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Latvia's Citi Zēni
Latvia's Citi Zēni
Photo: EBU / Corinne Cumming

Latvia: Citi Zēni serve up a tasty performance

Bringing a sense of style, panache, and funk to the stage in Turin, the guys from Latvia’s Citi Zēni kick the show into high gear with their funky ode to eco-friendliness, 'Eat Your Salad'.

According to them, being environmentally aware is not only important, but it’s sexy, too!

We figured out a way to put out a serious message in a playful way! Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful. Change comes from positive ideas, positive thoughts, positive endorsements…you can always change something about yourself that makes you a better person.

Citi Zēni prepare for their first rehearsal.EBU / Andres Putting

Citi Zēni, which translates as “the Other Boys”, are made up of singer Jānis Pētersons, singer and bassist Roberts Memmēns, drummer Toms Kagainis, keyboardist Reinis Višķeris, saxophonist Dagnis Roziņš, and guitarist Krišjānis Ozols. The sassy sextet (all of whom are vegetarians) formed at a songwriting camp in early 2020, but some of the guys have been friends since high school.

📺 Watch: Citi Zēni – Eat Your Salad (Eurovision House Party)

The band credits its success to their balance of a great work ethic peppered with a ton of fun. Jānis puts it this way:

It’s only been two years…but two years together every day! Friendship is always there…if there’s no laughter, what’s the point?

The group launched their first full-length album, Suņi Iziet Ielās (Dogs Take to the Streets), in 2021, and since then, they’ve won a number of awards, including a Golden Microphone (Latvia’s equivalent of a Grammy) for their song Limuzīns Uz Krīta (Limousine in Crete). They’ve been called the “Princes of Rap”, and purveyors of a style they’ve called “Alternative Unicorn Pop”.

It’s completely ours, and we can be completely free with it!

Citi Zēni’s First Rehearsal at the PalaOlimpicoEBU / Nathan Reinds

The guys have been working hard, and they’ve been loving their Eurovision experience so far. They’re slightly sad that Jānis can’t indulge in a stage dive, as the greenroom is located in front of where they’d be performing, so there wouldn’t be anyone to catch him. “I don’t want to stage die!”, he says. Absence of stunts notwithstanding, Citi Zēni had a great set of rehearsals here in Turin.

The moment we stepped on the stage…it felt so right! There should be a bit of stress, since this is very important for us, but we enjoy what we do. I hope we’ll manage to transfer our energy to 200 million people!

Citi Zēni approach their performances, both at Eurovision and beyond, with a sense of irony and fun. They fully acknowledge that the world has changed since their win at Supernova this year, but that people still need to have an outlet for joy.

If people are dancing around in their houses, mission accomplished!

If Eat Your Salad makes you feel like dancing (or whipping up a nice vegetarian snack), be sure to watch Latvia’s performance during the First Semi Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, on 10 May.

📺 Watch: All 40 Songs Official Recap

Follow the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook channels – and subscribe to the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

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