Estonia kicks off it’s selection process for Tel Aviv this week with the first semi-final of Eesti Laul taking place on Thursday. One of the entrants is the talented singer-songwriter Johanna Eendra who will perform her song ‘Miks Sa Teed Nii’. Johanna spoke with us recently about her participation, and she was kind enough to answer some questions for us:
Hi Johanna, and congratulations on being selected for the Estonian short-list for Tel Aviv. You are a new name for many of our readers, can you tell us a little about yourself and your career to date?
‘I have been singing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I took part in the local singing competitions. When I was 14, me and my friend started doing covers on Youtube, we had a channel called NotSistersMusic. Around 15 years old, I started writing songs, at first just for fun, but later I started thinking about actually releasing my own music. 🙂 I have written songs with other people for other artists as well. For example, Tanel Padar has a song “Soovin head”, which I co-wrote. But now here I am, at Eesti Laul with my first single “Miks sa teed nii?”
How did you get the news that you had been selected for the semifinals and how did you react to that news?
‘I was actually at school when I found out I had been selected for the semifinals. I was extremely happy and of course right away started thinking about everything, about the stage show and what was gonna happen. Of course, it was pretty difficult to be in school the rest of the evening. But I was just really happy about the fact that I can finally start to release my own music’
Your song is in the Estonian language. Estonia has had very strong results when singing in the native language (for instance Kuula, Randajad, Et Uus Saaks Alguse…). How important is it to you to be singing in Estonian?
‘I like singing in Estonian a lot, it’s more intimate for me and the words kind of mean more, I really love the Estonian language. But I also sing in English, and actually for me it is easier to write lyrics in English, because the words kind of don’t have as much weight and you can write about more stuff, that is how i feel. But in the future i will definitely be releasing music in English as well. I am still kind of discovering myself as a musician. ‘
As many of our readers won’t necessarily understand the Estonian lyrics, could you share with us the meaning of the song?
‘Yes of course 🙂 The title of my song „Miks sa teed nii?” in direct translation means Why you do this? And the song talks about a relationship where one person gives it their all, but the other doesn’t. It is the situation where somebody you deeply care about doesn’t make the effort to keep the relationship alive. And so the person telling the story is confused and disappointed. In the bridge the mood changes a bit, and the storyteller understands that whatever happens has to happen.’
The video for your entry looks amazing with some terrific views from the windows behind you. Where was it filmed and how did the video come about?
‘In the video you can see the skyline of Tallinn. The video is quite simple, but i think it captures the mood of this song well.’
What made you decide to enter Eesti Laul this year?, has it always been an ambition of yours or did it just feel like the right thing to do with this song?
‘Eesti Laul is definitely one of the biggest music events in Estonia and the best platform for sharing your own music, especially when you are a starting artist. So when the time came to apply songs for Eesti Laul I didn’t think too much. And I have always been a big fan of Eesti Laul, so it’s something I have wanted to do for a long time. I had the song ready and I would have definitely regretted it if I had not applied.’
You’ve posted a number of cover videos on YouTube, who are your favourite artists and is there anyone in particular that has helped inspire you.
‘I think my all time favorite band is Coldplay. I love their every album and their frontman Chris Martin is such an inspiration, he has this energy that passes on to everyone around him and he is so down to earth and seems like a really good person. Also I really look up to Julia Michaels, she is only 25 but has already written so many worldwide hits. For instance Justin Bieber “Sorry” or Selena Gomez “Bad Liar”. She really has worked hard to get where she is today. I also love Adele, Lauv, Bazzi, Frank Ocean, Daniel Caesar, Khalid and the list goes on and on.’
Are you a big fan of Eurovision in general, and if so have you been tempted to cover any Eurovision songs?
‘I am a big fan of Eurovision. I have watched it every year since i was born i think 😀 And as a musician it is easy to love music shows. I have been tempted to cover Eurovision songs, for example, “If I Were Sorry” by Frans, i even filmed it, but decided to not post it. I remember when Lena from Germany won Eurovision in 2010, i watched how she got to the stage and imagined being there one day myself, i hope to be able to represent Estonia in Eurovision soon’
You can listen to Johanna’s song ‘Mik Sa Teed Nii’ here:
Is Johanna among your favourites to qualify from the first semi-final?, if so you can vote in our poll here: