Allan Kasuk: “Kruuv is all about the Estonian way of life, that is why we sing only in Estonian” [Interview]

Once again Estonia is using it’s popular Eesti Laul format to select not only Estonia’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, but as a showcase for local talent. With one semi-final down, we took the opportunity to speak to a few of the contestants, and today we speak to the Allan Kasuk from the Estonian folklore band Kruuv.
escXtra: Hey Allan, 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!
Allan Kasuk: Hi!

Allan Kasuk
Allan Kasuk
X: For those of us who aren’t so familiar with you, can you please introduce yourself and tell us your role in the band?
A: We are six happy musicians who play in Kruuv and I am the author and the singer of the song.
X: How did you all come together to form the band?
A: Kruuv is a group of good friends that has made happy music since 2007
X: What does Kruuv mean and how did you decide to call yourselves that?
A: Kruuv is not a word in Estonian but it´s close to the word “groove”. To groove is to have a dance feeling. Kruuv is all about that feeling. As all our lyrics are in Estonian we wrote it Kruuv because in Estonian a word can not start with “G”.
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? Who found out first?
A: I was the first one to get the good news when I Eesti Laul called me to ask how we write the name of the song. (Depending how you write “Tiiu talu tütreke”, the meaning changes.)
X: Was your song “Tiiu talu tütreke” made specifically with Eesti Laul in mind, and what was the inspiration behind the song?
A: We wrote the song with Eesti Laul in mind and we got the inspiration from Estonian folklore.
X: What does “Tiiu talu tütreke” mean and what is the song about?
A: In Estonian folklore there is a young girl called Tiiu. She is very talented and will grow into exemplary Estonian woman. We however sing of her daughter who will instead drink beer, dance and enjoy life to the fullest.
X: How would you describe the “sound” of Kruuv?
A: Kruuv´s sound is simple to leave room for the lyrics and emotion. However we do have some interesting instruments like bagpipes and a jaw harp.
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?
A: Kruuv is all about the Estonian way of life, that is why we sing only in Estonian. However we do have little line in Spanish on our next album.
X: Can you give us a hint as to what we might expect to see from your live stage performance?
A: In the semifinals I am sure you can find 6 musicians on stage having fun 🙂
X: Participation in Eesti Laul means many things to many people. Why did you enter Eesti Laul 2015 and what do you hope to achieve from the contest?
A: Eurovision would bring our music to more people and promoting our music is definitely one of our goals.
X: What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Vienna in May?
A: We think representing Estonia in Vienna would be a great honor to any Estonian band as they have the trust and votes of Estonian people.
Back: Lehar Lepler, Villem Rootalu, Silver Solnask, Heiki Luts Front: Allan Kasuk, Valmar Kasuk
Back: Lehar Lepler, Villem Rootalu, Silver Solnask, Heiki Luts
Front: Allan Kasuk, Valmar Kasuk
X: Are you a Eurovision fan, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs? 
A: Yes, we are fans of Eurovision. My favorite from Eurovision is ABBA with “Waterloo” in 1974.
X: Now some questions to get to know you a little better, how did you spend your most recent birthday? 
A: As my daugher was born a week before my birthday we celebrated that instead.
X: Can you tell us a secret about yourself that very few people know?
A: I can move my fingers really fast (on a guitar).
X: Do you have a favourite alcoholic beverage?
A: Our drummer is an inventor of new hand crafted beers, so we have to say beer.
X: Where is your favourite place in Estonia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Estonia go see?
A: I would recommend visiting Old Town of Tallinn in summer.
X: What is your favourite food to cook?
A: My favorite food is green and healthy.
X: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose?
A: The one that hides in Loch Ness lake.
X: What is your favourite colour?
A: Green.
X: What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? 
A: I gave a recordable disc to my music teacher for her to copy a Peer Gynt – “Mountain king song” on it, because I really liked the song. Next lesson she said she liked my song on the disc I gave. I had accidentally forgotten a home made rap song on it. Really embarrassing, as I can not rap 🙂
X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
A: We wish all escXtra readers a lot of love. Let the happiest song win 🙂
Allan and Kruuv take part in the second semi-final on Saturday, February 14th with the song “Tiiu talu tütreke” which you can hear below. On behalf of everyone at escXtra we would like to thank Allan for his time and wish him and the rest of the band all the best in the contest and beyond.

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