Anett X Fredi: “It feels really safe to have such a bad-ass partner”

With the first semi-final of Eesti Laul on Thursday of this week, we are excited to get the chance to chat with the Class of 2023! 

We’re very pleased to welcome back Frederik Küüts to Eesti Laul, better known as Fredi, who has once again teamed up with Anett Kulbin to bring us their new song “You Need to Move On” in semi final 1. 

We last had a chat before their appearance in Eesti Laul 2020, where they finished in 3rd place with “Write About Me” so it was great to catch up! 

Fredi, hi again! We last spoke in 2020 when you and Anett brought ” Write About Me” to a fantastic 3rd place.  How was that experience for you both? 

Eesti Laul 2020 and “Write About Me” were a beautiful chapter in my career and it just couldn’t have gone better. Exceeded our expectations for sure. For me it was definitely a confidence boost! Since then I’ve had the pleasure to work with some really cool people and write some really cool songs so I’d say life has been pretty good in that sense. As for Anett, she went on to finish her first full-length album following Eesti Laul. And that album got her the Female Act of the Year and Pop Artist of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards. So she really seized the moment – so happy for her! I feel like our bond grew stronger over the course of that songs being released, us going to Eesti Laul and doing some gigs together after that. So now being back in the studio together feels just great! 

Whilst you haven’t appeared on the Eesti Laul stage, we noticed you listed as a songwriter for Rahel in 2021, were you tempted to return to the contest as a performer before now? 

Good eye! Yes, I was the producer and co-writer for Rahel’s track “Sunday Night”. I wasn’t actually tempted to return as an artist before now, but it feels right to be back with this song & of course Anett. Feels really safe to have such a bad-ass partner to do it with. 

Let’s talk about “You Need To Move On” which has that same chill atmospheric vibe we love. Am I right in saying this is the first new song for you as a duo since “Write About Me”? I guess it wasn’t too difficult to decide to work together again! 

We’ve been working on some songs with Anett over the last few years. I played some guitar and co-wrote a few songs for her after Eesti Laul, but “You Need To Move On” is the first one that we finished together in the duo setting we had grown to love. I think doing this again some time was on both of our minds.

“You were a red flag and I was colour blind” has to be one of my favourite lyrics ever! How did the song come about? 

Thank you! I’m pretty happy about that line as well!  

This track came from my personal experience, I had been meaning to write this song for a while actually. With some songs it’s really a therapeutic experience, just to get something out of your system and this relationship that I was in for a while really gave some things to write about. Having presented the initial idea to Anett, she was really excited to finish it together so we really took our time with the lyrics and the production and now here we are. 

You previously described yourself as a “mild Eurovision fan” – is this still the case? There seems to be more of a buzz about the contest with songs getting global traction and I wondered if this is the case in Estonia also? 

I still try to get together with friends to watch it, at least for the final. Somebody usually makes this elaborate sheet where everybody can give points and commentaries – that’s always fun. But having seen what Eurovision fandom can be like, I’d still consider myself a mild one.  

From a producer / songwriter point of view, I have some musician-friends who we share our favourite tracks with yearly and get really nitty-gritty with the analysing. Let’s call it a moderate fan maybe! 

For the traction the songs get – Estonian radio definitely plays some tunes after the competition and having seen what Eurovision can do for the careers of the musicians (take Måneskin for example) it really gets you thinking. I don’t think I can even comprehend the vastness of the effects Eurovision can have.  

As a musician I really try to stay in my lane & do my thing. Eesti Laul is a cool event, I’m really happy to be able to take part and if I’m ever to go to Eurovision it would obviously be a tremendous honour, but that’s not really for me to decide. I’m just really interested in writing some cool songs! 

Lastly, what other plans do you have for 2023? 

I feel really great about 2023.  

Right now, focusing on Eesti Laul. We just released an album at the end of the year with my band Gram-Of-Fun, so I hope to be touring with the new songs a lot this year.  

I predict the first half of the year to be a more closed-off, working in the studio kind of vibe. I can already tell summer is going to be super busy with gigs. In the mean time I have some new music in the works with several collaborators. So really excited to finish and release some new music! 

Watch “You Need To Move On” here and don’t forget our poll underneath where you can vote for your favourites ahead of semi final 1 on Thursday 12th January.

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