Kati Laev: “Music is like therapy”

ESCBubble were lucky enough to talk with Kati Laev who, alongside her preparations for Eesti Laul, took the time to answer our questions! She will be performing her song “Kaugel Sinust” (“Far Away From You”) with Noorkuu in the first semifinal of Eesti Laul on 13th February.

Hi Kati, thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with us. Congratulations on making the semi finals of Eesti Laul! For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you give us a short introduction about yourself?

My name is Kati Laev and I’m Eesti Laul 2016 semifinalist. I was born on the island of Saaremaa (in Kuressaare), which is the biggest island of Estonia. I have lived most of my life on this beautiful island. Music has always been a big part of my life. When I was 8, I started to learn the accordion at Kuressaare Music School. I have been singing in different choirs, school bands and musical projects. I studied international economics and business management in university. I have worked in financial sector.

About 2 years ago, my love for singing brought me back to music as a hobby and I started writing my own music and lyrics. Besides that I’ve been doing some radio and television commercials and the biggest project was Denim Dream “Magical Time”


Music is just a therapy for me and I am happy to have this beautiful hobby in my life.

Where were you when you found out that you were selected for the Semi Finals of Eesti Laul and how were you feeling at the time?

I was at home and the feelings were overwhelming and incredible.

Was your song created specifically for Eesti Laul? How did you end up working with the team (Urmas Kõiv, Anneli Kõiv) behind the song?

“Kaugel Sinust” is a song written by Urmas Kõiv and Anneli Kõiv. It wasn’t created specially for Eesti Laul. Urmas Kõiv had this melody for a long time, but he didn’t find a suitable singer for this song until he found my songs from Youtube. We made a demo and he decided to participate in Eesti Laul.

The words of this song have a significant meaning. “Kaugel Sinust” is a very big and glorious song with an orchestra. Once I had a dream to sing with an orchestra and now it’s time to say the dream came true.

What does “Kaugel sinust” mean? What is the song about?

“Kaugel Sinust” means “Far Away From You”. It tells a story about longing and hope of those who are far away from home and their loved ones. They are longing and hoping to get back home and be reunited with their loved ones.

How are the preparations for Eesti Laul going?

The song is ready and will be released this week. Now we only need to work out stage decoration.

Since the performer/s who end up winning Eesti Laul win the chance to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest, did you have any prior thoughts on Eurovision before submitting an entry? Were you a fan?

I follow the Eurovision Song Contest every year. Of course, everyone competes to win but the competition is very strong in Estonia and I will do my best.

What would it mean for you to represent Estonia at the contest?

It would be a great honour to represent Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest, but there is still a very long way to go, I have to work hard and we need a lot of luck to make it to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The last three entries that Estonia have sent in their native language to the contest have all qualified, with 2 of those reaching the Top 10 (Kuula and “Rändajad”.) If you end up winning Eesti Laul, is an English language version something you’d consider for the contest in May? Was it something that came up for discussion before the song’s submission into Eesti Laul?

We haven’t discussed about doing an English version of this song, but never say never. My biggest goal at the moment is to represent “Kaugel Sinust” as well as I can.

Where is your favorite place in Estonia? Where should someone go that would be visiting Estonia for the first time?

My favorite place in Estonia is my home island – Saaremaa. Saaremaa is known as a good recreation place with unique nature and a lot of sights. Saaremaa has retained its uniqueness due to its location and insulation. In the villages there are still stone fences and houses with thatched roofs, beautiful national costumes and dialectal language are still used. Junipers, dolomite, windmills and the famous local home-brewed beer are considered the symbols of Saaremaa.

Estonia is actually quite a big place and there are lots of other beautiful places to visit, including the Tallinn Old Town.

Outside of Eesti Laul and Eurovision, is there a particular song or composition that has special meaning for you?

My song “Kauge lähedane,” which I wrote 2 years ago has a very special meaning for me.

This song is about the SEA (how powerful it is, how it gives and takes) LOVE (how loved ones are separated) and HOPE (when people get reunited) basically it talks about the life of ancient mariners of Saaremaa and all persons living on the coastline and of the sea.


Which artists do you look up to the most?

I really appreciate every artist because of their skills to find out the way to reach their public. As I said before, music is like a therapy. It’s an art to give something to your soul. Through this art we can show/talk about our feelings, experiences of life. My favorite artist is Adele.

Kati’s entry for this year’s Eesti Laul, “Kaugel Sinust” can be found below:


Thank you Kati for answering our questions, everyone here at ESCBubble wishes you the best of luck for Eesti Laul!

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