In the first semi-final of the Eurovision song contest, on May 6th, there will be on stage at B&W Hallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark, 16 participants, from Armenia, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, Iceland, Albania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, Moldova, San Marino, Portugal, The Netherlands, Montenegro, Hungary.
Here are the countries, the name of the songs and a short artists profile
Albania: One Night’s Anger
Hersi Matmuja was born on February 1st, 1990. She has pursued a dual career path, which led her to be successful in both modern and classical music. Despite being still very young, Hersi has already five times participated in the annual Festivali i Këngës, which doubles as the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. This year her song One Night’s Anger, originally titled Zemërimi i një nate, did the trick, taking her to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen!
Armenia: Not Alone
One of the most hardworking, smart and positive personalities of Armenian Music Industry and Television, Aram Mp3 will be presenting Armenia in Copenhagen at Eurovision Song Contest. Being famous for the ability to sing songs of a wide vocal diapason and having a good sense of humour, Aram is also known as a person of contrasts and surprises. When he appears on stage one doesn’t know what to expect – a unique live concert or a good comedy show.
Azerbaijan: Start a fire
It’s been a long way for a 29-year-old Dilara Kazimova to join the Eurovision family and she’s now ready to take on all comers and gain the admiration of new fans in Europe. Dilara began to sing professionally at age of 14. For the last 15 years, she has been experimenting with variety of styles and training her versatile voice. Besides music Dilara has a passion for painting and acting. Her filmography includes Try, Do Not Breathe (2006) and In-between (2007), where besides acting she has also created a soundtrack Sonzul Yol. One of her next planned steps for future is to combine music with acting in musical.
For Axel Hirsoux, taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest is a dream come true. This humble young man from Charleroi will soon take to the stage in Copenhagen to show the world what he has to offer musically with the song Mother.
Born in Kaliningrad, Russia, Tanja moved to Estonia with her family at the age of just two months. Today she’s a household name: a much loved entertainer and a role model in her home country – and tomorrow hopefully throughout Europe. This year she won the Estonian national selection, Eesti Laul 2014 and will thus represent Estonia at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with her song Amazing.
András Kállay-Saunders became famous through his participation in the Megasztár talent show, and while working on his career, he soon discovered his love for the Eurovision Song Contest. In his third attempt, he finally won the Hungarian national selection A Dal in 2014 with Running.
The song has a very strong message and a personal link to Kállay: “I wrote this song about a childhood friend of mine, and people I have met with similar stories throughout my life. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I wrote this song about their experiences and everything that they went though. I would like to raise awareness to this topic.”
Iceland: No Prejudice
Pollapönk were founded in 2006 by guitarists Haraldur Freyr Gislason and Heidar Orn Kristjansson of the Icelandic post-punk trio Botnledja. They created Pollapönk when graduating as Bachelors of Education from the IcelandicUniversity of Education – in fact the first Pollapönk album was recorded when Haraldur and Heidar were graduating as pre-school teachers: they made an album as a part of their final work and submitted it along with a final paper. The purpose was to write and perform ambitious music that children and adults alike would enjoy and be able to sing along to. The songs are intended to relate to different age groups in an open and illuminating way.
Latvia: Cake to bake
The Aarzemnieki (or Foreigners) phenomenon began as an unexpected shock for one German’s special interest and creative approach to the Euro introduction in Latvia. In the summer of 2013, Joran Steinhauer, whilst in his home in Bochum, Germany wrote a farewell song to the Lat currency, aptly naming the song Paldies Latiņam! (Thank You, Lat). Later, the video became a Youtube sensation with more than 100,000 views in one week. The popularity and enthusiasm surrounding the song was so large that Joran decided to pack his bags and make his way to Latvia with one thing in mind; “let’s see what happens next!”
Moldova: Wild Soul
Cristina was born on March 3rd, 1981 into a family with traditional music roots. From an early age, music was Cristina’s constant companion. She plays piano and violin. Cristina’s first education was a chorister and a conductor. But her vocal abilities motivated her to continue her studies as a vocalist. In 2006, Cristina graduated from the Moldovan music conservatory.
Montenegro: Moj Svijet
Sergej’s first appearance, which occurred 28 years ago, can be taken, tentatively, as the official beginning of an impressive musical career. In 1986 when he won the second place at the child festival “Our joy” in his native Podgorica, Sergej was only ten years old and he did not dream that he would become a pop star in future.
Portugal: Quero Ser tua
Suzy was born in Figueira da Foz and has been active in showbizz since she was a kid as a member of the Children’s band “Onda Choc” which had huge success. She performed on stage for the first time at the age of five and has gone on to have a successful career ever since!
Eurovision fans remember the Tolmachevy Twins from 2006 when the girls, at the age of nine, won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bucharest, Romania. With their song Vesennij Jazz (The Spring Jazz), they reached 154 points. Now, Anastasiya and Maria, talented and grown up stars, are facing another bigger challenge – the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest!
San Marino: Maybe (Forse)
Valentina Monetta was born on March 1st, 1975 in the Republic of San Marino. She is the second of two children, her father is from Calabria and her mother is Sammarinese. Valentina spent her childhood in San Marino where she attended primary and secondary schools. She then graduated from the high school for arts,Giovanni da Rimini, in Rimini.
Sanna Nielsen, 29, broke through as an artist at the early age of 11 and is today one of Sweden’s most famous pop artists. With multiple hits, Sanna has dominated both Swedish radio and Swedish charts throughout the years. One of Sanna’s biggest dreams – to represent Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest – has now been fulfilled!
The Netherlands: Calm after the Storm
Forming The Common Linnets, Ilse DeLange and Waylon are two exceptional artists who have joined forces to work on a new album and to represent their country at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Calm After The Storm. In fact, the two recently travelled to Nashville, Tennesee in order to prepare for this honour.
Ukraine: Tick Tock
This year Ukraine is going to overwhelm Europe with one of the strongest and beautiful voices – Mariya Yaremchuk. On December 21st, 2013 Mariya won the Ukrainian national selection and thus she will represent her country with her own lush and intense song Tick-Tock in Copenhagen.