice.

Triana Park are an electronic-rock four-piece band consisting of Agnese Rakovska, Artūrs Strautiņš, Edgars Viļums, and Kristaps Ērglis. They have been going for many years and have tried to represent Latvia at Eurovision five times. They made it to the national final in 2010 but had to pull out due to Agnese Rakovska falling ill. Yet, after a five-year break from trying to represent Latvia, they finally did it, winning Supernova, in 2017 and went off to Kyiv for the Eurovision Song Contest. It's such a shame they didn't do well enough in the Semi-Final to get to the Grand Final. This song deserves much more recognition. It was written by Agnese Rakovska, Kristaps Ērglis, and Kristians Rakovskis.

This music video is a pure performance piece, which is quite common for the Eurovision Song Contest music videos, although there doesn't seem to be much point to them as you can watch them perform the song on stage. In this case, it's slightly intricate and different, with clever imagery and colourful filters. As for the Semi-Final performance, the staging was full of neon colours with the whole band bringing it.

We watch various costumes from Agnese Rakovska, as she takes the main spotlight during this visual. My favourite is certainly the braids as we watch coloured filters re-engage the audience once again.

A lot of expert editing went into this, I love the series of motion imagery and layers, it's very clever and is in a line which goes with the song, I also loved the arrow shots, although during this point Agnese Rakovska's lip-syncing doesn't match the song, but only at the start of the arrow scene, it's later corrected.

Overall, it's better than no music video at all. It brings a slightly different outlook on the performance side of this song from Triana Park. I do love their Semi-Final stage performance, although I can see why they may not have got through since Agnese Rakovska is not great at expressing emotion through her body, instead it comes out of her voice beautifully. Plus the concept is completely different to that of the winning country this year. This will forever remain one of the entries that should've done better. I hope the future for Triana Park is bright!
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Latvia Entry: Aminata - Love Injected

One of my top favourites from this year. It still shocks me to this day that it didn't get nearer to the top! I don't really know what happened during Eurovision 2015, but it wasn't as good as the previous years, and yet there were definitely some treasures that we still haven't got over; this is one of them. Aminata represented Latvia and scored 186, placing them sixth. This should've done much better. Aminata gets soaking wet during her performance and narrative music video for "Love Injected", sexily involved with her love interest, who also gets fired up.

Aminata, full name Aminata Savadogo, was definitely one of my favourites from this year, her unique vocals will make her an international star, if she continues to stay focused and fights to become a global singer. She previously entered Dziesma 2014, the Latvian national selection for Eurovision 2014; unfortunately, she came fifth with "I Can Breathe". It clearly wasn't meant to be, especially when she went on to win Supernova 2015 and became Latvian's representative to Eurovision 2015. Then in 2016 she wrote Justs' winning entry "Heartbeat", where he came eighth in Eurovision 2016. Now, she's competing in Golos (the Russian version of The Voice), where she's a part of, fellow Eurovision 2015 contestant, Polina Gagarina's team. This song was written by Aminata Savadogo and Kaspars Ansons.

Directed by Andžejs Gavrišs, the music video is gripping from start to finish. Aminata controls the viewers attention all the way through. She has so much potential that, in this video alone, she proves her star quality.

The performance side of this music video is completely powerful. Wow! She can easily grip an audience in a second. With her beautiful vocals and her stunning looks, Aminata is definitely someone who will go far.

The narrative part sees Aminata and a very sexy love interest, who is played by actor Martiņš Kapzems, completely soak themselves with the contents of a fuel can. We can presume they plan to burn themselves alive by pouring fuel all over them in a gorgeously sultry way.

Martiņš Kapzems can be seen lighting a match, which he brings to a cigarette, before they both free fall over the edge. The cigarette has previously been dropped after some erotic smoke scenes, lighting the floor.

However, they aren't committing suicide, they are honing a power. Martiņš Kapzems is pretty much similar to The Human Torch from the Fantastic Four, being able to control fire now that he has fuel all over him. Can he become any more hot? In more than one sense of that word.

Much like the song, this music video is strong and sexy. It's hot all over, and is so captivating that I can't stop watching it. The song is one that is worthy of being a winning song, and yet totally under performed. Aminata is going to be a big star, no doubt; I literally can't wait for what the future will bring for her.
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Latvia Entry: Aarzemnieki - Cake To Bake

This was the folk song that was loved by the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, and quickly hit it big all over twitter at the time, unfortunately it only managed 33 points in the first semi-final of the contest, placing them 13th, and therefore failed to advance to the Grand Final. Aarzemnieki has a good singsong around a camp fire as they explain how they've never baked a cake before.

The name of the band comes from the Latvian word 'ārzemnieki' which means 'foreigners'. The band consists of Jöran Steinhauer, Guntis Veilands, Katrīna Dimanta and Raitis Viļumovs. They are an on-going project but have yet to release any more songs on iTunes or globally. Folk music is hard to promote and make current, when this first dropped it looked like Aarzemnieki might be the band to bring it back, but failing to make the Grand Final definitely deterred them, and perhaps stopped the band from continuing. This song was written by Guntis Veilands.

This music video is a simple performance piece, however this comedic song is failed to be represented as a visual in this video. Where is this cake they've got to bake?

Clearly they're too busy singing around a camp fire to bake the cake that is so urgent. With no kitchen in sight, and none of the events, that they have apparently done in the verses, around; there's not a lot to expect from this video.

Proving they can perform and give out energetic vibes the little group turns into a big camping party, it slightly reminds me of Rascal Flatts' music video for "Banjo".

There's nothing more to comment on from this music video. I don't think they give a great performance, especially considering other artists. Jöran Steinhauer totally stands out alone in this music video. Confidence is definitely attractive, and he proves it in this. I'm guessing this is the last we'll see of Aarzemnieki, but if Jöran Steinhauer pushes he might just make it on his own, but it won't have the same feel as this band. This works as a group, it just needs to be a bit more current with a lot more support as well as promotion.
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Latvia Entry: Justs - Heartbeat

Coming 15th in the Eurovision Song Contest, Justs did pretty well for Latvia. This catchy song doesn't kick in until the chorus starts, but hearing it more than once definitely made me like it more, hence why it's a part of my Eurovision 2016 Special. Gaining 132 points, it's clear that Europe enjoyed his performance of the song. Justs sings his heart out to a girl who has him locked away, wish his heartbeat was beating for me and not her.

Justs, full name Justs Sirmais, hasn't had much of a musical career, winning Supernova (the Latvian national selection) was his first big step into the music industry. However he has had little glimpses, he has been in bands including TaxFree and Bunch of Gentleman, as well as providing vocals for hip-hop artist GACHO on about half the tracks on his album 'Smaids Līdz Ausīm'. This is his first solo single, and I'm sure it won't be his last. The song was written by Aminata Savadogo, who Latvia sent to Eurovision in 2015.

The performance-based music video is full emotion, that Justs packs in with his usual energetic vibes.

Much like his performance during both the Semi-Final and the Grand Final, Justs has the same jacket and the same vibes, this is clearly his freestyle moves and the way he interprets the song.

There's not much else to this, he's in love with the girl, who is cuddling him as well as locking him away in a room. His love interest watches him on TV monitors.

Overall the song is strong, with great vocals on a track that is definitely catchy, but what do we expect from Aminata? Justs performs well, but this is a typical performance from him, which gets old easily. His movement is chaotically stiff, but at least he is feeling the energy and emotion from the song.
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Latvia Entry: PeR - Here We Go

PeR is a duo who entered the contest for Latvia. The name means Please explain the Rhythm. They are well known in Latvia, and have competed in Eirodziesma (the national selection for Latvia) in 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2013 the national selection changed it's name to Dziesma. In the latter they finally won and went through to the Semi Finals of Eurovision. It shows how dedicated they are to this contest, and they must have really thought they could win. The duo consists of Ralfs Eilands and Edmunds Rasmanis. This seemed the act that would attract the younger population, so what happened? Well... Ralfs was ill and had a temperature, but he performed it well and even crowd surfed. (Semi Final performance can be seen below).

"Here We Go" was written by Arturas Burke and Ralfs Eilands. The song is very catchy. And manages to show that the band is a vocal group since Edmunds Rasmanis beat boxes. The song should've made the final 26, however I think the reason it failed to make it was due to it going first, and was forgotten when the other countries performed.

In the second Semi Final, Latvia came 17th out of 17 countries. They gained 13 points overall. The following countries gave points: Macedonia gave 2 points, Iceland gave 3 points, Georgia gave 7 points and Switzerland gave 1 point.

PeR was introduced to the UK as the Latvia's answer to Ireland's Jedward... I somehow don't think so, on the other hand the energy from both duo's are similar. I don't know whether this is the official video or not, but it's the only video I can find, and so I'm rolling with it.

This is a video of them performing the song live. They are full of energy and throw the vibes out to the crowd. They clearly can't stop moving, reminding me a lot of Jedward, who does the same thing. You can tell the crowd are loving them, and in the Semi Final the crowd loved them too.

This would've been a good music video, the lyrics are about having fun, and so I can totally understand the performance-based music video. But the fact that editing has totally blown this out of proportion has made this video less engaging.

There's the occasional backstage shot which drew me in, but this editing is so disastrous. The editor was listening to the music behind and not the lyrics, since it's quick and dodge-like. Reminding me of a record spinning on a vinyl turntable.

Overall a song that I've already bought, and have already listened to a few times. This song will never get old, and I will be singing along to it every time I hear it. The music video is too quick, too short and snappy, and it's hard to keep up with. In my opinion it should have been in real-time and them just performing. Their energy on stage is infectious, there's something to it that makes me want to be energetic.