Latvia: Interview with Justs Sirmais (NF 2016)


Have you had a look at your calendar? It is already February, and that could only mean that the national finals season is well and truly underway, with the choices for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest being made as the weeks go by! This year, 43 participating broadcasters will be fielding entries in what has been coined the biggest entertainment spectacle in the world.

We had the opportunity to speak to some of the acts who are hoping to win their nations’ ticket, and the 2nd to grace us with an interview is Justs Sirmais, who will be singing the song “Heartbeat“, written by Aminata, during the Latvian National Selection.

Hello Justs, how does it feel to be part of the Latvian national selection “Supernova 2016” with your song “Heartbeat”?

Well I could say, that I am feeling very thrilled about all that is happening because I haven’t experienced before such a big attention for my music from so many people. Every day I am getting amazing feedback from different people and it really makes me happy that I can make people smile and be positive through my music. 

Who had the idea that you could participate in the Latvian national selection and who decided “Heartbeat”?

This idea was turning in my mind long time ago, but person that made this idea turn in action was song author Aminata Savodogo. She was the one who called me and said, come in, you have to do this! It is very good opportunity! And I am so thankful for that.

What is the message of “Heartbeat”?

The main motive in the song is about lost love and pain that it gives. It is like prayer to forget all the bad that happened and start everything from the beginning. Even maybe this prayer could not be heard and just resound in the silence, you can’t move on without saying it out loud.

Can you tell us something about the beginning of your career? 

I am 20 years old singer/song writer from Latvia. I started my musical career on age 6. I’ve been singing at Riga Dome Choir School. In that place I’ve learned music theory, piano, performing arts, jazz theory, improvisation and ensemble (combo), which significantly affected the further life path. 

Than I’ve been singing and playing on the streets of Riga when I was 16. Shortly after that I found my first band called “TaxFree”. There we all were in my age, starting something new. First songs, first concerts, first fails and first victories associate with that time. Few years later one popular band in Latvia called GACHO noticed me and I started to do shows with them too. I got known with Bigger stages, management, fan base etc.

Biggest shows we had was on main stage of Latvian festivals like SUMMERSOUND, HOLI and our own concert in PALLADIUM concert venue. But in this project I wasn’t in the main role, so I continue to work with my vocal and looking around for opportunities. And now I am presenting my first single at Supernova 2016 for Eurovision 2016 National selection.

Your song is composed by Aminata, who represented Latvia last year at the Eurovision Song Contest very successful with her song “Love Injected”. Can you tell us something more about this collaboration?

Working with Aminata has been very easy and fun for me although she is very demanding and hard working, she is also funny and sweet, and that is kind of close to my character so it is nothing but wonderful to work with her.

What are you expecting in the national selection “Supernova 2016”, are you excited?

I am expecting a fair fight for audience heartbeats and chance to represent my country in ESC 2016. And of course I am excited when such a good price is on the table 😀

How do you prepare yourself for the show? 

I am doing my best to build a contact with people and hell of a rehearsals to fill up their hopes. Also my crew and I are constantly shooting material for social networks (photo shots, videos). We are very friendly with press and I am happy to receive a big amount of requests for an interview. Every single day I have something new to tell and to show to my audience. 

Are you a Eurovision fan? 

I am watching it every single year, so I guess you can call me a fan 😀

Which are your favorite Eurovision songs and what is your favorite from Latvian entries?

I think it’s hard to say, because I am always watching these shows as a doctor looks at patients. He don’t have favorite one as I don’t have favorite song  😀 

What is your first Eurovision memory?

When I was very young I remember all family watching this show and that was the year when Latvia won. And everyone was jumping around our flat and cheering. It was very positive and happy moment. I hope that one day and hopefully very soon I could bring this joy and happiness back to them.

What are your plans for 2016 beside the Latvian national selection, are you working on a album?

Ahhhhhh so many huge plans!!! New songs, New videos, EP album and many concerts, lots of recording etc.

If people outside Latvia never heared about you before – what should they know about you?

They should know that everything is possible! My heartbeat is beating the same as everyone’s. I have performed in the shows to 10,000 audience and next week working my ass up selling computers in a store so I could buy new microphone. I have been playing  hours on the streets while my fingers became blue hopefully that someone will notice me. I am as simple as you. Every day getting up and working to make my dream come true! We can make everything as good as we want. We should fight together!

Why should the Latvian audience vote for your song to represent Latvia at Eurovision 2016? 

I am not that kind of person who tells others what they should do or not. I can only say that I will do my best and I am working nights and days to fill up your hopes Latvia in this important competition.

Do you have a message for our readers and your fans? 

Just sit back and enjoy the show that we are preparing so hard to show you. 😀 

Thank you so much for answer those questions. Good luck to you and your song in the Latvian national selection and maybe we see us in Stockholm! We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: LTV / Justs Sirmais


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