The Lithuanian selection process for Eurovision 2020, ‘Pabandom Is Naujo’ reaches it’s semi-final stage this weekend, and one of the artists still vying for the Lithuanian ticket to Rotterdam is Ruta Loop (real name Ruta Žibaitytė).
Ruta is entering the selection process for the second time, following up her 2018 entry ‘Positive Thoughts’ with her new song ‘We Came From The Sun’. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Ruta to discuss her participation this year, her use of loop stations in her music, and the launch of her debut album ‘Chapter’. Here is what she told us!
Hi Ruta, and thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. Congratulations on getting to the semi-final stage, and on releasing your debut album ‘Chapter’. Your entry into Pabandom Is Naujo is ‘We Came From The Sun’ and is the closing track on the album. Did you write the song with the Eurovision selections in mind, or was it a case of great timing with the release of the album and the call for song submissions. Would you have considered any other tracks from the album to submit, or was it always going to be this one?
I have always wanted to participate in Eurovision with a strong song. But first I was thinking of the album, but when we finished that we realized that two of the songs were in the Eurovision mood. We were really choosing between ‘Individual’ and ‘We Came From The Sun’, but I felt that ‘We Came From The Sun’ had a unique energy and message which I thought would be important.
It’s always a busy time I guess when you release an album, especially your first one, and with Eurovision on top how are you finding that?
I am also studying jazz music in music school, working in radio, releasing an album, I played a number of concerts in Lithuania throughout December, and participating in the Eurovision selections, so it’s kinda tough actually!
You’re a loop artist (hence your stage name). I assume that you are of course aware of Netta, a fellow loop artist who won the competition in 2018. What do you enjoy about using a looper and do you think that Netta’s win has helped to raise the profile of that technology?
Well my first connection with the looper was when I was studying in Bratislava, Slovakia. I saw two guys in the street performing with a looper. I met them and we had a friendship and I discovered that this is an instrument that I would love to work with. I realized that there are so many voices in my mind that I had to put them into a box, so it was a great opportunity to work in this way. When I returned to Lithuania, I bought a looper and worked for nine hours a day because there is so much to learn (and I am still learning!). It really taught me that you could express yourself fully just from your voice and that was the unique moment for me.
The same year that Netta participated, I was in the Lithuanian selection with a looper as well, but the jury told me that they didn’t think anyone would understand this instrument. But of course, Netta went on to win Eurovision. But actually I think with Netta it wasn’t so much the instrument it was about her, her charisma, her statement, her song and her message as well.
I also love the music of Double Six, and Kimbra who is my favourite musician of all, and she uses a looper and makes things sound different with her electronic sounds.
Well I guess no jury could say that about loopers now! Could you tell me a bit more about your song, and the presentation, because it is more than just vocal loops, who are your musicians, and can you tell us about the message in the song?
I worked with three friends, who are musicians and producers. I have Kasparas Meginis as my pianist, Edgaras Zaltauskas as drummer and Paulius Vaicekauskas as bass player. If ever I need more sounds, then I will include them and forget the idea that everything has to be about the voice, and that’s how the album took shape.
The song speaks not about the sun itself, but it’s a symbol of the light that comes from every one of us. There are so many stereotypes that you have to conform to – so I think being unique and sometimes misunderstood or strange is your strength that you have to find. The performance tells the story that I go from being a closed person to an open one. The dancers represent the different sides of me as a person. Never forget that we are from the light, and that light is always inside of you.
Have you been pleased with the feedback so far from the fans and the jury? Have you enjoyed the heats and are you likely to change anything for the later stages of the competition?
The biggest impression for me was when my sister called me and said that she was out running, and this song came on, and she was running and crying – and it was my song! All the comments I have received so far though have been incredible, people have written from all over Europe to tell me that they could really feel the song and the message and felt I could go all the way to Eurovision.
After the performance we have watched it back as a team, over and over again, stopping every moment to challenge where we can improve. There will be changes for sure, to the lighting, the visuals, the costumes, and even some details in the song! I am hoping that this will make it even stronger. When you see it from the outside you can analyse what you can do to make it better.
And finally, do you have any other big plans for 2020, any more tours, or are you working on new music already for ‘Chapter 2’?
I am going to release a vinyl of Chapter first and also there are new songs coming. So yes, I guess there will be a Chapter 2 (haha – or whatever we decide to call it!). I actually just got a tattoo of Chapter 1, so we’re not going to just stop there!
Ruta, thank you so much for your time, it’s been so nice to chat with you, and I really wish you all the very best for the semi-finals and hopefully the final (and beyond!).
You can listen to Ruta’s entry in the Lithuanian selections ‘We Came From The Sun’ here:
And you can also listen to ‘Individual‘ the other song that Ruta had considered for the competition. But I recommend you also check out the whole of the album ‘Chapter’
What do you think of Ruta’s entry? Let us know in the comments section!