Stig Rästa, Singer and co-writer of one of the Eesti Laul pre-contest favourite acts Outloudz took some time out to answer some questions for us ahead of this weekend’s first semi-final! Topics discussed ranged from his work as part of Eesti Laul 2009 runners up Traffic, the formation of Outloudz, The reasons for creating the song ‘I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan’ and his feelings about competing against his bandmate’s wife!
ESCDaily.com: First of all I’d like to thank you on behalf of all of us at escdaily.com for participating in this interview, and congratulate you for making it as a semi-finalist in Eesti Laul 2011!
Stig Rästa: Thank you for showing interest in Outloudz.
ED: Well, starting at the beginning, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career so far?
SR: I have been making music for about 10 years now and since that I have had 6 or 7 number 1 hits in Estonia. The first big project I was involved in was Slobodan River which I can say was the kind of a learning process of music business for me. After that came Traffic and with a very short time we’ve reached the top performers of Estonia. A bit over a year for now I and my good friend Tomi Rahula have been working on studio on my third project called Outloudz. Our first single “It Was You” reached to the tops of Radio all over Estonia and now the second single “I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan” is a contestant on Eesti Laul 2011.
ED: Both you and your partner In Outloudz are already respected and well-known musicians, you as part of ‘Traffic’ and he as part of ‘The Sun’. How did you two come together for this new project?
SR: I met Tomi through my brother many years ago, even before I knew I wanted to be a musician. I became to know him and his wife Ithaka-Maria Rahula pretty well and at some point the three of us made our first group called Slobodan River. At some point we fell apart. Tomi went to The Sun and I started a group called Traffic. But few years ago we thought that it would be fun to make something together again since the first project worked so well. We had some kind of an idea what it should be and for about a year we worked only in studio searching for the sound.
ED: You participated in Eesti Laul in 2009 with Traffic where you came 2nd with the song ‘See Päev’. What was behind the decision to come back again this year?
SR: Eesti Laul is probably the best show in Estonia where to introduce new music for Estonians. Since I had the song “I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan” just finished, and the timing was perfect, there was no doubt to go on and try again. Plus the media attention behind the contest is really big.
ED: Are you still making music as part of Traffic?
SR: Yes I’m still making music as part of Traffic. I enjoy it very much and I think that Traffic is one of the few great ones in Estonia. I’ve become good friends with my band members and I like performing with them side by side.
ED: Your song ‘I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan’ is sung in a biographical style, telling the story of the kind of regret that comes with age. You wrote the song as collaboration with Fred Krieger; is the song autobiographical of your own life, or a metaphor for something?
SR: It’s definitely autobiographical. When I made this song I instantly made the lyrics as well. The lyrics are about knowing what your life is going to be but as the time passes it’s not quite what you dreamed it would be. It’s like I thought I’d be on the biggest stages of Europe by now, but I’m still sitting at home and trying to make it big. And also thinking loud that soon I’ll be old and grey and done nothing. So the phrase “I wanna meet Bob Dylan” is a metaphor for I wanna make it big.
ED: Your song is in English while your Eesti Laul entry as part of Traffic was in Estonian. Why did you write the song in English and would you consider writing an Estonian version of the song?
SR: Somehow when I made the song the lyrics came out automatically in English especially the phrase I wanna meet Bob Dylan. I think our music sounds better when it’s sung in English and I will not write an Estonian version of that song.
ED: You’re currently sitting at about 3rd favourite according to the poll on the official Eesti Laul website, do you feel this puts more pressure on you to succeed and how do you feel knowing that so many people are already behind your song even before you’ve hit the stage?
SR: I don’t feel pressure cause last year the number 1 favourite didn’t win. Instead some other guy won the contest. So I hope that this year I’ll be the some guy who wins this contest before the number 1 favourite. Knowing that so many people are already behind me gives me a lot of hope and confidence.
ED: The singer currently leading that poll is Ithaka Maria, who as you mentioned is your bandmate Tomi’s wife. How does it feel competing against his wife, and how does he feel about it?
SR: We have been very close friends for many years and we both support Ithaka a lot.
ED: Have you heard any of the songs also competing in Eesti Laul and if so, any favourites?
SR: I have heard all the songs but I have no favourite song. I have started to like Veel on aega by Marilyn Jurman after seeing their performance on stage. I like Mimicry also based on their performance and of course Ithaka’s song is nice.
ED: If you are unsuccessful at winning the ticket to Düsseldorf, what are your plans for the rest of 2011?
SR: I’ll probably dive into studio for many months. At spring 2011 Traffic is going to release their 3rd album. Outloudz starts to perform live on stage so we need to work on that and make sure that it’s gonna be a world class act.
ED: Are you a fan of Eurovision, and if so, what are your favourite Estonian entries?
SR: I have been following Eurovision probably all those years I remember but I don’t consider myself as a fan of Eurovision. My favourite entry to Eurovision is probably Ruffus – Eighties coming back.
ED: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
SR: Share Outloudz with your friends and family and help us get big. Thank You!
Stig takes part in Eesti Laul 2011’s first semi-final this Saturday, the 12th of February along with Tomi Rahula as part of the band Outloudz. They will be competing with the song ‘I Wanna Meet Bob Dylan’ which you can view below. We would like to thank Stig for his time, and wish him and Tomi all the best of luck!