Kazakhstan have a short, but successful history at Junior Eurovision thus far, with the nation achieving a runner up position in 2019, and finishing 6th on debut back in 2018. Kazakhstan was invited back to the contest this year, and with a national selection, it was decided that Karakat Bashanova would represent the nation with the song ‘Forever.’ Will we be seeing Kazakhstan in the Top 3 again this year?
Song + Vocals
Once again, Kazakhstan have opted for a ballad, and if you know me well, you will know that it takes a special ballad to ‘wow’ me. Despite the Kazakh entry being selected late September, I hadn’t listened to the entire song until now. I had a vague idea of the melody of the song from recap clips, and had formed an opinion based on those snippets. This might be an unpopular opinion, especially considering the love the fans have for this song, but this entry isn’t among my favourites of this year’s competition.
Let’s talk studio version – there are a number of things to like about this song, including the backing melody which seems to have been revamped since the national selection. The strings, piano and choral elements all work really well at setting the tone of this song. Interestingly enough I enjoy the verse more than the chorus, which is a shame considering there is only one verse in this song, with the remainder of the song either instrumental break or a chorus, either in English or Kazakh.
In terms of the live version, I think Karakat gives an emotional performance, which I believe ultimately scored her the win in the national final. She is vocally strong in some parts of the song, but misses the mark in others, but due to the emotion and atmosphere she gives to this performance, it can comfortably be overlooked.
The meaning of the song is strong selling point, as Karakat dedicates her song and performance to her father, who passed away a few years ago. It’s hard to deny that the lyrics are moving, and I am sure that it will touch a lot of hearts across Europe come Junior Eurovision.
Act + Performance
The visuals used at the national final worked really well, although I would speculate that the nation might go bigger for Junior Eurovision. It’s probably still likely that we will see smoke billowing around Karakat, which naturally suits this style of song, along with a myriad of other textbook Eurovision staging techniques. It may so happen that we see similar imagery to the music video, especially with a father figure on the backing screens.
This is a touching song that will appeal to many people, but unfortunately isn’t among my favourite entries of this year. In terms of its potential at Junior Eurovision, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see this in the Top 5 in keeping with the nation’s previous success.
If you support Kazakhstan at Junior Eurovision this year, vote in our Poll here.