There is one last Latvian hopeful who got interviewed prior to Supernova's first semi-final.
Meet Lauris Valters, whose name you might not recognize, but who is no stranger to Eurovision.
Et par ici pour la version française !
Hey Lauris! Tell us about yourself.
Well, I'm a 32-year old Latvian and all my life I am living in and with music! My first musical inspiration was my father, who is a headmaster in a secondary school, but also is a composer (he did more than 350 songs) and when I was a small boy, I really enjoyed his playing and singing !
At the age of 6, I started to play piano and learned it in a music school for 8 years. Also, I started singing in a men's choir at 14 ! And then, I found some guys in school who also wanted to play and we started all that thing, we established our band called ēnas
(which is Latvian for ''the shadows'') ! It moved on how it usually moves on - first concert, first recorded song, first fans... There were lots of changes in the band's stucture through the years, but I can say one thing - together with my childhood friend, the guitarist Jānis, we played in it for 12 years! It all ended in 2012 and now I'm moving on by myself!
I composed my first song when I was 14 and I never stopped. Now there are somewhere around 140 songs (some 80 of them in Latvian and rest of them in English, 2 of them being in Russian)! I'm writing poems aswell! In the last few years, I played bigger and smaller concerts in Latvia, and I have also played concerts in Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, the USA and Russia.
Tell us about your history with the Eurovision Song Contest!
If we are talking about the Eurovision Song contest, yes I have some stories about it! At first, some 10 years ago, we participated in the Latvian Eurovison selection with my band ēnas
! 4 years ago, I was together with the band PeR and we represented Latvia in the Eurovision in Malmö, Sweden! And 2 years ago, the song I wrote, Life Lines
was in the Latvian Supernova semi-final, performed by Rihards Saule!
About this year and my song Magic Years
, the song is about this special, magic time when we are living, about great people who are beside us, about the most important thing - Love! I wrote this song to my beautiful and special girlfriend and fiancee Vita ! I have a lot of great songs and I want to show them to the audience. The Eurovision Song Contest would be a good opportunity to introduce myself to the audience and to move further!
I think that in the last 2 years, with the Supernova contest in Latvia, everyone looked somehow different at Eurovision and it was really good! The interest was bigger and at the end of the day - results in Eurovision finals for Latvia was the best in the last 8 years! We are really a sports-watching country... but in the last 2 years the Eurovision final was the most-viewed broadcast in TV for the whole year, so I think Eurovison is popular in our country!
About previous years and songs... well I would choose Brainstorm with My Star
from 2000, because it's a great song and it was the first year for Latvia, Valter & Kazha with The War Is Not Over
in 2005, which was a good song and performance, then PeR and Here We Go
in 2013 (because I was there... no, but seriously, it was a memorable performance and a powerful song) and finally Aminata with Love Injected
What are your musical influences?
My musical authorities are Sting, Peter Gabriel, U2, Coldplay, Bon Iver or Feist! I'm listening to pop and rock music, indie rock, folk music and I really enjoy classical music - Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart and other great composers! Ooh, and one more thing, I adore choir music!
My favourite Latvian artists are Brainstorm, Goran Gora, The Hobos and The Sound Poets!
The Latvian music industry is really small ;) There are only 2 million people living in Latvia, and a third of them are actually Russians and they are mostly listening to Russian music! Lots of people are retirees or somewhere close to it and they mostly listen to schlager! So, as you can see, there aren't much people left and there are lots of musicians and music styles trying to catch the attention of this audience!
What are your thoughts on our world?
About our world nowadays... we are living in the computer's century. On the one hand it offers really big possibilites to everyone, but on the other hand, people are drawn further from each other like never before... and music mostly is not an art anymore, it is like a mass product, which is really sad !
I hope that we still have a heart and soul, that we believe in love, that we highly respect family and our relatives... because that is really important! And what makes me smile... it's my beloved ones, good music, the people's kindness, true emotions, our country's achievements in sports, springtime!
I would like to say thank you to all the people reading this, and to tell them : ''Be honest, be true and never stop moving forward... Anything can happen, dreams may come true!''
Lauris, thank you for that insight on your person! He will sing his Magic Years this Sunday, in order to try and reach Supernova's next step.