Meet Music Latvia



A must-see! “Neon Saturdays” comes back with a new single and a stunning music video

Latvian four-piece Neon Saturdays released their new single titled Get Up on April 20th. This was a long-awaited comeback after two-year silence and took the local music scene as well as social networks by surprise because of the unconventional yet visually stunning music video that was shot during a spontaneous trip across Turkey.

“Each time we do something, we make sure we’ve raised the bar for ourselves. A new perspective, new sound or previously unexplored approach to music-making process – anything that pulls us out of our comfort zone and makes us focus during our creative process,” said the leader of the band Andris Evelis, explaining band’s silence during last couple of years.

New single produced by the Scottish production genius Lewis Gardiner

The band teamed-up with the talented Scottish producer Lewis Gardiner to record and produce the new single.

Gardiner had previously made a name for himself working with Ellie Goulding and the winner of 2016 British X Factor Matt Terry.

Multiple Grammy recipient, sound engineer Randy Merrill (USA) was recruited to put on some finishing touches.

Merrill has previously worked with acts like Imagine Dragons, Lady Gaga, Adele and Katy Perry.

“I think I speak for everyone in our band when I say that our music comes from our childhood and teenage years. We’re driven by emotions and impressions we had back then – both positive and negative. The games we played, the music we listened to… Nowadays we talk about our thoughts and feelings a lot, the four of us – at times we spend a whole rehearsal just falling deeper into a conversation that should’ve lasted no more than 5 minutes. It was hard for us to grow up and now it is hard for us to commit to the daily life because it eats away at our creativity. I guess this song is about us, desperately searching for that wisdom we all had when we were children. I think we can all agree that childhood – no matter how tough or carefree – is not just a string of trivial and ultimately meaningless events. It shapes our personalities and inspires us to take certain paths in life,” commented Evelis, explaining the meaning of the song.

The band announces it’s second album

To celebrate the comeback, Neon Saturdays played an acoustic gig which was streamed live on Facebook:

There’s also a word that the band is preparing to release a second single this summer. A third release is planned for autumn and not long after that – a second album by the locally acclaimed four-piece should finally surface.

Neon Saturdays was formed in 2012. Since then the band has released its debut album, a number of singles, made it to the TOP10 of the biggest Latvian radio stations and toured the Baltic states as well as UK a couple of times.

In 2015 Neon Saturdays was one of the first Latvian acts to play The Great Escape in UK. In 2016 the band opened for the British rock band James.

Band’s music has also received a well-deserved recognition by Tim Fraser, an internationally well-known songwriter (Tina Turner, Billie Myers), partner of Artists United and a member of BASCA's Songwriters Executive Committee.


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Justs releases debut album “Here I Am”

Singer, songwriter, former Eurovision representative of Latvia releases his debut album “Here I Am”. The artist spent over a year working on new material with producer DJ Makree. The digital release of album already took its place on 20-th of April, but physical copy of the disk will be available on April 26.

“First LP album is a big event for every musician, the first impression matters the most. I’ve been working on this album for over a year now and the process was complicated yet gripping. You learn something new, make mistakes and search for a way to do things better – I had ups and downs during the past year, but I am thrilled to deliver my new songs to the audience around the world,” Justs tells the story behind the making of the album.

Five of eight tracks in the album were produced by one of the most promising young producers of Latvia DJ Makree, who has managed to tastefully imply characteristics of EDM and house into core of the album. Two of the songs were written in “RIGaLIVE” songwriting camp, that took its place during the Autumn of 2017. Artist also added one acoustic track in the while creating the set of his album to tribute the beauty of acoustic performance.

Justs had already released two singles “Are You There” and “Uz Palodzes” (from Latvian “On the Window Sill”), second single was one of top played songs on the biggest Latvian Radio Station for 4 weeks. Both singles were released through Fanvestory project, where every fan will be able become a part of Justs new song by buying a piece of it. Find more about Fanvestory here:

Justs has already started his club tour in Latvia which is going to finalize on 31-st of May in club “ONE ONE”.

Album “Here I Am” available online.

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Baltic band competition “NOVUS” in Vilnius, Lithuania is open for regsitrations

International band competition Music Incubator NOVUS held in Art Factory Loftas, Vilnius, Lithuania is now open for band applications. After a succesfull 2 year run NOVUS music incubator is looking for the best and most interesting bands from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This year’s competition will be commencing in June-July at Art Factory Loftas outside terrace supported by Lithuania’s national radio “LRT Opus”. Apply to the competition here:REGISTRATION

Novus competition for up and coming bands is seeking not only to discover, but also to encourage the most promising music talents. The project is searching for new talents, provides the opportunity to perform on a professional setting at Art Factory Loftas, to be heard by new audiences and music industry professionals.

Competition prizes for the bands-winners include a professional song recording and music video production provided by “Muzikinis Cechas” studio, an opportunity to play at a yearly “Loftas Fest” festival 2018, a live video production by “Square” studio, special prizes from “Converse” company, other performance opportunities and much more.

Last year top three places were taken by all three Baltic countries: Lithuanians “Timid Kooky” – first place, Estonians “VonKuusk” – second place, and Latvians “Ezeri” – third place. “It is quite simbolic that top tree places were taken by the representatives from each Baltic country. We are happy that NOVUS became an international platform for bands to be heard and that this competition is getting more and more interesting for our neighbours. Last year competitors from Latvia and Estonia were very strong, charismatic and musical. It was a great inspiration and push to Lithuanian bands to get to know their neigbours and to learn something new from each other. We hope that this year competition will be even stronger.” – said the owner of Art Factory Loftas Victor Diavara.

Third year in a row NOVUS competition will be hosted by “Ba.” band leader Benas Aleksandravičius.

Registration to the competition is open until the 20th of

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Song from the first session of the songwriting workshop “RIGaLIVE” – “(My Heart Beats) Staccato”

The song “(My Heart Beats) Staccato”, which was co-written by Kaspars Ansons, Kristīne Prauliņa and Valters Sprūdžs, is one of the songs which were created during the fall session of the songwriting workshop “RIGaLIVE”. The song is performed by Lithuanian singer Jurga and it was produced by Kaspars Ansons.

Jurga herself has this to say about the song: “It’s always a great opportunity to record a song, which was written by someone other than me, especially in this case, because it is so catchy. I hadn’t done that for quite a while, but I was waiting for such a challenge, and it came to me in the form of  Staccato. I really like the chorus – even if someone doesn’t know what do the terms stacatto or legato mean, it still is really easy to understand, because it reminds of the feeling when you’re in love.”

This song, performed in Lithuanian, will be made publicly available in Lithuania in May. The lyrics were composed by Jurga.

The first session of the “RIGaLIVE” songwriting workshop, which took place in September 2017, was highly praised by both local and international participants and experts. During the process, 16  demo versions of the songs were created in 2 days and they were recognized by local and international music experts to be potential radio hits of a high quality. There were 30 participants for the first “RIGaLIVE” session – artists such as Dons, Justs, Aminata, Kaspars Ansons, Kristīne Prauliņa, Arnis Račinskis, Jānis Aišpurs, Markus Riva, as well as participants from Estonia, Lithuania and Scotland.

The second session of “RIGaLIVE” ended on 11th of April, with 27 participants from Latvia, Lithuania and England. During this session, 16 new songs were created, a few of which will soon be released publicly.

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The team of the songwriting workshop RIGaLIVE would like to thank all of the participants, as well as our sponsors for having faith in us and for the invaluable support you have given us in the process of organizing this event!

The team of the songwriting workshop RIGaLIVE would like to thank all of the participants, as well as our sponsors for having faith in us and for the invaluable support you have given us in the process of organizing this event!

With the support of the Latvian Performers’ and Producers’ Association (LaIPA), as well as the Ministry of Culture, for the second time an even was organized with the aim to encourage the cooperation, raise the level of professionalism and to exchange experiences between the members of the music industry – a songwriting workshop called RIGaLIVE.

Water for the participants was supplied by “Amrita”, “Rocket Bean Roastery” provided their cosy space for the listening sessions, as well as quenched the participants’ thirst for coffee, and “Riga Black Balsam” and “Red Bull”, as well as “Lāčplēsis alus” provided all that was necessary for a great after party.

The musicians worked in 8 studios that were set up with the help of “Mājlietu sala”, “Puķu Elvis” and “ER Grīdas”. All the technical equipment was provided by the store “Tava skaņa”. Musicians also used various pieces of equipment, which were provided by Latvian companies, such as “Sonarworks”, “Gamechanger Audio”, “JZ Microphones” and “Erica Synths”. A huge thank you goes out to Goran Gora, Anna Zankovska and Didzis Bardo for providing us with their studios, as well as thanks to “Ibis Hotel” for hosting our international guests.

As one of the supporters for this event, Red Bull offered a fully accommodated trip to Open’er Festival in Poland for the team with the best song in the workshop. The participants themselves will determine the winners.

The audio company “Sonarworks” recognized FEMME as the best producer in this session of the RIGaLIVE, and she was presented with a pair of individually calibrated pair of Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

The talented participants of RIGaLIVE were rewarded for their productive work with the products of the perfumery and cosmetics manufacturer “Dzintars”.

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The 2nd Session of the songwriting workshop RIGaLIVE begins this week

For the second time by the initiative of “Latvian Music Development Association/Latvian Music Export Office” and with the support of LaIPA(Latvian Performers' and Producers' Association) an event is being organized for the members of the music industry with the aim to encourage cooperation, exchange experiences and increase their level of professionalism - a songwriting workshop called RIGaLIVE.

The first RIGaLIVE session, which took place in September of last year, which was praised highly by both local and international participants and music experts. In two days time, 16 songs were recorded, which were recognized as high quality potential radio hits. The 2nd session of RIGaLIVE is taking place this week, starting from Monday, and ending on Wednesday. Each day, a work group, which will consist of a performer, songwriter and a producer, will work for 8 hours straight in order to create new songs, which will be presented to experts of the music industry, and other teams, in the evening.

There were over a 100 submissions, and 24 participants were selected for this workshop - musicians such as Jānis Aišpurs, Aija Andrejeva, Ansis, Arnis Račinskis and Markus Riva.

As one of the cooperation partners of RIGaLIVE, Red Bull will offer a prize for the best team: a fully paid and accommodated trip to Open'er Festival this summer in Poland, as well as the audio software company Sonarworks will offer a pair of fully calibrated Sennheiser HD650's as a prize for the best producer in the workshop.



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New single “Love Is the Answer” by Carnival Youth

Latvian indie rock band Carnival Youth have released a brand-new single called “Love Is the Answer” on 16th of March. Next week the ensemble will embark on a European tour.

“Phrase “love is the answer” came from subconsciousness while thinking vocal melodies in gibberish, mumbling. It seemed funny at first, but after a while we saw a challenge to justify it and after all - it is true. It was a joy of discovery, we tried to follow where it was going and experiment a bit, with choir of trumpets, for example,” says Emils Kaupers, member of the band.

“Love Is The Answer” on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer

This single marks the period between their latest release – an album with songs in their native Latvian called “Vienā vilcienā” – and their new, upcoming album, which will take them back to writing songs in English.

On the upcoming European tour Carnival Youth will visit Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Germany, France and England with more than 20 shows. Tickets can be found through their website.

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Song workshop “RIGaLIVE”/session#2.

For the second time by the initiative of “Latvian Music Development Association/Latvian Music Export Office” an event is being organized for the members of the music industry with the aim to encourage cooperation, exchange experiences and increase their level of professionalism - a festival of creative masterclasses and song workshops called “RIGaLIVE”.

Composers, performers and music producers are welcome to apply for the song workshop, which will take place from the 9th until the 11th of April of this year in Riga, Latvia.

We are announcing the beginning of application for the song workshop, where in 3 days time up to 10 work groups will be working on creating new songs. Each group will consist of 3 members - a composer, performer and a producer. Each day the groups will work for 8 hours in order to create a demo version of their songs, which will then be evaluated by a collective of experts, which will consist of representatives of both local and international professionals of the music industry.

Event order of the festival:

            9th of April - introduction of the participants of masterclasses;

            10th of April - songwriting workshop and listening;

            11th of April - songwriting workshop and listening.

The goal of the participants is to create song that could be a hit of the Baltics in 2018 and 2019.

To apply, please fill in the application form and send it to with the description Application to RIGaLIVE until the 19th of March 2018. After evaluating the submissions, the participants of the workshop will be announced by the end of March.

Application form:

Participation fee - 50 .

For members of the “Latvian Music Development Association/Latvian Music Export Office” - 25 .

Partners:LaIPA, Kultūras ministrija, “Mājlietu sala”, “Pica Lulū”, “Red Bull”, "Sonorworks".

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DJ Makree has signed a contract with Sony UK and releases the single "Never Been in Love"

Latvian DJ and music producer Makree in collaboration with the acclaimed British producer Secondcity has released the single "Never Been in Love". This is the first out of three songs to be issued under the record label "Ministry of Sound" and BBC Radio1's Danny Howard's  label "Nothing Else Matters" . Both of these record labels are owned by Sony UK and are the world's leading dance music publishers. The public premieres of “Never Been in Love” took place on March 2 at the BBC Radio 1 during the broadcast of the legendary dance music reviewer Annie Mac, but before its official release it was played already on the sets of such world-class DJs as Grammy-nominated Disclosure, Claptone, Danny Howard and Oliver Helden.

““Ministry of Sound” undeniably is the world's largest dance music record label that works with various Grammy-nominated artists – being part of this giant dance music organizations is an indescribable feeling, especially since my music is played by DJs and music producers who’s music I've followed for years, "says Makree. "Cooperation with the Ministry of Sound at the moment is the most significant achievement of my career, but I consider it only as the beginning – with my work I want to bring Latvian dance music to a new level".

Makree is a 22 year old electronic dance music DJ and producer, in Latvia he has worked with such artists as Dons, Dvīnes, Justs, Aminata and Pyor. Makree's international debut was in 2014, when in collaboration with Swedish record label “Metron Music” the song “Clouds” was released. The song "Never Been in Love"  was created in collaboration with the British DJ Secondcity whose single "I Wanna Feel" in May 2014 ranked  as nr. 1 in the UK singles chart and also had the first place in the American Billboard Dance Music Top.

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Markus Riva released music video for song "This Time"

Latvian musician and host of TV show X-Factor - Markus Riva just released new music video for his composition "This Time". Markus is also participating with this song at SUPERNOVA 2018 which is a National Selection for Eurovision Song Contest.
“This Time” was released in December, 2017 - a song that was written by 4 authors  - Markus Riva, Kaspars Ansons (produced music for Aminata, Aija Andrejeva and many more), Edgars Krastins and USA based musician - Quincy Lorel Thompson. 
Music video was made in Latvia - Markus plays a bachelor who is getting married. Music video is very emotional and dramatic, it reflects the meaning of the song and relationships that gone wrong. The main actress in music video is Ramona Lazda - fashion designer from Latvia who also takes care of Markus style. The main location in video is Rundales Palace - one of the most famous historical monuments in Latvia and Europe.
Music video was directed by Latvian director Pavel Trebukhin who previously also filmed other Riva’s music videos like “Laika Upe” and “Ne Zovi”. Song is available on Spotify, iTunes etc.
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