Lithuania 2024: Silvester Belt
Photo: Armida Čepukaitė

Silvester Belt from Lithuania: "We are keeping the vibe because we're really happy with it"

INTERVIEW A few years ago, a young Silvester Belt attempted to represent Lithuania in Junior Eurovision. 12 years later he's ready to make Europe move to his electropop song "Luktelk"

Silvestras Beltė, professionally known as Silvester Belt, is this year's Lithuanian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. He won the national selection Eurovizija.LT with the song "Luktelk," which means "Wait Up."

While this year marked his first attempt to go to the world's biggest music competition by competing in Lithuania's national selection competition, 12 years ago he took a chance on representing his country at Junior Eurovision with a fun song titled "Pi-pa-po." There seem to be some mixed feelings concerning that period of his life.

Silvester Belt – "Pi-Pa-Po"

While in a past interview he admitted to "cringe" just thinking about it, when we sat down for our conversation Belt seemed emotional and nostalgic about the experience:

– It's making me emotional, he says.

– I wanted to achieve a lot and I was so excited about everything back then. That little kid was depressed but had a lot of dreams, he recalls.

The purity and innocence of our younger selves is obviously different once you're introduced to a world where individualism and coming first seems to be all that matters. That wasn't Silvester's goal back then, and it's not his goal nowadays either:

– Winning wasn't the goal. Of course, you go into it hoping to win but you receive so much more than that. Even doing Eurovision right now, I am finding different sides of me that I wasn't aware of before. Sometimes winning won't give you the most important thing, he says.

I saw Eurovision as a dream far away, like something that just wouldn't happen to me.Silvester Belt

Silvester started being more careful with what he'd put himself into. 12 years later, he's ready for the Eurovision stage:

– I can't believe it's been 12 years, Silvester says.

– I saw Eurovision as a dream far away, like something that just wouldn't happen to me. I mean, it's a dream for so many artists.

– But one day I was talking to friends about someone competing in the national selection competition, and at one point they were like, "What about you?" And I was like, "What about me?" That's when I realized that maybe I should give it a try.


That's why this participation can be seen as spontaneous, especially when you get to know the background of "Luktelk":

– I wrote the song with two Lithuanian artists who I usually have songwriting sessions with. When we get together we usually talk about an idea or try to come up with a concept, but this time I asked if we could try to write a song for Eurovision. I told them, "No pressure, let's just try."

Challenge accepted. From there, the melody came first:

– We wanted it to sound like something that a lot of people from different countries could relate to, and I don't know why we had French people in mind.

The language of the lyrics was also something they discussed. Before he could elaborate on that, someone behind us was whistling "Luktelk":

– Oh my god! Someone's whistling my song, he happily exclaims.

– Anyway, we decided to keep it in Lithuanian because at first we were writing it for a Lithuanian audience, and maybe that's why it did so well amongst them. But then the world heard it and the response was great.

– It also feels authentic to go to Eurovision with a different language, I am really happy with it, he concludes.

Lithuania 2024: Silvester Belt – "Luktelk"

What does the song mean?

– If you don't speak Lithuanian, don't try to find a meaning to it. If you relate to it in some way, if it makes your shoulders move or anything, attach your own meaning to it, he suggests.

– I've been doing all of these interviews and I always have to come up with a specific message to explain my song, but with you I feel like I want to say what I actually feel. I really don't like telling people the meaning of my songs, you should tell me what it means to you because I wrote it for your experience.

It may seem like a long time ago, but it's only been roughly two months since Silvester won Lithuanian's long Eurovizija.LT:

– I feel like people around me sort of had the idea I was going to win, but not myself. I didn't even think I'd make it to the Final, he confesses.

This year's national selection Final was held in the Švyturys Arena, and during both times Silvester performed his song you could hear the whole arena singing along. It was emotional and the most special moment of this adventure so far:

– I don't know what will happen in Eurovision, but that specific moment will be the highlight of this whole journey. I actually saw it a few days ago and I couldn't stop crying. It even makes me want to cry again just to even remember it, he says.

I really don't like telling people the meaning of my songs, you should tell me what it means to you because I wrote it for your experience.Silvester Belt

In the end, Silvester's "Luktelk" defeated the two-time champions, The Roop, who were also competing with their song "Simple Joy." There was no bad blood, and a few days after the Final, he met the band's vocalist who shared some advice that Silvester Belt seems to not be following:

– He told me that everybody would want a piece of me from now on and that I should find time for myself.

Silvester Belt sings "Luktelk" in Barcelona

As of now, Silvester has already rehearsed for the first time in the Malmö Arena. From the pictures shared, we can conclude that the performance will remain faithful to what we've seen during the national selection contest, something he had confirmed when we spoke:

– We are keeping the vibe because we're really happy with it and it just goes along with the song, he says.

– I love the darkness, the contrast between red and blue, so why would I change something that's good? We'll just adapt it because it's a bigger stage.

Are you a good dancer?

– Oh god, he laughs.

– I am the worst dancer, I am just faking it. We have strobe lights and flashes so it looks like I do dance properly but if you would turn them off and would just watch me you'd be like, "What the hell is that guy doing?"

With his upcoming Eurovision performance, Silvester wants to be seen as this mysterious guy and also wants to show the world that Lithuania is filled with talented people. Everything about "Luktelk," from the song to the team, is 100% Lithuanian, and everything is supervised by him:

– If you ask my team they'd probably tell you I am too involved in the production of the performance, I am unbearable because I am an over-thinker, he says.

– Every time we have to decide on something I ask myself and people around me way too many questions. It's been this way since the creation of the song.

Before and after Eurovision 2024

Music has always surrounded Silvester. From an early age he knew he wanted to be on TV and on stages, and that was the trigger that led him to try a little bit of everything until he realized that maybe he didn't have to do it all:

– I explored a lot of different things. I was in the choir, I even did classical music, tried Junior Eurovision, and eventually found songwriting when I was in university. I was about 18, he says.

That's when he realized he was also a songwriter, even if it took a while for him to start writing songs for himself. With time he started creating his own music, leaving behind covers, and found a new way of expressing himself:

– I stopped worrying about singing off key. I got to write in whatever way I wanted and using my voice in any way I wanted.

Thank you for the support, and I hope you won't forget about me after Eurovision.Silvester Belt

A few years later he moved to London, an experience that allowed him to expand his horizons, something he isn't sure he would have been able to do if he'd just stayed in Lithuania. According to him, it was the best decision he made.

Besides London, his admiration for Troye Sivan was key in developing his artistry:

– I found about him on YouTube as a closeted-gay-teenage-boy, and everything about him resonated with me...his appearance, the way he spoke, the way he expressed himself. I eventually found out that he wrote music too, and it was sort of queer pop and I remember thinking, "What is he doing? I feel like he's living my dream."

Up until today he remains a major inspiration for Silvester, who is traveling to Lisbon in May after Eurovision to attend Troye Sivan's concert.

Besides seeing Troye perform live in Lisbon, what are your plans post-Eurovision?

– That is the main question! I want to do a really big concert, that'd be my goal, but I also want to release new songs so I will shut myself in a studio for a month, or however long it takes me to write good tracks that I can add to my upcoming album, he says.

– From there, I'll want to release an album, to tour, and I'd love to collaborate with people from Eurovision. That's a lot of plans for now, I think.

For the Eurovision community, Silvester has a final message:

– I never thought I could reach so many people as I am reaching now, and I want you to know I read every single message you send my way and it makes me emotional. Thank you for the support, and I hope you won't forget about me after Eurovision.

Silvester Belt will represent Lithuania in Eurovision 2024. He will perform "Luktelk" in the first Semi-final.

About the author: Pedro Santos (Portugal)

authorPedro comes from Lisbon, Portugal. He's 30 years old and graduated in journalism. He has attended Eurovision Song Contest three times live - 2018, 2019 and 2022 - and covered the show twice more (2021, 2023) but his first Eurovision memory takes him back to 2007 when Sarbel delivered his catchy "Yassou Maria" performance. Pedro's favorite Eurovision song is Albania's 2015 "I'm Alive" by Elhaida Dani which is also his favorite Eurovision edition.

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