Last night saw the annual edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring 26 pop musical contenders from all over Europe (well, and Australia again). While we usually tend to ignore this event due to its questionable musical quality and predictable shallowness this year’s winner, Ukrainian performer JAMALA actually desevers a bit more attention. Her winning track 1944 delivers musical quality, profound lyrical content and an important political message which couldn’t be found in the other contributions from last night.
The song deals with JAMALA‘s own past and the one of her family. 1944 was the year her own great-grandmother was deported by the Soviets due to her Tartarian origin. The track furthermore deals with the personal past of the trained opera singer. Born 1983 in Kirghizia her relatives were only allowed to return to the Crimea after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. JAMALA started her professional music education right here but completed it in Kiev later. As you should be aware of, Russia annexed Crimea back in 2014 which also had an effect on the singer’s family. Eviction of the Tartarian minority – just like the story of 1944 – is partly also reported. And although the official representatives checked the song and stated that there is no political content in it, it’s a pretty obvious statement about history repeating itself and it also had a significant effect on last night’s triumph.
Aside from the political calculations that probably go along with 1944, her singing voice is pretty stunning and the reduced 90s dubstep breakbeats that work as the track’s formation aren’t the worst musical joice either. Compared to the majority of last night’s songs this one actually showed that pop can be more than just posh EDM singalongs with a shiny stage show, right?