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Estonia is here to stay: You’ve got a friend in ARHANNA

18 November 2023 at 08:00 CET
🇪🇪 Estonia - ARHANNA - First Rehearsal - Junior Eurovision 2023 Corinne Cumming / EBU
ARHANNA is bringing Estonia’s first ever entry to Junior Eurovision with her ballad ‘Hoiame Kokku.’ From a prestigious music school in Estonia to the stage in Nice, France — 2023 is a big year for this young pop star.

At just 11 years old, Arhanna Sandra Arbma spends most of her days playing the piano and singing in a grand manor house, the Räpina Music School. When she’s not performing in an 18th Century building, she’s winning national and international singing competitions, including the talent show Tähtede Lava, which won ARHANNA her place at Junior Eurovision.

ARHANNA’s song Hoiame Kokku is all about friendship and staying together. ARHANNA wrote the melody herself, but it’s fitting that she had a little help from a friend. Her best friend Rael Laikre, who has a family band with her 6 siblings and parents, joined her to write the lyrics.

Beyond the pair of friends, there’s some extra writing magic in Estonia’s first Junior Eurovision entry. Top Estonian producer and composer Karl-Ander Reismann wrote Estonia’s Eurovision 2022 song Hope performed by Stefan, and is bringing his experience to ARHANNA’s song. And writer and poet Leelo Tungal is bringing extra superpowers to the lyrics. Every year she translates the winning Eurovision song into Estonian, and this year went for a Tattoo and Cha Cha Cha mash up.

Singing might be ARHANNA’s number one passion, but she has plenty of room in her heart for animals, especially her dog Percy, who’s a bichon frisé. The fluffy pup has a variety of nicknames, and makes ARHANNA laugh when he has a go at talking like a human. She’s also a big fan of pandas, and has got a house filled with panda-themed items.

One of ARHANNA’s top pop star heroes is Alika Milova, who smashed her Eurovision Song Contest 2023 performance with her haunting song Bridges. Elika has clearly been a big inspiration for ARHANNA’s Junior Eurovision entry, which features soaring melodies and beautiful piano music. Her other favourite hits include Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License, Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off and Eurovision 2023 winner Loreen with Tattoo.

“My song is about, if you’re feeling alone, there is always hope that a good friend will come soon,” ARHANNA says. And we know how important friendship must be to this up-and-coming pop star, when she wrote her Junior Eurovision entry with her best friend by her side.

You can learn more about ARHANNA right here.

Junior Eurovision 2023 took place in Nice, France on Sunday 26 November and was won by Zoé Clauzure from France! You can rewatch it live via the official Junior Eurovision YouTube channel (if available in your country).

All 16 songs are available to watch on our YouTube channel and listen to the official album on all streaming platforms, and of course, you're invited to vote for your favourites too! How do I vote in Junior Eurovision? Here's how...

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