Estonia: Eesti Laul quarter-final 1 preview
Contributions by Laura Smith and Hugo Burstin
Tomorrow morning (Australian time) the first quarter-final will take place and in preparation we've previewed the 10 artists taking part. Let's take a look:
Stig Rästa is well known in the Estonia music community and the Eurovision community as well. Along with Elina Born, he competed at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’, and finishing in a fantastic 7th place (including placing 5th in the televote) so he clearly can get public support.
The Eurovision connections did not stop there, however. Stig competed at Eesti Laul in 2018 with the song ‘Home’ and made it to the Superfinal, coming runner-up to eventual winner Elina Nechayava. As a songwriter, he composed Juri Pootsman’s ‘Play’ for Eurovision 2016, and also co-wrote Victor Crone’s ‘Storm’ for the 2019 Contest. In addition, Stig formed part of the Estonian jury for the most recent edition in Rotterdam.
Evelin Samuel has been performing from a young age, winning fourth place in the ‘Kaks tatti ette’ (‘Two Beats Ahead’) singing competition in 1993. This competition was aimed at introducing new singers aged 16-28 to the Estonian public and its alumni includes past Eurovision representatives such as Maarja-Liis Ilus, Gerli Padar, Tanel Padar, and Laura Põldvere.
Evelin first took to the Eurovision stage in 1997 as a backing vocalist for the entry ‘Keelatud maa’. She later represented Estonia at the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Diamond of Night’ along with violinist Camille, which came 6th in the competition with 90 points. Evelin was a regular participant of Estonia’s national selection show Eurolaul in the 1990s, with entries such as ‘Unelind’, ‘Soovide puu’ and ‘Ime’ in 1994, ‘Kaheksa näoga kuu’ and ‘Kummalisel teel’ in 1996, ‘Andesta’ and runner-up ‘Unistus igavesest päevast’ in 1998, and third place finisher ‘Over The Water Blue’ in 2000. 22 years later, Evelin is making a comeback in Eesti Laul with the song ‘Waterfall’!
In addition to her extensive history in Estonian Eurovision preselections, Evelin Samuel has also starred in musical theatre productions of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Oliver!’ and ‘Miss Saigon’.
At just 20 years of age, Jaagup Tuisk is a rising star of the Estonian creative industry. Born in Laagri, in northern Estonia, Jaagup sings, acts and plays instruments. From an early age, he has performed in theatre productions and has appeared on several TV shows in Estonia.
Eurovision fans will most remember him as the runner-up of Eesti Laul in 2020, with his song ‘Beautiful Lie’. Jaagup used his experience to deliver a captivating and dramatic stage show to pair with a paired back yet haunting song. While he comfortably lost out in the Superfinal to Uku Suviste, he gained many international fans, finishing a respectable 14th in the OGAE Second Chance Contest that year.
Traffic are an Estonian band formed in Tallinn in 2006. The group are Estonian preselection veterans, first participating in Eurolaul 2008 with ‘It’s Never Too Late‘ featuring Luisa Värk. When the Estonian preselection changed from Eurolaul to Eesti Laul in 2009, Traffic remained dedicated participants, with entries including 2009 Eesti Laul runner-up ‘See päev’, 2012’s ‘NASA’, and third-placing song ‘Für Elise’ in 2014.
Traffic's most recent Eesti Laul participation occurred in 2020 with the song ‘Üks kord veel’, which earned 5th place with 11 points. They are competing with the song ‘Kaua veel’ (‘For a long time’) against founding band member Stig in this quarter-final. They have been waiting for a long time to represent Estonia at Eurovision – will 2022 be the year they succeed?
21-year-old singer Maian previously participated in Eesti Laul in 2017 with Karl Kristjan and Whogaux. Their song ‘Have You Now’ placed 4th in the competition, missing out on the Superfinal by just 3 points. She has been playing music and writing songs since her childhood, and the first song she learned to play on the piano was Beyonce’s ‘If I Were A Boy’.
Tearing up the Estonian music scene with songs such as ‘Palava Pudru’, ‘sinise leegiga’, ‘Papi’ and ‘Fuego’, Maian’s music can be best described as pop with hip hop and trap influences. She is entering Eesti Laul 2022 with the song ‘Meeletu’ (‘Crazy’) – will Estonia be crazy for her song?
Kéa is throwing her hat into the Eesti Laul ring for a third time this year. She first competed in 2016, with her song ‘Lonely Boy’, finishing in 9th place in the Final, including placing 5th with the jury. Kéa returned in 2021 with ‘Hypnotized’, however she failed to qualify for the Grand Final. Kéa brings to the table smooth vocals and a real radio-friendly voice, so fingers crossed she can serve up another catchy pop tune this year!
Little Mess is an all-girl trio formed by Johanna-Elise Kabel, Karmel Üksvärav and Viktoria Koljagina. This power trio come from different towns in Estonia, but have been making music in Tallinn for a few years now after passing through an audition process of more than 150 people to be in the group!
Eesti Laul 2022 will not be the first time Little Mess take to the stage; they competed in the 2020 edition of the show with their song ‘Without a Reason’, however, they did not manage to make it to the Grand Final. Reinvigorated and ready for another go, this girl group will be looking to make their mark in 2022!
Boamadu are a rock band from Toila, Ida-Virumaa, founded in 2000, when its founding members were still in high school. Their original bassist, Vahur, learnt to play the bass from scratch, as the band were lacking a bassist.
Throughout the band’s history, 10 people have been a part of Boamadu, but the current members of the band are Peeter Priks (lead singer and guitar), Veli Rooger (drums), Keith Mutvei (lead guitar and backing vocals), and Roger Erikson (bass and backing vocals). Originally the band’s drummer, Roger Erikson is the only founding member to remain in the current lineup. Though the band’s members have changed since its origins 21 years ago, the current members wish to remain faithful to the musical stylings of the original lineup. The band says of their songwriting approach “we write music inspired by the kind of music we would like to hear”. Participating with the song 'Mitte kauaks' ('Not for long'), this year will mark the band's first participation in Eesti Laul.
Fiona and Me
Fiona and Me are also newcomers to Eesti Laul with the self-penned song ‘Feel Like This’. The artist is very elusive and mysterious, and thus little is known about the project. Will the unknown underdogs triumph in quarter-final 1?
Peter Põder is an Estonian singer born in 1981 and will compete at Eesti Laul 2022 for the first time. He has a classic education in music, attending the G. Ots Tallinn Music School, and is a well known name in the Estonian music industry. Peter has collaborated with many singers including the most recent Estonian Eurovision representative Uku Suviste, as well as others such as Birgit Sarrap, Margus Vaher and Luisa Rõivas, who have all competed at the Estonian National Final. Peter will sing his song entitled ‘Koos lõpuni’, which translates to ‘Together until the end’; he also plays guitar, so expect that to feature in his track.
The broadcast of Eesti Laul 2022 Quarter Final 1 can be viewed on the ERR website.
Australian viewing times for Quarter Final 1 of Eesti Laul 2022
Tuesday 21 November
ACT, NSW, VIC, TAS: 6:35am