Versão em português aqui
1) Some fans don’t know it, but you tried to represent Latvia in 2009, together with Sabīne Berezina and PeR. Who was Markus back then? What were your ambitions and dreams? Did you make them come true?
A: Thanks for remembering that fact. I did. I actually submitted my songs already since 2006. or 2007. 2 times I was participating as a songwriter (for Sabine Berezina and Lily), and then with “Lights on” was my first solo attempt. And then we met with Supernova and this have been third time for me in Supernova. At that time and even now I have dreams to achieve and I am still sticking with them. And one of them of course, is Eurovision.
2) Latvia started taking Eurovision even more serious when they decided to go with Supernova. Do you think this new format made more artists feel interested in taking part of it? What do you like about this new format?
A: It just had to be re-branded. And I think it is more interesting now. And it is very good to perform your new song several times live. But of course, it has more pressure than with old concept.
3) What can you tell us about “Dynamite”? What makes it different from your other entries?
A: It is still very autobiographical. Like most of my songs. Last year was not easy one for me. I really felt that my emotions are taking over me and my heart is going to explode. So I had this idea about dynamite. Life is not easy and never was, but once you get older you become more realistic and see everything much closer. This song is about my heart, about choices we have to make in our life. And of course about love.
4) Last year, judges were hard with you. How did you deal with this? What did you do to improve and to make them change their mind this year?
A: I think it is always hard with them. And it is not easy to be criticised on National TV. And I think they sometimes do that because I have more background. But after time I am just smiling about that. I know that they are doing their job. That does not stop me from working on my projects and on myself. I have a big fan base and support that makes me strong and I am doing this for them. And of course, I want to be the best version of myself. I hope we will be more connected with jury and public this time.
5) “Dynamite” went straight to the 1st position of Latvian iTunes and #22 of Russian iTunes. How does it feel to be so well recieved by the audience?
A: I was really overwhelmed and happy, but that is only just a fact. But a good one – ESC is international contest so I think iTunes in Russia is a good start for that. But they are using Spotify data this time, so I still need to get more plays and attention on Spotify. But for the song it is very good. I hope we will feel this connection in Supernova live shows and people are going to support me the same way and even more.
6) Still talking about Russia: you have a career there and we know it’s a huge market. When did you decide to get into it, to start singing in russian too? Do you feel confortable singing in russian?
A: I never thought about that, to be honest. 2 years ago I decided to take part in Russian/Ukrainian TV show and at that time I barely spoke Russian. But It was another challenge in my life that turned everything around. So, for last 2 years I can work in more markets, not only in Latvia. And it is a huge market. And I have improved my Russian in 2 years, but it is still hard to record material in the studio, because that is not easy job to do. But they love my accent.
7) What does Eurovision mean to you? What are your favorite things about the contest and what do you think that could be better?
A: I believe that it is the greatest show on the Planet. And huge platform for musicians to introduce to their artistry. And build new communications, friendships. And the stage is always brilliant. Anyway, it is on my bucket list.
8) What’s the first thing that come to your mind when we say Brazil? What do you know about us?
A: Brazil is my bucket list. I love to travel and that is one of the most important way how to discover yourself. I started to travel when I was a kid. Mostly with a choir and I think that is why I have become so international-thinking. Latvia will always be my home but for me it is easy to adapt in new locations. But Brazil is really my dream. I decided to do Supernova again this year that is why I am not in Brazil at the moment.
9) Send a message to brazilian fans.
A: I wish everyone only the best. And I hope that music and good things in life will unite people more and more. Because sometimes life does feel like a dynamite…
ESCpedia team wishes Markus Riva a great show tonight in Supernova and we hope he takes Brazil off his bucket list, coming to visit us soon!