While the voting for the fourth annual esctoday.com Awards is taking place, we take the time to introduce the nominees in the 21 categories. Today, we take a look at the Most traditional Europop song and Most creative effort categories.
- You can vote in the 2009 esctoday.com awards here.
MOST TRADITIONAL EUROPOP SONG
What is Europop?
While the term "Europop" could generally relate to any popular music from Europe, it is usually meant to describe a specific musical style of dance-oriented (mostly) up-tempo pop music with memorable melodies. Songs in the style first came up in the late 1960s, but the genre is usually seen to have had its breakthrough in 1974, when ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo. This is the reason why Europop is often regarded as a typical genre of Eurovision Song Contest entries. Winning songs besides Waterloo include Ding-a-dong (1975), Save your kisses for me (1976), Making your mind up (1981), Diggi-loo, diggi-ley (1985), La det swinge (1985), J'aime la vie (1986), Fångad av en stormvind (1991) and Take me to your heaven (1999). Europop has spawned various sub-genres like Eurodance and Eurodisco.
1. This is our night (Greece)
This is our night was composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos, who is known for his Europop songs, which are mostly on the Eurodance side of the spectrum. Other songs by him include Mia stigmi from the 2003 Greek national final and Always and forever, runner-up entry in 2008. The lyrics were written by Craig Porteils and Cameron Giles-Webb.
2. La noche es para mí (Spain)
The Spanish entry was composed by Swedish team Jason Gill, Dimitri Stassos and Irini Michas. Sweden is usually considered the home country of Europop and Jason Gill and Dimitri Stassos (who is originally from Greece) have already proved that in Melodifestivalen 2007 with the song Hypnotized. Dimitri Sassos and Irini Michas co-wrote the 2009 Melodifestival entry Alla. Felipe Pedroso wrote the lyrics mixing Spanish with some words in English, a formula that was already used for the Spanish entries in 2002 and 2007, which can both be called Europop.
3. Lose control (Finland)
The Finnish entry, which is part of the sub-genre Eurodance, was composed by Anna-Karima Holm and Ari Lehtonen. Ari Lehtonen has already worked with Dr. Alban, one of the most popular Eurodance performers in the 1990s. The lyrics were co-written by 2001 Melodifestival contestant Annie Kratz-Gutå and Waldo himself along with the composers.
4. Just get out of my life (Montenegro)
Just get out of my life was composed by Ralph Siegel, who keeps the record in having composed the most Eurovision Song Contest entries. Some of them can be called Europop as well, such as Dschinghis Khan (1979), Le papa pingouin (1980), Wir geben 'ne Party (1994), I can't live without music (2002) and Let's get happy (2003). The lyrics were written by José Juan Santana Rodriguez and Bernd Meinunger. Bern Meinunger is the lyricist with the most participations in Eurovision and he has also written or co-written the lyrics to all Ralph Siegel compositions mentioned above.
5. Shine (Netherlands)
The Dutch entry was written by Toppers band member Gordon. He had previously written some of the songs he performed during his solo career in the 1990s. Although many of them were ballads, he already showed a tendency towrads Europop.
MOST CREATIVE EFFORT
What is creativity?
Wikipedia explains the term creativity the following way: "Creativity is a mental and social process involving the discovery of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. Creativity is fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight." A Eurovision Song Contest entry could therefore be called "creative" if it is different from the usual/classic entries, no matter if its uniqueness is accepted well or not.
1. Fairytale (Norway)
Fairytale was composed by Alexander Rybak himself. He writes or co-writes most of his songs and at the age of only 23, he has already found his own style mixing traditional music with catchy pop tunes. He is also one of only three lead singers to also play the violin on stage, the others being Egon Egemann (Switzerland 1990) and Sandra Nurmsala of Urban Symphony (Estonia 2009).
2. Rändajad (Estonia)
The Estonian entry was written by Sven Lõhmus. Rändajad was probably the first Eurovision Song Contest to mix Electronic music with a classical strings arrangment. Like Alexander Rybak, Sandra Nurmsala is one of the few lead singers to have also played the violin on stage (as mentioned above). Sven Lõhmus owns a record label in Estonia and he is actually best known for writing more classic music including songs for Vanilla Ninja and the 2005 Estonian entry Let's get loud.
3. Nor par (Armenia)
The Armenian entry was written by Mane Akopyan, Avet Barseghyan and Vardan Zadoyan. Nor par was one of the Eurovision Song Contest entries in recent years with the most ethnic flavour to it. Also the stage performance and the outfits were a unique despiction of traditional Armenian culture.
4. Be my Valentine! (Anti-crisis girl) (Ukraine)
Svetlana Loboda composed her Eurovision Song Contest entry herself with English lyrics written by Yevgeny Matyushenko. The performance included one of the most complex pieces of scenery ever, the so-called 'hell machine'. Svetlana Loboda was also the first lead singer to play a drum kit on stage.
5. Todas as ruas do amor (Portugal)
The Portuguese entry was written by Pedro Marques and Paulo Pereira. It is one of the very few Eurovision Song Contest entries bringing back the time of the flower power. It is remarkable for its restrained arrangement and the lack "dramatic" moments, which is unusual for a Eurovision Song Contest entry, especially in these days.
Most traditional Europop song
This award has been given out since 2007. The first winner was the Dutch entry On top of the world breaking a tie in a second poll between the top two. In 2008, this award was won by Sweden for the entry Hero. The complete results were as follows:
The hall of fame:
Most creative effort
This award will be given out for the first time this year.
On Monday, we will introduce the nominees in the Best backing performers category.