Madara “Music has no linguistic borders”

The second semi final of the Latvia National Final “Supernova” will be broadcast this Saturday with 7 more artists appearing in the hope of securing one of the two places available for the Grand Final which will be held on Saturday 24th February

One of this weekend’s artists is Madara, who will be presenting her song “Esamība” (which translates from Latvian as “Existence”)

We caught up with Madara to find out her background, how the song came about, and exactly what gives her the shivers!


Hi Madara, welcome to Supernova! Tell us a bit about your background

Hi, Anne and readers! I am MADARA (Madara Fogelmane) and I was born and raised in Jelgava. I started writing poetry already in my early childhood and later on I took up the cello studies. My schools are Brussels Royal Conservatory and The Conservatorium van Amsterdam where I did my postgraduate studies developing the cello playing skills guided by such excellent and world renowned professors as Olsi Leka (Albania), Jeroen den Herder (The Netherlands) and Gavriel Lipkind (Israel). However I always consider Latvia my home and constantly long for it.
I believe that musical instrument reflects what one really is, YOUR true ESAMIBA or existence.

Your song “Esamība” (“Existence”) has gained so many fans since it’s release. It’s a fantastic mix of your musical skills, your voice and great use of the Latvian language. How did this song come into being?

The words are not enough to describe the moment when I created the song. The excitement when the bow was touching the vibrating cello strings and I was singing the first words of the song. They brought me closer to the true me, to my ESAMĪBA or existence. In that particular moment and in that song I was born as cellist and singer.
The song was born and created in Latvian, the language which is the closest to me, it is my mother tongue. Latvian is the language that can reflect my true being and my revelations in the best way possible. Those words and revelations have been within me for long to be gathered and put into a song thus revealing them from the gentlest and purest point of view.

The English translation which you kindly supplied reveals that this is a song of hope, with the chorus being ” If you forget why, If you forget where, If you forget wherever you’re going, Close your eyes, and shelter in your silence”. Esamība is the only song in this year’s selection in Latvian, will it stay in your language if you win Supernova?

I see the gains only singing Latvian in Supernova and Eurovision because, given the fantastic feedback from the international fans, I have realised that the music has no linguistic borders. It is united in feelings and in the interpretations of the song. Music is transferred from heart to heart.
In case I win Supernova, I would definitely perform the song in Latvian as it emphasizes the authenticity of the song. Latvian is one of the oldest and most beautiful languages on our planet and I want to make it heard by the people of the world.

Researching this interview has taken me on a classical musical journey which has been really enjoyable. Why Supernova and why now?

I am so grateful to my cello professors who motivated and supported me telling they saw potential in me when I performed my songs with a cello and voice. Once, during a masterclass where I was practising the performance of the song, I felt like pleasant shivers running right through me. I felt like merging with the whole world and my composition. It was the moment when everything, including the meaning of the song and the sound, seemed SO right, and I realised that the world must get a chance to hear this creation. That’s how I got the idea about Eurovision. Since that moment it has been as a natural flow of events as if the world is in a harmony with me to help me send the message of the song to people.

It’s a particularly strong selection in Supernova this year, have you had a chance to listen to the other 20 songs? Any stand outs for you?

Oh yes, I have been following Supernova 2018 and the selected songs since they were announced. There are songs that stand out a bit more within that selection, but I do not find it easy to pick one which could represent Latvia at Eurovision Song Contest because my taste in music might be a bit less common. It is possible that the music that sounds good to me might not be the one that would stand out at Eurovision.
I think there is a diversity in competing entries at Supernova 2018 and we might have unexpected results. We all are excited and engaged with our performances to the utmost, also we are eagerly looking forward to how the audiences are going to react on our performances.

Can you tell us anything about the staging that you have chosen to present “Esamība” in the Supernova semi-finals?

The main idea of ESAMĪBA (Exsitence) performance is to depict the nature in its all power and might, visualising the visible, sometimes intangible but yet great things that embody the greatness, beauty, fragility and tranquility of nature. The visual idea of the song is going to take you on a journey from the heaven down to earth, from stars and comets down to trees and moss. The central element in this journey is a person (MADARA) with her ESAMĪBA as an intangible part of the Universe, God and world. The person is searching for themselves and the calm within themselves.
The mood we are going after would be – the fairy world which is created by means of scenes from nature (the emphasis is on the natural, real life rather than fairytale like or computer created scenes) which would make us realise the astonishing beauty, fragility and authenticity of nature.
Nature, Universe and the world we are living in are the most amazing and original elements of our ESAMĪBA and we are a part of the GREAT ESAMĪBA.

Do you have any history with the Eurovision Song Contest? Is it something that you always watch?

I have been following Eurovision Song Contest since Latvia entered it in 2000 with Brainstorm performance. By the way, we are from the same town. I have watched the contest and supported Latvia and Europe. I recall many awesome songs from Denmark, Estonia, Sweden. In the most recent years, I have obviously supported Latvia and I really enjoyed Jamala’s performance in 2016. I think that last year the bar of the quality of the contest was risen by the performances from Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, Australia, Finland and some other countries. While supporting the entries, I still could imagine myself on the big Eurovision stage. Being on that stage, representing Latvia performing my own song “Esamiba” would definitely be one of my greatest dreams to come true!

Who would you say is your musical inspiration?

My surroundings, life and the revelations I get on my journey through the life inspire me to create the music.
I would describe myself as a very emotional person which at times can be both a blessing and a curse because I perceive the world in a very emotional and passionate way.
During the last couple of years residing abroad, I had a chance to experience a lot of new things thus getting to know myself better. The philosophical self-reflection and moments with myself make me hide away in music and create something for other people telling them my stories. I hope that through my stories people would find some answers and those stories would bring them on a journey in a real life. I wish my music could be meaningful and substantial, and make people feel good. I cannot create anything that I believe in which could be insincere.

Moving away from music for a second, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like spending my free time outdoors. I get energised by nature. I read books, write poetry, compose music and meditate.

And finally, what’s next for Madara in 2018?

I am really excited and I am looking forward to what this year has in store for me. I think it is going to be an amazing year, rich in new adventures and experiences. I am really happy that people are starting to get to know me and my music. My dearest wish has been to make the things I create heard some day to leave the legacy, my kind of footprint and bring the joy to people through music and feeling good


Thank you Madara, and best of luck for Saturday!

Watch Madara’s live video shoot for “Esamība” here

We will be live blogging the second semi final here at ESCBubble on Saturday 10th, join us at 2025CET as we take you through all 7 entries and find the 2 qualifiers for the Supernova final on February 24th

And if Madara is one of your favourites, make sure you cast your vote for her, and your other chosen act on our polls page!

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