It’s been a good 2 months since we discovered the ‘land of Fire’, Azerbaijan, so time we cover it once more with more details about Azerbaijani singer Emin.
After having performed during the interval of the Eurovision Song Contest, for no less than 150 million people worldwide, the singer released his new album ‘After the Storm’, preceeded by the single ‘Baby Get Higher’.
The second single, ‘Walk Through Walls’, will be released on August 27 in the UK and is described as an uplifting song of hope and optimism. Keeping it in tune with the Olymic spirit awww. The track was written by Bran and Bnann (Infadels) with Emin as co-writer, produced by Tim Bran (Charlatans, The View) and mixed by Ash Howes.
Not a bad song at all, and something tells us this pop direction of Emin could well see him return to the Eurovision stage representing Azerbaijan.
The 57th Eurovision Song Contest is coming to a close tonight. The contest, which is held in Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan after the duo Ell & Niki won the contest last year in Dusseldorf, will choose its winner among the 26 countries in the final. 42 countries initially signed up for Europe’s annual contest which has an audience of 120 million viewers worldwide. 36 of them took part in the two semi finals held on Tuesday and Thursday, and 20 of them qualified to take part in the grand final tonight where they will be meeting the six automatically qualified entries of host country Azerbijan, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom and Italy.
But who will win this year’s Eurovision? Will it be the huge favourite Sweden with Loreen? Or will the Russian grannies grab the victory from her? Or will Engelbert Humperdinck, the UK hopefully bring the competition home? Or the Italian lady? It will be a very interesting show with lots of variety, that’s for sure. All 42 countries who took part in this years contest will be voting tonight and decide their winner. The results, a mix of jury votes and televoting, will be announced during the show. If you haven’t quite made up your mind. Underneath is a recap of all 26 songs in the final.
For UK viewers, the Eurovision Song Contest can be followed LIVE from BBC 1 at 8pm and is provided with commentary by Graham Norton.
Since 2008 the annual Eurovision Song Contest consists of two semi finalists which are responsible to deliver 10 qualifiers each to take part in the grand final where they join Italy, France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom and the host country, this year Azerbaijan. Over the past few weeks we’ve been going through the semi finalists. Today, one day before the rehearsals in Azerbaijan start we give our verdict on the six finalists.
United Kingdom: Engelbert Humperdinck – Love Will Set You Free
Flying the flag for the United Kingdom this year is world famous pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck. Engelbert was announced as the UK representative for Eurovision on March 1st by the BBC sparking quite a lot of mixed responses. But the 76 year old , who has a career spanning over 4 decades, promised us his song would be a treat. On March 19, ”Love Will Set You Free” got its radio premiere and since the reactions to the UK entry have been fairly positive. ”Love Will Set You Free” can be best described as a typical Engelbert Humperdinck style ballad, which has been given a Eurovision-friendly treatment. There’s no doubt his name will attract new audiences to the tv show on the saturday evening and who knows pick up quite a few votes. A top ten place is possible as it is a rather charming entry which also gives us a bit of a Mary Poppins feeling (Chim Chim Cheree anyone) also proving how the BBC are turning their back to their past of joke entries and adding credibility to the Eurovision Song contest.
France: Anggun – Echo (You and I)
Indonesian Francophone Anggun was internally selected to represent France at this year’s contest and takes her participation as a mission. The talented singer, which was happy to be interviewed by us a few weeks ago, wanted to spice things up a bit. And she definately has with her uptempo song ‘Echo (You and I)’. Anggun herself explained that the song is a bit of a grower, and we agree in first instance the song needs a few listens to be fully appreciated but at the same time it’s a new chapter for France, which hasn’t really gone uptempo pop in the past few years. Miss Anggun sells it well and has had a distinctive promo tour to sell the song. Definately one which we’ll continue to play after the contest.
Italy: Nina Zilla – L’Amore E Femmina (Out Of Love)
Italy returned to the contest last year and it’s comeback was hugely succesful with Raphael Guallazi claiming the runner up position in the final. Hoping to do better is Nina Zilla, who was announced as the Italian representative during the San Remo Festival this year. After making the tough decision to change her San Remo contribution ‘Per Sempre’, the talented singer, who looks very similar to Amy Winehouse btw, chose to rework one of the songs from her second album, ‘L’Amore E Femmina’, in a bilingual version and present that one as the official Italian entry. And good work for the Italians, we have to say because this entry ‘L’amore E Femmina’ does not only sound 60ies, it has a quirky James Bond feel and a singer who sells her song bloody well. No wonder it’s one of the big favourites for the crown title. Amazing!
Azerbaijan: Sabina Babayeva – When the Music Dies
Azerbaijan won last years Eurovision Song Contest crown and is defending its crown on home soil in Baku. Flying the flag and taken up the honor is Sabina Babayeva, one of the countries most talented singers. Sabina is not a stranger to the Eurovision song Contest as she’s been taking part in the national final ever since the country made its debut in 2008. ‘When the Music Dies’ is the Azerbaijani entry, it’s a Swedish composed ballad, which includes the duduk, which is a woodwind instrument, similar to the flute, giving the song a very ethnic feel. Sabina is a true diva in her country, and as it pleases divas she has a remarkable voice which would be stiff competition for someone like Toni Braxton. It’s a unique in that sense that there are lots of ballads but not a lot who have chosen for an ethnic approach so we think this could do rather well.
Spain: Pastora Soler – Quedate Conmigo (Stay with Me)
Spanish singer songwriter Pastora Soler, one of Spain’s biggest superstars in the flamenco and pop genre, was internally selected by its broadcaster to represent Spain at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In a televised event, it was the viewers who initially decided the song Pastora would sing. They unanimously voted for the very Eurovisiony ballad ‘Quedate Conmigo’ which showcases the tremendous vocal capabilities of Miss Soler. In all honesty this one had to grow a bit on us, and reminded us during a first listen too much of those X Factor winner singles which really showcase the capabilities of the singer and immediately also drag the career of the singer down completely. Let’s hope things do go the right way for Pastora.
Germany: Roman Lob – Standing Still
Last, are the hosts of last year, Germany. After the success with Lena in 2010 and 2011, the German broadcaster decided to continue with the talent show concept of ‘Unser Star Fur …’ to decide it’s participant. Changing the title from ‘Unser Star Fur Oslo’ to ‘Unser Star Fur Baku’ the competition kicked off at the beginning of the year. Early in the competition one particular guy called Roman Lob stood out and yes Germany decided to send him to Baku with the Jamie Cullum composed radio ballad ‘Standing Still’. You can tell that Cullum’s behind the song as the piano is very prominent in the song. Again a very strong bid from Germany, who’s really raised the game in the past three years.
3 United Kingdom
All in all we have to say this year’s Eurovision is gonna be a hell of an exciting event. Tomorrow the rehearsal start in Baku, the host city. The first semi final is held on May 22nd, the second on May 24th and the grand final is on May 26. Throughout the week we’ll keep an eye on several blogs to follow the rehearsals in Baku, alongside the news and bring you all the latest gossips. Enjoy the Eurovision madness!
Busy weeks are coming up for this lovely fella. Emin Agalarov, simply known as Emin is gearing up to release his second album ‘After the Thunder’ on May 21st. The Azeri singer has caught the attention in the UK since the success of the album ‘Wonder’ and its singles last year (BBC Radio 2 album of the week anyone?) and has since has been signed to EMI Germany to release his future singles and album internationally.
The lead to his new album, ”Baby Get Higher” can already count on the support of BBC Radio 2 as it’s been featured on their A-Playlist. As this years Eurovision interval act on May 26th, the singer has all the potential to score across Europe with this new track. It’s a great track which mixes pop music with consistent lyrics and a warm voice, giving the song an extra touch. The track which is co-written by Mark Read (from A1) is the perfect introduction for the self -assured, genuine man of many talents. Originally born in Baku, Azerbaijan Emin relocated at an early age to Moscow and has since studied in Europe , completing further studies in Jersey, United States and becoming a very successful entrepreneur in the States and Russia.
On the new album, Emin continues to work with producer Brian Rawling (James Morrison, Olly Murs, Jls, Cher) who continues to allow Emin’s passion for music and song writing shine through, making him the perfect ambassador for Azerbaijani music. As we mentioned, Emin has also been announced as the interval act during this years Eurovision Song Contest final, which will be held on May 26. ”To perform in front of so many people at the Eurovision Song Contest in your home country, would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Both as an artist and an Azeri”.
The new album by Emin ”After the Thunder” is out on May 21st. The new single ”Baby Get Higher”-EP is out now on iTunes. The single edit of the song can also be downloaded for free via this link
Since 2008 the annual Eurovision Song Contest consists of two semi finalists which are responsible to deliver 10 qualifiers to take part in the grand final where 26 nations take part. Over the last week and a half we’ve been going through the first 18 semi finalists. Today we kick off the second semi finalists with Serbia and FYR Macedonia in the spotlights.
Serbia: Željko Joksimović – Nije ljubav stvar
Serbia debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 as an independant country. It previously took part as a part of Yugoslavia (1969 to 1992) and as Serbia & Montenegro in 2004 and 2006. Funny enough, the year the country debuted they also won the contest with Marija Serifovic and her ballad ‘Molitva’. Since breaking up with Montenegro, the Serbs have only missed out on qualification through the semi’s once. This year the country are sending 2004 participant Željko Joksimović to the contest with the Balkan ballad ‘Nije Ljubav Stvar’ (Synonym). The man is not unknown to the contest, as he took Serbia & Montenegro to a 2nd place in 2004, wrote entries for Bosnia Herzegovina in 2006 and the defending home entry for Serbia in 2008. Despite the song being a nice Balkan ballad, it doesn’t quite live up to his previous Eurovision entries. ‘Nije Ljubva Stvar’ takes quite an intro before it really gets to the more lively part. Is it going to win? No, because it doesn’t live up to his previous attempts, but a qualification and a decent result in the top 10 are more then likely.
FYR Macedonia: Kaliopi – Crno i Belo
The FYR Macedonia made its first debut at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. This year MKRTV internally appointed the singer Kaliopi to sing the song Crno I Belo (Black & White). The singer actually was selected by the broadcaster in 1996 to represent the country, but her song failed to make it through to the televised stage of that year. Kaliopi has a very interesting voice tone, showing a lot more emotion in her song then the Serbian entry. The strength of the song also lays in the fact it’s more rocky and turns to an uptempo a lot quicker than the Serbian entry. The FYR Macedonia, has been unlucky for the past four years missing out on the final, but with Kaliopi we really do hope they have a shot to make it once again. The country is yet to win the contest.
1 FYR Macedonia
Let us know your thoughts, what do you think about the Serbian and the Macedonian entry.
The first semi final for this years Eurovision Song Contest comes to an end today with contributions of the last three countries. We have some Austrian madness, Balkanpop from Moldova and the brothers John & Edward for Ireland. Get ready for some Eurovision extravaganza!
Austria: Trackshittaz – Woki Mit Deim Popo
Lukas Plöchl & Manuel Hoffelner, better known as the hip hop boyband Trackshittaz, won early this year the ticket to represent Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest with the rather interesting ‘Woki Mit Deim Popo’, literally translated as ‘Shake Your Ass’. Prepare yourself for some proper ass shaking, as the duo brought with them in the national final 3 dancers in neon-costumes, heavily underlining the bum lines. It’s a favourite for many of the fans out there but taking all the craziness away, the Austrian language isn’t that easy on the ear, and generally the song is in a style which hasn’t done great result-wise in Eurovision. The chorus doesn’t consist of much more than shouting the title of the song but can still be considered as catchy. All in all this is three minutes of the entertainment, which might also give the impression that once again this whole event is just a circus . However every edition needs his clown, and thank you Austria for being the clown this year. Clowns do reach the final occasionally and with a singer who’s dressed in a suit showing off his rather nice bum, might work in their favour. Austria has won the Eurovision Song Contest once in 1968 and returned to the contest after 3 years of absence in 2011, reaching the final for the very first time since 2004.
Moldova: Pasha Parfeny – Lăutar
Moldova is one of the fairly new states taking part in Eurovision. Since their debut in 2005, the country has qualified for the final 6 times out of 7. This year the country is hoping to add another perfect run to their record by sending 26 year old Pasha Parfeny to the contest with his balkan-pop inspired ”Lautar” (Traditional Musician). Think traditional Balkan sounds for this one, lots of trumpets, an upbeat tempo, a few female backing singers who give the song and extra push and an extremely likeable voice from a young man who knows how to play the camera. Looking back at their track record, the team from Moldova might be the underdog for this semi final with their Balkanfest inspired song. It has a huge likeability, no horrendous English accents and a big fun factor. Moldova have never won the Eurovision Song Contest before, but they are one of the countries who have so far shown quite a diverse type of music on Eurovision and with a year very much open to any country to win, Moldova might be a very easy qualifier and heading for a top ten result in the grand final.
Ireland: Jedward – Waterline
If you haven’t heard of John & Edward, Jedward, we wonder where you have been living for the past three years. It all started in 2009, when the Irish born twins, appeared during the X Factor, where they were mentored by Louis Walsh. Finishing only 6th in the competition they have since been the most popular non-winning act from the series. The boys, represented the emerald isle, last year and won the national final this year as well with the poptrack ”Waterline”. Forget everything you know about their previous attempt, ”Waterline” sounds a lot more mature, a lot less American pop but more Britpop, fishing in the same pond of the One Direction base. It’s a tricky song to judge because it’s not as instant as their previous attempt and the ful image and stage performance doesn’t quite match with the Jedwards. It’s debatable whether it is a good choice to come back so soon to the competition, having only taken part last year but the Jedwards can count on a huge fanbase in Europe so a place in the final is probably in reach. Will they win it and give Ireland it’s 8th victory? We’re affraid not. Ireland is the best scoring Eurovision country as they have won the competition 7 times (’70, ’80, ’87, ’92, ’93, ’94 and ’96).
18 San Marino
However… The final verdict
as always the Eurovision Song Contest is more than ranking your favourites, and we have to agree the list above is pretty much our own favourite range, hence why we after our first listen of all 42 songs had highlighted which ones we think might go through. Reason many viewers on the night will have heard the songs only during their performances of the night. So here’s then our prediction based on the very first listen:
Qualifiers: Greece – Latvia – Romania – Belgium – Finland – Cyprus – Denmark – Russia – Moldova & Ireland
Who do you think will qualify this year? Let us know your thoughts!!!
Next in our chapter ESC 2012 are the particpants of Semi 2: Starting with Serbia and FYR Macedonia.
Calvin Harris feat Tinie Tempah - Drinking From The Bottle
The Risk - Missiles
Sinead O'Connor - 4th And Vine
Destiny's Child - Nuclear
Jessie Ware - If You're Never Gonna Move
Lawson - Learn To Love Again
Little Mix - Change Your Life
Tyler James feat Kano - Worry About You
Gabrielle Aplin - Please Don’t Say You Love Me
Tegan & Sara - Closer
Rita Ora - Radioactive
Wretch 32 - Pop
Angel - The World
Bastille - Pompeii
Laura Mvula - Green Garden
Ke$ha - C'mon
Ms MR - Fantasy
Nicole Scherzinger - Boomerang
Ed Drewett - Drunk Dial
Robbie Williams - Be A Boy (11/03)
Year chart 2012
These are GloPop Music's most listened tracks of 2012.
1 Florence + The Machine - Spectrum
2 Woodkid - Run Boy Run
3 Lana Del Rey - National Anthem
4 Solange - Losing You
5 Nina Zilli - L'Amore E Femmina (Out Of Love) (Italy '12)
6 Ellie Goulding - Anything Could Happen
7 Loreen - Euphoria (Sweden '12)
8 Adele - Skyfall
9 PSY - Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
10 Ivi Adamou - La La Love (Cyprus '12)
11 GuGabriel - Salvation
12 Christophe Willem - Starlite
13 Bright Light Bright Light - Waiting For The Feeling
14 Girls Aloud - Something New
15 Paloma Faith - Never Tear Us Apart
16 Calvin Harris ft Ne-Yo - Let's Go
17 David Guetta ft Sia - She Wolf (Falling Into Pieces)
18 Alphabeat - Vacation
19 Passion Pit - Take A Walk
20 George Michael - White Light
21 Azealia Banks - 212 ft Lazy Jay
22 Matt Corby - Brother
23 Sam Sparro - I Wish I Never Met You
24 Rebeca Ferguson - Glitter & Gold
25 Elton John vs Pnau - Good Morning To The Night
26 Scissor Sisters - Let's Have A Kiki
27 Voltaire Twins - Solaris
28 Marina & The Diamonds - Power & Control
29 Muse - Survival
30 Will Young - Losing Myself
31 Saint Lou Lou - Maybe You
32 Coldplay - Princess of China ft Rihanna
33 Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans
34 Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill 2012
35 The Wanted - I Found You
36 Stooshe - Black Heart
37 Aiden Grimshaw - Curtain Call
38 Alphabeat - Love Sea
39 Gaitana - Be My Guest (Ukraine '12)
40 Caravan Palace - Rock It For Me
41 Roman Lob - Standing Still (Germany '12)
42 Afro-Dite - The Boy Can Dance
43 Rita Ora - R.I.P ft Tinie Tempah
44 Justin Bieber - Beauty & A Beat ft Nicki Minaj
45 Misha B - Do You Think Of Me 125
46 Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What doesn't Kill You)
47 Katy Perry - Wide Awake
48 Jessie Ware - Wildest Moments
49 terminal - Don't Worry My Love
50 Labrinth - Beneath Your Beautiful ft Emeli Sande
51 Madonna - Girl Gone Wild
52 Elton John vs Pnau - Sad
53 Nicki Minaj - Pound The Alarm
54 Gotye & Kimbra - Somebody That I Used to Know
55 Kylie Minogue - Flower
56 Rihanna - Where Have You Been
57 Swedish House Mafia - Greyhound
58 One Direction - Little Things
59 Tulisa - Young
60 Archeo - The Payback
61 Christina Aguilera - Your Body
62 Avicii - Silhouettes
63 Cover Drive - Explode
64 Beyonce - End Of Time
65 Charlie Simpson - Farmer & His Gun
66 Usher - Climax
67 Chris Brown - Don't Wake Me Up
68 Aiden Grimshaw - Is This Love
69 Lawson - Taking Over Me
70 No Doubt - Settle Down
71 Madeon - Finale
72 Jakwob - Electrify ft Jetta
73 Shawnee Taylor - Colors
74 Playmen ft Riskykidd, Courtney & Elena - All The Time
75 Lana Del Rey - Ride
76 Celeste Buckingham - Run Run Run
77 Alex Clare - Too Close
78 SHM ft Knife Party - Antidote
79 Lil'Wayne - Mirrors Ft Bruno Mars
80 Pastora Soler - Quedate Conmigo/Stay with Me
81 Scissor Sisters - Only the Horses
82 Delta Goodrem - Dancing With A Broken Heart
83 FEM ft Cover Drive - Turn Up the Love
84 J.Lo ft Pit Bull - Dance Again
85 Jodie Harsh ft Mel C - Set Me Free
86 Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
87 Tom Dice - Out At Sea
88 Paloma Faith - Picking Up The Pieces
89 Usher - Scream
90 Burns - Lies
91 Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
92 Gossip - Perfect World
93 Jess Mills - For My Sins
94 Dune - Shoestring
95 The Script - Hall of Fame Ft Will.i.AM
96 Swedish House Mafia - Don't You Worry Child
97 terminal - Together We Are One
98 Little Mix - DNA
99 Icona Pop - I Love It
100 Yasmin - Light Up The World
Album Review: ‘Heaven (Deluxe Edition)’ by Rebecca Ferguson