“Dam-dam-dadi-dam-dam” is the hook that folk band Antsud hope to impression on this year’s Eesti Laul. With only two other entries in this year’s contest choosing to sing in their beautiful native language, we were fortunate enough to chat to lead singer and composer of “Vihm”, Aile Alveus-Krautmann to find out more about where Antsud started and their inspirations behind their entry “Vihm (Rain).”
For our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you give us a short introduction about Antsud? How did the band come together, and where does the name Antsud come from?
Ants is a popular old Estonian male name and since there is many of us, the name is plural. The name also came from our earlier band name – we have been making music for a long time. Karl (guitar) and Andri (bass) sang in my choir and needed a singer for a project. It all went from there. Two years a go, we tried to enter Eesti Laul with one song, and since then Siim (percussion), Kristel (flutes and bagpipes) and Kaarel (accordion) joined us and we ended up recording our first album “Öö ja päeva vahel” (Between Night and Day). Since then we are also known as Antsud. For our song “Vihm” we have a new accordionist Erik and violinist Hedwig joining us.
Can you give us an insight into the story/inspiration behind “Vihm”?
“Vihm” is rain in Estonian. We are singing and asking for rain to fall and purify the earth and humans. There is a lot going on in the world right now and I feel that rain is like music – it can bring people together and purify them. I think it is something that the world needs right now. Dam-dam are raindrops.
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, preparing classes for the next day. I got the call and was speechless. After that I started crying, fell off the bed that I was sitting on and just cried. You hope for it, but when it really happens, it is so powerful. I was so full of emotions and I called my husband, still crying. He thought that someone got hit by a car or something. Then I called others from the band, still crying. We were (and still are) so happy! Our band was not well known yet, so it is like a Cinderella-story. We are so grateful for the opportunity.
Was your song created specifically for Eesti Laul? What made you decide to first enter the contest?
Yes, the deadline was only 3 weeks away. Eesti Laul and Eurovision are a big dream of mine. I am a big fan.
How are the preparations for Eesti Laul going? Any clues as to the staging of “Vihm”?
We have real rain on the stage. Everything is great! We are loving every minute and working hard.
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’ve been a big fan since childhood. I even give spinning classes every spring where I introduce the songs and also give backstories and everything. I usually go and see the final somewhere from a big screen. I would love to go to Eurovision some day, if not this year then I will keep trying. If not as a singer, then songwriter.
What would it mean for you to represent Estonia at the contest? Do you have any favorite Eurovision entries?
It would be a big honour. Our song is in Estonian, so a good opportunity to introduce our language. No favorites yet, but I’ve heard Belarus has a folk song that is fun.
Any thoughts on previous Eesti Laul winners?
They have all done a very good job in representing Estonia.
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?
The songs lyrics are really good to sing along in any country 🙂 dam-dam-dadi-dam-dam!
Outside of Eesti Laul and Eurovision, is there a particular song or composition that has special meaning for you?
I love classical music. And I am a conductor. I would not be the same person that I am if there would have not been Veljo Tormis and song “Laevas lauldakse”. He was a composer that took the Estonian old songs and used them in a very pure way in his music.
Also his composition “Raua needmine”.
Which artists do you look up to the most?
Finally, do you have a message for our readers at ESCBubble?
Thank you for listening to our song! We have others that are good. Come and visit Estonian Folk Festivals!
A big thank you to Aile for chatting to us and we wish Antsud the best of luck for Saturday’s Semi-Final!
If Anstud are one of your personal favorites in the second semi final of Eesti Laul, make sure you cast your vote for them, and for four other acts in our poll here:
Antsud’s entry in this year’s Eesti Laul can be found below: