MyRadiantU: “Going All The Way is about going forward and not looking back” [Interview]

For the second year Latvia is using the new style Dziesma national final to select its entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. With the semi-finals behind us and the finals looming on the horizon, we took the chance to catch up with some of the singers taking part and today we speak to Janis Driksna who is the lead singer for the band MyRadiantU.
escXtra: Hello guys, thanks for taking some time to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you all on your qualification to the final of Dziesma 2014!
Janis Driksna: Thank you!
X: Firstly, would you be able to introduce the band and everyone’s role within the band?
J: Our name is “MyRadiantU”, and there are four musicians in our band at the moment – Janis Driksna is a songwriter and singer, Didzis Bordo plays base, Aivars Konutis – guitar, and Kārlis Indrišonoks – drums. “MyRadiantU” was founded by Janis and a Dutch producer Rene de Vries in Amsterdam, but at the moment we are performing in Latvia.
X: How would you describe the ‘sound’ of MyRadiantU?
J: Our sound is a mix of indie pop and new wave. You can listen to our music on our soundcloud page here.
X: What does the band name mean and is there a story behind the selection of it?
J: Well… it’s not about us. We are not the only ones that radiate just because we are on the stage. Everybody is radiating light with us.
X: Backtracking a little, 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 Dziesma? Also who found out first?
J: I was changing a carpet at home in Amsterdam while watching the Eurovision‘s press conference online. When the jury announced that our song got through to the semifinals, I was very excited and nervous. I thought that we definitely need to go to Latvia and perform the song. All together we are very happy and proud.
X: What was the process of creating your Dziesma entry ‘Going All The Way’ like?
J: “Going All The Way” was meant to be our third single. When I found out about the deadline of the Dziesma contest I decided to round it up and make the song 3 minutes long – so that it would fit Eurovision.
X: Could you tell us a little about the message of the song?
“Going All The Way” is about going forward and not looking back. At different moments in life we are all wavered by doubt, but faith will help us reach our goals.
X: Your entry is in English, in a year of Dziesma with the theme ‘Made In Latvia’ would you consider making a Latvian version of your entry?
J: I don’t think so. Everything that is created in Latvia doesn’t have to be in Latvian. In the world of music (thanks to social media) we are competing far beyond borders of countries.
X: For many of the participants in Dziesma, Eurovision is not always the overall goal in participation. For you, what does it mean to take part in Dziesma?
J: Eurovision is a wonderful opportunity to represent our country in Europe. It is also a great platform for reaching more people with our music.
X: What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Copenhagen in May?
J: It would be a great honour to represent Latvia among all European nations in an international contest. I would be very proud of it, it’s a great honour to have a voice.
X: Are you a Eurovision fan, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs? Perhaps a favourite Latvian entry?
J: I have always watched and followed Eurovision. Among Latvian finalists my favourite is “My Star” by Brainstorm.
X: Now some questions to get to know a little better, how did you spend your Christmas and New Year?
J: I celebrated Christmas with my family – my wife and kids. We had a dinner and then went to church. The New Years eve celebration was quite opposite – we went to a private party in the centre of Amsterdam and later watched fireworks.
X: Where is your favourite place in Latvia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Latvia go see?
J: I would recommend everyone to visit beach in Jūrkalne, and also visit one of those cosy hotels with restaurants in the countryside.
X: What is your favourite food to cook?
J: Barbeque
X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
J: Dear readers of, watch Eurovision and celebrate how vast and different culture of Europe is. Thanks to music Eurovision is an amazing opportunity for Europe to come together. Let’s celebrate our differences and find out what are the things that unite us.
Janis and MyRadiantU, along with 11 other acts take part in the final of Dziesma 2014 this Saturday. See their semi-final performance of ‘Going All The Way’ below! On behalf of all the team at escXtra I would like to thank Janis for speaking with us once again and wish him and MyRadiantU all the best with whatever may be next!

Liam Clark

I am a founding editor of escXtra who now works as a member of the Estonian Delegation's Press Team. Even though my Xtra days are behind me, I still like writing the odd piece here and there. P.S vote for Estonia 😘 🇪🇪 ❤️

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