Three years ago, singer Anett Kulbin and producer Frederik “Fredi” Küüts captivated fans with a low-key, jazz-tinged R&B tune called “Write About Me” at Eesti Laul 2020. Performing as Anett x Fredi, they made it all the way to the super-final.
The duo stands out with soul-pop perfection once again at Eesti Laul 2023, as they gear up to perform “You Need to Move On” at Saturday’s final.
The past three years since Anett x Fredi’s last national final appearance have been anything but quiet.
Anett, who has previously competed in Eesti Laul as a solo artist too, released two award-winning albums, 2020’s Morning After and 2022’s Late to the Party. Last month, she won Soul/Funk/R&B Artist of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards. Fredi has been hard at work performing, writing and producing with fellow Estonian artists such as Gram-of-Fun, Jüri Pootsmann, Rahel, INGA, Silky Steps and more.
Here’s what Anett x Fredi had to say about their second final as a team, their newest song, and more.
Welcome back to the final! How has your experience been?
Anett: The experience itself is very familiar. Now we kind of know how everything works in the Eesti Laul system. I feel a bit more confident and not that afraid of not knowing what’s going to happen. This year feels a lot calmer in a way.
Fredi: I’d say so too. I’ve said before that with such a badass partner, it’s a joy to do everything. It’s carefree and we get to do our thing. It feels more relaxed.
How did you first meet and come together as a duo?
Fredi: I went to Anett’s concert five years ago, and I was a fan of her music beforehand. I went up to her after the concert just to say hi, that I love her voice, and maybe we could work together someday. And sometime after that, I was at a point where I was doing sessions and I decided to call Anett up. She said yes, we got together to write some songs, and the rest is history!
Your style has always stood out from the rest of the entries when you’ve competed as a duo. What inspires your sound the most?
Anett: The inspiration goes back years, to everything we’ve ever listened to. At the moment we listen to quite similar music, a lot of neo-soul pop, a little bit of jazzy vibes. And I think we both enjoy writing about relationships and whatever is happening at the moment in our lives.
Fredi: As a producer, the inspiration comes from the person you’re working with as well. Because Anett has such a soulful voice, that’s always a good indicator of where I could go with the music we’re making.
What is the story behind “You Need to Move On”?
Fredi: It came from my personal experience from a past relationship. I feel like some songs you just have to write to get it out of your system. That song is one of those. I’ve been meaning to write this song for a while. I started it up and presented it to Anett. She really got the vibe of it, and we decided to finish it together.
What have you been up to since your last Eesti Laul appearance?
Anett: We’ve both been more into music than before 2020! I’ve been to Eesti Laul quite a few times, so now the decision to participate doesn’t come as quickly anymore. It’s like “OK, should we do it now? Because it’s the fifth time.” But I also think it’s such a great platform for introducing your music.
Fredi: Anett’s being really modest. Since the last Eesti Laul we took part in together, she released a full, award-winning album. She really used the momentum from the last time we went to Eesti Laul, and now coming back, she has a second album out. And last week, she won some awards at the Estonian Music Awards for that album! I don’t even know if you would’ve had time to participate in the previous year.
Anett: Same with Fredi – winning awards, making albums! We didn’t just put down our instruments for two years. It’s been really busy in the best way.
What are some of your favorite Eurovision songs?
Anett: I have many. I really like the one song that Estonia won Eurovision with, “Everybody.” Also, I think last year’s Portuguese song by Maro (“saudade, saudade”) was really beautiful. I like that the genres in the Eurovision Song Contest are widening.
Fredi: I really liked Måneskin, coming from a little bit of a rock background as a teenager, and I think it was also the Finnish participants last year who also had a really good rock song (“Jezebel” by The Rasmus). From the high-energy ones, I really like the rock tunes. But I always love songwriting that comes from a deeply emotional place, and that resonates with me the most. Maro is one example of really great songwriting. Plus the production is next-level.
What’s something fans might be surprised to know about you?
Anett: I like to do bowling, and I’m very much into hand-crafting. That’s what I do with my spare time, as much as I have it.
Fredi: I just love to read if I have spare time.
Do you have a message you’d like to share with fans?
Fredi: Keep on listening to good music! And thank you! If you like our song and are invested in hearing more from us, we’re thankful.
Anett x Fredi are among the 12 artists competing in the final of Eesti Laul 2023. Three superfinalists will be determined by 50% jury and 50% televoting, followed by a Superfinal, where the winner will be determined by 100% televoting. The final begins at 18:30 Central European Time on ERR.