Family deaths inspired Sissi’s Eesti Laul entry

Sissi’s 2023 Eesti Laul entry was inspired by the grief caused by the deaths of two of her family members. 

Sissi will sing Lighthouse in Estonia’s national selection next month with the hope of representing the nation at Eurovision in May. 

The self-penned track came about after two tragic events: two members of her family drowning and the end of what Sissi thought would be a lifelong relationship. 

Speaking on the latest episode of The Euro Trip, Sissi said: “Lighthouse is a song that I wrote for myself. 

“I do write music for other people but this song was so purely mine – it is about grief. Before I wrote this song two dear family members drowned. Then I also came out of a very long  relationship [with] the person who I thought I might be spending the rest of my life with. 

“All of that has a lot of grief in it and I did not allow myself to feel this grief. I told myself that I shouldn’t feel it and I should be like everyone else and be strong, then half a year goes by and it doesn’t get any better.” 

After the relationship breakup that inspired the song, Sissi stopped writing music altogether because her ex had been a part of every song she had written previously. 

“Those are actually the first words in the song: ‘I stopped writing music because you’re in all of my songs’,” Sissi said.

“My mentor gave me some of the best advice I ever heard, advice that truly shaped and changed my life one year ago. She said that I need to learn to hold my pain. How you do that is start by making space for emotions and realising that they really are all OK. This song is a therapy song for me.

“It took so much bravery to get it [the song] on the page. Now when I sing it there’s a lot of peace and so much calm. I’m singing this song to myself every time I’m on stage.” 

Sissi is participating in Eesti Laul for the third time after finishing fourth with the song Strong in 2019, and second with the song Time in 2021. She is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her father, Dave Benton, who secured Estonia’s only Eurovision victory to-date in 2001.

Image – Gea Kumpel

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