Moldovan pop group Sunstroke Projet has adapted their 2017 Eurosong theme “Hey mama” for the purpose of educational video aimed at the pensioners confined in their homes due to COVID-19 epidemic.
The song is in Russian and Romanian, and published as a Youtube video with English subtitles. The clip conveys the main recommendations by the World Health Organization and the state authorities on how citizens should behave during the pandemic, and also sends positive emotional energy towards the elderly, promoting solidarity between generations.
Alongside messages about responsibility, the video indicates that besides using the time at home to play computer games, it’s also good to read books and call relatives and loved ones over the phone.
Sunstroke Project first performed at the Eurovision Song Festival in 2010, with the song “Run Away” performed with Olia Tira. At the time they won the 22nd place out of 39, but the song remained current, with their official video getting over 10 million views on Youtube.
Their performance in Oslo started an internet meme phenomenon. Sergej Stepanov’s performance of saxophone sole became basis for the “Epic Sax Guy,“ an enduring and recognizable meme, with dozens of versions and imitators.
Besides the usual short form of caricatures, “Epic Sax Guy” also inspired very long versions и that loop up to 10 hours. Some of them garnered tens of millions of views after some influential youtubers inclluded in their ‘challenges.’
Their web popularity contributed to selecting Sunstroke Project as representatives of Moldova for the 2017 Eurovision contest, with the song “Hey mama” with lyrics in English. The performance again included a sax solo and a new kind of dance moves.
That year the Sunstroke Project reached third place in the competition, the best result Moldova has ever achieved in the contest.
Moldovan government has introduced measures similar to other European countries to hamper the spread of the novel coronavirus, including lock-down and two weeks of self-isolation. The song aimed to encourage the senior citizens to adhere to these measures has been promoted with the hashtag in Russian language #мамадомасиди meaning “mom stay at home.” Russian, alongside Ukrainian and Gaugazian has status of regional official language in Moldova, and is widely spoken by most of the residents, including the majority whose mother language is Romanian.