Latvian Music News




New music video of Katrina Gupalo featuring Michael Douglas

An artist Jānis Romanovskis has created a dynamic music video to the song «No Wine» from the debut album of Katrina Gupalo & the Black Birds «Gentle & Done» — the action takes place in New York, and the video features Michael Douglas.

This is a story about the first encounter with New York, the music and arts mecca where everything is possible. Meeting the famous Hollywood actor Michael Douglas right before midnight at «Grand Central», as well. That is a story about overwhelming feelings, when one meets the big city lights, rhythms and unstoppable nights for the first time.

In the making-of process the artist Jānis Romanovskis has been inspired by «Vinyl», the TV collaboration of Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese. Alternation of quick and slow shots is dizzy and ecstatic. Million faces and impressions bring one into a united mind chaos. Documental fixation of the moment ends up in a musically fulfilled visualised videoframe. «You can press pause for almost every moment of the video to sneak peek into New York sights or some colorful character» — Jānis Romanovskis characterises his work.

«New York is a feeling, that’s an art, that’s an opportunity, that’s a miracle. «No Wine» in New York is a stepping stone for the creative flight: the next stop is mine, no phonogram, no wine, I’ll tell you everything, all dreams in one line.» — tells the author of the song Katrina Gupalo.


 «No Wine» song recording featured Miķelis Vanags on guitar, Gatis Gorkuša on drums, Kristiāns Kosītis on bass, Elvijs Endelis on drums, as well as sound engineers Artūrs Sedriks Sinkevičs and Pauls Dāvis Megi.

The next performance of Katrīna Gupalo is taking place on October 19, in the new culture centre "Siguldas devons"

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Very Cool People is releasing new single & music video “Pa Apli" featuring Mc Edavārdi, Mc ansi & Kristīne Prauliņa

Latvian jazz-funk group "Very Cool People" is released their second single from the upcoming new album, which will be released in February 2019. The song features latvian hip-hop musicians Edavārdi and ansis, as well as soul singer Kristīne Prauliņa.

The second single from the upcoming album is recorded in Latvian language. So far, VCP has released song in latvian just once in 2008, which makes it easy to calculate the regularity of the group's "Latvian" singles - once every ten years.

The first single "We Should Dance” from upcoming new album, was released in the in summer 2019 and was a success in local radio stations. Kristina Prauliņa also was participated in this song. VCP is not at all alien to regular collaborations with other musicians, so more guest artists will be heard in the upcoming album. Including Evilena Protectore, Ralfs Eilands and Maija Sējāne.

Participants in the single "Pa Apli": Elvijs Grafcovs (guitar), Maris Jekabsons (tenor sax), Kristaps Lubovs (baritone sax), Laura Rozenberga (trombone), Oskars Ozolins (trumpet), Maris Vitkus (keyboard), Andris Kaulins (Moog Synthesizer), Valter Sprūdžs (bass) and Andris Buiķis (drums).

Single recorded by Ivars Ozols and Edgars Skraģis, mix and master by Janis Kalve. Video by Valdis Krumins. Photo by Mārcis Baltskars.

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Order of events for the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE!

As previously announced, the 3rd session of the songwriting campus RIGaLIVE will be starting in two weeks. Just like last time, we are offering all interested parties to join in on a selection of lectures, lessons and master classes, regardless of one’s participation in the songwriting campus itself. These lectures are intended to be topical not only for musicians, but for other people related to the music industry.

Order of events for the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE:

October 9th:

o 15:00 – Opening of the 3rd session of RIGaLIVE

o 15:05 – a lecture regarding recordings and the distribution of rights between authors, as well as their registration in collective management organizations from the Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/ Latvian Authors Association

o 15:40 – a songwriting master class from Lisbee Stainton – a renowned songwriter and songwriting teacher from the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM)

October 10th:

o 15:00 – an educational master class from Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt – the Executive Director at International Music Managers Forum (IMMF)


Everything will be taking place in the Great Hall at Latvia Culture College, located at Bruņinieku iela 57. The participation fee for both days - 20 per person, single day - €15 per person.



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Deniss Pashkevich and outstanding Danish jazz musicians present series of concerts

In October “Riga Room” presents series of unique concerts of the leading Baltic saxophonist Denis Pashkevich performing together with outstanding Danish musicians - guitarist Christian Frank, bassist Claus Kaarsgaard and drummer Carsten Landors.

On October 4th, the concert will take place at the Rocket Bean Roastery, at 29/31 Miera Street, Riga, and will be a retrospective of previous years of musicians co-operation. The concert will feature compositions from the jointly released albums "Outlook," "Close" and "Yours Faithfully", which was awarded with the Latvian Music Records annual prize "Golden Microphone 2017" in the category "Best jazz / blues music album".

On October 5th, Denis Pashkevich, Christian Frank, Claus Kaarsgaard and Carsten Landors will perform in the restaurant “32.augusts", at Sēļu street 12, in Marupe, and present the program called “Frank & Pashkevich Quartet” Meets Jazz Classics. That means that audience will have the opportunity to enjoy the world-famous jazz standards in the original interpretations of these musicians.

On October 6th, in the newly opened art space "Freska", the unique event will be presented. Musicians will perform unheard songs from the new upcoming album, which will be recorded this November in studio in Denmark. During the concert solo exhibition of the painter Arnis Jansons "The Happiness Code" will be displayed. Moreover, audience will witness art happening performed by Agija Jansone, who will paint in front of the audience under music impression. At the end of the concert the masterpiece created by Agija with her and musicians autographs will be offered for sale.

Musicians met in 2010 during music seminar in Copenhagen. They decided to collaborate and after several concerts they released their debut album “Outlook”. Two years later came out their second album “Close. In 2016 they formed quintet with world famous pianist Aaron Parks (USA) and released album “Yours Faithfully”, which won Latvian Grammy 2017 as the best Blues & Jazz album. Original compositions by Deniss & Christian are mostly atmospheric ballads full of calm and relaxing sophisticated jazz vibes, saturated with intimacy and hint of melancholy. It is a fusion of Nordic laconicism and a wide range of jazz styles. 

Line-up: Deniss Pashkevich (composer/tenor saxophone), Christian Frank (composer/guitar), Claus Kaarsgaard (double bass), Karsten Landors (drums)

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A summer hymn with an important message: Neon Saturdays release their new single “Phoenix”

One of the hottest new acts from Baltic states Neon Saturdays have returned this autumn with their new single “Phoenix”. The song is loaded with warm summer vibes and will definitely find favor with those who already dread the cold and windy days ahead. And yet there’s so much more to this new tune by the promising Latvian four-piece.

The single was released world-wide on September 25th.  “We had a lot of time to contemplate and discuss issues of human nature, social dynamics and above all – the importance of love, while going through the creative process,” commented the leader of the band Andris Evelis.

“All of this reminded us that our ambitions and actions are primarily guided by our need to be loved – to be safe in the knowledge that the missing piece of the puzzle is not really missing,” said Edvins Rakickis who wrote the lyrics for the song.

A thought-provoking love story

While the song speaks about struggle to find happiness in the modern world, plagued by social polarization, the music video takes us through a day in the lives of two girls who fall in love.

“Playing around the myth of the phoenix seemed appropriate here. Thus, we did a modern take on it in the music video. It was clear from the start that we needed actors who would play a couple to tell this story visually and I insisted that we portray a female couple because I felt that feminine energy had to dominate in this story,” said Rakickis.

“Since we chose to portray a same sex couple it was important for us to concentrate on the romantic aspects of this relationship in the video. I think that one of the central errors of homophobia is the perception that it is mainly sexual desire that drives people forward while in reality love and need to be valued and accepted is the reason all of us do most things in life,” added Martins Rudzitis.

New single produced by UK’s finest

The song was recorded and produced together with Scottish production genius Lewis Gardiner who has been working with the band for some time now.

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

Talented and well-known sound engineer Andy “Hippy” Baldwin from Metropolis studios was recruited to lay on some finishing touches. Baldwin has previously worked with acts like Oasis, Robbie Williams and The Who.

Second full-length album coming soon

The band has also announced that the third single together with their second full-length album titled Freaks In The Ocean will be released in November 9th.

Their previous single “Get Up” was released back in April and found its way to numerous radio stations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK and Baltics.

The band released their debut album in 2012. Since then a number of singles, made it to the TOP10 of the biggest Baltic radio stations after which Neon Saturdays 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.

In July 2018 the band opened for the American singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi) in Latvia, playing for 4000 people.

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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A sip of fresh air in Latvian music: music producer JJ LUSH collaborating with a local star Justs releases his debut single “Head High”.

Janis Jacmenkins a.k.a JJ LUSH is a young Latvian producer who has just released his debut single “Head high” collaborating with well known Latvian musician Justs. Jānis not only produced music, but also wrote lyrics for this song.

“The main idea of the “Head High” is braking the self-imposed limits. Every one of us creates a thousand stories in our heads about what we could do, become and acheive, however the stories never come true as we are always afraid of failure. This song symbolises my own break-out as a producer not only as a piano player or session musician.”

The author of the single and musician Justs have collaborated before, when both of them stepped on the same stage as well as studied in the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music.

Post production of the song (mixing and mastering): Andis Ansons

Recording studio: “Mute”

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Aminata’s new single is released via Hitmaker / The Orchard / Sony Music US

To build her International career further, Aminata now teamed up with a Scandinavian writer/producer team.

‘Don’t Talk About It’ captures the simmering-beneath-the-surface tention of not knowing where you stand in an evoking relationship. This infectious pop-banger was released via Hitmaker / The Orchard / Sony Music US.

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Composers, performers, music producers, as well as music managers are welcome to apply for the song workshop RIGaLIVE!

For the third 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, music producers, as well as music managers are welcome to apply for the song workshop, which will take place from the 9th until the 11th of October 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. Besides the song workshop, there will also be masterclasses intended specifically for music managers.

Event order of the festival:

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

            10th of October - songwriting workshop and listening;

            11th of October - songwriting workshop and listening.

The goal of the participants is to create song that could be a radio hit in the Baltics in 2019. The songs created in RIGaLIVE workshops have received popular acclaim – for instance, “Zemes stunda” by ansis and Kristīne Pāže was ranked number 1 as the most played track in Latvia in all digital platforms, as well as Justs’ song “Falling Down” was included in the Spotify curated playlist “Fresh Finds”.

                        “I'm really impressed with the talent these musicians have. I think that some of these songs have radio potential,”

                        -Mikko Tukianen, Sony Music Finland

“I had participated in songwriting camps in other countries, but it was the first time for me in Latvia. I think that it went even better than abroad,”

-Aminata Savadogo, musician, representative of Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015

“It was an invaluable experience to witness how each “cook” works in the “kitchen”, what “spices” they were using and what tricks they had up their sleeves. If we’re talking about the songwriting process itself – it was an event that truly broadened my horizons.”

-ansis, hip-hop artist, producer, beat maker, participant of the 2nd session of RIGaLIVE


To apply, please fill in the application form until the 21th of September 2018. After evaluating the submissions, the participants of the workshop will be announced by the end of September.


Further information about lectures and other activities will be announced at a later time.

More info: un

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Dj Makree and singer Justs release a new song

Dj Makree and singer Justs release a new song with London based Eton Messy Records.

Music producer and dj Makree has released a new song "Position in Here" featuring vocal from singer and songwriter Justs. The song has been signed by Eton Messy Records.

Radio version of the song has already been featured in Justs debut album “Here I Am”, Eton Messy also released the club and dub mixes of the song. You can also hear Latvian duo Dvines singing back vocals before the second chorus kicks in.

Earlier this year dj Makree signed a record deal with Sony Music UK for releasing 3 singles together with the British DJ Secondcity. Their first release “Never Been in Love” was released in march and since then it has been played out in BBC Radio1 multiple times, the song has reached over a million streams on Spotify and has gained support from big name artists such as Annie Mac,Oliver Heldens, Disclosure, Sam Feldt, Claptone, Danny Howard and others.

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Elizabete Balčus releases new track, IKA, out on August 17, via Wall of Sound

The new track, IKA  is inspired by Greek mythology, the story of Icarus, as  Elizabete  portrays a luminous perspective amongst an experiential electronic backdrop of ideas.  Elizabete is reminiscent in places of  Efterklang, Bjork or Aphex Twin.  Delicate  harmonies intertwine, as sounds merge with moments of pure industrial experimentation. Elizabete  seeks out the world of Icarus as she soars metaphorically reaching for the sun, demonstrating a courageous and experimental soul, as she cautiously searches for new worlds. The video has borne in collaboration with new media artist Zane Zelmene, exploring the intersection between technology and nature.
Elizabete  Balčus creates a musical cosmos, looping flute and voice, clicking electro pop beats, synthesizers and veg plot, taking you to a blissed-out state.  Live performances engage the audience with a psychedelic and theatrical performance, both bewildering and mesmerising demonstrating  Elizabete’s personal drive to create and to dream more.

A Latvian musician and performance artist  Elizabete  Balčus  creates neo-psychedelic dream pop from collaged, genre juxtapositions that are simultaneously melodic and experimental working with a strong visual aesthetic that draws upon modern surrealism, contemporary fashion and geometric imagery. Elizabete  attended The Latvian Academy of Music in order to study classical and jazz flute, plus opera vocal in Rome’s Santa Cecilia Academy. 
Having released her debut album  ‘Conarium’  under the UK label ‘Liminal Noise’, was nominated  for Latvian Music Recording Award  ‘Zelta Mikronfons’  2017 for best alternative / indie pop album of the year and was nominated for the Latvian ‘Mercury Prize’– ‘Austras Balva’, for best album of 2017. Elzabete has been busy of the last year performing at live festivals including: Eurosonic Noorderslag, Tallinn Music Week, WestWay LAB, Scenica Festival, The Great Escape, Reeperbahn Festival
Live Shows

11.08. Ionoteka, St.Petersburg

23.08. Autentika, Riga

30.08. Sebright Arms, London

31.08. Amersham Arms, London

02.08. Moscow Music Week

07.08. Royal Fish festival, Baden

15.08. TOLM festival Tallinn

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