Estonia: Tomi Rahula announced as new Head of Production for Eesti Laul

by Roy Knoops 823 views

Musician Tomi Rahula has been elected by broadcaster ERR as the new Head of Production for Eesti Laul, Estonia’s Eurovision selection.

Estonian broadcaster ERR has recently announced that Tomi Rahula will succeed Mart Normet as Head of Production for Eesti Laul. He is an arranger, composer, keyboardist and producer, plus a licensed football referee.

Tomi Rahula is certainly no stranger when it comes to Eesti Laul or Eurovision: as composer he was partly responsible for Estonia’s Eurovision 1998 entry Mere lapsed (“Children of the sea”) by Koit Toome and he was part of the team behind Feel me now by Liina Ariadne Pedanik at Eesti Laul 2017, among others.

He also participated in Eesti Laul 2011, placing 2nd alongside Stig Rästa (Eurovision 2015) as part of the music project Outloudz, with the song I wanna meet Bob Dylan.

All in all, Tomi Rahula has been involved with aspects of Eesti Laul for some twenty years. With his background as a musician and knowledge of all things pertaining to Eesti Laul, he is confident in managing the Estonian selection:

The most important thing is that the finest Estonian musicians would get to the final, quality, not quantity, is important. I believe that I know what is really good in modern music.

Goodbye to yesterday: changes to the Eesti Laul format?

Tomi Rahula speaks about possible changes to the Eesti Laul format, leading to a more refined selection process:

I was nominated because I felt that I was prepared to make the whole event even better than it has been so far, with my experience and musical background. In order to have a very good musical performance, there would be a lot of new Estonian music in order to get closer to the artists and songwriters who went a bit further away from this event. This would be my greatest challenge and why I wanted to do it.

He continues:

At the beginning of autumn, I will put my team in order to get ahead, but not all new things can definitely be introduced at once. This is a very good TV show right now, the goal is just to make it even better.

One of the possible changes might involve reforming the Eesti Laul songwriting-camp, which has been used in the past years to create songs especially for Eesti Laul:

It’s possible that this is one thing that should be reviewed a little, whether to continue in this form or whether to continue at all. I think that it’s possible to write these cool songs in different ways other than when people are forced to write music quickly for 24 hours (…) I think that this idea should not be buried, this is in itself a pretty good idea.

The new Head of Production is honoured to be leading the successful Eesti Laul competition, ready to extend the popular format and implement positive changes if needed:

So far, Heidy (Purga) and Mart (Normet) have developed this thing, made it bigger and better, it’s very good, but now I might even do it better and give it more ideas and development. This is a logical continuation of everything, that if there is fresh blood and thoughts to move things forward, it’s only positive (…) It is very important to raise the quality of music, to help Estonian composers and songwriters do their best to do it.

Estonia at Eurovision 2018

Estonia earned a respectable 8th place in the Grand Final of Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal, with La forza by singer Elina Nechayeva, earning 245 points.