Participant(s): The Shin & Mariko Song: Three Minutes To Earth Writer(s): Eugen Eliu Composer(s): Zaza Miminoshvili Start position: #04 (Second semi final)
Georgia is taking part for the 7th time at the Eurovision Song Contest this year. The Georgian broadcaster GBP had obviously more luck in choosing the candidates directly than organizing a huge TV show. Georgia almost had luck with the qualification for the Grand Finals. This year the choice went to The Shin - a Georgian jazz band and Mariko a Georgian jazz singer with the song “Three Minute To Earth”.
Mariko Ebralidze was born in Tiflis in 1984. She studied music school (piano) to become a teacher. Her real talent would have probably be lost if she did not sing. Mariko has developed her career in the jazz genre and since 2008 she the soloist of a big band. She has also participated in several festivals.
The band The Shin (means “Home” in English) is a Georgian fusion jazz band, which has been formed in Germany in 1988 which. The band consists of Zaza Miminoshvili (guitars, panduri), Zurab J. Gagnidze (bass, vocals) and Mamuka Gaganidze (vocals, percussion). The music can be described as jazz combined with Georgian folk and Western pop elements, simply said as world music. The band has released five albums.
The song “Three Minutes To Earth” is an unusual song for Eurovision, but typical for the Shin. The song is about the last three minutes of a long walk back to Earth, back home. The style of this kind of music might be unusual for the majority of the Eurovision viewers, but might be convincing through its difference and authenticity. But that’s the attraction from the Eurovision Song Contest – there are always surprises.
In 2007 the biggest surprise was that Georgia had debuted. For the first time Georgia has joined the Eurovision family, one year later than the neighbour country Armenia, and one year before Azerbaijan. This year it’s going to be the 7th participation already. Due to the fact that the Caucasian countries are located in the very south east corner of Europe, the neighbour countries like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran do have an impact in the musical influence in an unequivocally strong way. Therefore it’s a pleasure to watch songs and performances from the Caucasian countries with such a great creativity, as this kind of music is not that well known in Western Europe.
Georgia has tried to combine traditional Georgian music with contemporary sounds which can be seen in almost all the Georgian entries. The most outstanding song was the debut entry “My story” by Sopho in 2007, which reached a remarkable 12th rank in the final. Georgia has qualified for the final six times out of seven. Due to the high level of qualitative music from Georgia, the country reaches a considerable attention all over Europe.