Hans Nayna – ‘One By One is an Ode To People: To Their Strength During Dark Times’

The semi finals of this year’s Eesti Laul take place this week, and ahead of the first show on Thursday, we caught up with one of this year’s debutants in the competition Hans Nayna.

Hans is a 31 year old singer songwriter from Mauritius, and he brings his trademark powerful vocal to the competition with his song ‘One by One’. We chatted to Hans about his participation, and here is what he had to tell us:

Hello Hans!  Congratulations on making the shortlist for this year’s Eesti Laul. I understand you have a really interesting story behind your participation.  You’re not a local, being from Mauritius, so can you tell us a little about how it all came about and how you ended up entering this competition when so far away from home?

‘Yes, I am Mauritian. Born and raised on that little island.  I have been making music as a singer/songwriter/guitarist for the last ten years and up to now I have released an EP( in 2013), two albums (2016/2017)  and some singles. Well, back in my country, things move quite fast in our little music industry, so I had a busy life.   My girlfriend is Estonian and had lived in Mauritius for 5 years before coming back to Estonia last January. I came to visit her in March, for two weeks and then Covid hit. I was on my way back, in Dubai, when Mauritius closed.  So, I came back here and fun fact, it’s soon going to be a year. I always intended to pursue my career in Europe, so, with some  genuine friends, a lucky star and persistence, I managed to come across the right people at the right time. One music producer, Vahur Valgmaa, proposed a piece of music and I wrote it.’


Is Eurovision something that you have always known about as a concept – there are so many live viewers each year from all over the world – do people watch all the way over in Mauritius and how do you think the contest viewed over there?  Will your attempt to enter be big news back home?

‘Well, I still remember my mom being a big fan of Eurovision. But growing up, I didn’t watch much TV. But Eurovision for me and most of the Mauritian people is something we know about. We are definitely acquainted with the concept. Mauritius has around 1.3million people,  and believe me,  they are already spreading the news since Eesti Laul itself is very interesting.’


2020 was, shall we say an ‘interesting’ year presenting so many challenges to us all.  How has it impacted on you as an artist – have you had to postpone plans, tours, appearances, or did you see it as a time where you could be more creative and produce new music.  Other than Eurovision (of course), what are your main hopes for 2021? 

‘I left my country for Estonia. Different cultures, very different languages, extremely different temperatures.I had to stare at all my booking requests in my country and reply that I am  abroad. I have definitely lost a lot of gigs. Then, I think at one point I lost momentum, the same momentum I was building  for ten years. But on the other hand, I saw my productivity level increasing with new ideas, new sounds, new relationships. Well,  that feeling of the ‘new’ which makes us so vibrant. My main hopes for 2021 are all about regular releases, music videos, collabs and good vibes.’


And how has Estonia welcomed you?.  I’ve visited a few times and it’s such a wonderful friendly place, even if it can get a bit cold at this time of year! 

‘Well, Estonia did not only let me in as a foreigner when I was trapped in Dubai but gave me a tourist Visa for a year.
I’ll be eternally grateful for that. Yes, it is actually -11 outside. I love to experience  things and cold is an experience I like.  I have met genuine people here, got cool friends and had fun.’


Can you tell us a little about your song ‘One By One’ , is there a message in the song and did you write it specifically with the competition in mind?

‘I took time to dig into the past Eurovision to understand the concept in more depth. Love and hope having been 
the main theme for decades and I wanted to stay in that league. One by One is an ode to people. To their strength
during dark times, their hopes when everything seems to fade and their will power.’


The video for your song is stunning.  You and your team did an awesome job putting it together.  Am I right in thinking that it was filmed in the Saku Suurhall, which is of course the venue for Eesti Laul (and Eurovision 2002 when Estonia last hosted the main competition!).   Can we expect something similar in your stage presentation?

‘It’s more the team than me this time. We came up with the ideas of dancers,  from there, the team made the thing real. Yes, it’s Saku Suurhall. And yes, I think you can expect to see the dancers on stage’


Thank you Hans for taking the time to talk to us!, we wish you the very best of luck in the competition.

You can watch the video for ‘One By One’ here.  Is Hans among your favourites to qualify for the grand final of Eesti Laul?, vote in our poll!

Vote for up to six of your favorite acts in Semi Final 1 of Eesti Laul 2021!
  • Koit Toome - We Could Have Been Beautiful 21%, 506 votes
    506 votes 21%
    506 votes - 21% of all votes
  • Egert Milder - Free Again 16%, 382 votes
    382 votes 16%
    382 votes - 16% of all votes
  • Tanja - Best Night Ever 11%, 266 votes
    266 votes 11%
    266 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Kea - Hypnotized 11%, 264 votes
    264 votes 11%
    264 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Nika Marula - Calm Down 9%, 217 votes
    217 votes 9%
    217 votes - 9% of all votes
  • Ivo Linna, Robert Linna, Supernova - Ma olen siin 9%, 210 votes
    210 votes 9%
    210 votes - 9% of all votes
  • Karl Killing - Kiss Me 8%, 192 votes
    192 votes 8%
    192 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Hans Nayna - One By One 6%, 153 votes
    153 votes 6%
    153 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Tuuli Rand - Üks öö 4%, 103 votes
    103 votes 4%
    103 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Andrei Zevakin & Pluuto - Wingman 3%, 80 votes
    80 votes 3%
    80 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Kristin Kalnapenk - Find A Way 2%, 47 votes
    47 votes 2%
    47 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Wiiralt - Tuuled 1%, 28 votes
    28 votes 1%
    28 votes - 1% of all votes
Total Votes: 2448
Voters: 579
January 13, 2021 - February 20, 2021
Voting is closed

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