ESC+Plus has talked to Ivo Linna, Estonian 1996’s representative and semifinalist of this year’s national selection for Eurovision. Ivo will perform “Suur Loterii” in the Eesti Laul’s first semi-final set to take place on February 11th.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Estonian national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Ivo Linna: I would definitely emphasise the 5th place in Eurovision 1996 song competition. It was also a great joy to sing patriotic songs during the „Singing Revolution”, a crucial time in the history of Estonia. I also consider the 4th Class Order of the White Star awarded to me by President Lennart Meri of the Republic of Estonia very important to me.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “Eesti Laul 2017”?
Ivo Linna: It was the song, “Big Lottery”. I can take my chance with the big stage and this is a good feeling.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
Ivo Linna: I hoped to get there because I had this inner feeling that the song could appeal to some judges as it has such a lovely melody. And so it did. =).
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Estonia again?
Ivo Linna: It would be amazing to be at the Eurovision again. Today it seems more like an event for youngsters, but if I were to get that far, it would be very nice. And a good place there would be another big thing to the Estonian Republic.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Ivo Linna: It is a very poetic summary of my life story.
ESC+Plus: How do you remember your participation in Eurovision 1996?
Ivo Linna: I remember it very well. Being chosen with Maarja-Liis was a little miracle. We were anxiously waiting if the song makes the cut or not. It was a very exciting time for us. The Eurovision carousel was not as crazy as it is now but it was extremely exciting. All songs and musical arrangements were performed live and it was awesome. There was no crazy lighting or sound and our 5th place was a straightforward victory. For the Estonian Republic it was the icing of the cake and the Eurovision carousel was supermegacool.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Ivo Linna: Its strength lies in its mood, and it is a well composed piece. There is nothing extra. The melody will stick and stay in your head. It is a good song. It has a really good melody and in my opinion there are not enough songs with good melodies in today’s pop music.
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for Eesti Laul 2017?
Ivo Linna: Yes, I have. And everyone will see the outcome on 11th February in the first semifinal of Eesti Laul 2017.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Ivo Linna: I have been following it since the early 1970s thanks to Finnish TV because it was not covered in the Soviet Union at the time. I was very much impressed by Power To All My Friends performed by Cliff Richard. It was a well-made song and characteristic of its age. I was sure it would win but unfortunately it didn’t.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Ivo Linna: With Celine Dion it would be a pleasure to sing along and of course also with ABBA!
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?