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awardinary
post Jul 27 2021, 06:37 PM
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In the context, staying true to yourself to me means standing by your own principles for success rather than having to conform to popular opinions and tastes just to win over fans. With that in mind I wanted to ask the following questions to all BJSC participants, past and present;
    How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
    How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
    Do you have a proven formula for success?
    Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
Here’s how I would answer for my own nation, Zanmatony;

How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

My choice of entries is determined by recent discoveries, song enjoyment and what I feel might stand out from other entries.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

I try not to copy something that another nation has sent, and I try not to recycle artists already sent previously. I may attempt to send something from a similar time period or genre that I enjoyed from another nation but I wouldn’t send a genre that I wasn’t interested in.

Do you have a proven formula for success?

No, next question…

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

Generally I do only stick to sub-genres of dance and electronic music, but I have diverged into pop music a few times but not had success. It is unlikely I would send rock music and even less likely that I would send rap music.


This post has been edited by awardinary: Jul 27 2021, 07:29 PM
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uhsting
post Jul 27 2021, 07:15 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
I first participated under Why So Sirius with the intention of sending novelty and lighthearted entries. It didn't go well at all, with only 2 qualifications out of 9 attempts. Both of the qualifiers finished in the bottom half.

I think I started taking BJSC more seriously by sending Koti after the success with Loose Change. Then, I started to play around different genres to see which genres perform well in BJSC and resonate with most people. I think the last two qualifications have been very motivating to me as I think I have found my niche there -- synth-heavy and danceable entries resonate well. I want to try my hand at pop (yes Sovarasma is going cheap) in the next 3 or 4 editions to see if I can do well as some pop nations do. Maybe I will then try sad pop and introspective songs. I think BJSC opens up a lot of opportunities for experimentation and perhaps I will never stop experimenting even though I know what entries do well and what not. I guess that is part of the fun!

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
To some extent yes. Not gonna lie, I really like some of the DNQs like Beirut and KING (they are amongst my most favourite tracks in 2020). It seems like I feel more inspired when I can share the songs that others like and others enjoy them too. I have been pretty much living under the rock in terms of pop music culture as I warm up more to non-mainstream music so it is great to know other people enjoy songs that are not as popular.

I also think there is not really a current trend with the songs being sent, or maybe I haven't been participating in the contest long enough. I would consider common genres instead. Pop and dance seem to be hugely popular here, followed by indie and classics. For that, I am leaning more towards indie pop and dancey pop recently for my entries.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
At the moment I'm still finding one. As I said above, melodic, synth-heavy and danceable entries seem to do well for me. Next, I am trying pop, especially a good catchy, highly varying, well-produced bop because this seems to do well all the time in BJSC (next entry of mine is going to be experimental pop).

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something unexpected?
I mix it up from time to time because I want to experiment how people will react to different sounds. I would save unexpected songs for other contests like Unknown Pleasures, Nuggets, BJSC spin-offs etc. (Untitled 1, Suspirium and Bourgeoisie in previous contests). At the moment, I have one each for Unknown Pleasures and Nuggets (so here is my passive-aggressive reminder for an Unknown Pleasure soon tongue.gif tongue.gif tongue.gif ). I don't feel like sending too unexpected songs nowadays to BJSC.

Previously, I tried to vary between bangers and ballads. The latter didn't seem to go down well at all and I probably haven't found the right songs for the former. I think it is interesting to do alternating genres in BJSC. Maybe in the future I should vary between pop and synth-heavy/instrumental-heavy tracks. Maybe in the future I probably would just send pop. laugh.gif


This post has been edited by uhsting: Jul 27 2021, 07:18 PM
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awardinary
post Jul 27 2021, 07:28 PM
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I probably should have used the word “experimental” rather than “unexpected” laugh.gif I’ll change it now.
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dan:G
post Jul 27 2021, 08:02 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
For the most part in my first year I attempted to blend in by sending dance-pop which flopped except for one top 20 scrape. Started doing better when I went a bit more EDM with Flume giving me my first top half of the final finish despite not appealing to the pop bloc.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
I do try to send songs I expect a good deal of people will enjoy and play to the dance bloc niche though I only ever send songs to the main contest that really stand out to me.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
There is no one proven formula for success in the contest but an anthemic song with a strong melody, big sounding production values and a real payoff in the drop seems to often work for me.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something unexpected?
I tend to just stay in my lane and won't send anything unexpected for the sake of it. I do try to avoid sending consecutive entries in the same dance sub-genre though to mix my sound up somewhat. This year I've even done a different sub genre for every contest so far [orchestral dance - piano/electronic - pop house - melodic house - breakbeat - uplifting trance] although that could very well be due to end by next contest.
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JosephStyles
post Jul 27 2021, 08:40 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
When I entered, I didn't really have a clue what would do well so I just sent songs I enjoyed. Now, generally, I have a better grasp on what elements of my taste are vote-grabbers and what elements aren't!

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
No, I think I've managed to craft a lane for TARO Bellamia that, on the whole, does quite decently if not spectacularly (most of the time) - that's all I ask anyway, my aim every month is to Q and anything more is a bonus.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
Good quality pop music most of the time! Nothing pretentious or over the top, just a song with a good hook that I hope people will remember when the song's over.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
I don't actively consider the genre of my entries when I send them, it's just whatever I'm into at the time of the contest. Most of the time it's pop but if I'm feeling something else, and I suspect that it will do okay, then I'll send that. I've rarely strayed far from pop though because that's just my taste.
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Quarantilas
post Jul 27 2021, 09:24 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

I think it has always been a fair reflection of my evolving taste and what i am actually listening to and loving at the time. My early entires were when the whole contest was also finding its feet and things have changed heaps since back then when, RBW in VII aside, the first decade was all folks I had actually seen perform live or already knew and loved. To some extent that hasn't really changed a whole heap, theres defo still a strong element of self-recycling evident in my entry strategy and I have zero shame in that. I try and send what i am most in love and obsessed with at any given moment and new tracks by artists I know, love or have sent before can come into that. I am not going to send something that I wouldn't be putting on a playlist and spinning on the regular. If I don't love it, how can I expect others to? Sometimes theres an element of "well last time I sent them they didn't get the recognition they deserved, this track might be even better so lets go again" but mostly self-recycle is a case of "look look look it wasn't a one off you should totally get onboard the stan train too!". I just like to share the songs i am loving.

I don't actively hunt out music for the contest, I have done that in the distant past with like Red Blooded Women and Molly Sandén for our first foreign language spin-off and since then its become a lot more organic for me, as you might expect after over a decade! I tend to go off related videos, youtube mixes and suggestions as well as some random Apple Music playlists i am subbed to. I tend to just consume music for enjoyment and then when confirmations open i will think about what I have been really loving and then go with that. Sometimes I will have an entry plan where ive found a cluster of tracks and I will line them up and that will be a couple of months in a row. Sometimes its successful (Sofia - Freiheit=Gold - Powder was methodically planned to the extent that I had huge confidence I was going to win for the second time - although it was Freiheit = Gold i had pegged as the winner rather than Sofia.) other times not so much but oh well.

When I have nothing I turn to youtube and just keep going until I hit gold. I confirmed Wearing Nothing before I had even finished listening to the song the whole way though! I just knew it was immense and that I was in love and everyone had to hear it. That was a few years ago and I still have that same strategy for blank months.



How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

Not even slightly. Adaptations in my entries follow the growth and adaption of my taste rather than anyone else's. I am not here for a cheap hit, I want to see people also enjoying a song that i absolutely love.



Do you have a proven formula for success?

No because as nice as it is to do well, I don't court it or chase it with some 'formula'. For me, I believe that makes any success that little bit sweeter and more meaningful.



Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

Honestly people keep making up new genres so i think i genre hop inadvertently. I defo stay fairly pop with a minor flirtation with Dance if something from the genre catches my ear. I don't let genre influence my entries because i don't really ever think about genre when i am listening to music. I don't give a f*** what the genre is, a good song is a good song. Same goes for the language. A good track transcends language.
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PeteFromLeeds
post Jul 27 2021, 09:24 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
When I started I was pretty much throwing things out there to see what sticked, and around the time of my 1-year anniversary I ended up sending a lot of euro-pop/songs I thought would do well. After that I sent a mix of songs that were high up in my personal chart and songs I thought would do well, up until DHARIA - Sugar and Brownies at which point I realised that was just sending a song for the sake of it doing well. After that I've tended to send more quirky/indie entries that I enjoy.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
A little bit - obviously I haven't gone to the full extreme of sending masses of female-vocalled synthpop but I also wouldn't send a random song from the band down the road as I've tried that and it's never done too well.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
When I hear a song I often have an idea of whether it will do well or not, and pretty much all of the songs I've had that feeling about have qualified (the only one that didn't was Movement by The Whip). It's not really a 'formula' though as I only discover songs like that a couple of times a year.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
I guess KOKOKO was a bit experimental? My entries tend to be quite varied although in recent times I've avoided sending straight-up pop as there's enough of that in the contest already!
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gooddelta
post Jul 27 2021, 10:07 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

It has evolved along with my music taste evolving. 2007 was a long time ago and the contest was a different place. If my early entries were basically Scandipop, MOR and ballads, then that's because it's what I was mostly listening to at the time. I still love and do still send stuff from those genres, but my entries are also a lot more expansive now, and probably have been since circa-2012/13. Funnily enough that's when I started to lose my grip and since then my results have been way more modest than the 2008-2012 period, but while it would be easy for me to send some big great Scandipop every month, that reflects maybe only 10% of my music listening these days, so I'd rather it didn't make up more than a similar proportion of my entries.

In terms of 'choice', one thing I've never changed since about mid 2008 after the strange early days of the contest is that I still always try to submit my favourite eligible (e.g. non veto-worthy) song at the time of confirmation for every contest. If there's nothing I'm loving enough at that moment that I want in my entry canon then those are usually the months that I turn to a golden oldie or a strong backup that I've considered on a previous month.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

I haven't. Trends come and go in BJSC and there are always sounds and genres that do well one month and badly the next so its pointless to try and second guess it. There are a lot of entries that I've DNQ'd with that I feel are DNQs or borderline finalists at best due to the make-up of the participants at the time, but I still send them if I'm confident there are potentially enough people that will make a good discovery out of it.

And sometimes those entries do surprisingly well anyway while supposed nailed-on hits end up flopping. There are songs I've sent in the (distant) past that I have really liked, but am also maybe aware they are slightly hit chasing and have maybe chosen over another song I like more that doesn't sound like as much of a hit. What sometimes happens is the song you expect to do well flops and you regret sending it because you didn't really love it enough anyway, then you end up sending the other one you prefer the following month and it smashes! So imo it's better to not waste an entry you're not 100% behind to 'suit current trends', and instead just hope for the best with a song you adore. If it smashes, that's a bonus, if not it's at least a proud entry in your canon.

Do you have a proven formula for success?

No! I used to do better with pure pop, now a lot of other countries generally do that better than me and it's my entries from other genres that tend to do better (with a few exceptions)! Until about 2012 I managed to do pretty well with most Scandipop entries but not really anymore, although I barely dabble in that genre now. My biggest hits of the last few years have been mostly electronic and dance, so if I wanted to constantly do well I would stick to those genres but I like to switch it up.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

Definitely not, I love and listen to a lot of genres of music and my entries hopefully reflect this. In the last two years alone I've sent pop, indie, electronic, ambient, ballad, African gospel, trance, choral. Pop and dance and its sub-genres are easily the two I send stuff from the most but I don't stick exclusively to them.
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Cody Chaddha
post Jul 27 2021, 10:57 PM
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IDK these questions can be easily explained by two reasons:
- I'm hella basic yet my music taste is random and ranged, which explains why my potentials list is so huge *cries*
- whatever confidence I had in my entries was Thanos snapped out of existence during the beginning of 2020 so I might as well just send something and hope for the best

The only change that I have to this is when dealing with K-pop. It's been one of my favorite genres for a while and has become one of my go-to genres as of recent, but I haven't had the confidence to really send it until I found something that overpowered my senses. Even with Everglow winning I still haven't really felt as much confidence in the genre as I would like and I don't want to have to deal with that pain so the K-pop potentials I have are in my back pocket... for now.

tl;dr my last dance hit was in 2019 and I want that back lowkey and bring Daehun back
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Chez Wombat
post Jul 28 2021, 12:40 AM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC? It's changed along with my taste, I used to only stick to fairly mainstream sounding, accessible stuff, now I have a much wider source and taste for more out-there genres so I generally can send pretty much anything, I like to think I've covered quite a lot of different genres over the years.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations? I don't really, if I think a song may be vetoed however much I like it, I wouldn't send it. Saying that, I definitely wouldn't send something I know would unquestionably flop either. I do know the kind of things that tend to do well whether that be appealing to a niche and stuff that crosses over 'indie' and 'pop'. If I like an entry enough to send it, I usually do think if it could have a chance of going down well with at least a few people. Let's face it, there's no fun at all in seeing a song you love make no impact on anyone.

Do you have a proven formula for success? Judging from my top 10 hits, epic, standout instrumentals seem to be my trump card and...an artist who has had proven success on here, oops kink.gif Although saying that, my top 3s from La Phaze and Owsey were obscure finds and really surprised me and I've DNQ'd with instrumentals before so it's by no means proven!

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental? Certainly switch it up! I try and not send the same sound for two months in a row and like the challenge of finding new genres. I guess I would be an 'Indie' country to a lot of people, but I like to think I don't have a predictable sound.
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Iz 💀
post Jul 28 2021, 02:26 AM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
Completely. I used to, for the first few years (let's say the pre-Angel With A Shotgun/Megitsune days, that one-two was very instructive to my future identity), to send something I specifically searched out. Now it's more that I send entries I feel behind in an aesthetic and ego-centric sense, that fell into my lap from other means, the main thing that changed is that I just refined the way I discover new music so that it's more of a natural impulse from something I'm already behind, has led to me sending a few entries that took me quite a while to realise that they were suitable for here. And that's because I want to show them off. Net result is that more of my entries are absolute favourites and I enjoy the whole thing a lot more.

A slow abandonment of viewing entries that don't perform so well as "failures" was very necessary for this more "ego-centred" approach, they're not, and are often among my favourites, just a little more niche or unlucky in circumstances.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
I have not. If I ever do notice trends and adapt my entries to it, it's to go against the grain, not with it. It's rare that sending a soundalike of a recent success will feel good. I want to be that surprise, legendary hit most of all. Or at least a surprise, legendary qualifier (so close with "FAKE LAND" biggrin.gif). If a nation has done something I really like then I may be inspired by them a couple of contests down the line, but that'll really because their entry stood out among the pack.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
I think I have good instincts for what's a success here, maybe that hasn't shown recently but that's by choice, though "Jvnko Still Loves You" really did catch me off guard with how well it did, I figured out why, it's a good song for attracting high points, with that and "Try Not To Be Afraid" in back-to-back contests, there seems to be a (very good) market for long building dance tracks with spoken-word segments right now, not quite enough to win but enough to be the biggest track in the top 5 with slightly less vote numbers than their competitors. May that continue until it gets boring.

Basically, if I hit the right symphonic metal track/hard dance track/other genre track I often feel confident in the moment in getting a top-half finish, but success is less important to me than sending THE TRACK I want to, just getting a decent hit once a year is enough to keep my competitive side sated.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something unexpected?
All the time. My second most important adage is that I always like to do something that hasn't been done before, or something that I haven't done before at the least. Which means soundalikes and songs conceivably described as generic are a no-no for me, most of the time. At a minimum I rarely send the same genre twice in a row, maybe making an exception for something that really doesn't get sent unless I send it, so electro-swing/J-Pop/something of that nature. I know that I tried to cover a lot of different genres recently as I 'counted down' to 100 entries, cover all my usual bases.

My most important adage is that I want as many people as possible to remember (after listening through a whole contest, say) which one is "the Séyetana entry" EXTREMELY easily. To that end I often focus on genres that have rarely been in BJSC recently, expand people's horizons, but I do bounce around a few subgenres that I feel are more associated with me than most other participants.

basically I'm a rotten individualist who sends tracks to test out waters and only considering what I know I like rather than what others will, hoping that as many people as possible are charmed by whatever track I decide to stan this month.
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Riser
post Jul 28 2021, 02:40 AM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
My earliest entries were either songs I've loved for years or songs I'd only known for a week or two. Not much in between. Nowadays I try to stick with songs I've known for at least several weeks if not several months. As for style of music, I can't say that's really changed.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
I mean, I'll send "safe" female pop if I've got nothing else, but I'm never going to send witch house or certain other genres that have been popular here. I did send a couple long electronic/dance entries last year, which is unusual for me, but overall wouldn't consider myself a trend chaser. Obviously I want people to like my entries but my radar's usually way off, and besides it's equally if not more important that I personally love them.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
If anything I have a proven formula for failure basil.gif

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
I do experiment, I've only recently sent my first 90s entry and first foreign-language entry, but that's fairly rare and I'll usually stick to melodic pop or pop-rock.
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J00prstar
post Jul 28 2021, 08:09 AM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

Fairly, but largely because my music taste has itself changed.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

I have a better idea of what will be a successful track now & so I trend towards those more often. Ultimately the point is sharing something other people will like, to me, so that seems kinda sensible. But sometimes you just want to share something and see who likes it, too.

Do you have a proven formula for success?

That would be telling! In short I guess it depends if I've managed to find anything before someone else does though, or if I hit on something pop enough for wider pop to like but is still not too generic that I myself also like it.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

It's all the genre of 'music I like' but it does vary a fair bit I suppose.
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Bdelita
post Jul 28 2021, 10:20 AM
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> How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

lolz it hasn't, not really. RIP GAY 4 ME / ROO

> How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

f*** the police and the pop hoes who refuse to acknowledge anything other than white pop females so no i don't give a flying f***

> Do you have a proven formula for success?

win 5 times and then flop for multiple years in a row. you will still have those wins so you don't have to worry about doing well ever again. it's very unlikely anyone will catch up with you any time soon

> Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

sometimes i would send... a white pop female sad.gif
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King Rollo
post Jul 28 2021, 01:20 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
I started off by sending some of my favourite songs. I've entered five out of my all time top 10 faves and some others from my top 100. I now mainly enter more recent discoveries from the last few years.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
I try to pick something that I think will receive enough points from other countries to qualify as I feel more involved if I'm part of the final but it still has to be a song I really like myself.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
No. Some of my long songs have done really well so it's not a case of only my shorter songs finishing in the top 20.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
I like to send songs from different genres and decades and occasionally throw in a novelty song but at the moment I'm on a long run of qualifiers so I'm a bit more cautious than I normally would be to try to keep that run going so don't expect anything too eccentric from me in the next contest. I'm itching to enter another novelty song, long epic or retro song or any combination of those three but they will have to wait for the moment.

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Ghosty.
post Jul 28 2021, 10:04 PM
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?

Not by much at all. I send something I like (obviously!) and generally it’s something a bit electro-tinged most of the time. I would say that my entries these days are probably more likely to be already known by more people than when I first started participating as I have less time to delve for new music and tend to rely either on New Music Friday playlists or stuff that I’ve enjoyed for a while. It tends to be the latter that does better for me generally results wise which is interesting.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?

I’m not going to lie, I do try and play to win most of the time, but have very little success at it laugh.gif I think the most recent DNQ from Fionn has shocked me into not doing this anymore though as I saw that as a dead cert to qualify and a potential top 10 finish, so clearly what I think will do well is completely the opposite of what does do well. Somewhat annoyingly though, the last 3 winning entries are all songs I owned prior to them appearing in BJSC so maybe I just needed to hone my entry selecting skills!

Do you have a proven formula for success?

laugh.gif Clearly not

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?

Electro-pop is usually my go to, but I do sometimes throw something different into the mix. That never usually goes well at all though! I’m planning to go down the folk-pop route for my next 2 entries, including our 50th and final entry - I’ve been very much limping to the milestone and it feels like a natural point to bow out.
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Jade
post Jul 29 2021, 09:14 AM
Post #17
jerd
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How much has your choice of entries changed from when you first participated in BJSC?
I think my entries have always authentically aligned with my open-minded taste but I do sometimes go through phases of certain musical areas. For example, I sent a lot of witch house during my earlier days of competing and last year I was dipping into post-punk a bit more. At first I was more eager to be a "successful nation", especially as people expected me to be (see: the bjsc 74 debutants poll before our entries were even out there!) but slowly over time I've felt way more comfortable taking risks. Unexpected success is the most satisfying feeling in this contest.

How have you adapted your entries to suit current trends of other nations?
I don't really do this, I just try to send entries that stand out enough to me and hope for the best, whether that's from the niche 18s gang or on a wider scale.

Do you have a proven formula for success?
I am the worst at predicting my own success! A lot of my biggest hits seem to be quite dark and emotive though so maybe I'm on to something there. Then again 'Yo Quiero Bailar' is probably my most joyous entry ever and that is amongst my top 10 hits. Basically do my own thing and send songs that give people something to be excited about.

Do you stick to just one or two genres or do you like to mix it up from time to time and send something experimental?
Oh 100% mix it up! I think some sounds are associated with my nation (witchy, bleeps and bloops, strings) but I love giving different genres a go, keeps it way more interesting.
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Bdelita
post Jul 29 2021, 12:18 PM
Post #18
thanks for being a sarcy lil bitch
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Bra has a name! mad.gif

(Braylene Anna Nicole Niche 18s Gang Kennedy Davenport Dupree Smith)
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Bré
post Jul 29 2021, 01:14 PM
Post #19
brer
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Can you get some new material pls xx
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Bdelita
post Jul 29 2021, 02:26 PM
Post #20
thanks for being a sarcy lil bitch
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QUOTE(Bré @ Jul 29 2021, 04:14 PM) *
Can you get some new material pls xx


QUOTE(tgl92 @ Jul 29 2021, 12:16 AM) *
thanks for being a sarcy lil bitch

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