Artist: Jessika ft Jenifer Brening
Song: Who We Are
Country: San Marino
Betting Odds: 501/1
For a country that is so small it can be difficult to continually find a representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. That is why they have been represented by Valentina Monetta four times and that is why only one of the eleven finalists in their selection show in 2018 (1in360) came from San Marino. In the end they opted for ‘Who We Are’ performed by Jessika and Jenifer Brening.
The song’s title attempts to answer just ‘Who We Are?’ Nothing says who San Marino is quite like a song written by an Austrian (Zoe Straub), sung by someone from Malta (Jessika) and with supporting rap by someone from Germany (Jenifer). Yet this is what San Marino have chosen. I have no issue with nationals from other countries taking to the stage for a different nation at Eurovision, but it kind of goes against the essence of the Contest when no one from that country is involved in the song. How can it be about showcasing your nation’s musical identity when you open it up to everyone to compete? Instead it becomes a formulaic X-Factor type show and what you get is a formulaic X-Factor type song.
With that said, this is about as modern and edgy a Eurovision entry that we’ve ever seen from San Marino. Gone are the dated 80s vibe of Valentina and Jimmie Wilson (American). Say goodbye too to the embarrassing crooner stylings of Serhat (Turkish). Even the cheesy duet of Anita Simoncini and Michele Perniola (Italian) is shown the door. No it’s 2018 and San Marino are giving us a catchy bubblegum pop song complete with a rap section from a female rapper.
Although the song is super catchy, the lyrics leave much to be desired. Jessika exclaims in the chorus ‘We are who we are. And who we are is who we want to be.’ Okay, great! Any other interesting insights? No? Okay let’s move on to Jenifer Brening aka Jenny B’s rap. Again while catchy (a la Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’) it is a little cringey.
San Marino will compete in the second semi final. They have only once made the final in their eight attempts to date. Even though they have an artist from Malta and Germany and a songwriter from Austria, I think San Marino (like always) will struggle to gain any significant votes and don’t think they’ll make the final this year.
For more information on the artist here is 10 Things About…Jessika and Jenifer Brening!
The full lyrics to the song are here and check out the video below!