World Song Festival

Monday, January 08, 2007

I recently took part in World Song Festival, an online competition much like Eurovision. Songs are sent from countries around the world, we listen, we judge and a winner is chosen. I liked the idea so much that I decided to help the organiser, Trond from Norway, by designing a website for the competition.

NajouaThe overall winner was the very, very excellent electro-pop song Gabriel by French singer Najoua Belyzel. The song was a hit in France, going to number 3 in the charts. The French charts are quite dull, so that's an ace achievement. In 2006, Najoua released her debut album Entre deux mondes, which debuted at 7 on the French charts, and apparently will be promoting herself across Europe in 2007. Ace.

Gabriel is a fantastic electro-ish number with vaguely ethereal, moaning vocals and a grinding chorus which sounds great with its French vocals. The highpoint is the ace apres-chorus electrofied break-down.

Najoua Belyzel Gabriel mp3 // Najoua Belyzel official site // Gabriel on video Killed The Radio Star

There were some other ace songs in the festival, here are some of my favourites.

NanneIt would be so wrong if I didn't pick the Swede. Nanne Grönvall, the ace rocky schlager star is just great. Having re-invented her look and image more times than I've had haircuts, her latest look says 'big hair, small lady'. That small lady totters around on high, high heels, wears skimpy floaty dresses, and kicks and struts with aplomb. She was ROBBED of Melodifestivalen in 2005 with Håll Om Mig, a performance made super-ace by having wind machines ON STAGE. Amazing. She'll be in Melodifestivalen this year with the hopefully bombastic + poptastic Jag måste kyssa dig (I Must Kiss You).

Coming 12th in WSF, Om du var min starts with the stock schlager slow-start, kicks in a beat, and builds to a pumping chorus. Nanne likes a guitar sound, Nanne likes to rock out in a twirling style.

Nanne Grönvall - Om du var Min mp3 // Nanne Grönvall official site // Hall Om Mig

NamiFrom Japan, Nami Tamaki's Reason is J-Pop brilliance. There's a wall of immense sound, parts pop, parts electro and part supercute Japanese style. The song builds with booms and explosions to its chorus which is an even bigger sound that can barely contain itself for the breakdown. And you just know that the slow parts are just breathers, waiting to give way to even more top pop explosions. As with so many J-Pop stars, Nami Tamaki has released many albums and singles in Japan. This one reached 2nd on the Oricon Charts. It came 6th in WSF.

Nami Tamaki - Reason mp3 // official site // Buy Greeting album
Reason on YouTube

NamiElefante are a Mexican band who perform fairly standard Latin rock. I liked their song Mentirosa, simply because it was great Latin pop. It does exactly what you want - has a great catchy chorus, lovely Spanish sounding guitars and harmonies. Elefante seem to be fairly successful in Mexico, with a number of albums and a greatest hits to their name. In WSF, they finished in 36th position.

Elefante - Mentirosa mp3 // official site // Buy Greatest Hits album // Asi es la vida on YouTube

NamiJorge Rojas' Busca en tu corazon is 100% pure cheesy, and I can't help but love it. Jorge is Argentinian, and released his debut album there in 2005, from which this song comes. Busca en tu corazon is a deeply heartfelt up-tempo ballad with panpipes, latin guitars and so much pleading with a rousing chorus. It's a real lighters-in-the-air, swaying from side-to-side song and has wonderfully implausible lyrics like "look in your heart if you want to find the road to follow to discover the truth". Fantastic. It was 20th in WSF.

Jorge Rojas - Busca en tu corazon mp3 // official site // Buy La Vida album

NamiFinally, Dilnaz Akhmadieva is a popstar from Kazakhstan. I always knew there'd be more to Kazakhstan than Borat! Dilnaz sings in the Uyghur language, and has been singing for years, even though she's only about 20. This song, Zolotoy, Zolotoy which could mean Golden, golden is ace. It's got a eastern, ethno-tribal sound mixed with some electro strains and beats. If Kazakhstan ever want to be in Eurovision, sign her up now. The mp3 isn't brilliant quality here, which might explain its finish in 23rd in WSF, but the melody and music make up for this.

Dilnaz Akhmadieva - Zolotoy, zolotoy mp3 //Another song, Bulbul Nawasi on youtube


Jamie said...

I just hope Nanne brings back the big blonde lass who did so well in strutting besides her during 'Håll Om Mig'. That girl deserves an MF entry of her own! Every year we get ex MF chorus singers having their turn such as Velvet, Sonya and even Gregor so why not Big Blonde Lass?

Oh and I love the french mp3. Those french charts have always been dire with the odd smattering of genius such as Mylene, Alizee, Niagara, Liane Foly, Patrica Kaas, Les Rita Mitsouki and Lio.

Bintal said...

You do realize I skipped most of this post just to say I like the website you made...

Adrian said...

Thank you for the compliment!

You should download some of the songs. I think you'd like the French one. It's not all eurovisiony stuff, I promise. :)