Introducing 2012: Estonia!

All the entries for the 2012 contest have been selected and now My Eurovision Diary will introduce them to you!

Entrant: Ott Lepland

Ott was already well known in Estonia when he was still a child. He released four albums of children’s songs and performed in the theatre, but left the limelight when he became a teenager and focussed on his studies of music. The result is here: he is one of the most respected vocalists in Estonia, an excellent pianist, and the author of some of the biggest radio hits of recent years.

His vocal coach Maiken has this to say about Kuula: “This song has the potential to be the I Will Always Love You of this century – it is a powerful and simple balance with the potential to become an international hit.”

Ott’s strengths are his powerful voice and down-to-earth demeanour. He is not a show-off, but a true and serious artist. He may be a little reserved, but it is this trait that makes people take him seriously and gives him the charm that has brought him the love of his audiences. Yes, that’s what a true Estonian man is like! Get ready, Eurovision – here he comes!

Ott was born on 17 May 1987 in Tallinn. He has released two albums that were aimed at the Estonian market and contained many songs he had written himself.

The first book about Ott, Lubage mul olla. Ott Lepland (Let Me Be. Ott Lepland) was published at the end of 2010. A part of the sales revenue is transferred into a grant fund, which helps young people study singing. The grant recipients are picked by Ott Lepland himself. He also donated the 20,000 euros he won on Laulupealinnto Kärdla Town for charity.

Entry: Kuula (Listen)

Kuula is entirely sung in Estonian. Kuula was selected through Eesti Laul, the Estonian National Final, as well as Ott Lepland.

Kuula was composed by Aapo Ilves and penned by Ott Lepland himself, it is one of the many ballads this year.

For anyone who does not know any Estonian, here is the entire translation:

Listen to the horizon
Listen to how far it takes you
Listen to what the wind has to say
Watch as darkness approaches
Wait – the light remains within us
Listen to how your land breathes
Listen now
Listen to what has fallen silent
Just listen to these simple moments
Listen – my heart has a voice

The path has passed into shadow
I look and keep on looking
Silence has the power to resound
I wait for you here, halfway there
Listen to my voice calling you
Listen to what has fallen silent
Just listen to these simple moments
Listen – my heart has a voice

Tomorrow we will introduce the Slovak entry, note that the entries will be introduced according to the running order!


16 comments on “Introducing 2012: Estonia!

  1. For the third year in a row, Eesti Laul was my favorite national final and even if none of my top 3 songs was chosen, Estonia is still pretty high on my list. ‘Kuula’ is another strong ballad in the sea of quality ballads ESC 2012 is. This might be the reason why many younger fans who fell in love with the contest during the shake it! years think that it is a weak edition. To me it is just the other way round, ESC, who has sounded like some sort of mediocre party soundtrack for far too many years, seems to return to what it once was, a song contest. Ott Lepland has a great and powerful voice, the orchestration is exquisite, the lyrics fit the mood of the song perfectly and I simply love the sound of the Estonian language when it is sung. ‘Kuula’ itself is a very well crafted ballad where many things happen musically if you are interested enough to stop whatever you are doing, sit down and listen carefully. Finally, the backing singer is crucial in creating Estonia 2012’s very special atmosphere. She is probably my favourite backing singer since Portugal 1984, which had an equally subtle yet significant use of a single backing singer. Well, if I am in romantic mood, Estonia 2012 gives me goose bumps. 12/12, 4th place on my pre-rehearsals list and straight into my ESC pantheon. 🙂

  2. It’s a beautiful ballad, I think Estonia will be in the Final this year. “Kuula” number 22/42 in my list. Good luck to Estonia! 🙂

  3. I’m not a huge fan of “Kuula.” I realize that part of this is my inherent bias against male voices, and I recognize that when I talk about him. However, it’s still missing something to excite me, even when I take this into account. Of all the ballads this year, the only ones that I have listened to less than “Kuula” are Iris’ “Would You?” and Pastora Soler’s “Quedate Conmigo”.

    I wish Estonia luck though, and I definitely have Ott Lepland qualifying for the grand final.

  4. Unlike other Eurovision fans, I’m not that impressed by the Estonian standard during the last years. The winners has often been very good, but the songs overall haven’t made me go wow, actually. No, I consider the Eurolaul in the 90’s as the top mark, not only for Estonia, but for national finals overall. And that’s what makes me love this song, because it reminds of the songs from that time. “Kuula” is such a magnificent song in every sense, with great lyrics too which pleases me as a lyrics guru. P: This is my second favourite this year, after Portugal.

  5. It’s very rare that I give 10/10 to national language song, but when I give I REALLY give! LOL 😀

    Russia 2009 – “Mamo” and this one – “Kuula” are simply THE BEST!!

    I will vote him in the 2nd semifinal 100%!

  6. This ballad is so powerful, and I think lifting on the stage would be VERY effective at one moment! It could look awesome and would collect some votes… I hope he will keep grey suit (maybe just some more expensive and branded for the performance in Baku) because it’s great and suits this entry, maybe silver will look great as well, but maybe would be too much…

    • Hi! You are from Sweden, you know that lifting up on the stage in MF like Sara Dawn Finer in 2009 and others, you agree that this song can be good with such performance? 😀

      • Hello Marko!

        I’m not that convinced. Firstly, I don’t think it fits härra Lepland’s song with such gimmicks. Secondly, I don’t think it fitted poor Sarah Dawn Finer either. She should rather have stayed on the ground with these two wacky dancers behind her. I mean, now she looked like a kid in a child harness with that lift’s “safety belt”.

        I believe more in light effects. First, a single searchlight in a dark arena shining on the singer. And at the crescendo, a light explosion. That’s goosebumping for me! 🙂

  7. Off-topic: They have just reviewed Portugal on NDR’s site. The ‘expert’ said that she personally loved the song but predicted a 0 % chance of qualification. This has become a farce. They always predict good results only for radio-friendly stuff and the most embarrassing uptempo numbers. Those ‘experts’ obviously do not know anything about ESC. Lithuania and Austria qualified last year, Serbia won in 2008 … Btw, they predicted Estonia to fail too although the expert liked that song too.

    • @togravus

      I swear on the grave of Rosa Lobato de Faria that I will lose all hope for ESC if Portugal doesn’t succeed to the final. But I’m with you, European voters usually likes these songs and bring them to the final, and it’s a great luck that newspapers music journalists don’t have the last word; they dislike everything that doesn’t sounds anglo-american (at least Swedish journalists do that).

  8. Rosa Lobato de Faria … such a great lyricist. She wrote the lyrics for Marko’s favourite Portuguese ESC song too. 🙂

    You are right about those music journalists and radio people. Last year, everyone but Peter Urban hated Greece here in Germany. Our jury president Ina Müller (whom I detest with a passion because she is stupid and narrow-minded beyond what can be easily imagined …) made it perfectly clear to everyone that it was her least favourite song. Man, was I happy when she had to announce 10 points to “Watch My Dance”. She spat those points out and turned all green in the face.

  9. Haha, well-deserved! Greece was my personal favourite last year (our Swedish commentator Edward af Sillén loved it too). And yes, Rosa Lobato de Faria belongs to my top 5 of ESC lyricists of all time. Such wonderful lyrics in ever sense: from the summery and juicy feeling in “Amor d’agua fresca” to the somber and dark sadness in “Antes do adeus”. Such a pity too that another of her great songs, “Canto em Português”, had to participate the same year as “O meu coracão nao tem cor”. In any other year, it would have been a clear winner.

    • I think that Sara’s performance is MAGICAL! I also think that “Kuula” at moment 01:40 will be great with lifting! 😀

      Have you ever been to Globen for MF? Or in any other city for semifinal of it maybe? Where are you from in Sweden? I have been to Malmo where my aunt lives!

      • So you’re not giving up the idea with that lift? 🙂

        No, I have never been to Globen. I prefer following MF from my sofa. I live in Västergötland, near Lake Vänern. So when I’ve been at a MF-heat (general repetition) it has been in Scandinavium, Gothenburg, where Lill Lindfors dropped her dress in 1985.

        So your aunt lives in Malmö? Has she been living there for a long time, is she Swedish or married with a Swede?

  10. @ Sir Shakespeare

    No, she is Serbian, but she lives there for 35 years! And she is divorced now, for long time! Never has been married with a Swede! 🙂

    LOL that was in Gothenburg in 1985, I didn’t know! 😀

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