The Netherlands have had a strong run at Eurovision in recent years, made even more admirable after the record number of consecutive non-qualifications prior to their turnaround. The 2020 contest will be held in The Netherlands after Duncan Laurence impressed the voters and the jury enough to secure the win, so the focus now turns to who will follow in his footsteps.
Since I am not well versed in Dutch music, I asked Dennis, the chief editor of ESCDaily to send through a list of the artists he could potentially see representing the nation at Eurovision in 2020. To get a feel for the styles of the artists he selected, he also sent through a song for each artist, and today I’m going to give my thoughts!
Davina Michelle (Skyward)
Less than a minute into this song, I can already see the potential. Davina seems to have the full package. Most importantly, her vocals are incredibly strong, like Sia crossed with P!nk. I can only speak from this particular song, but she seems to have a very contemporary pop style which is the direction Eurovision has been heading for a few years now. It feels authentic and powerful. Hypothetically if she was selected for Eurovision, and her song was in a similar vein to Skyward, it would make for an incredible visual performance as well. I wouldn’t be mad if Davina was selected, that’s for sure.
Kensington (What Lies Ahead)
We definitely haven’t been seeing as many bands at Eurovision in recent years, so this could be a refreshing change from all the soloists! First impressions of this song is that the style would probably fit into the overall vibe the Netherlands has been going for in recent years. It feels a little bit country inspired, but with a lot of rock elements. As casual listening, I am definitely enjoying this song, but as for Eurovision, I don’t know that they would make a big enough impact.
The vibe of this song reminds me a bit of Arcade. It’s a simple song with a strong chorus, but looking at the song as a whole, it is lacking. At times his voice is impressive, but otherwise it is too flat. That could just be this song though, and it might take listening to a few of his other songs to truly know. I don’t get strong Eurovision vibes from Dotan, especially after listening to Davina Michelle!
Krezip (Lost Without You)
Out of the songs I’ve heard so far, I have to say that this is probably my least favourite so far. On one hand, I can appreciate the simplicity of the music and the delicate vocals, but on the other hand, I am just finding this to be a bit dull. Again, it could just be this song, which is reminiscent of the simple track performed by The Common Linnets in 2014 (which unpopular opinion, I didn’t really like). Not on the top of my wishlist, sorry!
Joe Buck (The Way You Take Time)
Based on the name alone, I’m expecting a country song here – and yes, I wasn’t wrong. First impressions are good, vocals are nice, wholesome even. This song is like the lovechild of Douwe Bob and Michael Schulte, and honestly, I’m not mad at it. I would say my only gripe is that The Netherlands have favoured country style artists at Eurovision recently, and I worry that the country route has been exhausted. Still, one of the better options off this list so far.
Maan (Zo kan het dus ook)
Look, let’s be honest, Dutch isn’t exactly the most music friendly language, but Maan is definitely pulling it off. This is a nice bop, and the vocals are good, but if she was selected for Eurovision, a stronger song would be needed. I really like the first verse, but it flatlines a bit after that point. I can see some Eurovision potential here though, so she could be a good option to represent The Netherlands on home soil!
From the list, I see one strong contender, and that is Davina Michelle. She has the whole package, strong vocals, a fresh contemporary sound and visual potential. With a song as strong as Skyward, The Netherlands can say hello to another Top 10 finish. Now we wait for the official decision!