With a number of national selections for Eurovision 2020 fast approaching, we wanted to learn more about the people and personalities behind some of the entries hoping to reach Rotterdam this year.
In our latest interview we travel to Latvia, where we speak to former Aarzemnieki member Katrīna Dimanta, who will enter this year’s Latvian selection with “Heart Beats”. We spoke to Katrīna about her Eurovision experiences, her family’s musical background and her tongue talents…
Hello Katrīna! First of all thank you for your time talking to us!
Happy for this opportunity, thanks Fernando!
How are you? Can you introduce yourself? What can you tell us about yourself?
Thanks, I’m good. Busy at the moment. Preparing for the show and continuing to work at studio. My name is Katrīna Dimanta, I am from Latvia. In 2014, I represented Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest at Copenhagen [as part of Aarzemnieki]. My musical background is in the folk music scene, I have been playing Latvian traditional folk music all around the world – Europe, Australia, Canada, America, Brazil, Russia, Turkey. I’m very proud to be Latvian!
I come from a family of 7. I have two beautiful sisters and four amazing brothers. My parents are very nice and hardworking people. I can play several musical instruments and I am a singer with a powerful, strong voice. I love going to the gym. In my free time I work at a children’s hospital as a medical clown doctor, I help kids to get well with a smile on their faces and inject some laughter in their painful day. I am open minded and love to laugh. As an artist I try to show people the highest levels of how to experience music. I love telling stories with my songs. I get inspired by people, nature and travelling.
The song that you will be presenting for Supernova is “Heart Beats”. What can you tell us about the song? What was the inspiration for the song, and did you write it specifically for Supernova and Eurovision?
In August 2019 I went to a song writing camp which is organised by a charity fund called “Līdzskaņa” and there we usually write songs, which later helps Līdzskaņa to earn money for musicians who are in trouble.
I got a team with super nice professionals – Herbe (Herberts) comes from a punk music world, Andis has great experience producing different kind of music and Jānis is an amazing guitar player. Jānis said that he wants to use these chords and the refrain just came to me right away. We kept jamming and verse came as well. We had a music writing session, had a lot of fun, talked nonsense and also a lot about my past relationships.
At first this song was written in Latvian and it’s called “Pipars” (3:40 here). After few days me and Herbe had a thinking session and we decided to give it a go in English as well, particularly for Supernova and Eurovision. I love the Latvian version “Pipars” and also adore “Heart Beats”. I feel confident about this song and happy that we can be a part of Supernova and hopefully Eurovision. Also finally, I feel that I can give more to the world being a solo artist.
What is your impression of the Eurovision Song Contest in general? Do you watch it every year? What is your favourite entry?
I had the honour to represent Latvia in Eurovision back in 2014. I am very happy about that experience and I am planning to use it, if I qualify. My experience from 2014 at Eurovision has given me a glimpse of what the contest really is and I can be prepared if we qualify to represent Latvia in 2020. I am very happy about this opportunity and we are working very hard to go back and show everyone that Latvia can do it.
Besides that, I think that it’s important for all musicians to follow events like this, because that’s what’s happening in the world. I have been watching Eurovision since I was a kid. We used to watch it all together and discussed who is good, what each of us would like to be a winner etc. It was always a family time. One of my favourite entries was Alexander Rybak in 2009, I loved that violin part. Also I liked the entry of Dima Bilan in 2008 when he had a figure skater on the stage.
Do you think performing at the Eurovision Song Contest will have a positive impact on your career?
Yes, I think that performing at the ESC would have a positive impact on my career.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever been given?
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life” or “Do what you love, not what you’re told to love” (My dad gave me advice like this but just in Latvian)
I think that to spend time doing what you love takes work. Hard work. And the truth is, most people give up. They get a job to pay the bills and do what they love “on the side.” Eventually, they lose motivation, fall into the comfort of routine, and give up the very thing they once valued the most.
I am doing what I love, I sing, I play music, I write music, I organize events, I travel around the world while playing music. I am a very happy human being!
What’s the one thing that might surprise people about you?
I can twist my tongue like a lizard, it’s funny to see that. Also my personality (in a positive way)!
Can you tell us about your first experience with music?
Hmmm… This one is a hard one. The first “big” one I remember is a competition when I was 5 years old, I had to sing for a jury and compete with 15 kids. I was singing two songs and was a little scared. One of my competitors was my youngest sister Alise. Before that I was singing a lot together with my family… We had a family folk group, like the singing Von Trapp family, only the Latvian version, haha!
Thanks for your time. We wish you the best of luck for the upcoming competition. Maybe we will see you in May in Rotterdam!
What do #YOU think of Katrīna Dimanta and “Heart Beats”? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below in the comments and on social media!