Eurovision 2021 Latvia profile: 'The Moon is Rising' by Samanta Tina
Latvia in Eurovision
Latvia made their Eurovision debut in 2000 and have competed in every year since. They won the competition on only their third attempt when Marie N took out the contest with ‘I Wanna’ in 2002. They have made the Top 10 on another four occasions but have also failed to qualify for the Grand Final 10 times.
2021 Entry: Samanta Tina – ‘The Moon Is Rising’
Semi-final: Samanta will compete in semi-final 2 in 15th position in the running order
My Eurovision Scoreboard fan ranking: 25th out of 39 entries
Odds to win ranking: 32nd out of 39 entries
Odds to qualify ranking: 16th out of 17 entries
(rankings as of 17 April 2021)
About the artist
32-year-old Samanta Tina (real name Samanta Poļakova) was born in Tukums, Latvia in 1989.
Her music career began when she won the chance to attend the Tech Music School in London after winning the Latvian music show O!Kartes akadēmija. She went on to win the Moldovan singing competition ‘Golden Voices’ in 2011 and came second in the Belarusian arts festival Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk in 2012.
Samanta made her first attempt to represent Latvia at Eurovision in 2012 as part of a duo with Dāvids Kalandija. The pair just missed out, finishing second. In 2013, she entered the national final again as a solo act, finishing second. She also tried her hand at the Lithuanian national final as part of a duo with Vudis but they did not progress from the heats. In 2014, Samanta again entered the Latvian national final but ultimately finished third.
Following this, Samanta entered ‘Lietuvos balsas’ the Lithuanian version of ‘The Voice’ where she made the top eight but did not progress to the final four.
After a year’s break, Samanta again attempted to represent Latvia in 2016, entering two songs in the national final. One was eliminated in the heats and whilst the other did advance, she made the decision to withdraw from the competition believing that she did not have the best song.
In 2017, Samanta again turned her sights to Lithuania where she entered their national final as part of a duo with singer Tadas Rimgaila. The pair were eliminated after their performance in the heats.
Samanta made her fifth Latvian national final appearance in 2019 with ‘Still Breathing’ where she was announced as the winner in February 2020 and chosen as Latvia’s Eurovision representative. After the contest’s cancellation she was internally selected in May 2020 to represent Latvia again in 2021.
About the song
‘The Moon Is Rising’ was co-written by Samanta in conjunction with Latvia’s 2015 Eurovision representative Aminata Savadogo and music producer Oskars “SKVR” Uhaņs.
Samanta has described the song as being about “powerful and admirable women”. “My song encourages women to make a crown with their own hands and put it on the head to be the ruler of life...I believe that your attitude towards yourself changes the way people treat you, but it is not enough. And for this reason the most important line in my song is: if you have something to say, say it to my face”.
Samanta has come under attack from some in Latvia for including a same-sex kiss in her music video for ‘The Moon Is Rising’. Samanta was shocked by the controversy, "I was trying to talk about equality. I was open to talk about the woman’s power that we all are equal and you don’t need to hide. You need to start to love yourself and so on and then I get this like straight in my face and I was like oh really, are you kidding with me?". Samanta said that many women had written to her since the song's release thanking her for what she was doing..."through your song I accept finally myself, finally I look at myself in the mirror and I told myself I love you, you are beautiful, you are different and that’s your best and unique feeling that you have and what God gave you".
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