The final of Supernova takes place on Saturday 8th February, selecting Latvia’s entry to Eurovision 2020. This week we have been introducing each of the artists through a series of interviews, and today the spotlight turns to Edgars Kreilis.
Edgars is a familiar name to fans of the show as this is now his fourth attempt to represent Latvia, and with his new song ‘Tridymite’ he has gained a place in the final for the third year in a row. Will Tridymite fare better that ‘We Are Angels’, ‘Younger Days’ and ‘Cherry Absinthe’? many fans seen to think so as the song is performing well in every poll.
We caught up with Edgars, to ask a number of questions about his return to the competition.
Hi Edgars, welcome back to Supernova!. How does it feel to have made it to this stage of the competition once again, how did you find out the news and what was your reaction?
‘By all means, it is a great pleasure to be in the finals, especially this year when the songs were selected by an international jury. There were a lot of songs submitted this year and I won’t lie, I’m really excited and grateful to be in finals 3rd year in a row.’
The wider list also had a number of your close friends who have sadly not made it through to the final this year. People you know from your x-faktor days, and even some from school, and particularly Aivo Oskis who is such a good friend of yours . Has it been a mix of elation but also some disappointment for him, have you been in touch with him since the announcement? We noticed Aivo giving you support backstage at The Voice Lithuania (but more about that in a moment!)
‘Yes, he’s a great guy indeed and he had a great song as well, but he’s truly happy that at least one of us made it. No matter what, he always keeps his head high. That’s what I admire about him. Anyway, his song presentation took place last Wednesday and he also invited me as the event opener as he unveiled his new video’
We are only a few weeks into 2020 and it is already and incredibly busy year for you. Not only with Supernova, but also with The Voice Lithuania. How will you handle being in both competitions, and have you double checked the dates to make sure they don’t clash?
‘Yes, this year has started off busy but I don’t feel like it’s tearing me apart. I have more confidence in myself. I know there’s a lot to do now but this opportunity takes me to another level. Now I have the chance to work with Donny Montell which is an incredible opportunity and I’m really looking forward to enjoying every second of this wonderful journey.’
You can watch Edgars performing in the blind auditions here, and you will see Aivo lending his support backstage.
On The Voice blind audition, you had all four judges turn for you, but you chose to work with Donny Montell, who is of course really well known in the Eurovision world having twice represented Lithuania. Was that a factor in your decision to work with him, or were there also other reasons to choose him?, and how are you finding the experience of working with him?
‘First of all – I wasn’t aware what to expect and how it’s gonna go, but when all the judges turned, I was thrilled and I am still very satisfied! Can you imagine? The reason I picked Donny Montell is because there’s a lot I can learn from this guy. He’s an incredible artist and an amazing person. I believe there’s a reason for our roads to cross and I believe it’s all for the good!’
You are one of the busiest and most hard-working people I know! Pursuing your singing and songwriting career, holding down a full time Project management job, playing Ice Hockey in the Latvian leagues and also managing other side projects yourself, too. How do you manage your time with all of these things?, do you also manage to find time to relax?
‘Thank you for reminding me of this! I’m actually having a lot of fun, but sometimes the weight I have on my shoulders is slowing me down. Which is a good sign, because that means I’m just a regular guy without superpowers. Ha! In overall, that means, everything is possible. The main thing is to make a choice, not any kind of a choice, but the right choice, because giving up is also a choice and in every hard day I ask myself: “What choice is it gonna be, Edgar?”.
Last year, you had us all researching cocktails to try and find some cherry absinthe in any bar we came across (we didn’t find any, but we did discover Cherry Balsams in Riga which we liked a lot!), and this year you’re making us reach for our chemistry text-books with Tridymite. Cherry Absinthe had the original working title of ‘Fire’ at the audition stage which was the same as the song by Double Faced Eels, were you simply making sure you didn’t have the same title as anyone this year, or was there a special reason for choosing Tridymite? What more can you tell us about the song?
‘Well, I had to make a surprise research party, right? But to be honest, the title was born in the songwriting process, when me together with Ingars Viļums – a member of a Latvian band “Brainstorm” – brainstormed (no pun intended) some ideas about love and we found out that in every relationship exists chemistry (feelings) and we realised that relationships can be related to crystals. Those who disagree, there’s a quote: “Relationship is like a crystal, you don’t realise how much you love it until it breaks”. As you can notice, we had a real brainstorming session and I hope the listeners will love the idea of it.’
We understand that you originally entered two songs into the competition, but the jury clearly preferred Tridymite. What can you tell us about the other song, and might we still get to hear it at some point?
‘Unfortunately, our national selection rules didn’t allow me to enter with a song that was co-written with foreign authors. They allow us to collaborate internationally up to 30% maximum, but who knows, maybe this song just had a different path for a different artist or even a country, but I think it definitely deserves to be released someday.’
For Tridymite you have worked with Ingars Vilums who is an experienced musician having worked with Brainstorm among other artists, and has written a number of songs for Eurovision selections over the years. How did that collaboration come about?
‘Believe it or not, but one day I received a Facebook message from this guy asking me about my plans for Supernova this year. At first, I thought I received a message from a fake profile, but obviously, it was real. So, we both exchanged our contacts and started our collaboration right away. At first, he sent me some ideas, and after that I sent him mine, later we figured that we’re getting along very easily and started to build a song from scratch. And I would say that it was a very successful collaboration, which I am beyond thankful for.’
So far we have seen the audition video and the recent release of a lyric video, but plans for the final live performance have yet to be shared. Edgars posted an acoustic version of ‘Tridymite’ on social media, with a full complement of backing vocalists – could they be joining him for the show in Riga? Give the acoustic version a listen here:
Edgars, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. Good luck in the competition, and we will see you in Riga on 8th Feb!!
Is Edgars your favourite to win Supernova? Don’t forget to vote in our poll!