Once again Estonia is using its popular Eesti Laul format to select not only Estonia’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, but as a showcase for local talent. With not long to go until the live shows begin, we took the opportunity to speak to a few of the contestants, and today we hear what music teacher Miina Rikka has to say.
escXtra: Hey Miina! Thanks for taking some time to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you on your qualification to the semi-finals of Eesti Laul 2015!
Miina Rikka: Hi!
X: For those of us who aren’t so familiar with you, can you please introduce yourself and tell us a fun fact about you?
M: Hi. I’m Miina and I am a singer from South Estonia and also working as a singing teacher. I don’t know how fun this is for a fact, but i am also a student of biology in Tartu University.
X: Where were you and how did you feel when you found out that you had made it to the Semi-Finals of Eesti Laul?
M: I was at work, when the producer of Eesti Laul called me and told me the news. I don’t quite remember how I felt. I guess I was surprised, cause I didn’t think we’d get in the show.
X: Was your song “Kohvitassi lugu” made specifically with Eesti Laul in mind, and what was your inspiration to write it?
M: No, Kohvitass was ready a long time ago and I just felt, it was time to record some of my songs and see, how they’ll do. We started recording it in 2013, but somehow the work was very slow and we changed the song very often and had to rerecord a lot of things. So that’s how it happened, that the song was released a year later.
X: Can you tell us what “Kohvitassi lugu” means, and what the song is about?
M: I usually don’t like to tell people, what my songs are about. I think that people should find their own meaning in music. But since you don’t understand Estonian, I can tell you, that it’s about how hard it is to let go of some people, even if they are completely wrong for you.
X: This year there is a direct 50/50 split between Eesti Laul songs in English and in Estonian. Why have you chosen to sing in Estonian and would you record an English version?
M: This song was written in Estonian and I probably wont do an English version, because the meaning of the song (for me) would be lost in translation. But I have some other songs that I have originally written in English and hopefully I get time to record them soon.
X: Can you give us a hint as to what we might expect to see from your live stage performance? Will you be joined by anyone else on the stage?
M: I have 5 of my band members with me on stage. We wont be doing anything too crazy, I’d like to think that the most important part is the song itself. But we do have a double bass on stage just in case 🙂
X: Participation in Eesti Laul means many things to many people. Why did you enter Eesti Laul and what do you hope to achieve from the contest?
M: Since Eesti Laul is first of all a place to introduce new music to Estonian people, it’s the best place for a new artist to start off. I personally didn’t think that i would be in the semi-finals, because I’m just a beginner at making my own music. The reason for my entry was, that I was hoping, that some important person in the jury would hear my song and like it. Turns out, a lot of them liked it 😀
X: What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Vienna in May?
M: That is too far away right now, I’ll just try to do my best in Eesti Laul and then we’ll see what comes next. Of course if I do win, I’ll be having a tough time in school 😀
X: Are you a Eurovision fan, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs? Perhaps a favourite Estonian entry?
M: I used to see all the shows,but last years I have been a little too busy. I guess I’ll pick it up this year. I do have a favorite Estonian song and that was Evelin Samuel’s ‘Diamond of Night’.
X: Now some questions to get to know you a little better, how did you spend your most recent birthday?
M: I was spending it with my 7 closest friends.
X: Where is your favourite place in Estonia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Estonia go see?
M: Every place that is near Peipsi lake is beautiful. Especially those places that are not tourist attractions and you can actually see the unharmed beautiful nature of Estonia.
X: What is your favourite food to cook?
M: I like to try a lot of new things, so i don’t have a favourite.
X: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose?
M: A squirrel.
X: What is your favourite colour?
M: All colours are great!
X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
M: I hope you all have a great 2015, be nice to each other and keep smiling 🙂
Miina Rikka takes part in the first semi-final on Saturday, February 7th with the song “Kohvitassi Lugu” which you can hear below. On behalf of everyone at escXtra we would like to thank Miina for her time and wish her all the best in the contest and with whatever comes next.