THE WINNER IS...: Last year’s winner, Musiqq, hopes one of their two songs will triumph on Jan. 22
RIGA - Latvia’s popular music celebrities gather in Ventspils for the naming of the most beloved song of 2010, on Jan. 22. The lights will be dimmed, and people around the country will hold their breath – the announcement of the evening just seconds away. The winner is revealed, and history is made. So what links up the songs “Ripoja Akmens,” “Sirds Sadeg Neparasti” and “Abrakadabra?” They can all be named as true champions of SEB Muzikala Bank. On Jan. 22 the journey begins again at the Olympic Center in Ventspils.
It was the summer of 2000 when public radio of Latvia opened the door for a new project – Musical Bank (Muzikala Bank). The idea shouted out a loud task – to create a public song survey that’s based on listeners’ liking, rather than on the commercial impact of record labels. Apparently it worked out. Since then, Muzikala Bank has rapidly grown in power, becoming one of the major forces in today’s popular music.
In 2011, while announcing the favorite song of 2010, Muzikala Bank also prepares for its 10th anniversary. And they really have something to cheer about. There have been more than one million votes received since the very start. SEB Muzikala Bank is one of the top programs on the radio. And it is greatly respected amongst listeners, reviewers and musicians. However, the gala is something more like a concert than a stiff race for the prize; still, all the biggest stars of Latvia’s musical scene hope to be the frontrunners for the public’s love.
Who are the main rivals for this year’s musical contest? Top hits of Latvian popular music! The answer may sound very general, but it truly reflects the significance of Muzikala Banka as a mirror of the taste of Latvia’s public. Aisha, Labveligais Tips, Janis Stibelis, Lauris Reiniks, Musiqq and Brainstorm are some of the names that will be glad to take this year’s trophy home. They all have managed to remind us about their quality, to hold on to their fan base and even increase their success. The hosts of the ceremony can be satisfied: betting on the winning song for 2010, before the actual announcement, is tougher than ever!
Every competition has to face changes, though, and Muzikala Bank has done this fast enough to make the event more pleasant for the audience. In 2008, the final voting was split into two categories – the listeners and the jury. Both categories hold 50 percent of the final decision. The jury consists of music professionals from serious and popular music, music critics and school. Through the years the expert panel has seen opera artists such as Inese Galante, Janis Apeinis and Kristine Opolais and singers Ieva Akuratere, Mirdza Zivere and Viktors Lapcenoks on its list. The jury is not just half of a voting mechanism – the experts participate in the musical performance as guest artists, with special dedication to the audience.
So does this sound special? Yes, because, regardless of the competitive outcome, this event shows the musical talent in the state. Why? It takes down all musical boundaries! SEB Muzikala Bank by definition is designed for Latvian pop and rock music, but the award ceremony tries to break this tradition, mixing up serious and popular music together. Last year’s experimental tryout with choir Kamer seems to have been approved, and on Jan. 22 we’ll see another interpretation of popular music in the hands of a symphonic orchestra and the conductor Normunds Sne. So, in the end, this event gains a completely different added value.
It’s all about the music. And the fulfillment that comes with it. SEB Muzikala Bank is an experience that you can have once a year, just by becoming a part of it as a member of the public. The gala event will also be broadcast live on radio and television!
The tickets are available on www.bilesuserviss.lv and all box-offices of Bilesu Serviss.