The ‘Trenulețul’ has pulled into Turin, ceremoniously dropping Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers off at the PalaOlimpico. They’re here with a mission: to spread joy far beyond Moldova’s borders.
With the song Trenulețul, meaning ‘the little train’, the group Zdob şi Zdub makes its third appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest representing Moldova. This time, however, they’re joined by the Advahov Brothers, for an all-inclusive celebration of “folklore and rock ’n’ roll”. It’s a partnership of genres that’s intentional, with both acts having an end goal in mind – to engage wider audiences with the sounds of yesteryear.
The older generation in Moldova, they are of course listening more to folklore. While the younger generation, they listen to pop music and rock music. This collaboration is an easy way to attract the younger generation towards the knowledge of their roots; to push traditional music. But generally, Moldova is a very traditional country and most young people do know how to dance to the folk and the roots music.
It’s not just a grand plan to get the people of Moldova dancing that has brought Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers to Eurovision, however. In fact, the people of Moldova themselves played a fairly huge part in convincing the two acts to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.
We released this song in October 2021, when the actual train route from Chișinău to Bucharest was relaunched after two years of the pandemic. When we launched the song it was a huge hit in both Moldova and Romania, and we got so many messages asking us to please, please take this song to Eurovision. The song celebrates both countries, has such a good message, people really wanted us to go to Eurovision with it.
The support from the people of Romania, on top of the adulation they are receiving in their native Moldova, is an added bonus for the musicians that make up both acts. When they composed the number, they of course had the geographical connection between both countries in mind, but there is also the undercurrent of a deeply spiritual connection between the two nations.
Our song – these lyrics – are about the destiny of both countries. It’s a fact that historically we are one tribe and that now, we are two countries – Moldova and Romania. But, the reality remains that we have one language, shared music, beautiful traditions and beautiful cuisine, too. And the spirit of both people – we are like brothers and sisters.
Of course, Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers have their sights set far beyond just Moldova and Romania when it comes to spreading the message in their song. According to them, it’s a simple message, but it’s one that they feel is more important now than ever. And those eye-catching colour combinations you will see on stage – they’re not accidental!
After two years of a pandemic, people out there really need music. The positive energy that comes with it. The many colours that we can bring into the performance. This song is like music therapy; for everyone. Folklore – with all its roots – it’s music that is important, something very special. And of course, a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll, too. Something fun.
Sights are also partly set on what comes after participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. There’s a collaborative album in the works, for one. Though if you ask the musicians themselves, they don’t actually want the ‘after Eurovision’ to happen any time soon.
After the Eurovision Song Contest, we will finish the album that we began to write during the pandemic, deep in the Carpathian Mountains. It is halfway done, and we will release it before the end of the year. But the truth is, we don’t want the Eurovision Song Contest experience to stop, because the atmosphere here has been so special, so friendly and so joyful. We want it to last longer and longer! For us, it’s not really like a competition. It’s more like a nice carnival of peace, of friendship, and of music. And people need that.
And once the Eurovision experience actually is over for them, how would they best like to be remembered?
We want to be remembered as having had the most joyful song of all.