November 07: Meet the 16 participants
VALLETTA, MALTA – Today most of the countries are landing in the island of knights to get ready for the 12th edition of Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 which takes place at Marsha Shipyard on November 15th. Today we present you a brief reminder of the 16 participants bio for the contest. We didn’t add the videos (available at www.youtube.com/junioreurovision) as we will review the songs later on and in another post.
Armenia – Betty
11-year-old Betty (Elizabeth Danielyan) will represent Armenia at Junior Eurovison 2014 in Malta with her song “People of the Sun”. This song is just like Betty, as she is as warm as the sun: a bright girl with plenty of interests and dreams. Besides going to school, Betty takes lessons in voice and classical dance. Handicrafts like origami and embroidery also play an essential role in her everyday life. Last year, Betty performed with a band at the Armenian National Selection for Junior Eurovision 2013 and took 2nd place. Undaunted, she felt it was a great motivator for her to get more practice and experience so that she could represent Armenia at the upcoming JESC 2014 in Malta.
Belarus – Nadezhda Misyakova
Fourteen year old Nadezhda Misyakova is from Minsk and is currently in ninth grade at school. She attends a gymnasium and a music school and enjoys playing the piano. Her talent in performing and composing songs was evident at a very young age, and when she was eight years old she started getting vocal lessons as part the ensemble ‘Zaranak’ at National Centre for Musical Arts named after Vladimir Mulyavin. These days she sings and performs in thevocal studio of Vasily Senkov. Nadezhda is no stranger to Junior Eurovision having already participated twice in the qualifying rounds for the Junior Eurovision. Her determination to achieve her dream of representing Belarus at Junior Eurovision resulted in her writing the words and music this year’s entry which was voted the winner.
Bulgaria – Krisia, Hasan and Ibrahim
Three young artists will represent Bulgaria on stage this year – singer Krisia Marinova Todorova with perform the song, whilst brothers Hasan and Ibrahim Ignatov will play piano for her. Born on 1 June 2004 in Varna, Krisia Marinova Todorova now lives in the town of Razgrad – and has become a very famous young Bulgarian singer. She started studying music when she was six years old in different music schools in Bulgaria, and is currently studying music at the “Centre for work with Children” in Razgrad with vocal teacher Svilena Decheva, where she sings and plays the piano. Krisia has received sevenawards from different national and international music competitions held in Bulgaria, but 20014 was her major breakthrough year. She gained national popularity with her participation in “Slavi’s Show” on bTV, and later became part of TV show – „Запознай се с малките“ (Meet the Kids).
Croatia – Jossie
Fourteen year old Josie – full name Josephine Ida Zec – was born in the US before moving back to Croatia with her parents as a two month old baby. Her brother Darian was born three years later and by then Josie was already involved in music, dance and acting lessons while still in kindergarten. These interests continued, with six years of violin lessons, being selected for the ‘Novisgradsko Proljece’ drama program and song writing (in Croatian and English) occupying her free time. Technology and creativity are also areas that fascinate Josie. In 2012 she won third prize at the StartUp weekend in Zagreb with her ‘Animingles’ iPhone app. A book was published soon after and promoted at the Interliber book fair in 2013 and is available in bookshops throughout Croatia. Josie also attended her first Coding Conference this summer where she pitched her idea for a teen girl coding series called the ‘Pyxie Dust Project.’
Cyprus – Sophia Patsalides
Sophia was born on December 16th, 2000 in Nicosia, Cyprus, and is now a third-year student at the English School there. From her first musical steps, Sophia has been working closely with the Cypriot composer Stelios Pissis, singing his songs alongside renowned Greek and Cypriot artists. In 2005 (at the age of 5) she participated in the recording of the CD “Castalias & Sirens”, also by Pissis, and at the age of 9 she participated in the musical “Rembetiki Rhapsodia” staged by the Limassol Literary Society at the ancient amphitheatre at Curium. She recently started composing her own material, and in 2011 she wrote the lyrics to, composed, and performed the theme song of the “Giving Color to Life” project of the “Cyprus Young Volunteers” for the renovation of the “Makarios Children Hospital”.
Georgia – Lizi Japaridze – (Lizi Pop)
Appearing in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been my dream since I attended it for the first time last year in Ukraine. I was so impressed and now, exactly one year later I am involved in the biggest singing competition in Europe. As for me, I’m ten years old and study at the Georgian-American school. I really enjoy school and can speak English, Russian and French. Apart from school, I also love sport and hold a green belt holder in Karate. Since 2011 I actively practised more on my vocal studies and participated in musical film, ‘Carrot story,’ as the main character: a rabbit! Apart from rabbits I love lots of animals and have five dogs, six hens, two turtles and lots of fish.
Italy – Vincenzo Cantiello
Born on the 25th of August, 2000, Vincenzo comes from a small town called Sant’Arpino, located near Naples. Ever since he was a kid, he showed a great interest and passion for music and started to perform in his local church choir. He won several important singing contests throughout Italy but the major turn in his career was his participation in “Ti lascio una Canzone”, the most popular kids’ talent show in the country, broadcast in prime time on Rai1. Vincenzo describes himself as a very emotional person who always feels a lot passion when he performs.
Malta – Federica Falzon
Federica Falzon is the little girl from Malta with the big voice. Her career to date has included performing at live concerts, singing alongside the internationally acclaimed tenor Joseph Calleja, and winning a prestigious talent show on Italian national TV. All of that, and she’s still only 11 years old! Federica is a mezzo-soprano with an incredible depth. She was first noticed when her grandfather took her to karaoke, and this lead to singing lessons and enrolling at “La Voix Academy” following which she began to excel in local competitions. In February 2013, Federica was given the opportunity to represent Malta in the Sanremo Doc, an international competition held in Italy. She triumphed with her rendition of “La Voix” by Malena Ernman, Sweden’s entry in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.
Maša Vujadinovic & Lejla Vulić
Montenegro makes its debut entry in Junior Eurovision this year, and has selected two very talented girls to represent them – Maša Vujadinović and Lejla Vulić. Maša Vujadinović was born on the 4th of October 2000 in Podgorica. She is a ninth grade student at the “Pavle Rovinski” Elementary School, and a sixth grade student at the “Vasa Pavić” music school. She plays various instruments, and has taken part in many music festivals in Montenegro, and abroad, winning many awards. She has been singing in festivals ever since she was six years old. Lejla Vulić was born on the 29th of June 2002 in Miami, Florida (USA), but now lives in Kotor, Montenegro. She is a seventh grade student of “Knightsbridge School International” in Tivat. She finished fifth grade at the “Vida Matijan” music school, where she took courses in the violin. In addition to the violin, she also plays the guitar. Lejla has also taken part in various festivals in Montenegro, and abroad. She writes songs and poems, and her poems have been published in many different magazines.
Russia – Alisa Kozhikina
Alisa won the popular talent show in Russia ‘Voice Kids’ earlier this year. She gained first prize by working hard with her producer and teacher, Maxim Fadeev, a famous Russian composer. More than 50% of the audience (over 400,000 people) voted for Alisa to win ‘Voice Kids,’ admiring her talent and charm. The young singer is also the Grand Prix winner of the famous music contest ‘Rosa Vetrov,’ the winner of the international competition ‘Sozvezdie Orla,’ Grand Prix winner of the international contest ‘Сelebration of the childhood’ in St. Petersburg and the winner of the regional Kursk competition ‘Constellation of the young’ in 2012.
San Marino – The Peppermints
The Peppermints resulted from an idea developed by Antonello Carozza, who just one year ago mentored and produced the sammarinese debut of Michele Perniola at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, Ukraine. Carozza will again take care of the artistic direction of the second sammarinese JESC adventure, this time accompanied by maestro Luca Medri. Raffy, (Raffaella Perniola, 14, star sign Pisces) is from Palagiano. Her older brother Michele represented San Marino in the JESC 2013 but this year it is her turn. Greta (Greta Doveri, 14, Taurus) is from Cascine di Buti. She is the youngest but also the most experienced member of the band: she took part in the talent show ‘Io canto’ on Canale 5 and won the latest Sanremo Junior National Final. Anita (Anita Simoncini, 15, Aries) is from Montegiardino. Besides singing, she also has a passion for ballet and contemporary dance.
Serbia – Emilija Djonin
Emilija has been singing since early childhood and has participated at numerous festivals throughout Serbia. In 2011 she took part in TV show “I’ve got talent” (Serbian version of the ‘Got Talent franchise) contest (third season) and took second place – despite being much younger than the other contestants. Overnight, she became the idol of young people and her success was widely covered by the press. In her hometown of Vrsac she became a real little hero. Since then she has appeared at many music festivals and has participated in a number of humanitarian events, both in the country and abroad. She took part in the production of the music video, “Miracle” aimed at increasing environmental awareness that also included many famous Serbian pop stars. Besides music, Emilija’s other interests include literature, photography and sports. She also likes to travel, and spend time with her friends.
Slovenia – Ula Ložar
Ula Ložar is in seventh grade and lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Music has always had a big role in her life as she’s been studying piano for the past four years and also takes singing lessons with Marjetka Vovk, professor of music at the Popsing music workshop. Ula has already appeared in many singing events and contests. She won second place at the School Talents Contest as well as the Golden Microphone at Bled and the Slovene elementary school festival ‘Pluck Up Your Courage.’ At the Europop Festival in Hungary she was placed 4th in her category, which was an excellent result. In 2015 she will participate inthe Tralala Festivala at Bitola. However, before that happens, she’s focussing on representing RTV Slovenija for the first time at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Malta. Beside numerous public appearances and lessons, Ula continues to gain music studio experience as well. She was in a cartoon dubbing team and recorded a few theme songs. As she expands her skills in all areas of music, Ula appreciates the support and understanding of her parents.
Sweden – Julia Kedhammar
Julia Kedhammar is 14 years old (born in 2000), is in the seventh grade at Kulturama focused on song, dance and theater and lives in Skogås, south of Stockholm. Julia spent the first three school years in a nearby public school, after which she in grade 4 applied and was accepted at the Adolf Fredrik music school and Kulturama. The choice fell on Kulturama in Hammarby Sjöstad and this she / we have never regretted. As a ten year old Julia recorded her first album, “If I could make a wish – Swedish Children’s Favorites” where she sang 20 of Swedens most desired children songs. This after Sony Music paid attention to a Youtube clip where Julia appeared with a Michael Jackson song at school.
The Netherlands – Julia
Julia comes from a beautiful little village located in the Dutch polders called Zeewolde, where she lives together with her parents. She is a teenage girl who loves dancing, singing, laughing, chatting, and sleeping late. Alongside dancing and singing, she loves having sleepovers with her friends, and is also very active on social media to keep in touch with her friends and fans. One night, Julia sat alone in her bedroom behind her piano, thinking about that cute boy from her school. He was nice to her, but he never approached her. This made her very uncertain, while she thought he was interested in her , but at the same time he never took initiative which made her very insecure. Suddenly, the inspiration for a song came up. Julia started playing the piano, and translated her feelings into song lyrics. She called the song ‘Around’ and, with no stage or any serious performing experience at all, she decided to sign up for the Junior Song Contest in The Netherlands.
Ukraine – Sympho-Nick
Sympho-Nick, the winners of their national final, will represent Ukraine at JESC 2014. The members of the trio, young performers Marta Rak, Sofiia Kutsenko and Amaliia Kryms’ka, earned the right to take part in the national selection for JESC 2014 by winning the second season of First National Channel TV’s project “Music Academy of Eurovision”, in which they each participated as solo artists. The girls could hardly imagine that they would compete with each other for the right to represent Ukraine at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, since they became friends during the “Music Academy of Eurovision” project. Therefore, quite spontaneously, they had the idea to unite and perform together. The name of the trio did not appear immediately, but was a result of polling social networks. The name “Sympho-Nick” was the most popular option and was to the liking of the trio and their team.