As we reported yesterday morning, the 15 contestants of Latvia’s “Supernova” selection for 2023 were announced during “Morning Panorama” on LTV1 by the Supernova hosts for 2023, Katija Schenberg and previous Latvian representative at Eurovision, Lauris Reiniks.
Since then we have unfortunately lost Saule with his entry “Finally Happy” as it has been determined to have been performed before the cut off date and therefore breaches Supernova’s rules.
Having now had a chance to digest the rest of the entries and sit with them for a little while, here are the details that you have to know!
Kārlis Grīnbergs and Ernests Vīgner make up 24 Avenija who released their first song in August of last year called “Meitene No Pilsētas“. Their Supernova 2023 song is a mix of driving drum beats, electronic sounds and vocals. The official website states that Vigner is the “successor in the Vigner dynasty” – does this relate to the famous Latvian composer/conductor Ernests Vīgner (born 1850)?
Adriana is a well known Latvian pop singer, and appeared in Supernova back in 2019 with “Scared of Love” and although she sadly didn’t progress from the semi finals, she did make it to Tel Aviv as part of the Latvian jury. She bounced back to become a finalist in The Voice of Lithuania later that same year. She has been taking some time off whilst becoming a mother but is back with “Like I Wanna” (which is nothing like Latvian’s sole Eurovision winner “I Wanna”) – it’s a fabulous piece of laid back pop with an instantly catchy chorus and a great production.
Alise is also previous alumni of Supernova, this time in 2020 with “Me Me Song” but did not progress to the televised final. Alise lived in Japan until she was 11 and her Asian roots are evident in her song, which has an almost K-Pop feel about it.
Arturs will be making his debut in the competition with the song which may prove to be the biggest earworm of them all in ‘Love Vibes’. It’s a fun pop song with an impressive songwriting team including Agnese Rozniece (of Triana Park) and Toms Kalderauskis (who is also entering in his own right… see below!). He has plans to release an album later in the year, so if you enjoy Love Vibes, then watch this space!
Avei is Latvian singer Ieva Kudlāne, who would be known to Latvians after appearing in “Ghetto Faktors 2021” which was a competition for Latvia’s young musical talent. Avei attended the Riga Live songwriting camp last year and that gave her the confidence to enter Supernova with this lovely slice of pop.
Happy to see Inspo back after their success in the 2022 edition of Supernova, where their debut entry “A Happy Place” reached a creditable 8th in the final. Inspo have been busy in the meantime and have released their second album and have collaborated with many Latvian artists. “Sway” sees Nadīna’s sultry vocals start the track before the trademark heavy guitars make an entrance and the track begins to soar. Just beautiful!
Justs needs little introduction, as he is certainly no ‘Stranger’ (see what we did there?) to the competition. He won Supernova in 2016 with the song ‘Heartbeat‘ qualifying for the grand final in Stockholm and ultimately finishing in a respectable 15th place. He returned to Supernova in 2017 as an interval act, performing his single ‘Message To You‘, and then went on to fill his supernova bingo card by even hosting the show in 2018. It seems there can’t be many more prepared or experienced candidates going into this year’s edition of the competition!
That familiar voice but an unfamiliar name. Supernova fans will know her better as Katrine Lūkins, who competed in the Latvian pre-selection in 2014, 2018 and 2019. She’s been releasing music recently with the Latvian band “Rock N Berries” who are also past Supernova participants. “Beaten Down” is an emotional ballad which suits her crisp clear vocals.
Luīze Vītola is a newcomer, currently studying with the Riga Cathedral choir and is part of their gospel ensemble. “You To Hold Me” is her first release and is a lush ballad which shows off Luīze’s distinctive vocals perfectly.
Will it be 9th time lucky for Markus? After missing out on the finals last year, he is back again with a much boppier sound (think “Blinding Lights”). Markus has written the music and lyrics himself, which gives a more authentic sound and I’m excited to see what he will do with the staging!
Patrisha’s first experience of Supernova was back in 2019 when she appeared as an interval act, performing her big hit ‘Es Varu But Ta’, but ‘Hush’ will be her first time as a contestant. Since that performance in 2019, Patrisha has had a very successful career domestically, picking up the award for best debut at the coveted Zelta Mikrofons (Golden Microphone) awards. She signed with Universal Music Group in 2019 and released her album ‘Patrisha Bija Seit’ (Patrisha Was Here) in 2020.
Patrisha is also well connected in Eurovision circles, having worked with last year’s Supernova winners Citi Zeni with the track ‘Kolkas Raga Smaile‘ featuring on their 2022 album ‘Suni Iziet Ielas’. Our favourite recent release from Patrisha though is the poptastic ‘Prom‘ which featured another Supernova favourite from previous years MARTA.
Reinis Straume, performing as Raum, is back in Supernova for the 3rd time. He was the front man of Double Faced Eels, who’s song “Fire” came 4th in the 2019 contest, and as a solo artist he finished 9th in 2022 with “Plans” . This year’s song “Fake Love” is co-written by Estonian Daniel Levi, who fans may remember from competing in Eesti Laul in 2015 and 2017.
The four-piece alternative rock group, Sudden Lights, have been recording together since 2012 and are no strangers to Supernova. They finished second in 2018, with their song ‘Just Fine’ behind Laura Rizzotto and are now back for another crack at the competition.
Since 2018 they have been working very hard, touring and performing at a string of major festivals, and releasing their third studio album ‘Miljards Vasaru’ in 2022. They have also worked in collaboration with a number of big name artists including Zebrene and the rapper Zelgis. And you may remember ANNNA from the 2020 edition of Supernova, well the boys worked with her to produce the delightful ‘Aiznem man vietu‘
Toms is another returnee to the competition. He debuted at Supernova in 2017 with ‘We Won’t Back Down‘, which despite becoming a fan favourite didn’t make it out of the heats. Toms also just missed out on the 2022 selection after ‘Naked Smile‘ was left behind in the public wildcard vote. Since then, Toms has been working in theatre and Children’s television. This year he returns with ‘When It All Falls’ which is cowritten with Julianna Tiruma (who also worked on Naked Smile). Toms is also credited as a songwriter on Arturs Hatti’s song ‘Love Vibes’ so has two horses in this race!
Not long to wait until the semi final which will be held on February 4th, where we believe that 10 songs will progress to the final on Super Saturday, February 11th.
Vote for your favourites in our poll, you can choose up to three songs that you would like to progress!