For the sixth consecutive year Estonia is using the popular Eesti Laul format to select its entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. With only a few days until the first semi-final, we took the chance to catch up with some of the singers taking part and today we speak to the lead singer of the band Wilhelm; Anett Kulbin.
escXtra: Hello Anett, thanks for taking some to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you and the band on your qualification to the semi-finals of Eesti Laul 2014!
Anett Kulbin: Thanks!
X: Let’s start at the very beginning, how did you guys come together to form Wilhelm, and is there a story behind the name of the band?
A: The band Wilhelm came together a year ago for one performance at a jazz festival in Tartu. After the first concert together we decided to stick together as a band and start writing music and it all turned better than we thought. One thing lead to another and now we’ve gotten to the point of Eesti Laul. The idea behind the name is quite simple. When we were in the middle of finding a name for our band we had an idea that the name should be a persons name to make all of us in the band and our music into one – personalize. I’ve always liked the name Wilhelm so when I started searching the meaning of the name it turned out that people with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities. They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience creative new ideas. They also tend to be courageous. It turned out this was exactly the name we wanted for our band.
X: Where were you and how did you feel when you found out that you were one of the acts who had made it to the Semi-Finals of Eesti Laul? Also Who found out first?
A: Lauri was the one who got a call and he told everyone else right away. Later he said that he got pretty much the same answers from everyone. It was such good news that nobody seemed to believe him in the beginning. I remember thinking he was joking when he called me with the news.
X: What was the inspiration behind the creation of your song ‘Resignal’ and was it always intended to be entered in Eesti Laul?
A: The song was written by Lauri Kadalipp and he has told me that the music and lyrics were written on a different time and came together as one song about six months later when the time was right.
X: Could you tell us a little about what the song is about?
A: The lyrics were written at a time when someone close to him gave up something that they loved by just throwing it away. At the same time the music of this song has quite a hopeful emotion behind it. Listening to the song closely it all comes together as something a lot of people can relate to.
X: Eesti Laul has developed in recent years to be much more than just a Eurovision preselection and in this year’s contest you will be up against many big names in the Estonian music industry as well as several strong newcomers. For you, what does it mean to participate in Eesti Laul?
A: It’s definitely an honour to be part of the semi-finals and be here with many great Estonian musicians. This competition is definitely one of the last ones in Estonia where you can show yourself as a band or an artist.
X: What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Copenhagen in May?
A: If that would happen it would be a great honour and of course a big responsibility but it would be great!
X: Are you Eurovision fans, and if so do you guys have any favourite Eurovision songs?
A: Eurovision is a great music event. It’s difficult to speak for the others, but we’ve definitely liked many Eurovision songs. Every country has picked out their best song and artist and people seem to have quite good taste.
X: Now some questions to get to know a little better, how did you spend your Christmas and New Year?
A: We were all with our families all over Estonia enjoying good food and mulled wine. We all had a great time and very nice holidays.
X: Where is your favourite place in Estonia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Estonia go see?
A: There are many great places in Estonia to visit. It depends on where people feel like going but I’m sure everyone and people in any age would find something amazing to do in Estonia.
X: What is your favourite food to cook?
A: I love different food and I’m always willing to try new exciting things when someone else is making them. Unfortunately I haven’t spent too much time in the kitchen and my own cooking skills are not too advanced. But I’m always able to cook a good pasta a choose a nice wine next to it.
X: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose?
A: I would never give up my cat. Even if I could have a giraffe at my house.
X: What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
A: There are quite a few funny stories of the embarrassing things but they’re not appropriate to tell them here.
X: Finally, do you guys have a message for our readers?
A: We hope to see you on Eurovision!
Anett and Wilhelm along with 9 other hopefuls take part in Eesti Laul’s first semi-final this Friday. Listen to their song ‘Resignal’ below! On behalf of all the team at escXtra I would like to thank Anett for speaking with us and wish her and Wilhelm all the best with whatever may be next!