Meet Eesti Laul 2016 participant Meisterjaan
The 2016 edition of Eesti Laul continues this Saturday with the second semi-final. The third act to perform is the one of a kind Meisterjaan.
The Jew's harp is an instrument that is rarely featured in mainstream western music but for Meisterjaan it has become a source of musical inspiration.
"I started playing it about six years ago without any real ambition to make music with it, but I felt like I was getting better and better so this is an experiment to make a pop song with this peculiar instrument," he said.
Meisterjaan is the stage name of Jaan Tätte Junior, the son of Estonian playwright, actor and singer Jaan Tätte. While his father has chosen the more traditional path as an entertainer, Meisterjaan has always preferred the experimental path.
This is his third participation in Eesti Laul after participations in 2011 with then girlfriend Mari Meentalo and in 2013 with the band 'Armastus'.
His Eesti Laul entry 'Parmupillihullus' (Jew's Harp Madness) marks his first entry as a solo performer and feels a lot more natural to the performer.
"My previous songs were totally different to what I was doing at the time, but I have other songs similar to Parmupillihullus so this time it isn't totally off my chart," he said.
The Jew's harp is native to various cultures all over Asia and has traditionally been used as a kind of courtship ritual among cultures where direct communication is considered taboo. The droning sound is believed among some cultures to induce a trance and is an element of many cultures with shamanistic practices.
It is this subject matter that lead Meisterjaan to create the song. The decision to enter Eesti Laul did not come until three days before the deadline for participation.
"The first version was about five minutes long and had fewer lyrics, so I shortened it and sent here," he said.
Meisterjaan is rather sceptical about his chances in the competition and was surprised to be admitted to Eesti Laul in the first place, but still maintained a positive attitude.
"I would be surprised to get to the finals but it would be very very cool," he said.
"I checked the pages of the other semi-finalists and only three have less likes than me, but I don't know how important a fan base is. We'll see."
Meisterjaan performs in the second semi-final on Saturday 20 February.