This year RAUM will once again compete in the Supernova grand final held on Saturday February 11th, and in between rehearsals we were able to grab him for a quick chat.
Reinis Straume, otherwise known as his stage name RAUM is a Latvian singer and songwriter who has participated in the Latvian Eurovision selection numerous times now. In between his 2019 and 2022 participations, he would sign a record deal with Warner Music Baltics, and is credited as the first Latvian artist to do so. His 2022 single “Turbulance” was recently nominated by Muzikālās Banka as the most valuable song of the year, alongside released from former Eurovision artists Citi Zēni and Aminata.
Hello there RAUM – I’m so delighted to meet you and learn more about who you are as an artist! Why don’t you give our readers a brief introduction as to who you are?
Hi, Connor! The pleasure is all mine. I’m a Latvian singer, songwriter and I’m competing for the chance to represent my country at the ESC in Liverpool. I guess I’m a rock musician now (again?) 😀
Wonderful, thank you for that background info! I know that the press release for Supernova came out a bit ago – how has life been since your participation was announced for the selection?
Terrifically hectic and hectically terrific. There was not a lot of time to lose after the announcement that I’m in the semis, so my team and I worked tirelessly to create the best performance we could. You know the deal. What do you want the graphics to look like, lights, wardrobe, etc. — all that needs to be decided pretty quickly once you know you’re competing. That being said, I knew I wanted to do a slightly different, extended live version compared to what you hear on the record and we managed to do it, so I am super happy .
Let’s help our readers get to know you a bit better! When you think about yourself as an artist, who are some of your musical inspirations or influences?
Oh, man, do you have a few days? For Fake Love, I gave into my early 2000s pop/punk and emo influences like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Good Charlotte, but in general I could list hundreds of artists that I’ve loved and learned from starting with the Beatles all the way to Top 40 pop.
What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you, like a hidden talent, passion, a fun fact, etc.?
I used to be a huge Spider-Man geek. I knew all the trivia, I read all the comics. And I mean ALL THE COMICS (600+ issues in the 616 universe at that point). I even wrote a song about it with my high school band.
If you were able to collaborate with a former Eurovision artist of your choice to record a new song, who would you choose to work with and why?
I think Rosa Linn and I could do some damage with a collab on a heart-wrenching pop punk power-ballad. I really liked her song and performance last year.
Now this is not your first time participating in Supernova, as you were part of the band Double Faced Eels that participated in 2019, and then participated again in 2022 as a solo artist. What made you decide to return to the competition again this year?
Glutton for punishment? 😂 Seriously, though, I just want the chance to get out on that stage and represent my country. It’s a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I want to experience it for myself.
What would you say is the biggest thing you learned during your participation in Supernova last year? Did this lesson change your approach to the national selection this year at all?
Last year, I think I did not focus enough on the performance part of it (you know, actually singing the song) and focused too much on putting on a show. This year, I feel there’s a better balance there.
Can you share a bit about the songwriting process for your song “Fake Love” and how the song was created? Was it intended to be a Supernova entry when you wrote it?
Yes and no. My music is regularly in Latvian, so in that sense, yes, this was written specifically for Supernova and Eurovision. However, this is still the song I wanted to write at the time and marks a progression in my sound as an artist. If you listen to my songs after “Plans”, they’ve gotten steadily more pop punk-inspired (more guitars, heavier vocals, live drums) over the last year. “Fake Love” is a natural next step for me.
I wrote the demo for the song by myself and then finished it with my long-time collaborators Daniel Levi (also co-author of last year’s “Plans”) and JJ Lush (producer of my previous single called “Turbulence”).
If I gave you approximately ten words to describe your staging plans for Supernova, what words would you use?
Black and white, grungy, glitchy and then it goes RED. Those are ten words, right?
That’s exactly ten – we’ll take it! As we wrap up, for those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?
You can find me on all the major streaming networks as RAUM, and on social media as @raumtastic.
Last question RAUM – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?
“Fake Love” is about realizing you’re in a toxic relationship and admitting to yourself how hard it is to leave sometimes even though you know it’s bad for you. I encourage everyone to look out for themselves and leave those situations without looking back.
RAUM is set to perform during the Supernova Final on Saturday February 11th starting at 20:10 PM CET. The winner of Supernova will go on to represent Latvia in the first half of the first Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
Are #YOU team RAUM this year for Latvia? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page
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