We hope you’re ready for another Supernova interview, as we got the chance to sit down with Eurovision 2017 artist and Triana Park lead singer Agnese Rakovska yesterday!

Agnese has participated name times in the Latvian selection Supernova as a member of her band and as a songwriter, but this year will be her first time competing solo. What motivated her to come back? How was the song written? What has she been up to all this time? All these questions and more will be answered below!

Hello there Agnese, we’re excited to have the chance to talk with you today! How are you doing ahead of the Supernova semi-final this Saturday?

I feel excited and want to share my message about creativity and the technologies we can use in modern times. Education is a big part of my everyday life now, so I am happy to be a part of this wonderful trip. 

Before we continue with Supernova talk, let’s help our readers get to know you a bit better. I noticed that you’ve been hosting songwriting camps for students in your spare time, teaching them how to write and bring their own songs to life. How did this idea for songwriting education come about, and what’s been your favorite part of doing these sessions?

After we returned from Eurovision with “Triana Park”, I wanted to focus on educating myself –  how can I write better songs? I realized that I have a lot of experience that I can share with other people and that many young artists are asking for my opinion about songwriting. I understood that it’s actually like a consultation and that I should turn it into a professional meeting because this is valuable information that people can take notice of and use to upgrade their projects. I also realized I have some ideas about making music project management easier and more modern. I didn’t want these people to make the same mistakes that I have made, so I was trying to figure out the best advice I could give them and made this all come together in these songwriting sessions.

Later on, I created a music and education platform called “Zvaigznājs” (English – “Constellation”) as a management agency where we work with music projects. Last year we released two music albums for two young female artists. One of them is nominated in the ‘Debut of the Year’ category at the Annual Latvian Music Recording Awards this year, and we hope she will receive the award. My agency also works with social projects. Our goal is to make technology available in every school in Latvia so people can have access to it and develop their creativity and songwriting. We also work as a management company that helps young artists with their strategy and we give brands audio identity and record different audio projects for brands in need of original content. We are all in music creating and doing the best we can to elevate our skills.

That is so wholesome, I love that! And as a songwriter yourself I’d love to pick your brain – if you had the chance to write a song for any artist in the world, who would you want to write for and why?

I think the best choice would be Miley Cyrus. I don’t know why, but I think she has this raw energy and has become more dramatic. Also, she’s a storyteller and actually, it would be very interesting to be in the same room with her and work on some songs together. I want to visit America, the United States – Tennessee and meet new people. I don’t know why, but she seems like a great choice. Yeah, let’s see what happens.

Tennessee is pretty great for the music, and the barbeque isn’t that bad either let me tell you. Moving on what are some things that our readers would be surprised to learn about you like a hidden talent, secret obsession or hobby, or something similar?

I don’t have any hobbies –  my obsession is music. This is my life, education is my passion. I try to learn as much as I can. Something that nobody may know is that I like to watch ridiculous movies on Netflix, maybe even some stupid comedies. Sometimes I just need to relax my brain and not think too much, so maybe it’s a comedy or a romantic movie with some silly plot. It’s just the best choice for the evening – snacking around while watching a movie.

The best thing during summer is that I can spend time in my garden and do nothing – sip some great coffee in the morning and just relax. When I’m doing that, I enjoy being alone, because I am surrounded by so many people every day.

Now you’ve been active in the music industry with Triana Park since 2008, but I’m sure your journey with music started well before that. When did you first learn that you loved music and performing and can you tell us a bit about that moment?

I have always loved music. My father is a musician with a studio at home which is why I’m so focused on getting technology in schools. Maybe that’s why I am the musician I am today because I had access to the studio. After school I just made music – it was simple for me. Only now did I realize it was a big extra and that other kids would never have this kind of studio at home. I was living in a privileged situation and I remember not thinking of it as something special. Then my friend said to me: “Hey, I know some boys who want to make a band and need a singer!” I was like ‘Okay’, so I joined the band. It was a rock band. The band was called ‘Headset’. It’s not a good name, but we couldn’t think of anything better. We had a great time rehearsing in these small, cold rooms with bad microphones and everything. I mean this is how it goes and I am an OG! I come from that time. We had real guitars and were excited to go to concerts and play in whatever places we could.

I started from rock bottom, but I’m grateful for this experience. As a project manager, when I work with other artists, I understand what they are going through because I was going through the same stuff. I can relate to them. What makes me different from other project managers in Latvia is that I can not only manage papers and stuff but also can write songs and truly understand what it takes to develop an artist. That is my main focus right now.

Speaking of Lativa, this year marks your sixth time competing in their national selection for Eurovision, but your first time as a solo artist. What motivated you to return to the selection this year, especially as a solo artist?

This is about the song. We have a big catalogue of songs in “Constellation”. We decided that this was the strongest one from the songwriting camp. We had to find the artist and as I said, I didn’t want to participate, because it’s not my intention anymore. I have been to Eurovision and it’s great. I would like to return to Eurovision as a part of a team, songwriting or creative. But I couldn’t find the right person to do the song as a performer so I decided to do it myself.

If I participate as a solo artist, it’s only because I want to gain attention to the projects I’m working on. I want to speak about these projects – not “Triana Park” or myself. “Constellation” is about community. We are building a new ecosystem of the music industry in Latvia. We are changing the education system in Latvia. This is something better and bigger than my name. I want to focus on that. I want to put Latvia on the map as the place where the industry is breathing and exporting music as same as Sweden.

Your entry is titled “AI” and focuses on the topic of artificial intelligence – can you tell us a bit about the songwriting process for the entry? Was it written with Supernova in mind or did you just happen to have it on hand when submissions opened?

We have special songwriting camps on “Constellation” dedicated to Supernova, but this one, where we wrote the song “AI”, wasn’t quite for that. I mean, it can go different ways. Supernova was coming up so we were like ‘Okay’, let’s do it. It’s a great song with a great chorus. It has to be in the Supernova. The idea of “AI” was more of a SCI-FI theme broadly depicted in movies now. We live in a digital world, and a lot of tools are available. As I said, I want everybody to focus on using technology for our own good. Like, how can it benefit us?

We teach the kids to use these technologies the right way. But actually, the song is about love, about trying to find the perfect place where you belong. Sometimes You have to understand – it’s right here. You don’t have to travel the cosmic universe to find it. The controversy of the song is that love is something non-artificial.

What message do you hope its lyrics will send to the Latvian public and international Eurovision fans?

I want to bring more people together and have noticed that Gen Z is a very interesting generation that communicates differently. Technologies are a big part of their life and they change the interaction between people. That’s why I want to focus on emphasizing that people are loved by people, not technology. We shouldn’t rely on technology to be loved. I hope you get the message.

We’ve got a short wait until you will be on stage for the Supernova semi-final. Without giving too much away, what can our readers expect to see from you during your performance? Hopefully a robot or two?

Robot? Oh, no! We don’t have that in mind. I want to bring cinematic experience on the stage – to bring the future to the stage. For 3 minutes you will dive into another dimension and have a cosmic experience.

Do you have any final words or a final message you’d like to send to the readers of ESCUnited?

Money can’t buy love!

Thanks so much, Agnese – we wish you the best of luck in the Latvian national selection!

If #YOU want to support Agnese’s pathway to Eurovision 2024 make sure you tune in to the Supernova semi-final on February 3rd and vote!

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