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Evi Protektor and Yuri Koshkin are from the band Dandelion Wine and have two entries in Dziesma 2013 both performed by Pienenu Vins: “The One” and “Better Than You.” We are lucky to have Evi and Yuri tell us a bit about their experience with preparing for Dziesma 2013.

ESC UNITED: First off, congratulations of your success in Dziesma 2013. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a songwriter.
Evi: Hey! Thanks! Well, it was a calling, if you can say that. I started writing songs when I was 16 years old, but until I was 20 or a bit older I had no thoughts of becoming a song writer, it came naturally with the band.
Yuri: Well, I always loved music, always wanted to compose, so I guess it’s just easier when you love what you do and have an opportunity to do so.

ESC UNITED: How would describe your songs?
Yuri: They both are really powerful and massive and very different, I hope you’ll like them.
Evi: Well, the song “Better that you” is full of active energy, you can’t stand still while listening, your feet just tap and tap and tap, saxophone is so powerful, gives a fresh vibe to the sound of whole song. “The one” is a perfect soundtrack for some hero movie, I just see Batman saving some beautiful lady from a burglar in the moonlight. Although it is very different from other songs that we have, it is absolutely my thing, always wanted to sing a song and spread my arms wide, as if I am flying.

ESC UNITED: What led you to deciding to submitting songs to Dziesma 2013?
Evi: Well, events like that are very helpful – you get a whole bunch of different experiences, for us, for example, it was an adventure to plan the light for the performance, videos for background, we did our costumes by ourselves (with some help of professionals but still, the creative part included us directly. Plus, it’s a TV held event, the feeling when you know that your performance is seen by the whole country is precious, it’s an amazing ad and helps you in popularizing your music.

ESC UNITED: So where were you when you found out that both songs made it? What was the first thing you did?
Evi: Actually we were first musicians that found out – we went to a press conference where the songs competitors were announced. I remember the quote after we found out that “Better than you” got in: “I see that Pieneņu Vins is smiling, well, you can smile again, because ‘The One’is also there!” The feeling was amazing.
Yuri: We were the only artists that came to listen who got into the semifinals at Dziesma 2013 press conference, and we were just kissing and hugging as soon as we found it out!

ESC UNITED: Now that we are a few days away from Dziesma 2013, how are you feeling? How are you and your team preparing for your Semi-Final?
Evi: We are feeling just great. Few things left to do, we are extremely excited!
Yuri: There is a huge work we did, only 2 rehearsals left, but everything is almost ready!

ESC UNITED: What do you believe is the key to winning a song contest like Dziesma or Eurovision?
Evi: You can never know. I believe that it is not only the song that wins, but the show in whole. It is very important to think about how you are dressed, how you move, how you breathe.
Yuri: Can’t say yet, never been there! I hope I’ll tell you that in our next interview!

ESC UNITED:Do you have any favorite Eurovision songs?|
Evi: I do have some. I think “When you’re with me” is beautiful, “Sad trumpet” also, these two songs are very different from what usually is sent to represent the country, not only Latvia, but for big competitions like that.
Yuri: If we’re speaking about international Eurovision through all the years, I was impressed by Sertab Erener from Turkey and her song “Every Way that I Can” in 2003. The show was awesome!

ESC UNITED:What advice would you give to anyone interested in songwriting?
Evi: Do your writing honestly, if you do the text part – check the dictionary from time to time, never let yourself do a bad job – grammar mistakes are awful, and remember to put a piece of your own experience into a song, to that it would be sincere.
Yuri: Just do it and first of all do it for yourself, not for somebody else to like it. When you sincerely love what you did, others can feel it!

ESC UNITED: Any closing thoughts you would you like to share with your fans?
Evi: Good Luck to everyone, to competitors – break a leg, to listeners – enjoy the performance!
Yuri: Thanks for being interested in us, it’s a pleasure to share our music with you. We’ll keep writing, no doubt about it. Love you all!

ESC UNITED: Thank you so much for your time, and best of luck this weekend at Dziesma 2013.


Catch Dandelion Wine’s songs at Dziesma 2013! “Better Than You” will be performed on February 8, 2013. “The One” will be performed by on February 9, 2013.

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One Comment

  1. Roy van der Merwe

    February 7, 2013 at 05:26

    This is all so much – Zack you have done an excellent job to get so many composers to agree to our interviews. We have put LATVIA on the map. I never for one moment thought we would get more than 2 or 3 interviews.

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