Latvia’s Eurovision 2020 Entry

Well, it’s about time!

Samanta Tīna has been trying to go to the Eurovision Song Contest since 2012. She has competed in six Latvian national finals and also threw her hat into the ring for Lithuania a couple of times, too. She composed the music to “Still Breathing,” while Latvian Eurovision legend Aminata wrote the lyrics.

“Still Breathing” is intense and off-kilter. It has staccato beats and strident synthesized melodies that give us a sense of unease. Samanta’s vocal is defiant, demanding listeners to embrace her while making it clear that she doesn’t care if you do. She has found her peace and in that peace, she can be bold.

It is a diva turn cut from a different cloth than, say, last year’s jury winner “Proud.” The songwriting team for “Proud” gave Tamara Todevska a simple, spacious ballad that she could use to build her vocal. Her interpretation of the song made it powerful.

“Still Breathing,” on the other hand, is a song that requires a diva to sing it. It is a song composed for the singer and structured to be performed as written. Samanta embodies the song so much that it’s kind of amazing that Aminata was the one wrote the lyrics. It is very much Samanta’s story.

Our one worry is that there is a fine line between a bravura performance and a hammy one. Samanta danced along that line in Supernova, especially during her rap. So long as she focuses her energy and her performance, then we can make an early prediction for our Biggest Diva Performance award in May.