Pænda

EUROVISION 2019: What Next – Pænda

What next for this year’s Eurovision entrants?

Austria: Pænda

by Christopher Smith

Austria hit the headlines in 2014 when it won Eurovision for the first time in 48 years in spectacular style with “Rise Like A Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst. Since then the country has experienced mixed fortunes coming 26th the following year and a third place finish in 2018 with “Nobody But You”, performed by Cesár Sampson. This year all bets were on 31 year old highly individual singer and songwriter Gabriela Horn aka Pænda and her self-penned number “Limits”. Sadly the song didn’t quite hold the jury’s attention and for the first time since 2013, Austria failed to win a place at the grand final.

Pænda made her debut in 2015 with the single “Waves”, the first track to be taken from her debut EP “Evolution I”, which wasn’t released until February 2018. Two further singles were lifted from the EP “Good Girl” and “Paper Thin”. Pænda has wasted no time in releasing her second EP, conveniently titled “Evolution II” this April and “Limits” was the lead single. She has just followed this with “Like A Domino” and despite not qualifying for Eurovision, is on tour across Europe this Summer and into the early Autumn. Pænda has already established a following for herself and her success, even with her Eurovision attempt, is almost certainly guaranteed from now on.

Click here for the other artists featured in this series

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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