Aarzemnieki, (Foreigners), is a Latvian folk and pop band. The group was first formed in 2013 by Jöran Steinhauer, a German musician who has been living in Latvia. Steinhauer initially gained popularity in Latvia for his viral YouTube video where he performed a farewell song for the Latvian Lats, the currency which was soon to be replaced by the Euro.
The line-up of Aarzemnieki included Jöran Steinhauer (lead vocals, guitar), Guntis Veilands (guitar, keyboards), Raitis Viļumovs (percussion), and Katrīna Dimanta (violin). Each member contributes their own unique musical skills to the overall sound and style of the band.
Following their initial success on YouTube, Aarzemnieki submitted a song for Latvia’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014. To everyone’s surprise, their catchy folk-pop song “Cake to Bake” won the national final, which led to them representing Latvia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Although they didn’t manage to make it to the final, the song was a radio hit in Latvia and got quite a lot of airplay around Europe.
After their Eurovision appearance, Aarzemnieki continued to make music and perform throughout Latvia and abroad. The band performed in Setúbal, Portugal, at a Eurovision event in September 2014. Under the name of ZIEMASSVĒTnieKI they presented four Christmas songs in December of the same year.
In July 2016 the band released a new single, “Cauri Grobiņai”, now with Jöran, Marcelo Semola, Matthew Medd and Mārtiņš Kits as the band members. A month later, the song “Viktorija” was released. It was followed in December by “Tomēr braucu mājās”. The band provided subtitles in 4 languages at the video of this song.
In March 2017, the new song and video “Draugavpils” was released. In June of the same year the band performed together with Fool’s Garden. In the end of the same month, they performed at “J’aime La Vlie”, a Eurovision event in The Netherlands. On the 17th of August 2017 their album “Visi Kopā” was released. Roberts Kits had now joined the band.
In 2019 there was only one performance of the band: at the Wine Fest in Sabile. It was the last performance of Aarzemnieki together so far. However, Jöran Steinhauer kept on doing solo projects.
Despite their Eurovision experience, they continue to remain a grassroots band, regularly performing at festivals, and local events.