Estonia: Reviewing the track 'Kuula'Written by Marc Calleja Bayliss
The latter part of the second semi-final has to be one of the most intriguing spectacles noting that the variety of genres is very much reflected especially following an array of Balkan tunes which will become somewhat synonymous. Despite their beauty, it is somewhat extremely important that they all relate to each other and some of them might be left out and that is why the next ballad is different because it has a different sound, more notable which will be respected by a number of people around the continent. The country that is being referred to is none other than Estonia who this year have decided to send the crooning Ott Lepland with the song Kuula which he composed alongside Aapo Ilves.
He has always beaten the competition by an impressive margin. In the final of Eesti Laul, for example, he received 67% of the votes. Ott was already well known in Estonia when he was still a child. He released four albums of children's songs and performed in the theatre, but left the limelight when he became a teenager and focussed on his studies of music. The result is here: he is one of the most respected vocalists in Estonia, an excellent pianist, and the author of some of the biggest radio hits of recent years.
His vocal coach Maiken has this to say about Kuula: "This song has the potential to be the I Will Always Love You of this century – it is a powerful and simple balance with the potential to become an international hit." Ott's strengths are his powerful voice and down-to-earth demeanour. He is not a show-off, but a true and serious artist. He may be a little reserved, but it is this trait that makes people take him seriously and gives him the charm that has brought him the love of his audiences. Yes, that's what a true Estonian man is like! Get ready, Eurovision – here he comes!
Ott was born on 17 May 1987 in Tallinn. He has released two albums that were aimed at the Estonian market and contained many songs he had written himself. The first book about Ott, Lubage mul olla. Ott Lepland (Let Me Be. Ott Lepland) was published at the end of 2010. A part of the sales revenue is transferred into a grant fund, which helps young people study singing. The grant recipients are picked by Ott Lepland himself. He also donated the 20,000 euros he won on Laulupealinn to Kärdla Town for charity.
It seems that taking one victory after another has come easy to Ott so far. Only time will tell whether his success will continue on the Eurovision Song Contest stage. Ott himself has said: "I feel that I've been lucky. I believe that the reason why I've been so successful is that I've done my own thing and remained true to myself."
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
- Back to ballads. This time a musical piece sung in Estonian. The song slowly builds up to the grand finale. The singer has a great voice and the song is beautifully written. I would have loved to hear it in English because the Estonian language sound a little bit hard for my taste. Nevertheless, well crafted and deserving of six (6) points.
- Without a doubt, this is more of a song to my liking. The music of this ballad is astonishing, it is just wonderful and his voice is amazing, somewhat beyond what I was expecting. This is a maximum points kind of entry therefore ten (10) points.
- One of the best ballads in the line-up, leaving you wonder how tiny Estonia can come up with so many really good songs. Very good singing, powerful and controlled at the same time, complete with very soft and tender lyrics. Nine (9) points from my end.
Performer: Ott Lepland
Composer: Ott Lepland
Author: Aapo Ilves
History of the Nation
This year will mark the eighteenth participation of Estonia in the Eurovision Song Contest and one can remark that there have been a number of positive results especially due to non-consecutive top ten finishes from 1996 until 2002 with the nation finishing at the top of the scoreboard in 2001 thanks to Dave Benton and Tanel Padar and the song Everybody. The following year, they were close but still far by virtue of finishing in third place with Runaway performed by the Swedish singer Sahlene. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, things have been far bleaker unfortunately though and the country has only managed to turn their luck around since 2009 noting that Urban Symphony and their song Randajad finished in sixth place before the country failed to qualify again in 2010 and then reaching the final again last year before failing to make an impact with Rockefeller Street ending in the last place. Ott Lepland will hope to restore some pride in his country with his entry which is doing well in polls and betting odds putting it in sixth place to qualify.