Each day leading up to the rehearsals in Rotterdam, we will be showcasing each of the 39 acts taking part in this year’s contest and profiling their journey to this point!
Today, we take a look at an artist who is already very familiar with the contest, and who has taken the fandom by storm with her entry – it’s none other than San Marino’s Senhit!
Who is Senhit?
Who in the Eurovision community DOESN’T know Senhit by now? Okay, in case you didn’t know… Senhit Zadik Zadik is an Italian singer from Bologna, born in the city on 1st October 1979 to Eritrean parents who had moved to Italy shortly before her birth. Sharing her experiences growing up with Wonderland Magazine, the performed noted that “My parents kept their culture from Eritrea (…) at the same time, we went to a public school, we learnt the language and were educated in Italy as Italian people”.
Senhit’s career would first take off outside of Italy, performing in big-name musicals in Switzerland and Germany such as Lion King, Rent, Hair and Fame, before returning to her home country in 2002. She signed a deal to work with the Italian publishing company Panini to represent them as a singer and released a number of albums under the company, beginning with “Senit” in 2006, then followed by “Un tesoro è necessariamente nascosto” in 2007 and the English language album “So High” in 2009.
Following her Eurovision participation in 2011, Senhit continued to release music, with “Through the Rain” later in the year and “AOK” in 2013. Senhit’s first major release since 2009 was “Hey Buddy” in 2017, a release inspired by the club scene following her travels performing across the major cities of Europe a year previous.
How did Senhit get to Rotterdam?
On the #FreakyTripToRotterdam of course! No, wait, let’s wind the clock back a little bit…
Senhit was internally selected to represent San Marino at Eurovision a decade ago in Düsseldorf, performing “Stand By” in 2011. Sadly, she did not make it to the final, finishing 16th in the semis, but this would only be the beginning of Senhit’s love affair with the contest.
On March 6th 2020, the Sanmarinese national broadcaster SMRTV announced that Senhit would make a return to the contest, making her the third artist to turn out twice or more for the microstate republic at Eurovision after Valentina Monetta and Serhat. In the official press release, the broadcaster indicated that it was partially down to the successful release of her track “Dark Room” in 2019 which prompted head of delegation Alessandro Capicchioni to invite Senhit back.
Having already struck up a working relationship with Italian choreographer and director Luca Tomassini on the video for “Dark Room”, the pair worked together for the two candidate tracks in San Marino’s “digital battle”; “Obsessed” and “Freaky!”. The latter was picked as San Marino’s entry for 2020, but the song was short-lived as an active Eurovision entry with the contest being cancelled a mere ten days later.
During the EBU’s production “Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light”, which replaced the contest on European TV last year, Senhit confirmed she would be returning to the contest in 2021, and soon set off on her most ambitious project to date, the #FreakyTripToRotterdam!
Working once again with Luca Tomassini on a number of colourful, bombastic videos, Senhit embarked on an eight month love letter to the Eurovision Song Contest, covering songs as varied as Teo’s “Cheesecake”, Cliff Richard’s “Congratulations” and Koza Mostra’s “Alcohol is Free” in her inimitable style, leading up to the release of her 2021 entry.
And boy, did Senhit make a splash when it came to the release – it was revealed that “Adrenalina” would represent San Marino on 8th March 2021, which saw American rapper Flo Rida feature on the song, causing international attention to be brought to the song and interview requests from media outlets including the BBC. It is still not confirmed if he will be in Rotterdam, but we can hope!
How has Senhit been preparing for Eurovision since selection?
Since the release of “Adrenalina”, Senhit’s hype machine has been in full flow; the track has featured highly in many fan polls, including three weeks in a row at #2 in our Forum Ranking Game and earning over 1,000 points in the previous two.
Following the release of the track, Senhit appeared on the cover of Lifestyle Baltic magazine and visited San Marino as part of a promotional tour for the entry. The final part of Senhit’s #FreakyTripToRotterdam was released on April 5th with a cover of Bilal Hassani’s “Roi”, a day before the Italian singer flew to Poland to meet with their entrant RAFAŁ and then Albania to meet Anxhela Peristeri, and to continue her promotion of the entry.
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Meanwhile, Flo Rida featured in an interview with BBC Newsbeat’s Steve Holden about how he came to be involved with the entry, his hopes of being able to join Senhit on stage in Rotterdam and details of a new album he is working on. Fingers crossed he is able to make it on the #FreakyTripToRotterdam!
San Marino’s Senhit will perform “Adrenalina” in the second semi-final of Eurovision 2021 on May 20th, performing first on the night.
What do #YOU think of San Marino’s entry for 2021? Share your thoughts on this article in the comments below, on our forum HERE and on social media!