Aminata, her crew and the Latvian Public Television (LTV) delegation to the European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) 60th Anniversary Song Contest have all but moved into the main Eurovision concert hall at this point, spending most of the hours of the day in the Wiener Stadthalle, already bustling with hordes of journalists amongst the technical and support staff getting ready for the international broadcast extravaganza.
On Sunday one of Austria’s leading dailies put Aminata on its front page, rating her song as a “real surprise with a mystic vocal sound and breathtaking performance.”
Later the Latvian delegation visited the Embassy in Vienna, where Aminata fielded well-wishers and autograph-seekers from among the local Latvian community in Austria’s capital. Later the delegation walked the red carpet Sunday evening to mark the official launch of the song contest.
But Aminata had already made some good waves at her first rehearsal Friday, when her simply elegant red costume dress prompted a stampede of interviewers, photographers and videographers to her emergence from the dressing room before she had even taken the stage.
Following the first of many press conferences and interviews Friday, Aminata earned a standing ovation from the packed room of journalists for her acoustic rendition of “Love injected,” performed together with her backing vocalists and co-writer, guitarist and producer Kaspars Ansons.
Aminata is excited to have been paired with artistic director Nicoline Refsing, whose credits include design and visual concept work for Great Britain’s leading awards shows The Brit Awards, National Television Awards and National Movie Awards, as well as stage design for international music stars like One Direction, Coldplay and others. They met first by chance upon Aminata’s checking into her hotel room, when she heard the strains of her song down the corridor and went to visit the person listening, whom she assumed was a member of her own delegation getting inspired and charged up, but instead turned out to be Nicoline.
Among the surprises Aminata has experienced so far, one of her greatest was the request by Australian public radio station SBS to give some of her responses in the Latvian language, as the multi-lingual broadcasting organization also has a Latvian staff among its 17 foreign-language services. This year marks Australia’s first-ever participation in the contest, although folks Down Under have been avid followers of Eurovision for decades.