Markus Riva: “I will fight for this opportunity!”

Latvia’s National Selection “Supernova” has exploded onto our screens for 2017 with last week’s first heat seeing 4 acts progressing to the semi final on February 19th.  On Sunday we have the second heat and appearing this week are another 11 acts, one of who is Markus Riva, the 30 year old singer songwriter and model.

Markus is well known to Eurovision fans, with this being his 5th entry in the National Selection with his song “Dynamite”

We have been lucky enough to talk with Markus about his past experiences with the National Selection, his entry this year and his plans for the future

Markus, welcome again to Supernova! When we spoke with you last year it was just before the Semi Finals and we were confident that with “I Can”, you could get to the final. We didn’t anticipate the drama that followed! Now that another year has passed, what are your thoughts on last year’s contest?

Hey, thank you so much! It is my pleasure! Last year, oh, well.. Drama after drama! I hope we will avoid this drama this time, haha. I am absolutely not the drama person so no more drama. But, yeah, last year it was a bit weird, but of course, I could just do better with my performance. I was not ready enough maybe. There were some issues with backing vocals and we had our first rehearsal just 2 days before the show ( we had some misunderstanding with the rules for semi-final), that resulted in so-so performance and some extra “love” from jury.

I understand that it is a TV show. But I really hope this year will be much better. People are asking me, why am I doing this again, you gonna get much stress again etc, but I understand that it is THE way to get to the Eurovision Song Contest and that is what I really want to do. It is much easier to give up. I will fight for this opportunity

Markus RivaMoving on to this year, “Dynamite” is another great song, and is currently in the leading pack for YouTube views and Spotify plays. What can you tell us about “Dynamite”? Does the public’s interest in your song make you feel more confident of your chances?

For me it is always hard to build up that confidence every time when I am performing. I think everything can happen, so I am not feeling safe already because at live shows everything could happen. I hope all these people will support me on 12/02 at the live show on LTV. I hope they will be with me till the end and this is very important – everyone can support DYNAMITE on Spotify and one play is one vote, so I hope Team Markus is going to be bigger this year!

The lyric video you posted for “Dynamite” is beautifully shot.  Do you know what you will be doing for the Supernova staging yet?

Thank you! It is just a lyric video yet, but I hope we will shoot a music video soon as well. I had some big ideas for the staging, but some of them are super expensive, so I am still finding the right concept. And the SUPERNOVA stage itself is going to be different from previous years so it is going to be beautiful. DYNAMITE is a song that could be staged very nicely, especially at the big Eurovision.

Have you had a chance to listen to the other songs competing? It’s a very varied collection! Are there any that appeal to you?

I think it is very hipster-ish this year, but not in a bad way. My song is quite a standard this year, but I think with a positive result I will upgrade my song with some production changes.  I’ve listened to the other songs as well, but I always try not to think about other contestants because that makes me feel stressed…

You told us last year that you had some big plans , and from your website you have some clothing for sale now.  Are there any other avenues that you want to go down, professionally?

Yes, I just launched my own merchandising this year and want to build this fashion side a bit bigger this year. But also new music. In Latvian, English and Russian. But Music will always be the first thing for me, so I hope to create lot more this year.

Thank you for your time Markus, and we look forward to seeing you on the Supernova stage this Sunday!

If Markus Riva is one of your personal favorites in the second heat of Supernova, make sure you cast your vote for him, and for three other acts in our poll right here:

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You can watch Markus’ lyric video for “Dynamite” here. Don’t forget to listen on Spotify as well, each streaming of the song counts as one public vote!

The second heat of Supernova starts at 2025CET and we will be bringing you all the action with our live blog.

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