Denmark, Represent!

Another day, another Eurovision entry! This week, the good people of Denmark delivered their final answer on who will represent them in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan. Meet Soluna Samay, and listen to her winning song, “Should’ve Known Better”:

Aside from the requisite tailed military jacket (Eurovision visuals often tend to totalitarian homage), this is a totally credible pop song. I can easily imagine this getting play on the radio between Colbie Caillat and Kelly Clarkson.

About Samay: She’s 21, the daughter of a German musician, and fluent in four languages, having been born and raised in Guatemala and educated in the U.S. Soluna Samay was virtually a musician at birth; she started learning instruments, singing and writing songs as a very small child, and while still a middle-schooler, she released a single called “I Wish I Was a Seagull.” Did I mention that Soluna’s first name is a mash-up of the Spanish words for “sun” and “moon”? Seriously, you need to watch this:

“I Wish I Was a Seagull” (2003)

Almost makes Rebecca Black look like Mariah friggin’ Carey. Clearly Soluna’s gotten better as she’s grown up. Let that be a lesson to the Rebecca Black haters.

In the years since “Seagull”, Samay’s recorded numerous albums with her father, Gee Gee Kettel. Last fall, she put out a solo album (which is available commercially for download here in the U.S.) called Sing Out Loud. It’s recommended listening for those of us who miss the old Jewel. Actually, I don’t really miss the old Jewel, but her influence is evident in Samay’s music, and I really like Samay. She’s got a similar coffeehouse-folkie twang in her singing (in 2008, she and Kettel put out an album of covers including songs by CCR and The Band), and the same diary entry lyrical style. There have already been three singles released from Sing Out Loud, but the first one is my favorite:

“Two Seconds Ago” (2011)