Eesti Laul is almost upon us, with the first semi final taking place in the Saku Suurhall tomorrow evening. The second semi final is on Saturday, and one of the acts performing then is the duo REDEL with the song “Tartu”.
REDEL are Kristjan Oden and Indrek Vaheoja, members of the band Winny Puuh, who regular watchers of Eesti Laul will remember from their iconic performance back in 2013.
I was lucky enough to get to chat with both Kristjan and Indrek before rehearsals started.
Hi Indrek and Kristjan and welcome back to Eesti Laul! We haven’t seen you for a while now, what have you been up to since we last saw you in 2013?
A lot actually, glad you asked. Winny Puhh is alive and kicking, we toured London and shortly after that came corona virus. Fortunately we had a chance to entertain ourselves with couple of shows last summer, which was awesome. We have some projects cookin’ as well, so…we’ll see 😉
Kristjan, I still have nightmares about you being spun round and playing the drums upside down during “”Meiecundimees üks Korsakov läks eile Lätti”” back in 2013, you guys came third and nearly made it to Malmo, how was that as an experience for you?
It was a good experience, I’m still dizzy. After that performance at Eesti Laul, both me and Olevik (the other drummer) didn’t want to see that machine ever again. A couple of months later I get a call from Ove: “Hi Paksu (my nickname, means Fatso), what do you think about doing the performance once more in Paris, but this time you’d have to spin for 15 minutes.” I thought he was joking, but unfortunately, he wasn’t.
Let’s talk about “Tartu”, your entry for this year , there’s a lovely geographical journey through Estonia in the lyrics, but you do seem to have something against Viljandi!
Kristjan is from Tartu and I studied in university there, so actually Tartu is one of our hometowns. Viljandi is great too, actually several good things are about to take place in Viljandi, so beware and observe, good news is coming. We certainly hope that all cities will vote for us, even if they were not mentioned in “Tartu”, Eurovision rules you know, song length is 3 minutes and that’s it.
I’ve also heard that you are looking for a 5 metre triangular ladder for your performance in the second semi final (REDEL means “ladder” in Estonian) I don’t suppose you can give us any clues as to what we might get to see on February 20th?
We hope to bring the viewers colourful and cheerful experience to dance and enjoy we know, “Tartu” is a grower so blast your speakers and play our song and, of course, vote for us as well if you can.
Anyone who dismissed Winny Puuh as a purely novelty entry into Eesti Laul was wrong, as the band has been around since 1994, although have been on a hiatus for some time – have you all been doing your own thing musically recently?
Actually 28.09.1994 is our birthday, but we are not in hiatus any more – Winny Puhh is recording new music, messing with some visual arts, building instruments and we already gave and will give live concerts as soon as possible!
But Redel is new inspiration for us and very rewarding and therapeutic as well. Music should give people good emotions, joy and self confidence – that’s where Redel stands in our opinion.
I’ve had a great time researching your back catalogue, I noticed that you usually sing in Estonian, is there any temptation to deliver your sound in English?
There was a period in Winny Puhh’s existence, when we had most of our song lyrics in English. 1996-1997 or around there. We have used mixed languages as well, so there is no doubt Winny Puhh will have English lyrics once again.
I have spoken to a lot of Eesti Laul contestants over the years, and it’s always been apparent to me that winning is not the important thing for the most part, it’s the exposure you get, both to the Estonian audience and to viewers around the world. What does Eesti Laul mean to you?
For me it means mostly work. Eesti Laul is a big thing in our music industry, so everyone involved will get a lot of attention and possibilities to communicate with different people all around the world. The Eurovision community is very vocal and passionate, word will get around quickly!
Do you plan to do more with the REDEL project once Eesti Laul has finished? I get the feeling that you will be remembered!
We have already shot a new music video for our next single and we’re currently working on Redel’s upcoming EP. We have a plenty of songs waiting and soon we will offer enjoyment for our fans.
One thing is for sure, the performance will be memorable! Thank you both for finding the time to chat with us, best of luck for the second semi final on February 20th!
Watch the video for “Tartu” here and vote in our poll below as to who you think will qualify out of the second semi final on Saturday
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