Estonia will be represented by Uku Suviste at Eurovision 2021

The Estonian singer-songwriter, Uku Suviste, has won the Eesti Laul, Estonia’s song competition to determine the country’s representative at the Eurovision song contest, with his song, “The Lucky One”.

Suviste won the contest at its final concert, broadcast live, with a song called “The Lucky One”. The song was written by him and Sharon Vaughn, a renowned Stockholm-based American musician, songwriter and producer, who has previously written hits for legendary artists such as Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers. Suviste was introduced to Vaughn by Philipp Kirkorov, a Bulgarian-Russian pop singer.

Suviste also won the last year’s contest – with a different song, also cowritten by Vaughn – but didn’t have a chance to compete at the Eurovision 2020, since it was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. This year, the contest is due to take place from 18 May, starting with the semi-finals, until 22 May, for the final. The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, following the country’s victory at the 2019 contest with the song “Arcade” by Duncan Laurence.

A long music career

Suviste (38) started his music education at the age of six, in a specialised music class in Tallinn. At the same time, he honed his skills in the Tallinn Boys Choir. At the Tallinn Music School, he learned to play the piano.

After high school, he took a short break from music studies and was admitted to the Estonian Information Technology College, where he graduated as a computer systems administrator. A year after joining the IT college, he went to the Georg Ots Tallinn School of Music to study pop-jazz singing. He also studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, for a year and half, majoring in singing, contemporary writing and music production.

Uku Suviste. Photo by Kersti Niglas.

In addition to television appearances, concerts and tours, Suviste has performed on stage in several musicals in Estonia, including in “Oliver Twist”, “Chicago” and “West Side Story”. Most recently, he played “Danny” in the Estonian production of “Grease”.

The second win

Suviste has competed in the Eesti Laul several times. In Eesti Laul 2017, he competed with the song “Supernatural” but was eliminated in the first semi-final. In Eesti Laul 2019, he participated with the song “Pretty Little Liar” that placed second in the final. Suviste competed again in Eesti Laul 2020 with his song “What Love Is” and in 2021 with “The Lucky One” and won on both occasions.

Estonia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1994. The country won the contest once in 2001 when Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL scored a total of 198 points with the song “Everybody”, written by Ivar Must and Maian-Anna Kärmas. This made Estonia the first formerly Soviet-occupied country to win the contest.

Cover: A still from the video of “The Lucky One”.

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