This Sunday, a new country launches its selection process for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. And it's Latvia, through the same Supernova that allowed the country to triumphantly come back to the finals with Aminata and Justs.
But there are 22 new contestants this year, and we start by meeting Miks Dukurs!
La version française est ici !
Hello Miks! It's been a while! It's a bit cliché but tell us about yourself!
I’m not that much of a cliché hater because sometimes it’s just great to get something expected. There’s a lot to know about Miks and also a lot to not know about him! He’s more like a person who lives TODAY and he is not looking back a lot, because you can’t change anything that happened before. You can just keep doing better and change things by doing it TODAY. But then again.. it’s a bit of a cliché, cause today's main idea is to live TODAY and make right choices. I always thought - it’s so easy to say something... but it's much harder to really take that opportunity to actually do something. So... my goal is to actually do something! I would like to make a difference through my music. I wanna inspire people to get better!
Right now, I’m truly happy being a father of my 11 month old son! And also trying my best by being a good husband as well. My life is full of joy and music and I’m so thankful that I have this possibility of writing and producing my own music and walking on this Earth.
Is there a story behind Spiritual Priest, your Supernova song?
Me and my crew were in England, London and we had this very spiritual experience back there. It’s not a short story but the main idea was that we realised that we really love music and what we’re doing! That we should keep going and inspiring others with it! So... we got back to our hotel room, the guitarist took his guitar, the bass player didn’t have his bass with him so he played the bass part by singing it and I started to sing those lyrics! It was a very magical moment! Then I got home and recorded it at my home studio. There was no plan for this song to become a Supernova 2017 song from Miks Dukurs. But then notice about the contest came up and I still had this song not released and I thought - why not? It was the most honest song I had at the moment. It’s about believing in yourself and that every single one of us can be that “spiritual priest” and also inspire others to follow this example so we would live in a world of strong people!
First of all, I think Eurovision is the best way of getting your country's music exported to other European countries and also it’s a great chance for an artist to get that PUSH, you know! I know there’s lots of very good musicians and music in Latvia! I think we have something to share ;)
It all started with Aminata and of course and also by changing the whole thing to Supernova! Now, it’s more about music and that’s why I like it and makes me wanna be part of it.
About popularity - it always was like that here - you watch it but don’t talk about you the fact that you watched it :) but it’s changing a lot because of the last years. Also, serious musicians started to pay attention to this contest. I think we should take this even more seriously cause it’s something in which you can represent your country and export some good music from Latvia to Europe.
What is your relationship to music?
There’s no specific genre of music! When I was younger, I was listening to hardcore and very hard rock music. Then I started to write my own music and I realised that there is so much beautiful music out there and something to take from almost every genre. For me, music is an experience and nowadays, musicians should be very creative so this experience would be as colourful and unique as possible.
There are lots of good things I can say about artists from Latvia and mostly they’re my friends and I’m so happy that the industry level has been growing overall. Like those two you already know - Aminata and Justs, also lots of good indie music here like Carnival Youth and well-known bands like Brainstorm who also started with Eurovision Song Contest as I can remember. Also, there are lots of new names! A younger generation of artists, who already grew up with the ability to listen to all kinds of foreign artists, and who are gonna be even more able to find their place in world's music industry. I think the future looks good for our musicians! But it’s still really hard to get through so... Eurovision remains one of the biggest possibilities to start your career, in my opinion.
There's countless foreign bands I like! Since there is Spotify, it’s like every day I can find something new to listen, it’s crazy! Crazy good! And scary at the same time because it gets harder than ever to write something huge. But I keep trying and I believe that good music nowadays can come from anywhere! It doesn’t matter where you are from anymore. It’s more about creativity and uniqueness these days I think. Actually... it always was about that!
What do you think of our current world?
There are lots of wrongs with the world these days! All those tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, machines getting smarter and smarter! It’s getting harder to find something really valuable... simple things like clothing, food! It’s so hard to even understand what is good for you to eat and drink! Everything’s moving so fast these days. You have to be connected all the time, ready to answer and like and share 24/7. Ok, not THAT crazy but you get the idea. It’s really hard to resist all the stuff that is going on around you! Possibilities are endless and there is so much information available that some people go crazy.
That's why it’s so important to stay cool and see through all that’s happening. More than ever, we should appreciate our families, friends and really hold on to each other! So we would not loose ourselves in the process of living. As a father, I started to see things differently. I really appreciate all that free time I have to share with my relatives.
I’ve been to France once with my wife and I love it!!! My biggest dream is to share my music with other European countries and to go and play some shows there so I’m really looking forward to visit France some day soon.
Miks, thank you very much for this interview! He will compete in Supernova's first semi-final the Sunday and try to reach the next step!