The lucky artist that will have the opportunity to fly the Estonian flag in Rotterdam will soon be chosen by the long-running national final, Eesti Laul, next month. This year’s candidates gave us a mixture of genres that range from ballads to country and pop to minimalist bops.
This article is here to give you a run down of every song from the 24 semifinalists, showcasing the potential of each entry in its own unique way. Every song in a national final has winning potential, and the 2020 edition of Eesti Laul is the perfect example of that.
“Young” by Rasmus Rändvee
Rasmus isn’t a stranger to the Eesti Laul stage, having competed in the 2013 edition of the contest with “Dance” , placing 7th in the final and also the 2017 edition, placing 3rd in the final with “This Love”. “Young” gives off strong indie rock vibes similar to the band X Ambassadors, with a catchy feel-good chorus. "Young" will have no difficulty in qualifying for the Grand Final held in Tallinn, and has potential to achieve a top 10 spot.
“Leelo” by Kruuv
Kruuv are definitely bringing the fun and quirky vibe to Eesti Laul in 2020. With sweet acoustic sounds and an adorable music video to pair with the song, we can only be excited about what Kruuv will be showcasing on the Eesti Laul stage during the first semi final on February 13. "Leelo" is a synonym for "runo song" and is a common chorus word in Southeastern Estonian folk songs, "to leelo" can be translated as "to sing" in this song.
“By My Side” by STEFAN
Stefan is another returner to Eesti Laul, having competed in 2018 as part of the duo Vajé and in 2019 as a soloist, finishing in 3rd place both years. "By My Side" is the second emotional, thought-provoking ballad from Stefan, though a far-cry from his 2019 entry "Without You". Stefan displays a beautiful, unique vocal style in is 2020 entry and we can definitely look forward to his success in the first semifinal and Grand Final next month. Could this be third time lucky for Stefan?
“Right Time” by INGA
After success in the 2019 edition of Eesti Laul with the song "Milline päev" performed alongside Lumevärv, INGA is back in 2020 as a soloist with "Right Time". With similar laid back and 'chill' vibes as her previous entry, she showcases her pop superstar vocals alongside minimal, simple beats. Accompanied by a fitting music video, INGA will be one to watch out for in the first semi final.
“Write About Me” by Anett x Fredi
Anett x Fredi are newcomers to Eesti Laul, and have definitely arrived on the scene with a fantastic song. Cool guitar riffs mixed with soulful vocals brings an almost jazz-inspired vibe to the song. With some minimalistic, vintage staging this song has the potential to make it into the Grand Final.
“Kirjutan romaani” by Revals
Translating to "I'm writing a novel" in English, "Kirjutan romaani" brings the token country vibes to the Estonian stage. Not dissimilar to the Netherlands' Eurovision entry in 2018, this catchy number is a feel-good and unique track, nothing else like this has entered Eesti Laul in the past. If the staging is right for the semi finals, Revals could find himself fighting for victory in Tallinn on February 29th.
“Videomäng” by Renate
This is by far the most musically individual entry in the 2020 selection for Eesti Laul. Simple chords on the piano are complimented by vintage video game beats and accompanied by Renate's dreamlike vocals. The old-school style music video gives me big hopes for classy and relevant staging to pair with the song. "Videomäng" translates to "video game".
“Break Me” by Laura
You may recognise Laura from her appearance at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv alongside Koit Toome, representing Estonia with "Verona", unfortunately failing to reach the final. Laura is back in 2020 with an entry a world away from Verona. "Break Me" mixes pop, ballad and even country with a banjo strummed throughout the chorus. It definitely works, and I think for sure we'll be seeing Laura back in the Eesti Laul final.
“Without A Reason” by Little Mess
The only girlband to be competing in 2020, Little Mess bring Little Mix vibes with pop-ballad "Without A Reason." All voices blend and compliment each other beautifully. Though personally I don't believe its a safe qualifier to the final, with the right staging Little Mess could be the dark horses of the first semi final.
“Georgia (On My Mind)” by Egert Milder
With George Ezra-esque vocal style and incredibly catchy chorus, Egert Milder has the perfect recipe for an Eesti Laul debut. Milder revealed in an interview that "Georgia (On My Mind)" was heavily influenced by his travels to Georgia, as was the stunning music video. Egert is a safe qualifier to the final, and has the perfect entry for a top 10 or even potentially top 5 finish.
“Ping Pong” by Jennifer Cohen
Much to my surprise when I first listened to this entry, ping pong sounds are actually included as park of the backing track and it 100% works. It's quirky, unusual and catchy which is all the ingredients for success. I'm not entirely certain how this will fare in an already strong semi final, but there must be a qualification spot for this somewhere, surely?
“Majakad” by Synne Valtri feat. Väliharf
Catchy, fantastic backing track and two brilliant vocalists - we didn't expect anything less from Synne. A sure final qualifier, this Estonian bop will fare well in both the semi final and the grand final. Personally, I'd put it in the top five but in reality it may just be shy of the top 10. The music video is well shot and well produced, and Väliharf's vocals add a certain edge to the song. "Majakad" translates to "beacons" in English.
“Kapa Kohi-LA” by Vineriid
Singing sausages. That is all.
“Hingelind” by Janet
It sounds like your typical pop song, but I really love the chillness about it and Janet's vocals seem to work with it perfectly. Already in a challenging semi final, I'm concerned about wether this will be strong enough to qualify on the night but I hope it does. "Hingelind" translates to "soul bird".
“What Love Is” by Uku Suviste
This is it. This is the song that could win Eesti Laul 2020 and even potentially bring home the Eurovision Song Contest trophy to Estonia, 19 years after their last win in 2001. This is Uku's second attempt at representing Estonia and I well and truly think he could do it this time. "What Love Is" is the perfect goosebump-inducing power ballad with a stunning music video to pair. If they can get the staging anything like the music video, we could well and truly see Uku in Rotterdam.
“Only Dream” by INGER
Showcasing their naturally unique vocal style, Inger is back in the running for the Eesti Laul trophy with a sweet acoustic ballad. They'll be a sure qualifier to the grand final with an ever growing fanbase, and who doesn't love a guitar ballad?
“Miljon sammu” by Merilin Mälk
Merilin's pop vocals are paired with a sweet techno backing track. She's been an up and coming artist in Estonia for a while, and Eesti Laul is sure to boost her career, even in the event of a non-qualification. Personally, I think "Miljon sammu" definitely has qualification potential, but may just fall outside the top 10 in the final. "Miljon sammu" translates to "a million steps".
“Heart Winder” by German & Violina
An up and coming artist on the ever growing Estonian music scene, German is joined by Eesti Laul returners Violina with quirky, catchy "Heart Winder". I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the song unfold on stage at the second semi final on February 15.
“Beautiful Lie” by Jaagup Tuisk
One of the fan favourites from this years selection, Jaagup Tuisk brings Netherlands 2019 vibes with "Beautiful Lie". A beautiful, minimalist ballad with gospel undertones will definitely make it out of the second semi final and fare extremely well in the top 5 of the grand final. If the music video is anything to go by, we can expect austere yet effective staging.
“Lean On Me” by Ziggy Wild
What can go wrong with some classic rock, right? We haven't seen anything like this in Eurovision before let alone in Eesti Laul so I'm incredibly excited to see how this will unfold on stage. The lead singer, Laura Prits, has some pretty fantastic hair going on also. A very well produced rock track paired with a vintage music video, very impressive.
“I'm Sorry. I Messed Up” by Uudo Sepp
Uudo had huge success in 2019 with releasing "Tulikuum" during the summer, and this seems the perfect ballad follow up to an upbeat track. "I'm Sorry. I Messed Up" is poised for huge success in the Eesti Laul semi finals and grand final. Uudo showcases his ability to sing incredibly acapella at the end of the track, and I very much look forward to seeing this one.
“Üks kord veel” by Traffic
Another entry that has top 5 or even top 3 potential in the grand final. An extremely well written and produced track by popular Estonian indie band Traffic. The song is penned by Eesti Laul legend and 2015 winner Stig Rästa and 2019 winner Victor Crone. The perfect crossover between ballad and upbeat, this will fare well with both the televote and the jury at the grand final. I'm very much looking forward to singing along to this one on February 29th. "Üks kord veel" translates to "one more time"
“Out In Space” by SHIRA
Another fan-favourite, Shira's vocals are stunningly haunting in this beautifully produced ballad. The music video emphasises the song perfectly, and I only hope for the staging during the second semi final to be of the same calibre. A safe qualifier for sure, and even potential winning material.
“Unistustes” by Mariliis Jõgeva
An cute pop song with a very heart-warming music video to match. The lyrics have a sweet message, and is extremely well produced. This could be a borderline qualifier, but I'm personally hoping to see it in the final. The message of acceptance and making dreams come true could be well executed on the stage of a deeply influential contest. "Unistustes" translates to "in dreams".
When is Eesti Laul 2020?
The first semi final is set to be held on February 13th at Tartu Ülikooli spordihoones, and the second semi final is to be held on February 15th at the same venue. The Grand Final is to be held on February 29th at the Saku Suurhall in the capital, Tallinn.
Musician Karl-Erik Taukar is returning to host the contest for the second time, alongside Estonian comedian Tõnis Niinemets.
What are your thoughts about the Eesti Laul 2020 participating songs? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media!