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You are currently viewing 🇪🇪 Sneak Peek: Eesti Laul 2023 Semi Final 1
Image Credit: Gea Kumpel

Image Credit: Gea Kumpel

Eesti Laul is back! After a successful result at Eurovision 2022, with ‘Hope’ by Stefan placing 13th, Estonia will be looking to reignite a qualifying streak at the contest in Liverpool this May.

We heard the songs in full just over a month ago, and now it’s down to the artists to do all they can to see who will be advancing to the grand final of Eesti Laul on February 11th 2023. Keep reading to find out more about the artists & songs competing in Semi Final 1.

Janek – ‘House Of Glass’

Janek Valgepea makes his debut in Eesti Laul 2023 with ‘House Of Glass’. He told That Eurovision Site that he “[has] a dream to represent Estonia in Eurovision one day”, and has his sights set on even winning in future. He currently lives and works in the UK.

‘House Of Glass’ was written by Mørland, who you may remember from 2015 as one half of Norway’s Eurovision entry with the song ‘A Monster Like Me’ (featuring Debrah Scarlett). This song is a classic ballad with a great build and strong vocals from Janek. You can hear ‘House Of Glass’ below.

Ellip- ‘Pretty Girl’

Ellip is a musician based in Tallinn, who has explored genres such as jazz, soul and hip-hop. Aside from music, she’s the head of marketing for streaming platform Fairmus, created to support local musicians with transparency about pay, and a radio host on Estonian station Raadio 2.

Her song ‘Pretty Girl’ is a song full of attitude, performed by a charismatic Ellip in the music video. If she can bring the same confidence to the stage, the final may be on the cards. You can hear ‘Pretty Girl’ below.

kaw – ‘Valik’

kaw (real name Kevin Keevallik) is a rapper who is on the rise. After gaining popularity on SoundCloud, he signed with Sony Music Baltics in 2022 and now is set to make his debut at Eesti Laul with ‘Valik’ (English – ‘Choice’).

This is an upbeat track, with a rock-electronic feel, featuring rap vocals from kaw. You can hear ‘Valik’ below.

Merlyn – ‘Unicorn Vibes’

Merlyn Uusküla, known simply as Merlyn, is a singer from Tallinn. She first started singing in 1993 in Ellerheinas Children’s Choir. She’s no stranger to competition, competing in “Song Of The Stars” in 1998 & “Kaks Takti Ette” in 2001. She joined the girl band Nexus in 2003, before starting her solo career in 2007.

‘Unicorn Vibes’ is a fun track, also featuring some rap-style vocals from Merlyn. She has spoken of wanting the song to ‘stand out’, saying it was made for the final and – should it get there – it’s performance will be elevated from what’s seen at semi-final. You can listen to her song below.

Mia – ‘Üks samm korraga’

Mia (real name Kersti Kukk) is entering Eesti Laul with her song “Üks samm korraga” (English – ‘One Step At A Time’). She began singing in 2010, coming 2nd to Ott Lepland (Eurovision 2012, ‘Kuula’) in Raadio Elmars vote for ‘best newcomer’. Mia says she had two songs prepared to submit – one in English & the other in Estonian – and that she had hopes that one would be selected, with ETV going for the Estonian option.

Her song is a classic ballad-lite big vocal number, and is the only solo female song in Eesti Laul to be sang in Estonian. You can listen to ‘Üks Samm Korraga’ below.

Neon Letters & Maiko – ‘Tokimeki’

Neon Letters are a duo from Tallin/Pärnu/Tartu who formed in 2021. They make music mainly focused on synth & bass beats.

Maiko is a singer from Japan, who has been living in Pärnu with her Estonian husband for just over 4 years. She has duetted with Jüri Pootsmann (Estonia 2016, ‘Play’) on the TV Show ‘Ma Näen Su Häält’.

Tokimeki’ is a song in English & Japanese, which features Neon Letters signature synth production alongside Maiko’s complementary vocals. You can listen to their entry below.

OLLIE – ‘Venom

Oliver Mazurtšak, simply known as OLLIE, started his career in 2015. Inspired by Linkin Park and System Of A Down, he mixes electronic music with a rock influence. OLLIE creates his music to reflect emotions, moments or attitudes, saying that ‘everything I do, when I perform or create, is very natural to me’.

Venom’ is written solely by OLLIE & is representative of his style, with powerful vocals and impressive build-up to the beat drop. If OLLIE can pull it off live, we could be looking at a potential Eesti Laul winner – it’s currently one of the fan favourites to represent Estonia at Eurovision in Liverpool. You can listen to ‘Venom’ below.

Andreas Poom – ‘Why Do You Love Me’

Andreas Poom is the competitions youngest participant at just 18 years old. Unlike his father, Mart Poom – known from his career primarily in the English footballing leagues, and his footballer brother Markus Poom – Andreas chose the musician route, starting his musical career at age 12. Since launching his career professionally in 2018, he’s performed on some of the biggest stages in Estonia, and has worked with some of Estonia’s greatest talents.

This is the first Eesti Laul Andreas features in, with his gentle, heartfelt ballad ‘Why Do You Love Me’, which heavily resembles the music of his noted inspirations Olivia Rodrigo & Conan Grey. You can hear the song below.

Bedwetters – ‘Monsters’

Bedwetters are debuting in Eesti Laul for the first time (as a group) with their song ‘Monsters’. The pop-punk band formed in Pärnu, Estonia, started all the way back in 2004, splitting in 2013 before reuniting in 2022. The band have toured with stars such as Avril Lavigne and Good Charlotte, and won the MTV EMA Award for New Sounds Of Europe in 2007.

Since reforming, the band have spoken to ‘Terevisioon’ about how of the “many songs [we had] ready, none of them were suitable for Eesti Laul, yet somehow “Monsters” was”. Their entry is a rock track that is already popular with fans. Could we be seeing them in Liverpool in May? Listen to the song below and see what you think.

Anett X Fredi – ‘You Need To Move On’

Anett X Fredi return for their second year as a duo in Eesti Laul. In 2020 they competed with the song “Write About Me”, coming 3rd.

Anett is a jazz vocalist, who also appeared in Eesti Laul as a member of Wilhelm in 2014 & 2015, and as a soloist in 2016. Fredi is a producer and songwriter, who has worked with Estonian artists Gram-O-Fun & INGA. He also played guitar on Estonias 2019 Eurovision entry “Storm” by Victor Crone.

The pair will be hoping to to go all the way this year with their soulful song ‘You Need To Move On’. You can hear their entry below.

Eesti Laul Semi Final 1 will take place on January 12th 2022 at 17:30pm GMT // 18:30pm CET on ETV.

Who do you hope to see make it to the final? Let us know in the comments below!

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