You are currently viewing 🇪🇪 Eesti Laul 2024: Semi Final Sneak Peek
Image Credit: ERR // Ken Murk

Eesti Laul is back, and 15 artists will be taking part in the semi final on January 20th 2024 to compete for a place in the grand final on February 17th 2024.

This year, Eesti Laul is a little different, consisting of just one semi-final, and the final. 5 artists have been chosen to qualify automatically, and these are:

  • Brother Apollo – ‘Bad Boy’
  • Daniel Levi – ‘Over The Moon’
  • Nele-Liis Vaiksoo- ‘Käte ümber jää’
  • Carlos Ukareda – ‘Never Growing Up’
  • Uudo Sepp & Sarah Murray – ‘Still Love’

Here’s all you need to know about the artists and songs competing in the semi-final.

5MIINUST X Puuluup – ‘(nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi’

5MIINUST have joined forces with Puuluup this year, and it’s set to be quite the show. 5MIINUST were formed in 2016, and are currently made up of members Kristjan Jakobson, Mihkel Tamm, Karl Kivastik and Priit Tomson. Their music centres mainly around the hip-hop genre, and has gained popularity with the younger generation in Estonia. Puuluup are a nu-folk duo, created in 2014 by members Ramo Teder and Mark Veisson.

Their song is called ‘(nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi’, which is very loosely translated as “’We (do) know nothing about (these) drugs’. The song has become a fan favourite, being the highest placing Eesti Laul 2024 entry in both the Estonia Viral 50 and Estonia Top 50 Spotify playlists. Could this be Estonia’s Eurovision song? You can listen to their song below.

INGA – ‘No Dog On A Leash’

This isn’t INGA’s first time in Eesti Laul – she competed with LUMEVÄRV in 2019 as a feature on the song ‘Milline päev’, and in 2022 with ‘Right Time’. Her music usually combines a blend of pop, R&B and neo-soul.

No Dog On A Leash’ is about power, relying on yourself and trusting your gut-instinct. INGA has stated that she really believes in the song and the story it tells, and hopes that it’ll resonate with viewers at home. You can listen to INGA’s song below!

Ollie – ‘My Friend’

OLLIE will be known to viewers of Eesti Laul – in 2023, he took part with the song ‘Venom‘, which was a huge favourite to win, going on to place 2nd overall.

Oliver Mazurtšak, simply known as OLLIE, was born in 1993. His father, Jüri Mazurtšak, is a drummer, and was a part of Estonia’s Eurovision 1998 and 2002 entries. OLLIE started his career in 2015, releasing the song ‘Bonfire‘ with Uku Suviste (who represented Estonia at Eurovision 2020 and 2021). He notes his inspirations as Linkin Park and System Of A Down, and creates his music to reflect emotions, moments or attitudes.

Ollie told ERR that ‘My Friend‘ has a “very important message”. The track has already become a favourite with Eesti Laul fans, and as the only rock song in this contest, it could help Ollie stand out amongst the semi-finalists. You can listen to ‘My Friend’ below!

YONNA – ‘I Don’t Know About You’

YONNA (Johanna Eendra) took part in Eesti Laul 2019 with the song ‘Miks Sa Teed Nii?’, coming 6th in the second round of voting in Semi Final 1. She writes songs based on her own personal experiences, and notes her inspirations as Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson.

‘I Don’t Know About You’ is a love song, which YONNA says is all about letting go. The song has a special meaning to her, and she says that she wants to have a great experience performing it live, no matter the result. You can listen to ‘I Don’t Know About You’ below!

Peter Põder – ‘Korra veel’

Peter Põder first took part in Eesti Laul in 2022, entering the quarter finals with his song ‘Koos Lõpuni’. He told ERR that, if it all goes well, he hopes to gain more confidence from taking part in Eesti Laul 2024!

‘Korra Veel’ is about someone Peter would like to be with one last time, and unlike his last entry, takes a much more upbeat route with hints of the popular 80s music trend throughout. You can listen to his song below!

Multikas, Ewert Sundja – ‘Oblivion’

Ewert Sundja has two entries in Eesti Laul this year – one with his band Ewert & The Two Dragons, and as a feature on ‘Oblivion’ with Multikas. Beyond his band, Ewert is a songwriter and composer, and has been in the music business since the late 90s. He took part in Eesti Laul 2004 alongside Vaiko Eplik with the song ‘Dance’.

Multikas (English: Cartoon) are a dance/electronic trio made up of Ago Teppand, Joosep Järvesaar and Hugo Martin Maasikas. Maasikas is a songwriter and producer, who creates solo music under the name Whogaux, as well as working with other artists as part of WATEVA and Multikas. He has taken part in Eesti Laul before, alongside Karl-Kristijan and Maian in 2017 with ‘Have You Now’. Järvesaar is the lead singer of successful Estonian band & Eesti Laul 2023’s 3rd placers Bedwetters. Outside of Multikas, Teppand worked with IIRS on her 2018 entry ‘Drop That Boogie’. Multikas were also behind ‘Immortality’ by Kristel Aaslaid in 2018. Their music has attracted over a billion streams collectively – making them one of the most successful acts in this year’s Eesti Laul. They’ve even collaborated with AQ Daniel Levi on the song ‘On & On‘, which currently has 300m streams on Spotify.

Oblivion’ is described as being about betrayal and a lack of trust. The collaboration came about after Joosep Järvesaar met Ewert at a party and invited him to the studio to make music together. They hadn’t planned to originally bring the song to Eesti Laul, but the idea arose during the process of creating ‘Oblivion’. You can listen to their song below.

Traffic – ‘Wunderbar’

Eesti Laul veterans Traffic are back once again in 2024, and have competed in Eesti Laul on 6 separate occasions. These are…

  • 2008: ‘It’s Never Too Late’ (with Luisa Värk) (8th Place)
  • 2009: ‘See päev’ (2nd Place)
  • 2012: ‘NASA’ (10th Place)
  • 2014: ‘Für Elise’ (3rd Place)
  • 2020: ‘Üks kord veel’ (5th Place)
  • 2022: ‘Kaua veel’ (6th Place in the Quarter Final)

Traffic’s current lineup is made up of Silver Laas, Tõnis Kivisild, Ivo Priilinn, Robert Vaigla and Joonas Mattias Sarapuu. Laas founded the band in 2006 alongside Stig Rästa (who went on to represent Estonia with Elina Born in Eurovision 2015). Their music combines indie, folk, and pop rock, which is clear to hear in their 2024 entry ‘Wunderbar‘. Despite Stig Rästa leaving Traffic, he still is actively involved in writing their music, writing this years entry with Laas. You can hear their song below!

Ingmar – ‘Dreaming’

19 year-old Ingmar was born and raised in Estonia, but currently lives in the USA whilst he studies at the Berklee College of Music. He particpated in Estonian Idol in 2021, placing 6th, and went out on tour with previous Estonian Eurovision contestants Koit Toome and Uku Suviste.

He explained the meaning behind his Eesti Laul 2024 song ‘Dreaming‘ to OGAE Greece, saying:

[‘Dreaming’] is about how we should never give up on our dreams. As little kids we tend to dream very big, but as we grow older people around us start putting our dreams down, or we ourselves tend to think smaller. I believe that should change and people should always try to be optimal and to work hard in order to achieve their true desires

Ingmar, OGAE Greece

You can listen to ‘Dreaming’ below!

Anet Vaikmaa – ‘Serotoniin’

Anet Vaikmaa makes her debut in Eesti Laul this year, with the song ‘Serotoniin’. Outside of the competion, Anet is in the band Mahavok with her father Heini Vaikmaa, who took part himself in Eesti Laul back in 2010. She also releases solo music, with her first single ‘Heades Kätes’ being released in 2021.

Serotoniin” was created to make listeners “happy”, with Anet describing it as a positive, fast track that will, as suggested by the title, increase your serotonin. You can listen to ‘Serotoniin’ below!

Laura – ‘Here’s Where I Draw The Line’

Most Eurovision fans will be likely to recognise Laura – not only has she competed in Eesti Laul (and it’s previous incarnations) 8 times – winning twice – but she’s also competed in Finland’s UMK. Here’s a summary of her entries…

  • 2005: ‘Moonwalk’ (Winner; went to Eurovision as part of Suntribe)
  • 2005: ‘Let’s Get Loud’ (As part of Suntribe) (2nd Place; 20th in Eurovision Semi Final)
  • 2007: ‘Sunflowers’ (3rd place)
  • 2009: ‘Destiny’ (3rd Place)
  • 2016: ‘Supersonic’ (2nd Place)
  • 2017: ‘Verona’ (with Koit Toome’) (Winner; 14th in Eurovision Semi Final)
  • 2020: ‘Break Me’ (11th Place)
  • 2021: ‘Play’ (UMK – 7th Place)

‘Here’s Where I Draw The Line’ is a big vocal track, with Laura describing it to ERR by saying:

We are often at odds with ourselves and it’s very easy to say things to ourselves. This story gives us the confidence to deal with and become friends with ourselves.

Laura, ERR

You can listen to ‘Here’s Where I Draw The Line’ below!

Sofia Rubina – ‘Be Good’

38 year-old Sofia Rubina is a jazz singer from Tartu, and has been releasing music since the early 2000s. Aside from Jazz, her sound also incorporates a mix of soul, classical and house, which on her website is described as music that ‘touches the heart, moves the body and soothes the soul’.

This isn’t the first time Sofia will take part in Eesti Laul – her particpations span over 20 years, and have had varying degrees of success. She has competed in the following editions:

  • 2004: ‘Whenever Blue’ (with Hatuna) (10th Place)
  • 2006: ‘Open Up Your Heart’ (7th Place)
  • 2011: ‘My Melody’ (8th Place in the Semi Final)
  • 2014: ‘City Lights’ (10th Place in the Semi Final)
  • 2019: ‘Deep Water’ (With Janika Tenn) (4th Place in the Semi Final)

Be Good‘ is about love – Sofia described it to ERR by saying “You need to be good to yourself, and then you can be good to others”. You can listen to ‘Be Good’ below!

Anstud – ‘Vetevaim’

Estonian folk band Anstud are back in Eesti Laul after 7 years, last competing in 2017 with the song ‘Vihm’.

Their song ‘Vetevaim’ is about self love and self searching. The band told EER that ‘the [song’s] story is about how we are all always looking for something or someone, we are looking for the meaning of life, but in reality we should look inside instead’. You can hear ‘Vetevaim‘ below!

Silver Jusilo – ‘Lately’

Silver Jusilo is another semi-finalist that reached the Eesti Laul 2022 quarter finals, with ‘Ela rüpes’. He released his first album in 2018, and, according to his artist page on Sofar Sounds, is inspired by beautiful moments and the people around him when it comes to writing songs.

According to Silver, ‘Lately’ is about when you miss someone, but you know it’s difficult for you to be together, and is all about self-conflict. You can hear his song below!

Cecilia – ‘FOMO’

Cecilia is a newcomer in Eesti Laul, but will be known to viewers as one of the contestants in Estonian Idol 2018, and is inspired by different situations within life when it comes to writing her music.

FOMO‘ is a big dance track co-written by Cecilia herself, and has already become a big favourite with fans. The song literally stands for what the title explains (Fear Of Missing Out). She explained the song to ERR, saying ‘If you look at someone and they’re so hot, they’re doing this, I’d like to do it too. That’s the character of this song’. You can listen to her song below!

Ewert & The Two Dragons – ‘Hold Me Now’

Critically acclaimed Indie-rock band Ewert & The Two Dragons was formed back in 2008, and is made up of members Ewert Sundja, Erki Pärnoja, Kristjan Kallas, Ivo Etti. In 2011, their second album ‘Good Man Down’ became one of the best-selling records in Estonia that year, with the lead single ‘(In The End) There’s Only Love’ propelling them to success across the Baltics. In 2012, they won 5 Estonian Music Awards, and a year later won an award at the European Border Breakers Awards.

In Eesti Laul 2023, the band makes its debut with ‘Hold Me Now’ The song stays true to Ewert & The Two Dragons indie style, whilst also showing the bands progression as musicians from their previous releases. You can listen to ‘Hold Me Now’ below!

Eesti Laul 2024 begins at 18:15 CET // 17:15 GMT on January 20th 2024, and can be streamed live on EER.

Who are you most excited to see perform? Let us know in the comments!

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