In-depth look at the Supernova participants!

Today we finally learned the identity of the 26 songs shortlisted for Latvia’s “Supernova” selection! The auditions took place back in December and here at ESCBubble we have been waiting patiently for the performances to be uploaded for our first glimpse of this year’s hopefuls.

In a change to the selection process, the public will not have a say in the initial phase of cutting the 26 songs down to 8, however will have a chance to vote for their favourites in the final on February 8th. We will also only be treated to a one-shot final, instead of the two semi’s and a final format from before.

So who are this year’s hopefuls? For an in-depth view of all of the entrants, look no further! Click on the titles to watch their audition performance:

Elizabete Gaile – For You
Elizabete is a 22 year old singer from Riga, who has an impressive back catalogue of songs on Youtube, both in English and Latvian (I’m particularly fond of Kas aiz krūtīm sēž). For you is a mid tempo number, co-written by Elizabete herself.

Līva – Not That Important To You
28 year old Līva Komarovska is another first time entrant into Supernova and she co-wrote “Not That Important To You” with prolific Latvian songwriter/producer Kaspars Ansons. The song is another mid tempo, needs to build a bit more.

Annemarija Moiseja – Undo
Annemarija is a pop/jazz singer from Riga who is singing a song, co-written and produced by (amongst others) The Double Faced Eels from Supernova 2019. The build to the chorus promises a bit more than it delivers, but it’s still a solid entry.

Seleste – Like Me
Seleste Soloviev-Vlasova is an elusive creature, the most I can find is that she was part of the Vocal-Instrumental Ensemble of Riga Secondary School of Culture, Latvian Academy of Music. She gives a confident, if somewhat moody performance of this self written song, complete with a backing banjo. It’s nice.

Rūta Ķergalve – Izgaismots (Illuminated)
All I could really find on Rūta in as much as previous performances is a nearly decade old clip of her as part of a duo singing with acoustic guitars. So for now, most of what we know is that she is 27 years old and lives in Kuldīga, right in the middle of Latvia and her song is a self-written jazzy mood.

Laika Upe – All My Roads
Laika Upe are back! After narrowly missing out on a place in the finals in 2019 with “Listen to the way I breathe” they are back with a polished performance of a very assured pop track.

Audiokvartāls – Connection
A four piece band founded in 2014 and made up of members Ivars Ozoliņš, Arnis Ozoliņš, Juris Ludženieks, and Ludvigs Lielauss. They sing this chirpy little number, written by the band and also a couple of members of last year’s finalists, Double Faced Eels.

Toms Kalderauskis – Be My Truth
Toms is another returnee, having competed up to the semi final stage in 2017. He has an amazing voice, the song is not worthy of it though and he deserves so much more.

Markus Riva – Impossible
There’s not much to say about Markus Riva, he is probably the most high-profile contestant of this year and it’s no surprise to see him back. It’s also no surprise that he’s teamed up with Aminata again (after the success of their single “Last Dance” last year) He told us in the run up to Supernova 2019 that he is as hungry for Eurovision as he has ever been. Will it finally be his year?

Katrīna Bindere – I Will Break Your Heart
Katrīna is from Ventspils, out on the West Coast of Latvia and has tried out for Latvia twice in the past, coming 6th in the 2014 Dziesma final with “Moment and Tomorrow” and the Supernova quarter finals in 2015 with “Run to you”. “I will break your heart” includes a co-writer credit for Jānis Driksna of My Radiant You, also appearing as a solo performer in Supernova 2020.

Shanti – Voices In My Mind
Shanti are another elusive outfit that I’m struggling to find many details on. We do know that “Voices In My Mind” was written by Santa Dzalbe and Liene Matveja who I believe are the singers. It’s finger clicking good.

Madara – Māras zeme
We all remember Madara from 2018, when she finished 3rd in Supernova with “Esamiba” She’s back with a more Celtic sounding effort and surrounded by drums, bongos, a big gong and a backing singer complementing Madara’s vocals with some ethnic wails. We are even treated to some English lyrics!

Samanta Tīna – Still Breathing
From the moment that Samanta dropped the video of this Aminata-written song on 30th November, we all kind of knew that this had Supernova written all over it .. Will it be 6 time lucky for Samanta? This has quickly become the fan favourite, and whilst she still needs to work on her diction, her sass and the class of the song could win out.

Sabīne Blūma-Blūmane – Beauty Will Save The World
Sabīne Blūma Blūmane has this year’s Disney classic ballad, her voice is impressive in it’s power. Co-written by Gaitis Lazdāns, who’s website boasts he has written over “half a thousand” songs! Fun fact – Sabīne is a photographer and owns her own studio.

Maia – Make It Real
31 year old Maija Aukšmuksta brings us this lovely funky number which is 2:58 of joy! As lead singer of “Maia’s Marvellous” there are youtube videos of some great funk numbers. Another one of my favourites (yeah, there’s a lot!).

Edgars Kreilis – Tridymite
Edgars Kreilis needs little introduction. Another xfactors graduate, he has participated three times before with the songs ‘We Are Angels’, ‘Younger Days’ and last year’s ’Cherry Absinthe’, with the last two attempts making the grand final. Since then he has also appeared at the Riga Preview Party and shared with us just how keen he is to continue to try to represent Latvia at Eurovision. He is also competing in Lithuania’s The Voice and in the blind auditions he agreed to join Donny Montell’s team (LTU 2012 and 2016), so he’s going to be very busy for the next couple of months!

Katrīna Dimanta – Heart Beats
We all remember Katrīna as the violin wielding member of Aarzemnieki who represented Latvia in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with “Cake To Bake”. This can best be described as “quirky” and the “boom boom” repetition will stay in your head for a very long time …

Antra Stafecka un Atis Ieviņš – Coming Over
We go uptempo and guitar led for this duo, Atis’ Bryan Adams-esque vocals fitting well with Antra’s crisp and clear voice. Atis co-wrote the song along with Jānis Čubars and is an accomplished guitarist. Both have tried out for selection in the past, Antra reaching the semi finals in 2015 with “It’s the night”.

Aivo Oskis – Dive Deep
Aivo was a finalist in last year’s Supernova, which he saw as a stepping stone to greater things. The Riga-based singer has released a number of fantastic dance tracks during 2019, as part of his ongoing collaboration with Rassell & Sabīne Berezina, my favourite of which was “Mentola konfektes”. His entry this year was co-written with Rassell and features some low tempo R&B beats.

Bad Habits – Sail With You
Bad Habits are a Latvian based band with members Mārtiņš Balodis, Kristaps Grīnbergs, Normans Bārbals and Jānis Līde writing this rock-country effort.

ANNNA – Polyester
That’s Annna with 3 n’s, but she’s otherwise known as Anna Madara Pērkone, who lives in Amsterdam and has given us a very tongue in cheek entry about the love of the wardrobe staple that is a t-shirt. Her previous appearances include a big summer concert in Sigulda.

Alise Haijima – Me Me Song
There are few songwriters who would be brave enough to rhyme “heinous” with “Uranus” but that’s what we get here with Alise’s confident performance, which also includes a few words of Japanese. It’s part rap, part incredible vocals.

DRIKSNA – Stay
Jānis Driksna is back! Who, you say? Well, he is one half of My Radiant You, who we last saw in 2017 where they finished 3rd, as they also did in 2016. He has employed Aidan O’Connor, the Irish songwriter for “Stay”, Aidan has written more than 30 National Final entries over the years, so he certainly has the experience! It’s a mid tempo, emotional number, and is one of my favourites with Jānis’s distinctive vocals.

Miks Dukurs – I’m Falling For You
We also welcome back Miks Dukurs to the selection process, in his 6th attempt to represent Latvia. He has an incredible voice, with a raspy quality that is to die for! It’s a solid self-written ballad and a good shout to qualify for the final.

Alekss Silvers – Again
Alekss was unlucky to miss out on a spot in the final last year with his Aminata-penned song “Fireworks”. This year, he has teamed up with Andis Ansons, Uku Moldau with this emotional slice of mid tempo pop.

Signe un Jānis – Inner Light
This duo first appeared in Season 2 of X Faktoris and came 7th overall. Signe and Jānis Aizupieši first met at Jāzeps Mediņš Riga Music High School and are fond of singing romantic duets. Jānis also plays keyboards for other bands. “Inner Light” fits very much to their preferred genre of music!

ESCBubble will of course have a team present at the Supernova final on February 8th to bring you all the news live from the Arena.

Do you have a favourite out of the 26 songs above? Who do you think LTV should send to represent Latvia at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam in May? Let us know in the comments below!

Latvia have failed to qualify for the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest since 2016, with Justs and “Heartbeat” so lets watch his performance and send our best wishes to all the participants.

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