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 Dons, who we last saw on the Dziesma stage as one of last year’s interval acts.
escXtra: Hello Dons, thanks for taking some to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you on your qualification final of Dziesma 2014!
Dons: Thank you.
X: Firstly, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your career so far?
D: Well my real name is Artūrs Šingirejs, Dons is stage name from long ago when I took part in X-factor type reality show. I am a singer and songwriter, currently 29 years old, and plan to celebrate my 30th birthday in April by releasing a live concert DVD. I first became active in Latvia as a singer in 2003 and I just released my 4th studio album “Varanasi”.
X: Backtracking a little, Where were you and how did you feel when you found out that you were one of the singers who had made it to the Semi-Finals of Dziesma?
D: I was at the gym and found out it on Twitter and was quite happy.
X: How did you come to work together with the creative team behind your song ‘Pēdējā vēstule’?
D: This is not our first song together, we already produced my previous album “Signāls” together.
X: Since I assume most of our readers don’t speak Latvian, Could you tell us what the song is about?
D: The song is about love and relationship that ends and I wish her the best. That’s pretty much it.
X: This year marks 10 years since the last and only Eurovision song was sung in Latvian. If you were to win Dziesma would you keep the song in Latvian or would you sing an English version?
D: If I will make it through the finals, I will probably sing it in English. That’s actually the original version of the song written in 2010 devoted to my father who passed away.
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?
D: It’s a quite good challenge.
X: What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Copenhagen in May?
D: It would be great honour to represent my country that I love so much.
X: Are you a Eurovision fan, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs? Perhaps a favourite Latvian entry?
D: I’m not a huge fan of this competition, but I do have my favourite songs, I like Loreen’s Euphoria, Lena’s Satellite and Prata Vetra’s (aka Brainstorm) “My Star”.
X: Now some questions to get to know a little better, how did you spend your Christmas and New Year?
D: I spent Christmas and New Year with my friends and family.
X: Where is your favourite place in Latvia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Latvia go see?
D: You should try our beaches in summertime.
X: What is your favourite food to cook?
X: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose?
D: I’ll keep it simple, a dog.
X: What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
D: It’s so embarrassing that I don’t wanna tell it.
X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
D: Make love as much as you can!
Dons, along with 11 other acts take part in the final of Dziesma 2014 this Saturday. See the filmclip for ‘Pēdējā Vēstule’ below! On behalf of all the team at escXtra I would like to thank Dons for speaking with us once again and wish him all the best with Dziesma and whatever may be next!