Friday, September 22, 2017

ITALY: CLAUDIO BAGLIONI & CO. AS SANREMO 2018 HOSTS

 

So it seems. According Italian media but still waiting or the official confirmation. Besides being the Artistic Director Claudio Baglioni will also be hosting the 68th festival of Sanremo in February. But he won't be alone but will have a different co-host(s) every night, and most likely they all will return for the Grand final. 
If I have some doubts about Baglioni as Artistic Director - makes me think that his musical taste and line of selection will be more like: "Al Banos in, Baby Ks out" - but I hope he will surprise me and have a valid and varied cast of old and new artists, very popular and some less popular ones to create a nice mix of ballads and uptempo. 
To follow up Carlo Conti's three succesful years won't be easy. Not only did Conti present a string of hits and worthy Eurovision entries (nothing has been officially yet said about the Sanremo winner once again going to Eurovision, but Rai has confirmed Lisbon 2018), he also managed to increse the audience share every year from 48,6% to 49,6% and finally top it all this year with 50,7%.
Claudio Baglioni (66) will celebrate his 50th anniversary in business next year.
Baglioni has done some variety television before. In 1997 he did Anima mia with Fabio Fazio, and last year special night Capitani coraggiosi with Gianni Morandi, and his own concert special. 
In 2009 he released a double duets album Q.P.G.A.. including most everyone, from Alice to Battiato. Hopefully he gets them involved in Sanremo, too :-)
Good luck Claudio!

FINLAND: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MIKKO LEPPILAMPI

Mikko Leppilampi, the host of Eurovision song contest 2007 
in Helsinki, turns 39 today.
Congratulations!

Mikko shot to the fame when he landed his first movie role back in 2003 and besides getting the lead role he also won Jussi award aka the Finnish Oscar for it. In the next years he did 9 more films and a musical before he landed the hosting role in the 2007 Eurovision song contest next to Jaana Pelkonen. Since then he has done 17 more films, acted in seven tv-series, released an album as a singer, and hosted a variety of top tv-series from Dancing with stars to various top award and gala evenings, and countless visits to other series either as a host or a guest. In one word: he's been on screen ever since!
Even in ads....

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

FRANCE: AMIR RELEASES ÉTATS D'AMOUR VIDEO

Amir has released the video for his latest, and first offering from his second album Addictions to be released on October 27. États d'amour musically continues the familiar Amir sound from his first album and is catchy as catchy can be. The video literally goes through various states and seasons of love as he moves in with his fiancee. The story goes through emotions with an artistic choreography....  Maybe he isn't the greatest dancer but he's adorable anyways  and the song's another goodie .-)
Here's also the Making of video....



FINLAND: ARTISTS WE SHOULD HAVE IN #UMK18 IF ONLY... Vol.11: JVG, JANNA, JESSE KAIKURANTA, LAURA NÄRHI


It's September and the Eurovision 2018 season is officially on. I will feature in coming days names that could be in UMK18, if only...... I say if only, as most likely we won't see any of them in there for UMK is profilied as a newcomers contest instead of being our own Sanremo or Melodifestivalen. In short: a major contest all the big names want to take part not only to win but to boost their record sales and score hits. But one can dream, right? I have thrown in some not so known names for variety. Let's go.... Vol.11 Check out the previous posts by scrolling down.

JVG came to success in 2011 with Häissä, a song that topped all various charts and was easily the biggest hit of summer 2011. Since then they have released five albums and 14 Top-5 singles and have won five Emma (aka Finnish Grammys) awards. Their latest album Popkorni was released this month without any pre-advertising or information and as a digital one only. It occupied the whole Spotify Top-10 in the next 24 hrs... Listen to Tarkenee (below), Tuulisii,  Matti & Teppo, Takajeejee, Voitolla yöhön, Huominen on huomenna
Janna's parents are well known musicians, and her mother Maarit an Euroviisut veteran. Her first releases were in English and published in Asia and Europe as well, but the only trace of that career on Youtube is her last single Strip down. Four years later she came back in Finnish and scored a megahit with Sä et ole hullu (below). Läpinäkyvää, Tytöt lähtee tanssimaan, Paljon onnee and Anna mä puhallan have followed. Sadly she's lately been more in public thanks to her short and stormy marriage and nasty divorce.... 
Jesse Kaikuranta was one of the biggest success stories from the first edition of The Voice, even if he didn't win. #1 debut single Vie minut kotiin (below) and #1 platinum album followed. Two albums later and other songs like Järjetön rakkaus, Näytän sulle rannan, Minä ja hän, Vielä yksi laulu. his star may not be shining so brightly anymore and UMK could be a relaunch for his talent. Even if I recall him saying he's not interested in Eurovision.... Never say never :-)
Laura Närhi became famous as the lead singer of Kemopetrol. They released five albums between 2000-2011. Laura has released two solo albums and five Top-10 singles: Tämä on totta, Mä annan sut pois (below), #1 Hetken tie on kevyt, Tuhlari and Siskoni. Check out also Supersankari, She's one of those "unknown known ones" and could use a platform like UMK to make her a household name....


Monday, September 18, 2017

CZECHIA & SLOVAKIA: KRISTINA STILL ON TOP - WITH KABÁT AND KAREL GOTT

As an Eurovision fan travelling to a new Eurovision country is always also an adventure to the local record stores - if they only exist anymore. I was in Prague last week and they do have several stores left but....  not so much for a collector of this genre...
The only Eurovision artists I saw were Kabát and Karel Gott. But then again, Kabát was all over the place; streets full of their tour ads and their CDs in every shop. The band's been together since 1983 and still seem to be the Czechia's finest and most popular rock band, filling stadiums and arenas. Their Mala dama deserved so much more in Helsinki 2007!
Karel Gott is still very popular, at the tender age of 78, it seems. He has released dozens of albums since his Eurovision (for Austria) in 1968. He has already retired twice but seems to come back due to the popular demand again and again.  The Golden Voice of Prague joined forces with rock band No Name this summer for Kto dokáže for example..... and his CDs were widely available as well. Dozens of compilations!
Then we have Kristina! She may be Slovakian, but she enjoys chart success in both countries ever since her debut in 2007. And no wonder, I got her compilation album Tie naj, and it's full of valid quality songs. If you thought she's only ethnic pop à la Horehronie, you couldn't be more wrong. She's got ballads, uptempo, acoustic, reggaeton, from Christmasy songs to Bond-esque tunes and Ice Hockey World Champs anthems..... a perfect pop mixture and voice to make it all work. Hello, Slovakian tv: Just her back. These ten years she has surely matured in every way to handle that stage better!

Check out her hits after the jump:

FINLAND: ARTISTS WE SHOULD HAVE IN #UMK18 IF ONLY.... Vol.10: VESALA, LAURI, AKI SAMULI, NELLI MATULA


It's September and the Eurovision 2018 season is officially on. I will feature in coming days names that could be in UMK18, if only...... I say if only, as most likely we won't see any of them in there for UMK is profilied as a newcomers contest instead of being our own Sanremo or Melodifestivalen. In short: a major contest all the big names want to take part not only to win but to boost their record sales and score hits. But one can dream, right? I have thrown in some not so known names for variety. Let's go.... Vol.10 Check out the previous posts by scrolling down.

Vesala is singer-songwriter, actress and playwriter, started in hugely popular PMMP before going solo, writes hit songs to other artists as well and Lauri's ex-wife and mother of his kid. Past few years it seems everything she touches turns into a success and she's got her shelves full of awards to prove it. This week it was revealed she has written the Finnish version of  hit musical Mamma Mia! One succesful solo album so far, and a string of hits like Tequila (below), Älä droppaa mun tunnelmaa, Ei pysty hengittää, Tytöt ei soita kitaraa.....
Lauri or Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus fame is not only a singer-songwriter but also architect, interior designer, textile and furniture designer plus tv-host these days. And as said, Vesala's ex-husband. The artistic couple sure has some creativity between them! Lauri has also written songs to others and one can only hope he would come up with something to UMK as well, like Rakkauslaulu he wrote with Vesala to Johanna Kurkela for example! Lauri had a solo career going on while The Rasmus was on break, with hits like Heavy (below), In the city, What are you waiting for?
Before that he also did some featured ones like Bittersweet with HIM's Ville Valo in Apocalyptica's album. 
Aki Samuli kickstarted his career in Tangomarkkinat 2015, the biggest Finnish music festival for tango singers. He took a step towards pop immediately but despite two albums he hasn't quite made an wider mpact yet. UMK could relaunch his career in the pop scene. Listen to Clandestino (below), Saattaja, Ei kukaan ketään, Sä et oo mun äiti, Yks biisin aihe vaan
Nelli Matula is a coming up singer-songwriter who has already scored two #1s as featured artists, Robin's Hula hula and Prioeetat's Eyo, and #2 in summer safe sex campaing song Tyynysotaa. Lemmikki (below) and its video caused quite a media stir when released late last year. Here's also Kato vaan. This fall she will become a household name in tv's reality musical variety show Tähdet tähdet.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

JOCI IN DRAG AND THE WEEKLY DOSE OF OTHER EUROVISION ARTISTS SOCIAL MEDIA AFFAIRS

Errr... Joci? Please explain...
Svala, the lady in red
Kristina, one happy lady in red!
Vaclav superman
Douwe the Bqb master
 Dihaj the laundry master
Imri the party boy (in Thailand)
Claudia in Malta Pride (sadly not the Pride of Malta in ESC)
Emma in Arena di Verona
Francesca in Arena di Verona - who wears it better?
Freddie in Croatia
Hanna in Ketchikan, Alaska, honeymooning
Michal in Vienna
Naviband in Berlin
Robin in Fuerteventura
 
Ilinca's Thursday face
Isaiah's devilish face
Nathan's angelic face
Mr Lordi's new face drying off
Last but not least, Serhat and Martha Wash!
Now I'm curious.....

Saturday, September 16, 2017

FINLAND: ARTISTS WE SHOULD HAVE IN #UMK18 IF ONLY... Vol.9: ZüHLKE, SANNI, MIRO KANTH, MIKKO POHJOLA

 
It's September and the Eurovision 2018 season is officially on. I will feature in coming days names that could be in UMK18, if only...... I say if only, as most likely we won't see any of them in there for UMK is profilied as a newcomers contest instead of being our own Sanremo or Melodifestivalen. In short: a major contest all the big names want to take part not only to win but to boost their record sales and score hits. But one can dream, right? I have thrown in some not so known names for variety. Let's go.... Vol.9 Check out the previous posts by scrolling down.

Zühlke is the reigning runner up with Perfect villain and definitely deserves a second chance.  Since then she has released Closer (below) and Die again.  Woman's got the voice and the talent.
Sanni has been one of the most succesful female artists in the past few years; three alnums and 13 Top-5 hits to prove it. She also did Vain elämää reality show that made her a household name and currently stars in the All Stars reunion edition. She's said she will have a break now but listen to Me ei olla enää me, Dementia, 2080-luvulla, Flexaa, Söpö, Lähtisitkö and Että mitähän vittua (below)
Miro Kanth is self thought musician coming from a musical family (his brother  Vilikasper took part in UMK15 with Äänenkantamattomiin for example) and after years playing with other artists decied go for a solo career. His debut Iloo (below) is fantastic happy little song, and Mies followed with another perfect pop tune, and Linnut is his latest. He'd be perfect for UMK18 with only to gain from it....
Mikko Pohjola was the runner up in #UMK14 with Sängyn laidalla (below) He had already released an album and scored some minor hits and it was ment to be his major breakhtrough. However it took two years before he released his second album from that and the momentum was lost. Two singles were released from the new album and ... well, they didn't go anywhere really. He needs another break. He has been writing songs to other artists (Mitra, Robin, Lucas), as well. Listen to James Dean, Kuuluuko kuuntelen, On niin paljon mitä menettää





Friday, September 15, 2017

MALTA: EUROVISION 2018 ENTRIES ARE HERE. FROM 30 TO 16 TO 1

Here it is! The very first short list for the possible Eurovision song contest 2018 entries and among these also the very first known artist. Will it be a Borg, a Cassar, a Celleja or a Micallef, or some other name? These 30 were selected among the 129 submitted songs, and next they will be cyt down to 16 for the February 2018 final. As always among the names quite a few familiar names..... Brooke, Christabelle, Deborah C, Eleanor, Lawrence, Rhiannon just to name a few. Not forgetting Malcolm Pisani - watch video below.

Abire – Casablanca Love
Aidan – Dai Laga
Aidan – See You
Avenue Sky – We Can Run
Brooke Borg – Heart of Gold
Christabelle Borg – Taboo
Dan – If Only
Danica Muscat – One Step At A Time
Deborah C – Turn It Up
Deborah C & Joseph Tabone – Human
Dominic Cini – Picture I Draw
Eleanor Cassar – Back To Life
Ishmael Grech – Good Times
Jasmine Abela – Supernovas
Kelsey Bellante – Super Woman
Kevin Paul Calleja – Great Adventure
Kimberley Curtis – Monsters
Kurt Anthony Cassar – You Will Find Me
Lawrence Gray – Love Renegade
Malcolm Pisani – Kiss
Matthew Caruana – Call 2morrow
Mikhail Attard & Cherilys Camileri – Breaking Point
Miriana Conte – Rocket
Nicole Azzopardi – Mixed Feelings
Petra Whiteford – Evolution
Raquel Galdes – In My Mind
Rhiannon Micallef – Beyond Blue Horizons
Richard Joe Micallef – Song For Dad
Stefan Galea – Closer
Tiziana Calleja – First Time


ITALY: FRANCESCO GABBANI RELEASES PACHIDERMI E PAPPAGALLI VIDEO

Oh my darling, get your parrots out! Francesco Gabbani has released the video for his latest Pachidermi e pappagalli! It's the third single off his hit album Magellano. The Sanremo winner and Italy's Eurovision 2017 entry Occidentali's Karma has already over 157 million views,  while Tra le granite e le granate is officially the Number One hit this summer 2017 in Italy. Now it's time for the fan favorite Pachidermi e pappagalli that comes again with a very interesting lyrics filled with names, ideas, beliefs and a lot of food for thought. Another chart success. 
Buongiorno principessa!

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