Latvian Music News

April

23

Apr

“Kristine Praulina & The Soulful Crew” releases a new single called “Mountains”

The Latvian Soul, r&b band “Kristine Praulina & The Soulful Crew” in collaboration with Riga Gospel choir releases a single called "Mountains" and a video of it’s recording process. It’s the first single of their upcoming album. “Mountains” is now available on all the major music streaming platforms.

In 2018 Kristine Praulina’s dream of her own music came to life as she created the band that is now called “Kristine Praulina & The Soulful Crew”. The band has five members - Toms Mikāls (piano), Jānis Kalniņš (guitar), Valters Sprūdžs (bass), Kaspars Kurdeko (drums) and Kristine Praulina (vocals) and it performs original soul, r&b, singer songwriter, blues influenced music.

“Mountains” is the first single from the  band's upcoming first full-length album. The song tells a story of a search for Light in the time of darkness, the power of faith and the beauty that comes from a heart filled with gratitude. Kristine says: “I wish that this song would be an encouragement in these peculiar and trying times - to stop for a moment and listen to the inner quiet, to hear your own voice and the voice of God. It is this eternal perspective and peace of heart that can give us true and lasting joy in our everyday lives and as the song says - it can “move mountains inside our souls” ”

“Mountains” was written specifically for Riga Gospel choir for Kristīne has been a part of the choir since 2003 and is currently it’s musical director. Riga Gospel choir is where Kristine’s musical journey began. Kristine about her love of gospel music: “I fell in love with gospel music at the age of 12 and it still moves me deeply every time I sing or hear it. We (RGC) have been dreaming of our own music for some years now and this is our first leap in that direction. I couldn’t be more excited about this release for it unites my two main musical passions - soul and gospel music and let’s our work with The Soulful Crew and Riga Gospel choir flourish”.

“Mountains” (music and lyrics, vocal and choir arrangements) was written by Kristine Prauliņa and these are her first steps songwriting in gospel music genre. The instrumental arrangement was created together with the band. The song was recorded in “Mint” studio in Riga, Latvia in January 2020. Studio and mixing engineer - Toms Lisments. Mastered by Tom Woodhead (GBR). Video made and edited by Reinis Janulis.

Kristine Praulina has been on the Latvian jazz music scene since 2013 when she won the International Jazz Vocalist competition “Riga Jazz Stage”. She has been actively working as a soloist in Latvia and abroad with bands like the Latvian Radio Big Band, funk band “Very Cool People”, “Alaska Dreamers” and many more ever since. She has recorded two studio albums with the legendary Latvian Maestro Raimonds Pauls. In 2018 “Kristine Praulina & The Soulful Crew” was born. That same year the band released an EP called “A Warmer October” with four freshly written songs. In 2019 they released a song in Latvian called “Kopā”, along with a video.

Riga Gospel choir is an active perfomer in the Latvian music scene since 2006. The choir has performed all over Latvia and in Norway, Estonia, Great Britain, Germany and other European countries, as well as the USA (Chicago, New York, New Orleans and more). Riga Gospel choir performed with the Grammy winner, gospel super star Donald Lawrence in Riga, Latvia in 2019. They’ve had collaborations with Karen Gibson (creator and musical director of Great Britain’s “Kingdom Choir”) and gospel greats Cynthia Nunn, Malcolm Williams, Walter Owens and Terry Moore for the USA. Riga Gospel choir has won two gold medals in the World Choir games.

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23

Apr

Markus Riva to host a spectacular virtual party – PURE POP DISCO

While real face-to-face parties are off limits, partying online has never seemed like a better idea – Markus Riva invites all party animals to the PURE POP DISCO global party! Join us tomorrow, April 24, LIVE from FANTADROM.

Dance hits, an interactive live chat, unique go-go dancers, tips for choosing the best drinks and snacks for the night, special guests from around the globe, a chance to vote for the best dance, contests, prizes and impressive technological solutions – join, dance, watch, relax!

Everyone will keep a safe distance at the event. The event will be hosted in Latvian, English and Russian.

Tickets to “MARKUS RIVA INVITES – PURE POP DISCO VIRTUAL PARTY” are available at Biļešu Serviss ticket store online – ticket prices start from 5 EUR. Join us LIVE on April 24 at 19:00 here.

PURE POP DISCO live stream is brought to you by  "UNTITLED originals" in cooperation with “Markus Riva Music” and conference hall Fantadroms.

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22

Apr

On April 16, a young musician called TOM SIMO, released his second single “No More”

Toms Samsons or TOM SIMO, comes from Saldus, but he’s currently learning Popular and Jazz Music at Liepāja Music, Art and Design Secondary School.
The track “No More” has been created with White Wide Production (Musicians Jānis Narbuts and Gints Purgalis), as well as Dzintars Vītols, who co-worked with TOM SIMO. They say that it’s a very simple, professional and interesting collaboration.
“We like that he can be musically different, meantime keeping his own style and highlighting his unique voice,” says White Wide Production.
The musician became popular with his first single “Tālumā”. The single has already being played on several radio stations. Although the young musician has just started his musical career, he has already given several concerts and also went on his first mini-tour “NEONS”.
As TOM SIMO reveals himself: “The new compositions tell the story of ideals and choices in life , which often lead to impasses when you have to give up everything.”
The single “No More” from April 16 is available on top streaming services
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9

Apr

Spring Vibes Even During #stayathome – Markus Riva Releases New Single

Spring is finally here even though it took a different turn this year, and singer Markus Riva marks the arrival of the season with new music. From April 9, his new single “Vienmēr” (Always) is available on all streaming platforms, the result of a fresh musical collaboration.

“Spring is my favourite season ­– I always feel a huge rush of energy, which gets my creative juices flowing. This year is no exception; on the contrary, there is more time than ever for creative endeavours. As a result, an uplifting spring song in Latvian was born; I hope it will be a source of positivity in these troubled times,” says Markus.

The song “Vienmēr” was created in collaboration with Roberts Pētersons who is also the author of the song and initiated this partnership. Work in the studio wrapped up before state of emergency in Latvia was declared, and both musicians swiftly found a common language and are very happy with the result.

Roberts Pētersons: “When I was writing this song, I quickly realized that Markus Riva would be a perfect fit for it, and I was extremely pleased he agreed to work with me. Markus knows what a good pop song needs – he brought his own ideas to the recording session and truly made the song his own. I am convinced that listeners will enjoy it, and it will be a great addition to Markus’ repertoire in Latvian.”

Just like his colleagues, Markus is currently looking for new ways to be next to his fans during social distancing ­– with virtual conversations and support for those in self-isolation, online gigs, musical surprises in Latvian and Russian, and special streaming playlists. He continues to work on on-going projects, and it is already clear that the song “Vienmēr” won’t remain the only musical collaboration this year.

A new fashion collection by Markus Riva, inspired by car racing, is out too. It is devoted to Markus’ grandfather whose life went hand in hand with this sport ­– the new arrivals are already available online at luckyonestore.com.

From April 9, the song “Vienmēr” is available on all streaming platforms

Spotify

Apple music

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March

20

Mar

Latvian breakthrough artist Chris Noah releases EP “Distance” under Made In Baltics (Sony Music) record label

25-year-old Latvian artist Chris Noah, who gracefully combines indie-rock with catchy pop, released a new EP “Distance”. His silky timbre, gripping melodies and relatable lyrics have made him highly popular in his homeland, but now he is ready to conquer the world.

Chris has been surrounded by music from an early age - his father is a musician and mother a singing tutor. One could say his future was set in stone before he could even walk. But when Noah was younger he didn’t care much for music, and focused more on sports. At the age of 17 he re-discovered the guitar.

By the time he was 20, Chris and his brother had recorded his first single “Had It All”, which became an instant hit on the Latvian radios. A year later, his second single “You” won an award from Latvian Authors Society for one of the most played tracks of 2016.

Today, Chris Noah released his new EP “Distance”. It contains four tracks, produced in collaboration with London-based producer Kristofer Harris. According to Chris this album is special: “For the first time, not all the songs are about my own life, I have observed more - my friends and other people surrounding me”, he explains.

“When we had the basic production done for the tracks, Kristofer flew to Riga and we started to record and finalize the songs. I was writing lyrics as we were producing the tracks, and it was the most challenging thing I've done in my career so far. We recorded four tracks in 11 days, and I am also really glad that all my bandmates have played on this EP,” Noah adds.

The first single off the new EP, "The Line", was released on January 17th and got an  impressive radio airplay in Latvia. The song was written together with Noah’s keyboardist Marcis Jukumsons-Jukumnieks, whose partnership Chris greatly appreciates: “Marcis has a completely different approach to creating harmonies than I do. It's a very creative process when his harmonies meet mine.”

LISTEN to "Distance" EP here

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9

Mar

Very Cool People are presenting their 7th album in Vilnius, Lithuania

On the 21st of March, jazz-funk band "Very Cool People” together with MC's Edavardi, Ansis and the Latvian soul music diva Kristine Prauliņa are releasing a new album - “Koncertprogramma Pa Apli”.

In Tamsta VCP will perform music from their new album, as well as tracks from their previously released albums “Caution! Contains Words”(2019) & “Heya Some Kind Of Fish!…”(2017). In October 2019, the last time Very Cool People played in Tamsta, the club was packed &  there were 9 musicians on stage at once, but this time there will be 13 musicians on Tamsta’s stage: Edavārdi - MC, vocal;  Ansis - MC, vocal;  Kristīne Prauliņa - vocal;  Elvijs Grafcovs - guitar;  Māris Jēkabsons - tenor sax;  Kristaps Lubovs - bariton sax;  Laura Rozenberga - trombone;  Oskars Ozoliņš - Trumpet;  Māris Vitkus - keyboards;  Andris Kauliņš - keyboards;  Jānis Olekšs - bass; Andris Buiķis - drums & special guest MC - Jama (Lithuania).

“As we are the two last nations from the Baltic Language group we should start to understand each other better & I believe it can be best achieved through music. In this concert you will hear Latvian, Lithuanian, English & most likely some Spanish coming from the stage & the most important unification tool – music! Currently, hip hop in national languages is on its way to conquer Europe. Good examples include the Ukrainian hip hop queen Alyona Alyon and the all-female Icelandic band Reykjavíkurdætur.”, says Elvijs about the upcoming concert.

With a solid backbone in jazz, funk and soul, incorporating influences from surf, klezmer, rock and hip-hop, Very Cool People have been putting jazz & funk back on the dancefloor since 2007. Hailing from Riga, Latvia, the band has lit up clubs and festivals from Estonia to Romania, from Spain to South Korea. Always open to new experiments, Very Cool People have collaborated with plenty of guest artists from a bunch of countries. Even if they are a live band more than anything else, they have six studio albums behind their belt, well-received critically and nominated for awards as well. 

The band will present the album in Riga on the 28th of March with a grand concert in Riga’s new hottest concert hall “Hanzas Perons”. A special guest from Lithuania - MC Jama – will join VCP in Riga, so the Latvian audience will get a chance to hear hip-hop in Lithuanian as well. A performance by the scratch master DJ Aspirins will be VCP’s opening act in Riga.

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February

5

Feb

Apply for the songwriting camp RIGaLIVE #6

Apply for the songwriting camp RIGaLIVE #6, which will take place during April 7th – 9th in Riga, Latvia.

Songwriters, lyricists, producers, musicians, and bands are welcome to join songwriting camp and masterclass RIGaLIVE #6 that will be happening from 7th to 9th of April in Riga.

During this songwriting camp and masterclass there will be formed up to 10 groups, each of them includes - a producer, a songwriter, and a singer - to collaborate in a collective song writing process.

Each day the artists will have eight hours to create a demo version of a new song that will be evaluated by a professional jury, consisting of international and Latvian music industry professionals. The aim of the camp is to create songs that might be potential hits. 

Schedule of the camp:

07/04 - introductions of the participants, masterclass, songwriting session;

08/04 - songwriting session, demo listening, and evaluation session;

09/04 - songwriting session, demo listening, and evaluation session.

APPLY HERE!!!

Applications must be filed before 11.02.2020, the participants of the camp will be announced by the middle of February.

Participation fee for the selected applicants: 75 EUR.

FB page

Instagram/ rigalive_songwriting

Supported by LaIPA and Ministry of Culture.

Watch a video recap of the RIGaLIVE#5 session!

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5

Feb

Reeperbahn Festival International call for delegates to Asia and North America

Starting now, the calls for delegates for Reeperbahn Festival International @ Beijing (WISE, 24 - 26 April) and Reeperbahn Festival International @ Nashville (Music Biz, 11 - 14 May) are open for applications til 14th of February. 

Be part of the 2020 editions and benefit from exclusive extra activities during the conference days including networking receptions, curated 1:1 matchmaking sessions with top music industry decision-makers, panels, showcases and keynotes and insightful visiting tours to important local music companies.
The Reeperbahn Festival International activities are supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, including a travel subsidy for flights and accommodation of €800 for Peking and €600 for Nashville for music industry representatives from European small and medium-sized businesses.
In coordination with our partners in China we currently assume that Reeperbahn Festival International @ Beijing can take place as planned at the end of April.
If this estimation changes, all applicants will be informed.
Applications are open for Beijing as well as Nashville til 14th of February.
Further informations and application form: https://international.reeperbahnfestival.com/en/index
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January

21

Jan

Still Unbreakable – Markus Riva Unveils Music Video for Single “Impossible”

Musician Markus Riva has just released the music video for his much-discussed single “Impossible”. It is his first music video shot on 35mm film, and marks the 30th video in his career.

The song “Impossible” was created in collaboration with singer Aminata. It is a story about determination, conviction, self-belief and an endless fight with the circumstances standing in our way – including our own fears and doubts.

 “Markus himself is the focal point of the video, and various images and symbols represent his inner world, thoughts and feelings, and the message of the song,” says Pavel Trebuhin who the directed the video. “To create the right mood, we chose to shoot the video on a 35mm film. The whole filming process becomes much more difficult, but the video obtains a particular quality and vibe not often found in the modern world.”

The music video was shot in E. Fon Trompowsky Quarter the day before Christmas. Almost 20 people took part in the filming process that lasted up to 3 AM. Markus notes wittily that he had to remind himself repeatedly that he is indeed unbreakable as it was very cold indeed in the deserted factories, but he is very happy with the result.

It is no secret that the song “Impossible” was one of this year’s “Supernova” competition entries, and Markus had hoped to fight for a chance to represent Latvia in the Eurovision song competition, set to take place on May 12 in Rotterdam. Although the events played out differently, Markus is pleased with his achievement and hopes to inspire his fans with this song.

“This song says very much about the events currently unfolding in the world and in my own life as well. Read the lines and read between the lines! Do good things in life, and do what you love! And be brave,” says Markus.

Markus Riva is currently working on material for a new album and continues performing in Latvia and CIS countries. Moreover, in collaboration with the movement #Neklusē, he will be visiting several schools in Latvia to talk about mobbing among teens and to promote its eradication.

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21

Jan

“Supernova 2020” finalist Edgars Kreilis releases a video for “Tridymite”

At the end of last week, nine finalists of the Supernova songwriter and singer competition, including Edgars Kreilis with the song "Tridymite", were announced. Now a video too has been made for the composition. Edgars offers it for a wider audience rating.

“Tridymite” has been co-authored by bass guitarist of Latvian band “Brainstorm” and composer Ingars Viļums, who wrote a message to Edgars offering to collaborate on this year's Supernova competition. In the process of dynamic work, a song came to be known as the Tridymite, causing a widespread debate about what does it actually mean.

The name came up in the songwriting process, while Edgars and Ingars exchanged different ideas. Tridymite is a polycrystalline that is found in small quantities on our planet Earth. But it was a big surprise when a large group of American scientists from NASA discovered it on planet Mars. This mystery is still unresolved. In the song, this multifaceted crystal symbolizes the unknown and utterly unexplained formula of love that exists in the universe. Who can surpass energy when eyes meet for a moment and the "inexplicable" happens? The world around us glows and at that moment everything seems possible - as if there were no limits to time or space.

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