2nd latvian heat – get to know the participants

With the first heat of Eirodziesma behind us and the first 5 finalists already known, the second of in all fours shows is just around the corner. If you fancy studying the form of this next batch of hopefuls, here’s a little background information to help you on your way.

If last week’s show was anything to go by, then we’re in for an equally varied show this Saturday with diverse musical styles and not to mention wacky staging, styling and choreography. However, contrary to last week, which was a show dominated by duets, this week’s heat features no less than 4 groups as well as the man himself, Lauris Reiniks, which should make for compelling viewing.

Song 1: Juris LudženieksBeautiful World (Juris Ludženieks)
Juris was born in 1989, and despite his young age has already made a name for himself. He has been a member of the Star Theatre, taken part in the show Robin Hood and was runner up in the Latvian radio contest New Stars Rock Legends. He also went on to win the youth song and dance festival in 2008. 2010 saw him graduate from the school of performing arts and also saw the collaboration with Kristaps Krievkalns for the recording of two tracks, Krustceles and Lietus Lāse.

Song 2: Elīna Krastiņa-GrenceLook Back At Me Again (Elīna Krastiņa-Grence)
Elina has a degree in business management, but music is by no means a part-time passion of hers! In 2003, she gained first place in the RR Hiphop Festival and followed that up with 1st place in the Young Performers Competition in Liepaja. She writes much of her own material and has won the Latvian Radio Television Festival New Stars as best new composer. Elina has previously participated in many concerts and high profile public events.

Song 3: Oksana ĻepskaLive On! (Oksana Ļepska/Oļegs Borošņevs)
Born in 1995, Oksana is currently studying at high school in Riga and in 2010 she graduated from the Riga Piano School. She writes and performs much of her own material, singing in Latvian, Russian, Hebrew, French, Italian and English. Oksana seems to have the midas touch when it comes to participating in festivals, almost always coming top three – her merit list is long, including top placings in Drops of April 2003, 2003 and 2004, Open Europe and Baltic Transit contests. The young singer has also participated in many benefit concerts, showing that she has a big heart as well as brains and beauty!

Song 4: Lauris ReiniksBanjo Laura (Lauris Reiniks)
Lauris is one of the darlings of the Latvian pop scene. Eurovision fans will of course know him though his 2003 entry with F.L.Y. Hello From Mars. But Lauris has been a high profile star not only in Latvia but in the Baltics for quite some time now. He enjoyed a monster hit there in 2010 with Es Skrienu. During his illustrious career, he has released no fewer than 6 studio albums, receiving over 20 national awards. This year will be his 5th time at Eirodziesma – he certainly is persistent.

Song 5: Grupa Triānas ParksUpside Down (Aivars Rakovskis/Agnese Rakovska)
Agnese Rakovska provides musch of the groups texts as Aivars Rakovskis plays the guitar in the group. They came 6th in last year’s Eirodziesma, and are no strangers to the Latvian viewing public. The group have also participated in numerous major summer festivals. They released their debut album Entertainment Triana Park in 2010, receiving rave reviews from critics as far afield as the USA. They are currently working on material for their new album which is due for imminent release. Triānas Parks are also planning appearances at a number of pan Baltic music festivals this summer.

Song 6: Dace UpīteMagnet (Kārlis Būmeisters/Dace Upīte)
Dace was born in Smiltenē but now lives in Riga. She has been singing since her childhood, participating in several competitions including Song For My Generation and Latvian Golden Talents 2009, reaching the semi-finals. Her first single, Bet Kad Tu Nāc, was well received by radio stations. Her follow up single, Deviņos No Rīta acheived similar success. Her third single Bez Skaļiem Vārdiem is out now. She is currently working on her debut album, due for release later this year. This will be her second appearance at this year’s Eirodziesma having failed to qualify from the first heat. Kārlis Būmeisters will of course be known to many Eurovision fans as one half of the duo Valters & Kazha, who represented Latvia in 2005.

Song 7: Grupa Crazy DollsPositively Thinking (Aldis Zaļūksnis/Mārtiņš Poļakovskis)
Crazy Dolls were formed in 1995, but it wasn’t until 1999 that their debut album A Par Ko? was released. The album promptly drew comparisons between them and the likes of The Prodigy and Green Day. Their follow up album Sveiciens appeared in 2001. After almost 10 years together, the group decided to disband but saw sense and reformed a while later, much to the delight of their many fans. Their latest single Anomāli Populāri is currently receiveing a fair deal of airplay.

Song 8: Grupa MusiqqAngel In Disguise (Marats Ogļezņevs)
Musiqq, having the same penchant for nifty eyewear as The Proclaimers, is made up of Marats Ogļezņevs and Emīls Balceris. In 2008, Emīls completed his education in wind instruments at the Liepaja Children’s Music School and is currently studying at high
school. He has also recently won two Grand Prix awards in Lithuania and Bulgaria. In 2008 and 2009 Emīls also took part in Eirodziesma as backing singer for Sabīne Berezina. Marats was born in 1983 and was a founder member of the group Device. He has released 3 studio albums and quickly gained recognition as a promising star. Musiqq was formed in 2009 and have already managed to be nominated for a prize at the Latvian Music Awards. Their song Abrakadabra went on to become one of the most popular songs in 2009. 

Song 9: Ivo Grīsniņš-GrīslisCinderella (Ingars Viļums)
Ivo was already showing musical promise at the tender age of 6! He sang in the kiddies pop group Zīles, and later went on to perform with the rock band Marco, particpating in numerous festivals including the Brogarden music festival in Denmark. He gained vocal experience when singing with the Gunars Kalnins GG Choir and also collaborated with Normunds Rutulis. Ivo was also active in the group Prego, who twice entered Eirodziesma. He sang the duet in Eirodziesma in 2009 with Iveta Baumane Tic Tac and took part as a solo performer last year placing third with Because I Love You.

Song 10 : Grupa The SecretzSummer Night (Edgars Viļums/ Santa Dzalbe)
Two of the three girls, Gita and Santa were previously part of the group Dream Girls. In 2010 The Secretz was formed, with the addition of Jelena. They too have appeared in the seemingly obligatory music contest Drops of April. They are a young, fresh group with many ambitious plans for the future. They have some performing experience, amongst other things playing a set at the club Chill Inn.

To listen to the complete versions of all 10 competitiors, click here.


Eirodziesma 2011 official website (Latvian only)

Source: LTV, Eurovisionary
Read more in the news archive

Liked what you've read? Subscribe to our Eurovision news!