Who are Riva?

The 2016 Eurovision marked an important Eurovision milestone for me –  it was the 26th year I have followed the contest and I actually went to see the live grand final in Stockholm!

I have watched every Eurovision since 1989 – from the selection process to the final.

Where did all begin?

Why did I begin to watch the contest and what has happened in the years since.

Let’s find out…

For those unfortunate people who are unfamiliar with this extravaganza then here is the Eurovision Song Contest description according to Wikipedia…

“The Eurovision Song Contest (FrenchConcours Eurovision de la chanson), often shortened ESC, is an annual song competition held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956.”

The first year I can actually remember hearing the winning song was 1989. I was eleven years old and didn’t actually manage to see the entire show. I started watching it and couldn’t understand why the singers weren’t all singing in English and soon fell asleep.

Waking up during the voting stage – which if you haven’t ever watched the show is almost as entertaining as watching the performances – and I was hooked. The song that was currently leading would constantly be replayed and I loved it – I knew I had to tune into this show the following year, watch it from start to finish and possibly record it onto VHS to watch it again and again.

This song eventually won – “Rock Me Baby” by Riva from Yugoslavia.

And the official music video…

What has happened in the years since? We all know what happened to Yugoslavia, we aren’t really too interested in what I got up to so what happened to Riva – the last winner of the 80s, the best decade ever?

The group parted in 1991 with lead singer Emilija Koki going on to be a solo artist. Firstly she tried to go down the route of being a typical euro 90’s dance singer in 1996.

Emilija then changed direction in 1999 and attempted to become Celine Dion in a bath tub.

She dabbled in Country music in 2001.

In 2004 she thought she would attempt being Mariah Carey and do a Christmas album.

She tried out at Croatia’s Eurovision national selection event, Dora, in 2008 but sadly came joint 6th but, contain yourselves now, she returned on Dora 2011 and played “Rock Me Baby” during the interval.

Emilija either died in 2011 or produced a terrible music video which shows her as a ghost.

Nowadays, very much still alive, it seems she has started her own singing school and, like her legs, it’s always open.

Emilija Koki? from the 1989 winning group Riva
Emilija Koki? from the 1989 winning group Riva

Thanks to Riva, Yugoslavia and Emilija I have never been the same since!

Share your Eurovision memories with me!


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Written by Steve

I’m Steve and live in a village called Alford (home of Emeli Sande & birthplace of the Aberdeen Angus cow) in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. I currently work in the IT industry (yawn) I just want to share my ideas, findings and general reflections with whoever wants to listen.