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Posts Tagged ‘Tinatin’

Eurovision writersI couldn’t be happier or more proud! Making it to the finals has most definitely been the highlight of my trip so far. Isn’t that why we are here, after all? 

Rumor had it, just before the semi-final gala kicked off, that Iceland would either be the first to go through, or it would simply miss out by a couple of votes. The polls across the Olympiisky Stadium walls, however, had been very promising during the week. We were placed at the very top of the list, as the most likely contender for the finalist spot.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t confident… in fact, overly confident, particularly after hearing Yohanna’s semi-final performance in the Green Room – we were so proud!

But suddenly it all turned into a real Eurovision nightmare, as the finalists were announced one by one, each flag pulled out individually from the electronic envelopes. There were 10 of them in total. 1, 2, 3, 4, it wasn’t getting any easier, although what helped was the constant reminder that the results were being disclosed in random order. But still, were we going to make it? By #9 we knew it was going to be either Belarus or Iceland – or maybe neither, as Eurovision has always been famous for being completely unpredictable!

When the very last envelope was pulled out of the batch, I looked away from the screen and closed my eyes and ears. It was getting a little too intense! Would I be able to face another flag, other than our Icelandic one, when I opened my eyes? 

The singersI honestly cannot recall seeing our flag on the screen and neither can I remember hearing “Iceland” or “Is It True?” as we sat holding hands in our cozy Green Room. Yet, I do remember our screams and tears once it had finally hit home – we had made it to the finals, 10 out of 18 semi final entries! I wish I could describe how it felt without sounding too cliché,  but I can’t help it – it really was THAT amazing!!!

What’s next for our team in the coming days? Well, a couple of top notch TV shows and exclusive interviews, which have already kicked off following our big night. And it’s going to get even bigger and all the more exciting (and perhaps even more nerve-wracking) on May 16th – the Grand Finale! Dare I make any predictions? Let’s wait and see. I’m just enjoying the moment, anticipating the unknown and making the most of this fantastic experience. Had I known it was so good, I would have made my first Eurovision attempt quite a few years ago. But I suppose it’s better to do it later than never at all!

Counting down and waitingAnd now it’s time to face another crazy day filled with intense drama, excitement, madness and a whole load of fun! Who knows what the rest of the week has in store for us? It just keeps getting better…. And tougher, too!

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banner1Desperately trying to juggle a million things at once with more surprises on the way… but in the meantime, here’s the latest from Eurovision 2009 and our Icelandic entry — if it’s true, it’s bound to appear right here for your eyes only!

First things first – the new weekly poll from ESC Today:

Please note: These charts are in no way supposed to predict the outcome of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, they are just supposed to show which songs have the most fans among the readers.

Charts for 2nd March 2009

The results are based on the votes cast until 20:00 CET.

Pl. Country Song Score Last week Change Poll

1 Spain La noche es para mí 121.9 NEW here
2 Norway Fairytale 121.4 118.9 (1st) down here
3 Turkey Düm tek tek 89.1 94.6 (3rd) = here
4 Iceland Is it true? 86.2 86.5 (5th) up here
5 Finland Lose control 81.6 90.8 (4th) down here
6 Switzerland The highest heights 72.3 85.5 (6th) = here
7 United Kingdom It’s my time 72.2 96.2 (2nd) down here
8 Bosnia & Herzegovina Bistra voda 62.0 NEW here
9 Portugal Todas as ruas do amor 52.7 NEW here
10 Denmark Believe again 50.9 53.5 (7th) down here
11 France Et s’il fallait le faire 40.8 41.0 (8th) down here
12 Montenegro Just get out of my life 32.5 31.4 (12th) = here
13 Greece This is our night 31.3 35.4 (10th) down here
14 Hungary Dance with me 28.3 35.2 (11th) down here
15 Albania Në merr në ëndërr 26.5 29.5 (13th) down here
16 Poland I don’t wanna leave 24.3 4.8 (18th) up here
17 Slovenia Love symphony 24.1 38.6 (9th) down here
18 Andorra La teva decisió 22.2 21.1 (15th) down here
19 Malta What if we 22.1 22.4 (14th) down here
20 Germany Miss kiss kiss bang 20.4 13.6 (17th) down here
21 Moldova Hora din Moldova 14.3 15.9 (16th) down here
22 Lithuania Love 8.6 1.5 (19th) down here
23 Ireland Et cetera -3.1 -3.4 (20th) down here
24 Croatia Lijepa Tena -4.7 NEW here
25 Romania The Balkan girls -6.3 -11.4 (21st) down here
26 Georgia We don’t wanna put in -18.6 -42.4 (23rd) down here
27 Netherlands Shine -19.1 -14.5 (22nd) down here
28 Bulgaria Illusion -79.5 -88.9 (24th) down here
29 Cyprus Firefly -94.2 -101.1 (25th) down here
30 FYR Macedonia Nešto što kje ostane -107.8 -105.0 (26th) down here
31 Armenia No par -140.1 -132.9 (27th) down here
32 Latvia Probka -154.5 NEW here
33 Belarus Eyes that never lie -169.0 -179.9 (28th) down here

One of the many opinion blogs about the upcoming semifinals and the grand finale in Moscow, here’s an excerpt from 12Points.tv:

Edwin’s 12points IV

Edwin, our 12points blogger, is very busy these days, watching all national finals, semi finals and other eurovision related tv shows, as they are programmed, allmost dayly, the last few weeks. Today we learn what he thinks about the latest selected songs. You can of course listen to all the songs on 12points too, as they are listed under this blog.

writen by Edwin Peeters [26.02.2009]

13 more songs and again I give my opinion. Some ballads, some controversial songs, some songs with traditional influences, some rock songs and this year’s winner (I’m quite sure!) are chosen.

Armenia – Jan Jan – Inga & Anush
It reminds me in some way of Ofra Haza songs. It is a pop tune with traditional influences. The two sisters have a good energy together. The song is original and doesn’t get boring. This could take Armenia into the final once more and might be the next succes in Armenian Eurovision history. Or is it too traditional for the audience?

Iceland – Is It True? – Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir A beautiful blonde on stage in a white dress. She will get lots of votes because of her looks. A good ballad. It misses out on not having a bridge, but she will make it to the final in Moscow.

Lithuania – Pasiklydes Zmogus – Sasha Son
Another ballad, but not in a traditional Eurovision way. It is more of a pop song. This song is very original, just like the singer. A good perfomer who carries the song. I’m not quite sure about the electric guitar solo (hope it will be ditched before Eurovision), but, hey, it can’t be perfect. Don’t know if the average Eurovison watching European will vote for this song. If they like quality they will. But I think Sasha will barely make it to the final. I’m keeping my finger crossed that he will.

Poland – I Don’t Wanna Leave – Lidia Kopania
And again, a ballad. The beginning of the song sounds mysterious, but the chorus doesn’t. The singer is gonna get some votes with her looks, but I would like to see her in a classy dress in stead of the short one she wore at the national final… or she should borrow Edyta Górniak’s (ESC 1994) dress, also short, but more stylish. She is gonna make it to the final in Moscow. After that is difficult to predict wich ballad will do best.

Moldova – Hora Din Moldova – Nelly Ciobanu
Another song with a Balkan influence, like the Romanian song. Although this contribution from Moldova (the Romanian neighbours) sounds more traditional and authentic than the more poppy Romanian one. I also have to think about gipsy music. To me it sounds good, but gipsy music generally doesn’t do well at Eurovision. This will struggle to get into the final, I fear, although it makes me feel really happy: hey hey!

Georgia – We Don’t Wanna Put In – Stefane & 3G
Oh no, a disco tune, with a rap in the middle. This is one of the controversial songs. Not because of the music, but because of the lyrics. ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’… get it?: PUTIN! The difficult relationship with the Russians makes this title sound like a political statement. And that is forbidden at Eurovision. So they probably have to change the lyrics or Georgia will have to send their number two from the national final. I don’t know about this. It could go either way.

Greece – This Is Our Night – Sakis Rouvas
He’s back, how great is that! The three songs that were selected for (or by) him to compete in the national final were not as strong as ‘Shake Shake Shake’, but at least the best (last) song was chosen. It doesn’t sound typically Greek, but it definitely suits Sakis’ oevre. Great dancetune! Of course his energy and appearance will make the song go straight into the final and top 10.

Ireland – Et Cetera – Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy
Good pop song. It sounds a little bit northern American. Could have been a song from Avril Lavigne. Very commercial and it could do well in Eurovision, even if it doesn’t sound very Irish (I’m used to ballads or traditional songs from Ireland), she will make it to the final in Moscow. At least her name is Irish!

Bulgaria – Ilussion – Krasimir Avramov
Another controversial song. This time it’s about the voting (he got many more votes than number two in the national final and some people didn’t trust it) and the performance (he didn’t do well at the national final). Hearing the studio version of the song it is one of my favourites, but live… well, let’s say he needs to get some singing lessons or a group of superb backing vocals. But still there is the deal with is high notes. I find it weird to watch and listen to a man singing such high notes and then switch to a more manly sound. If the act and performance is alright and his voice is put into the background (just a little bit), then this could be top 10 in the final. But with a poor presentation and a weak performance it will end up at the bottom of its semi final.

Norway – Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
Like I wrote before (Edwin’s 12 points III)… Wow, that guy is hot and sweet! He knows how to play the camera, he is energetic, he can sing, he plays the violin (for real), he wrote this song himself and did I mention his looks? Watch out Moscow, here is the winner of Eurovision 2009! And how great would it be that a guy of Russian descent (or almost… Belarussian actually) would win in Moscow with this song that combines eastern and western European music, dance and looks. I don’t know what to say anymore. Oh yes: the dancers are supporting Alexander wonderfully, as well as the backing vocals! This act is so complete and blew me away and according to the standing ovation of the audience at the national final, there is no competition.

Macedonia – Nesto sto ke ostane – Next Time
A rock song, wich doesn’t impress me at all. I guess this will be the second year in a row that Macedonia doesn’t make it to the final. Popular as they may be in Macedonia, they look like a young version of Bon Jovi, with eighties looks. I don’t like it, I’m very sorry. I miss the Macedonian soul or sound in this song. Not to the final… please!

Switzerland – The Highest Heights – Lovebugs
The best Swiss entry since (Estonian) Vanilla Ninja’s ‘Cool Vibes’ in 2005. When I hear this song I think I’m listening to the radio. It could be a big hit. It’s not a typical Eurovision song, but it is oh so good! Very good! This deserves to be in the top 10 in the final

Hungary – Dance With Me – Ádok Zoli
Interesting entry from Hungary. A handsome guy sings and dances to a pop tune. Light and bright are words that come to mind when I hear this song. A little bit of disco (but better than the Georgians) without a big message. It’s just a feel good song. It could do very well, even into the final’s top 10. And that for a song that was Hungarian’s third choice! There was a controversy concerning the first choice. That song had been performed years ago in a Swedish reality show. Second choice, a Hungarian actress, decided not to perticipate because of her busy schedule (well, why did she enter her entry in the first place?). So I’m glad that this song (the best of the three) was finally chosen to represent Hungary! I’m sure he’s gonna melt some people with his eyes.

And finally we’ve discovered a proper “lyrics, credits + additional info” page.

For those of you interested in the little bits and pieces, check out the Icelandic homepage

And one more thing… how could we possibly spend a week without yet another confusion in one of the Eurovision Forums….?

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Tinatin’s “Thinking of Someone Else” Charmix by Dr. Octavo is now on Promo Only Compilation Album of Rhythm Radio circulating across Canada, along with Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, The Surgents “Calls in the Night”, Ashlee Simpson’s “Little Miss Obsessive”, etc.

For more info, please visit the August track listing!

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What a miserable, grey day today. I spent the day at Billy Stein’s working on our new song – we tried to come up with some lyrics but nothing seemed good enough for the melody that we had previously written (such a cool hook!) So ultimately, we decided to finish the song on a different day altogether, but I will have another crack at it over the weekend.

Writing is a much more “inspirational” process than I thought before – it’s not easy to come up with something if it’s not “there” at that particular moment. Some songs can take an absolute forever (“Innocence” took almost 8 months, on and off – honestly!) whereas, others write themselves so naturally, such as “Connected”, my very first attempt at songwriting. It was inspired by Kate Bush’s “Mutual Understanding” – I first heard the song whilst wondering around Holland Park in London, and had an odd “cyber” idea for a song but couldn’t figure out exactly how to make it work. Peter Adams and Jane Ryall came up with a great hook (we initially called it “You and Me” but later decided to switch over to “Connected”.)

I still remember desperately wanting to give songwriting a well-deserved shot, but couldn’t find the right partner right away. The most obvious names popped into mind (they shall remain nameless here!) but the ego factor was certainly an issue – “has she ever written before?”, “could I be bothered to experiment with her?”, “I’d rather just writer her a song myself!” But Pete and Jane agreed to give it a try right away! It really turned out to be a musical match made in heaven – we very rarely come up with something that doesn’t immediately fit me like a glove. Although, we’ve had our strange moments, such as our “Dracula” lyric idea for “I Pray”…! Chris Neil came to the studio to have a listen to our new idea and he said, “It’s a great commercial hook, why are you making it so obscure with that horror theme?” We then decided to have a good think about the song and what we really wanted to say…. Et voila the final take!

It’s a quiet Friday night here tonight: it’s so wet outside (not particularly cold) you barely want to be out and about. Should really try and work on my monthly Billboard Russia column, but can’t get myself to feel too inspired. Would rather have an unusually calm evening…for a change!

Next week should be fun: shooting a promotional video for “We the Peoples”, UN radio show (haven’t even started scripting it!) and also my producer, Chris Neil is in town most of the week so we’ll try and do some writing in-between the meetings.

Just praying for the weather to get better and feel more inspired!

Billy, forgive me, I will be more “active” next time 🙂

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One’s dream of making it in the entertainment industry has become a cliché over the years, and in many respects, it has gradually started to lose its “mystery” factor and has become so much more accessible through the internet and reality TV. People are more likely to respond with a certain degree of cynicism or at least skepticism when you tell them that you really are doing this for the love of music and not for the shine and glitter of fame and fortune.

Perhaps somewhat to my disadvantage, I was born and raised far from where it all happens and where, as the guidebook of industry states “dreams come true” – the former Soviet Republic of Georgia (country, not the state!) There was very little, if any, showbiz action back in the USSR in the 80’s, but having had the luck of growing up in a very artistic family (my dad is an architect and a painter and my mother is a classical pianist), I was exposed to music and painting very early on. Eventually, my love for painting and drawing was conquered over by my passion for music.

When foreign music was forbidden in the Soviet Union, my father always managed to get hold of the very latest hit records from abroad and I was introduced to the likes of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross – you name it! – from day one.

The day I saw the making of “We Are the World: USA for Africa”, I must have been 2 years old or so, I was instantly hooked on it and my parents knew that was it – nurturing my love for music was worth a shot, they thought.

Years later, when I started traveling around the world and working with the people whose names and records I could only admire on the back covers of some of my most favorite artists’ albums, I finally found myself amidst that very crowd of musicians I had only heard and read about back home.

We often admire big stars and their fame and fortune, but rarely stop to think how much effort, hard work and rejection they must have gone through to get to this stage. I think those in the industry often ignore the fact that people really must and in fact do want to know the creative process of making those dreams come true – the journey from A to B. It is far from 1, 2, 3 and you’re a star. Luck being one of the strongest components, I often wonder why talent has become so much less of a winning factor…

When I started taking my very first steps in the music business, I was surprised to find out that my love for making music had to be often substituted with a certain degree of the knowledge of “ins and outs” of the showbiz and how it all works. Recording music and performing it in front of an audience is in many ways the moment of payoff. Selling the music and going with the flow of the bureaucratic “behind the scenes” process is the tougher nut to crack, but it’s pointless complaining about it – there is a degree of creativity and fun in some of that, too!

I often hear people complain about the ever-changing music business, and yes, perhaps it is not what it used to be (and probably never will be), but we can’t ignore the evolution period and have to try and make it work for us. People will never stop craving for music – demand for new music will always be there, I strongly believe in this, but the tough part is trying to make it in this evolving business of music.

The digital world is an exciting one, but at times I lament the gradually disappearing “old-school” way of the traditional format. I remember buying records and opening the sealed the package on the go, desperate to flip through the album sleeve and read the songwriting/production credits, the long “thank you’s”, etc. Getting my favorite artist’s new CD was a sheer thrill in itself, yet nowadays, with a click of a button, you can get just about anything on the internet. Convenient – of course it is – but the adrenaline is not the same, or is it?

The one thing that hasn’t changed – and probably never will, at least for those craving to create – is the excitement you experience while writing new material and seeing something new and fresh unfold right in front of you from literally NOTHING. Leaving the studio with a great new song under your belt that nobody else has heard outside of the control room – it’s such a joy! That’s one of those moments when you know it’s so worth doing what you do. And when you share that offspring with your audience and they actually respond to it, all the politics and business issues become so meaningless and so much more trivial than the end result.

Reading generic press releases and recounting biographical facts has its advantages, of course, but sometimes we just want to read a personal journal of building one’s career at an undoubtedly interesting time in the world of music and the digital revolution. So, to make a long story short, this is one artist’s account of the journey – first hand, in real time… You’ve read the bio, so I can’t surprise you with a straight-forward “I was born in 1984 in Tbilisi, Georgia” – you can read all of that on myspace, but instead, here’s a more personal side of the story so far…..

Stick around, see how it all unfolds, ask questions of you’ve got specific ones, and let’s just have some fun… Freedom of speech is a wonderful phenomenon – not something I’m too used to coming from Russia…with love!

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