Over this summer, we are premiering a new series called Beyond Eurovision. Every Tuesday we find out what happened to Eurovision stars since they took part in the contest. First up is Latvian group Musiqq, who represented the country in 2011, but failed to qualify to the final. What happened after that?
Back in 2011, the Latvian broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija chose their Eurovision representative through the national selection Eirodziesma. Among the participants were Lauris Reiniks, who represented the country in 2003 as part of the group F.L.Y., Triana Park, who later represented Latvia in 2017 and the eventual winner, pop duo Musiqq.
Musiqq was founded in 2009 by Marats Ogļezņevs and Emīls Balceris. The same year their singles “Klimata kontrole” and “Abrakadabra” got some radio play in Latvia. Especially “Abrakadabra” was well received and its music video has gained over two millions views on YouTube.
Their debut album “Šī ir tikai mūzika” was released in 2010. Later that year it was revealed that Musiqq would take part in Latvia’s national selection and their entry “Angel in Disguise” was released. Musiqq won the final by being the favourite of the jury and the televoters. At Eurovision, the group competed in the second semifinal of the contest. Latvia received only 25 points at the end of the voting and therefore failed to qualify to the final.
Successful second album
Despite the poor result at the contest, the song was among the 100 most played songs on the Latvian radios in 2011. However, their follow-up singles did even better on the radios and were the two most-played songs on Latvian airplay chart of 2011.
“Dzīve izdodas” was released in December 2010 and its English version “Dance With Somebody” was also included on the “Angel In Disguise” single. The music video for the song has gained 1.4 million views on YouTube. The song topped the airplay chart and spent four weeks as the most played song on the Latvian radios.
The single “Miljonārs” also topped the airplay chart and was the second-most played song in the Latvian radios of 2011. The duo kept on delivering big hits, such as “Dari Kā Es” and “Trakas Atmiņas”. In 2013, Musiqq released their first single in Russian together with Russian producer and rapper Giacomo. The music video for “Страна Без Названия” has gained massive 14 million views on YouTube.
Musiqq’s second album “Vēl viena mūzika” was finally released in 2014, four years after their debut. The duo celebrated the album release and their five-year anniversary by performing at the concert hall Palladium in Riga. The album was later nominated as the Album of the Year at the Latvian Music Recording Awards and the single “Sekundes” was named as the Alfa’s Best Song of the Year.
Side project Bermudu Divstūris
After their participation at Eurovision, Marats and Emīls launched a side project Bermudu Divstūris and adapted the stage names Biceps and Triceps. Their first single “Tatjana” was released in early 2012 and it was followed by “Es Parast’ Nepipej‘”, that has since gained over 2.8 million views on YouTube.
The debut album by Bermudu Divstūris was released in 2014 and its title track “Ballejam Negulam” was released as a single to promote the album. The album won the award for the Hip-Hop or Dance Music Album of the Year, while the music video for the single has been watched over 11 million views on YouTube.
In 2020, the group got a silver play button from YouTube as an award for gaining 100 thousand subscribers and the combined views on their videos is over 100 million. New Bermudu Divstūris album is on the way and is set to be released later this year and will include singles “Riņķi” and “#Sarkanbaltsarkanais”.
Third album and acoustic tour
While Marats and Emīls were also working with Bermudu Divstūris, more Musiqq music was also released. Their third album “Silta sirds” was very different to their previous albums by being more acoustic. On the album, they collaborated with Latvian group DaGamba on special version of their previous hit “Sekundes” and other Latvian musicians. The title track “Silta sirds” was again nominated as the Latvian Music Recording Award for Alfa’s Song of the Year. They also toured Latvia with a special, more acoustic line-up.
Musiqq and Latvia’s Eurovision 2000 representatives Prāta Vētra (Brainstorm) released the single “Debesis iekrita tevī” as well as the Russian version “Небо упало в нас” in 2016. Again at the Latvian Music Awards, the group was successful and received three awards, including Song of the Year.
Big celebrations for the 10-year anniversary
After the acoustic album, it was time to again release some more upbeat songs. Before the release of their album “10” in 2019 and celebrating their 10-year anniversary, singles “Biļete Tikai Uz Priekšu”, “Sāc ar sevi” and “Salas” were released.
On April 27, the group performed to the sold-out Arena Riga and released their fourth album. Later the same year they continued the celebrations by touring in some of Latvia’s biggest cities.
This year the group performed at LTV’s Koncerts Z studijā, a series of live performances, launched after the COVID-19 pandemic. You can watch the concert by clicking here.
Who should be included in our new Beyond Eurovision series? Let us know below or on social media @ESCXTRA!