Preselection

On 31 August Czech broadcaster CT has invited interested songwriters and performers to submit their entries for the consideration for the Eurovision participation. Registration period was open until 31 October 2018 to the e-mail escmusic@ceskatelevize.cz. Entries should follow general Eurovision rules: The song may not be longer than three minutes, it should not be published in any form before September 1, 2018, and the main performer must have Czech citizenship. Almost 300 songs, of them 60 by local songwriters, have been submitted. Representative of the Czech Republic will be chosen via the online preselection Eurovision Song CZ which will follow similar procedure to the previous year. Approximately 6 acts will compete in the final round.

"While there is no restriction in genres, we're looking for a catchy song that has something extra. The recipe of Eurovision success does not exist and therefore we encourage all Czech musicians to submit their best songs regardless of genre,", says Head of Delegation Jan Bors.

"Last year's process brought us to the final where we've just missed the Top 5. The system of searching and selecting young talents has proven to be a good thing, and I believe that it can generate many music stars," says Jan Potměšil, the creative producer of the Czech participation in Eurovision. Head of Delegation Jan Bors adds: "Last year's success in the ESC can not be overlooked. It has shown that even a not-so-known artist can come up with songs that appeal to the general public not only in our country but also abroad. I am very glad that Mikolas proved to be able to break through this competition and also drew attention to the potential in the Czech Republic and I firmly believe he motivated others to try to succeed in this international competition."

Photo: Ján Winkler Press-conference to present format and participants of the Czech preselection ESCZ took place on 7 January. At the beginning of January 2019 videos will be made available in the official Eurovision mobile app. Czech and international fans will be voting through it for their favourite acts. At the same time, the evaluation by the international jury will start as well. This year, the international fan voting through the app will count as one international jury member. Both international jury and Czech public will give points on scale 8-6-4-3-2-1. At the end of January, the publication of the results and the winner of the Eurovision national round will be declared. In case of a tie, Czech audience favourite will prevail.

"The success of Miklos Josef in Eurovision 2018, which became the most listened Czech interpreter of all time for the sixth place in the final in Lisbon, caused a huge increase in interest in this music competition in the Czech Republic. This year, twice as many Czech songwriters have submitted their songs, more than sixty songs. Altogether, more than three hundred songs have been sent from around the world. The quality of the songs we sent was so high that we finally decided to choose eight finalists, two more than last year, " explains creative director Jan Potměšil



Lake Malawi is an indie-pop band founded in 2013 by Albert Černý. The name is inspired by a Bon Iver song. Since the very beginning, Lake Malawi wanted to make it outside of their home country Czech Republic with all their repertoire sung in Albert's good English. Shortly after the release of their first single Always June in an interview on BBC London, Lake Malawi opened for Thirty Seconds to Mars in Prague (2014). In 2015, the band performed at The Great Escape festival in Brighton and released the EP We Are Making Love Again – the single “Chinese Trees” which won the new music Audition Poll on Amazing Radio. Lake Malawi later caught the attention of both The Kooks' and Mika's managers which secured them a support slot at their Prague arena shows. After an extensive period of recording, the band released their first full-length debut album "Surrounded By Light" in 2017. The critically acclaimed record included the singles Paris and more alternative Prague (In The City). Lake Malawi have played over 300 gigs in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria and Britain. Their music appeared in Czech films and a major rail carrier advertisement (Leo Express).

Currently the band consists of Albert Černý (lead vocal, guitar), Jeroným Šubrt (bass and keys) and Antonín Hrabal (drums) and Pavel Palát on drums. Albert Černý was born on Feb 17th 1989 in the Czech steel-making town Třinec literally on the Slovak / Polish border. He is the author of music and lyrics of Lake Malawi songs (as well as of his previous act Charlie Straight). He received four Czech Music Academy Awards “Anděl”, two “Slavík” awards and an MTV award for his work.

Tomáš Boček was born on in Uherské Hradiště, where he finished his primary education and grammar school; during this time he intensively participated in competitive athletics, for the sake of which he ultimately moved to Prague in 2013 after his school leaving exams. At the same time, he began his studies at Charles University but he left his studies early due to music; this quickly also meant an end to full-fledged participation in sports, thanks to which, among other things, he has travelled though many countries as part of many athletic meets. Shortly afterward, he started making a living as a street musician; he spent time travelling to different corners of Europe, where he got to know the local people and earned a living through busking.

After something less than two years on the road, he sought out the collaboration of producer Boris Carloff and started his musical project. Since the release of his first single in March 2017, he has had concerts across the Czech Republic and has continued travelling across European cities. In September 2018 he moved to Olomouc, where he started studying General Medicine at Palacký University; in December of the same year he released his second single Don’t Know Why.

Hana Barbara is a young musician who likes to experiment not only with her own voice, but also with the language in which she sings.However, she does not consider herself to be part of the alternative music scene, but is a pioneer of the modern-day popular music which is starting to find its aficionados in Czechia. When she was small, she went to a primary school for the arts in Ivančice, where she learned to play the piano and attended folk singing lessons. She grew up in the small village Nové Bránice in Moravia. From childhood she had an affinity toward music and essentially her whole family had playing some musical instrument as second nature. In her childhood recordings, where one of her sisters enthusiastically presents various rhymes and poems, which she learned to precision, Hana dances around dreamily, singing lyrics and melodies of her own invention. She does not react at all to calls from her mom and others, to also say a poem or recite something. Despite her great love toward music, however, she went to grammar school and then attended university in another field.

Later she was inspired to start composing her own songs for the piano. "I remember very well the first reactions to my first song. My uncle was sitting there. When I finished playing, I turned away from the piano, he was sitting there with his face lit up and was gesturing to me what goose bumps he had! I honestly knew why he had goose bumps... It was the saddest song full of emotions and disappointment, which would bring tears even to a person without emotions! I must have been about 15 years old then." During her whole life, she has been inspired by her mom, who is passionate about yoga and therefore she also tries to stay in shape by exercising every day. Because of music, she has moved to the capital Prague, where she currently works with the producer Marcus Tran.

Since her head is sometimes full of untamed thoughts, she lets off steam through writing short columns about creative thinking which are published in electronic form in a student magazine. Because it doesn’t suit her when she has to do something in the prescribed manner, she has decided to fully devote herself to the artistic career of a musical interpreter and lyricist. So, as it turns out, she writes her own lyrics, and therefore most of the words and sentences that she sings, she sings from her own life and experience. She sees a lot of things differently and deals with them in her own way. She is currently trying to advance herself on the Czech pop-music scene and contribute in this way with something new.

My name is Jakub Ondra, I was born in 1994 in Prague. My father is a doctor and my mother sells plane tickets, so I am the first person in my family that makes music. I started singing when I turned 7 years old and my mother signed me up to a choir Bambini Di Praga. When I turned 16 I went to study the Rotterdam International Secondary School in the Netherlands. There I started to write one of my very first songs after a hard break up with my first love Sarah. Driven by my broken heart I was able to spend whole days and nights writing more songs and practicing my skills. Shortly after my return back to Prague I started to play on the streets to get some feedback from the people passing by and also to be able to make some money for getting guitar and vocal lessons.

By the age of 18 I was discovered by a talent scout from the Czech Universal music Martin Cervinka, who got me signed for the label. My first single was called Maly Princ (The Little Prince) and got released by the major label in 2013. It was played on the biggest Czech radio stations like Evropa 2 or Fajn radio. By that time I started to fully discover the magic of busking as I was already touring the streets of the capital European cities. Also influenced by my international friends from the Rotterdam International Secondary School I started to incline towards English rather than Czech. When I turned 20 I got discovered by a talent scout from the German Sony music and my most acclaimed song On The Menu was released by this major label in 2015. After that I did several interviews and shows in the Czech and german tv/radio stations.

In 2017 I played a headline show in Zürich at the Energy Star Night for more than 15 thousand people, sharing the stage with names like Alan Walker, Alle Farben or Sunrise Avenue. This year I released another single cooperating with an Italian Dj project 2Choice which peaked at 8. Position in the official Czech top 100 chart. Currently I am working on finishing my song with which I am going to be representing the Czech republic at the Eurovision in Israel next year.

Jara Vymer. I am 19 years old; I was born in a small town on the coast of Costa Rica. My dad is Czech and so when I was 1 year old, we moved back to the Czech Republic with him. I have actually been acquainted with music and singing from my earliest years. Czech films for children, both full-length films and evening cartoons, are beautiful and musical and I completely fell in love with songs from children’s films and Christmas carols. However, I started getting some formal musical education in music classes in elementary school. The teacher liked my singing, so she included me in a children’s choir, with which I started performing. For a long time afterwards, I did not devote myself to music until we moved to Prague. I started to sing in a choir again, but I did not enjoy it. The turning point came when I was given the task of writing a song as part of harmony instruction. I was 15 years old; since then I have been writing and composing until now. Only relatively recently have I settled on the genre.

I wrote the first song which I would not be ashamed to publish in the fall of 2017, but I was in quite a poor state as a singer. At that time, however, I was already clear on the fact that I wanted to devote myself professionally to music and make a living to art, so I began educating myself. I thought about going to conservatory a few times, but I always decided against it in the end. At the moment, I devote myself generally to R&B, mainly to the Soul, Blues and Rock genres, but a lot is covered by these designations, thus I have great creative freedom. I am planning a few more singles and you can also look forward to a full-fledged album in the future. I write everything myself – the lyrics, melody and accompaniment harmony. Unfortunately, I do not play any instrument well enough so my music could not have been created without the help of a lot of great instrumentalists. I myself want to learn to play the piano and the guitar passably in the future, but if I have time, I certainly do not want to be limited to these instruments. But, above all, I want to devote myself to singing and attain a proper level of maturity as a singer.

On My Knees is my debut single, on which I cooperated with Boris Carloff. Sound-wise, I would consider it a song which slightly modernizes an otherwise acoustic vintage sound. The song is heavy-handed; the rhythm is very slow, and the instruments are a bit behind the times. The arrangement is primarily on a piano base with drums, onto which we crafted the sound by means of other instruments. I really liked Boris' idea to have an acoustic double bass, so there is also a live double bass there among other things. The keyboardist recorded the piano part at home; otherwise everything was recorded with Boris at the Soundevice studio. Genre-wise, it is a Soul ballad with a strong influence of Gospel; originally I started to write it as a romantic song, but it quickly grew into something very different. It became a song about growing up, about setting your own limits and the desire to repair difficult relations in the family. I entered Eurovision at my producer’s instigation, but I didn’t give it much of a chance. I jokingly refer to my song as being anti-radio: it has a slow groove and is acoustic, which is not often seen on commercial radio stations. When I received the news that I had been selected to the national round, I was sincerely (but pleasantly) surprised.

Andrea Holá is a Czech musical actress and singer. She is a graduate of the State Conservatory in Prague in the branch of popular singing. In 2014 she participated in the second annual Hlas ČeskoSlovenska (Voice of Czecho-Slovakia); she finished fourth in the contest and thus became the winner of the team of Dara Rolins a Marta Jandová. That same year, Radek Balaš casted her in the original Czech musical Antoinetta, královna Francie (Antoinette, Queen of France); as a result of this cooperation, she was subsequently casted in other musicals – the hit musical Mýdlový princ (The Soap Prince), which saw some 300 performances and was seen by almost 250,000 viewers and the musical Trhák (The Hit) based on Zdeňek Svěrák and Ladislav Smoljak’s film of the same name. She acts in the musicals Mefisto, which in 2018 had a guest performance at the theatre festival in Daegu, in South Korea and Sestra v akci (Sister Act) starring Lucie Bílá. Together with Petr Ryšavý she recorded the opening song for the anime series Pokemon.

Pam Rabbit - From the moment I learned how to walk, I have been obsessed with dance, shows and art. From childhood I have drawn, designed, danced, and constantly needed attention. I was brought to music by my grandfather, who is himself a former singer from Georgia. My mom designed clothing and painted pictures, so from her I absorbed love for fashion and aesthetics. I did not have many friends, so I found myself in animals, which inspire me by how similar we are to them, but by how far away we are from their cleanliness. I am inspired in my art by people who are called underdogs. People who have the feeling that they do not fit in, or that they are not good enough as they are and I want to give them strength to stop hiding and start loving themselves.

Love for art brought me to the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory, where I am still studying and earn money by playing at company parties and by sewing clothing, shoes, in short anything. Last year I started cooperating with The Glowsticks and this year, after I was at Eurovision 2018 s Mikolas Jozef as a vocalist, I found other artists in Portugal with whom I cooperate today, of LXsound. In the near future, I am preparing a few new singles and right after that an Extended Play recording.

Barbora Mochowa - I was born in 1993 in Trutnov. I practically cannot recall a time when I was not singing. When I was seven years old, I participated in the television contest Rozjezdy pro hvězdy (Star-Bound); then I appeared in several further television shows. I wished to play the violin, and so I began attending the Trutnov primary school for the arts. Because of this, I have to this day a strong affinity to classical music and I think that it reflected later on my art. After primary school, I was accepted to the Prague Conservatory in the branch of popular singing. After two years, I accompanied myself on the piano for the first time. I found out that I feel much better behind the piano than alone behind the microphone, and that I manage to express myself best in this way. In the same period I got to know the members of the band Sinuhet, in which I started to sing and with which I filmed the album Nocturno (the group Sinuhet does not perform anymore today).

Accompanying myself on the piano later gave me the possibility for composition. I was incited to find harmonies, musical words which would be closest to me. When, after about a year, I accumulated enough of my own songs, I approached the producer Matouš Godík. This brought about my debut album Waiting for the White Raven, which came out in 2016. For our collaboration I also brought in the string quartet Unique Quartet, with which I still perform live to this day. After conservatory I continued to the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory, branch of jazz singing. In 2017 I placed second in the category Discovery of the Year in the viewer poll Žebřík. This year I participated in the first Czech song writing camp, where we met the producer Viliam Béreš. We are now working on my second record. In addition to music, I am interested in fine arts; I regularly attend the courses of art history of the National Gallery and various exhibitions.

Performer Entry Songwriter(s) Jury Public Total
Lake MalawiFriend of a FriendJan Steinsdoerfer, Maciej Mikolaj Trybulec, Albert Černý
Jakub OndraSpace SushiJakub Ondra, Michael Gubler, Boris Carloff, Viktor Dyk, Alasdair Bouch
Tomáš BočekDon’t Know WhyTomáš Boček, Boris Carloff, Alasdair Bouch
Pam RabbitEasy to BelieveJoão Filipe de Carvalho, Pamela Koky
Jara VymerOn My KneesJaroslav Vymer, Boris Carloff
Barbora MochowaTrue ColorsBarbora Mochowa, Viliam Béreš, Koos Kamerling
Hana BarbaraPoslední slova tobě (The last words to you)Hana Schořová, Marcus Tran
Andrea HoláGive Me a HintFrantišek Valena

Latest news

21/12: Jan Bors: ESCZ line-up will be strongest in Europe
19/12: Eight acts to compete in ESCZ
08/12: ESCZ press-conference to take place on 7 January

In an interview to ESC Arena, Head of Czech Eurovision delegation Jan Bors has revealed more information on the preparations for the national final round ESCZ.

"Of course, we hear the voices calling for a bigger national round, but we said we will go step by step. It does not mean that we do not want the national round on the TV, but if we get to it, we want it to be a really top-notch show. The concept of such a show has to be prepared very precisely, we need to find suitable staff, to define principles, and not least get the necessary funding", says Bors.

"Over 300 songs of genres of all kinds, of different quality and a huge amount of songs from Czechs, over sixty, which have doubled compared to last year. In some cases, this was international cooperation", says Bors adding that some entries came from Czech songwriting camp, set up by Honza Vávra.

The camp has featured such songwriters as Ashley Hicklin (Belgium 2010, 2014), Jeroen Swinnen (Belgium 2010), Johnny K.Palmer (Hungary 2011, Bulgaria 2016), Czech singers/songwriters Albert Černý, Barbora Mochowa, Gabriela Heclová, Jana Infield, Jan Steinsdörfer, Jan Vávra, Ondra Fiedler, Xindl X, Hungarian Gabi Knoll, Belgian Iousra Frouja, British James Harries and Jonathan Owusu-Yianomah, Polish Jan Bielecki and MINU and Dutch Koos Kamerling. Camp has produced potential Eurovision entries to the other countries as well.

Bors is happy with the quality as well: "I was surprised by the increasing quality of the songs. When I compare it with how we started and what people are sending today, it is a complete breakthrough".

01/11: Almost 300 entries have been submitted
28/10: Online preselection ESCZ to choose the winner

Национальный отбор

31го августа чешский национальный вещатель CT пригласил заинтересованных авторов и исполнителей подавать заявки на участие в отборе на Евровидение. Регистрационный период был открыт до 31го октября 2018 года и заявки принимались по электронной почте escmusic@ceskatelevize.cz. Песни должны были следовать основным правилам Евровидения: Не быть дольше трех минут; не быть опубликованными ни в каком виде до 1го сентября 2018 года, и основной исполнитель песни должен был быть гражданином Чехии. Всего было подано около 300 заявок, из них 60 от местных авторов. Представитель Чехии на Евровидении 2019 будет выбран посредством онлайн-отбора Eurovision Song CZ, который будет проводиться по похожим правилам с прошлым годом. Ориентировочно, в финальной части примут участие 6 песен.

"Мы не предъявляем каких-либо ограничений по жанрам, мы ищем запоминающуюся песню, с какой-то изюминкой. Рецепта успеха на Евровидении не существует, и потому мы приглашаем всех чешских музыкантов вне зависимости от жанров подавать нам свои лучшие песни,", говорит глава делегации Ян Борс.

"Прошлогодний процесс вывел нас в финал, где мы едва не попали в топ 5. Система поиска и отбора молодых талантов доказала, что она работает, и я уверен, что она может создать множество звезд музыки", говорит Ян Потмешил, креативный продюсер участия Чехии в Евровидении. Глава делегации Ян Борс добавляет: "Прошлогодний успех в Евровидении нельзя недооценивать. Он показал, что даже не столь известный артист может создать песни, которые были бы интересны широкой публике не только в нашей стране, но и за рубежом. Я очень рад, что Миколас доказал, что он может совершить прорыв на этом конкурсе и привлек внимание к потенциалу Чехии, и я твердо уверен, что он смог мотивировать и других попробовать добиться успеха в этом международном конкурсе"

Photo: Ján Winkler Пресс-конференция, посвященная презентации формата и участников чешского отбора ESCZ прошла 7го января. В начале января 2019 года видеоклипы на песни будут размещены в официальном мобильном приложении Евровидения и начнется голосование чешской и международной публики. В то же самое время, песни будет оценивать и международное жюри. В этом году, международное голосование через мобильное приложение будет зачтено как голос одного члена международного жюри. Жюри и чешская публика дадут баллы по схеме 8-6-4-3-2-1. В конце января будут опубликованы результаты отбора и будет объявлен его победитель. В случае равенства баллов, преимущество получит фаворит чешской публики.

"Успех Миколаса Йозефа на Евровидении 2018, который стал самым прослушиваемым чешским исполнителем всех времен и занял шестое место в финале в Лиссабоне вызвал огромное увеличение интереса к этому музыкальному конкурсу в Чехии. В этом году, в два раза больше чешских авторов подали заявки, их было более шестидесяти. Всего, со всех уголков мира поступило свыше трехсот песен. Качество полученных заявок было настолько велико, что в итоге мы решили выбрать восемь финалистов, а не шесть, как в прошлом году", объясняет креативный директор Ян Потмешил



Исполнитель Песня Авторы Жюри Публика Итого
Lake MalawiFriend of a FriendJan Steinsdoerfer, Maciej Mikolaj Trybulec, Albert Černý
Jakub OndraSpace SushiJakub Ondra, Michael Gubler, Boris Carloff, Viktor Dyk, Alasdair Bouch
Tomáš BočekDon’t Know WhyTomáš Boček, Boris Carloff, Alasdair Bouch
Pam RabbitEasy to BelieveJoão Filipe de Carvalho, Pamela Koky
Jara VymerOn My KneesJaroslav Vymer, Boris Carloff
Barbora MochowaTrue ColorsBarbora Mochowa, Viliam Béreš, Koos Kamerling
Hana BarbaraPoslední slova tobě (The last words to you)Hana Schořová, Marcus Tran
Andrea HoláGive Me a HintFrantišek Valena

Новости

07/01: Представлены финалисты отбора
21/12: Ян Борс: Состав участников ESCZ будет сильнейшим в Европе
19/12: В ESCZ примут участие 8 конкурсантов
08/12: Пресс-конференция ESCZ пройдет 7 января

В интервью ESCArena глава делегации Чехии Ян Борс рассказал о том, как проходит подготовка к национальному отбору ESCZ.

"Конечно, мы слышим голоса, призывающие нас к проведению более масштабного отбора, но как мы сказали, мы будем двигаться постепенно, шаг за шагом. Это не означает, что мы не хотим телевизионного отборочного шоу, но если мы решимся на него - оно должно быть высококлассным. Концепция этого шоу должна быть подготовлена очень тщательно, мы должны найти команду, определить его принципы, и, не в последнюю очередь - необходимое финансирование", говорит Борс.

"На отбор поступило свыше 300 песен всех жанров, и огромное количество песен от чешских авторов, свыше 60, что в два раза больше, чем в прошлом году. В некоторых случаях речь идет о международном сотрудничестве", говорит Борс, упоминая, что некоторые заявки были созданы на чешском авторском лагере, который провел Хонза Вавра.

В нем приняли участие такие авторы, как Ashley Hicklin (Бельгия 2010, 2014), Jeroen Swinnen (Бельгия 2010), Johnny K.Palmer (Венгрия 2011, Болгария 2016), Чешские авторы и исполнители Albert Černý, Barbora Mochowa, Gabriela Heclová, Jana Infield, Jan Steinsdörfer, Jan Vávra, Ondra Fiedler, Xindl X, венгерка Gabi Knoll, бельгийка Iousra Frouja, британцы James Harries и Jonathan Owusu-Yianomah, поляки Jan Bielecki и MINU и голландец Koos Kamerling. На лагере также были созданы песни и для отборов других стран.

Борс доволен и качеством заявок: "Я был очень удивлен увеличивающимся качеством песен. Когда я сравниваю с тем, что было у нас, когда мы только начинали, и то что люди присылают нам сейчас - то это полный прорыв".

28/10: Представитель будет выбран на онлайн-отборе ESCZ