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Breaking down the TABOO of speking about mental health

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on March 25, 2018 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Taboo is the song of Christabelle and Malta of this year. We had the chance to speak to Christabelle about Eurovision 2018. Read now what she has to say about Salvador, Lisbon, Portugal and the Eurovision.


Christabelle, when you think about Portugal, what is the first thing having in mind?

Well, now that I’ve been, the first thing that comes to mind is the farm I was on at Alter do

Chão. I fell in love with the place and can’t wait to visit and see all the beautiful horses again.

But, I also get butterflies when I remember that I’ll be performing on the Eurovision stage in

Portugal. I don’t think I could be more excited!


Have you ever been to Lisbon and what did you like the most? Or what are you the

most excited about Lisbon, if it is your first time?

I was in Lisbon for a few hours a couple of weeks ago but I’m afraid I didn’t get to see much

so I’m very excited to be back and explore the city a bit better. I recently couldn’t sleep and I

decided to do some research on the city, so now I have a list of all the places I want to visit

(the architecture is wonderful!) and the foods I want to try…


What was your reaction about the victory of Salvador last year?

Sometimes, it can be hard to connect with a song when you don’t understand the lyrics, but

‘Amar pelos dois’ blew me away immediately. Salvador’s voice is so soothing and the song

just instantly reminds you of romance! Definitely a well-deserved win.


You already participated at the national final. Now you got the ticket. Why did you

return this year?

Yes, I only started taking part in 2014. That year there were 2 national finals, and I placed 2nd

with the song Rush during my second try. The last time was in 2016 and I then decided to

take a break for a year and focus on some other parts of my musical career. I missed this

particular stage, however, and thought that I would try my hand at it once again and bring in

all the things I had experienced and learnt as an artist over the previous year to create

something that was different – at least for me.


What is the inspiration behind your song Taboo?

It’s a very personal song for me as it talks about breaking down the taboos that we have when

it comes to mental health. I’ve experienced it at first hand and I know that it can be really

difficult to simply find someone to tell that you are not feeling well emotionally and

mentally. With that in mind, I approached the other three songwriters (Johnny Sanchez,

Thomas G:son and Muxu) and, together, we wrote ‘Taboo’. But the song was always meant

to be a visual one, which is why I enlisted the help of artistic director Steven Levi Vella to

bring the song to life on stage. He is now also helping me work on the performance for

Lisbon!


What do you expect from Eurovision for your musical career?

Performing in front of so many millions of people on the stage of a contest with such a

history and prestige is incredible. No matter what happens after the performance, making it to

the Eurovision will always be a highlight. Having said that, I also need to keep in mind that

this is not about me but about my country, Malta, and its people, who have entrusted me to

represent them. All I wish for, at this point, is that I will make Malta proud, Europe sing

along, and the theme of ‘Taboo’ out there.


What does the theme “All aboard” means to you?

No matter where we come from, what language we speak, what kind of clothes we wear, or

what God we pray to, music can unite us. For that reason, I think ‘All Aboard’ is actually a

fantastic slogan for a contest that has united Europe – and, now, even places well outside of

Europe, like Australia – for more than six decades. In other words, to me ‘All Aboard’ means

inclusion and solidarity; something that, when practiced, makes the whole world a kinder

place to live in.


Eurovision this year will be without big LED walls, what do you think about that fact?

The first time I heard about it, I was actually quite worried. But then I realised that this

opened the door for us to be even more creative with how we set the scene for our

performance. In a way, this will put the focus back on us, the contestants, and that’s

something that we will have to use to our advantage!


The inspiration for the theme of this year was the ocean. Which meaning does it has for

you?

While Portugal has connected Europe to the New World for centuries, Malta has connected

Europe to Africa and the Middle East for centuries, too, so the theme is also very close to

Malta’s experience of history and our identity as a people. The ocean – or the sea – has not

only allowed us to discover new lands but to share goods, ideas and traditions, and I think

that’s definitely worth celebrating!


Malta never won the Eurovision Song Contest. What would you do, if you would be the

one to bring the first victory to Malta?

I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like! Malta has done well on several occasions

but, as you’ve mentioned, it’s never won, so I’m pretty sure this would be a big deal. But, my

mindset until I get to perform in Portugal is to work hard to be able to give my best

performance possible and to stay grounded… But it’s a very exciting prospect so, yes, all

fingers and toes crossed, of course! 


We thank for this nice interview and wish all the best to Christabelle and hope that her wishes and dreams come true. And not miss a Nata in Lisbon ;)


Pedro de Almeida

AWS: "Abba is great, but when Lordi won the contest it was the best"

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on March 18, 2018 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

AWS for sure the loudest entree of this year and maybe the once who were most surprised by being selected spoke to us.

Örs (vocals), Roni (drums) and Bence (guitar) answered our questions. Read now what the told us about Portugal & Co.


1. When you think about Portugal, what is the first thing having in mind?

Bence: Luis Figo

Örs: Good wines, beautiful country, and of course Moonspell! ;)

Roni: I love Portuguese language, and of course the ocean.



2. Have you ever been to Lisbon and what did you like the most? Or what are you the most excited about Lisbon, if it is your first time?

Bence: I’ve never been there yet, so I'm more than excited about it. I heard that there are many beautiful sights, tasty dishes and nice people.

Örs: This will be my first time and I’m really exited! I want to see all the monuments of your city. For example the miradouros, the Cathedral, the Castle of St. George and the Santa Justa lift.

Roni: I've never been there before, and the first thing I would like to do is watching the ocean from the city.


 

3. What was your reaction about the victory of Salvador last year?

Örs: I think he was a pioneer. I agree with him that there is no need for so much glitter and fuss. Celebrities are just the same as everyone else, everyone is equal.


 

4. How did the idea come up to participate at the national final? And how surprised have you been about winning?

Örs: I never thought that we could win. I’m so proud that I can represent my country, and my subculture in the ESC.

Bence: We'd like to show that there's a scene, a complete genre, which should get much more attention in the media. We were totally shocked, when we heard our name at the final.

Roni: We just wanted to write a typical AWS song, but it became something beyond that goal, and we decided to sign it up for the contest.


5. What was your link to Eurovision so far?

Örs: I liked it when Lordi blew up the stage... :)

Roni: I knew Abba was a winner, and Abba is great, but when Lordi won the contest it was the best.


 

6. What do you expect from Eurovision for your musical career?

Örs: I don’t want to be a typical celebrity, I want to have concerts in my country, and I want to tell everybody: metalheads are not as scary as many people think.

Roni: A lot of new knowledge about music and music industry.

Bence: We hope that we'll reach more and more people with our music and our message.


 

7. What does the theme “All aboard” means to you?

Örs: I think equality is the most important catchword of these days. This applies to all nations, groups, people and attitudes. By participating as a metal band in Eurovision, the slogan is even more powerful for us.

Roni: Something which makes us work ALL together on a great thing.


8. Eurovision this year will be without big LED walls, what do you think about that fact?

Örs: Talent can be and should be visible without LED walls as well.

Bence: We don't have LED walls on our shows either so it'll be familiar for us.

Roni: I like the idea, because we can focus more on the music instead.



9.. The inspiration for the theme of this year was the ocean. Which meaning does it has for you?

Örs: I never saw the ocean, this'll be my first time. But the ocean for me is freedom, infinity and incomprehensible.

Bence: I’ve been in love with the ocean since I was a child. I have tattoos with whales and other cetaceans so I'm very happy about this year’s theme.

Roni: I love the ocean. I am also in awe, but it's the most beautiful thing in our world I think.


 

10. What is the story behind your song?

Örs: I lost my father one year ago. The song is about losing someone you really loved, it’s about dealing with death – a topic which is very poorly treated in our culture. If we got to know it and learned how to process it, we could have a much happier life.

Roni: It's about to say goodbye to somebody who died, and learning how to deal with those feelings.


Thanks Örs, Bence and Roni for the interview and sure you will be unforgetable at Eurovision.


Pedro de Almeida

Lisbon: a nation with heritage of conquerors is especially inclusive and open today

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on March 11, 2018 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

He sang twice as background singer at eurovision and this year is the internal selection for Austria. We had the chance to speak to Cesar and speak about Portugal, Salvador's victory of course and what he expects of Lisbon 2018.

1. Cesar, when you think about Portugal, what is the first thing having in mind?


Portugal is in fact one of my favorite 3 Countries that I have ever been to, and has been for a long time! My first associations are friendly people, exploration and Cristiano Ronaldo:)


2. Have you ever been to Lisbon and what did you like the most? Or what are you the most excited about Lisbon, if it is your first time?


I was in Lisbon three times, 2 times professionally and once recently (shooting footage for the eurovision postcard). I played 2 of my most emotionally touching live concerts in Portugal, i have never before or since felt an energy quite like the one the portuguese audience gave me back then. I was still a boy back then, so the memory stuck with me.



3. What was your reaction about the victory of Salvador last year?


Having been on the production end of it all I viewed it primarily in terms of „what does this win say about the desires and yearnings of the audience and how will it affect eurovision in the future?“ i hope it will inspire future artists to be more comfortable sending songs of less common styles to eurovision.


4. You already joined twice as background singer the contest. How would you explain this experience to your best friend?


I wouldnt describe it as having been there as a background singer primarily. I‘s twll him my team needed me to work with the singers and backing singers on site, overseeing the conversion from the studio version to the live version. Of course , wanting to support our artists in every way possible, it was clear to me that i‘d help out vocally as well.


5. How did the idea come up to represent Austria, why not Bulgaria?


Well, at the end of the day I am austrian, and I live in Austria. Although I would love to see myself as a part-time honorary citizen of Bulgaria ��


6. What do you expect from Eurovision for your musical career?


I am working hard with my team to set ourselves up for whatever might come next , but right now i want to deliver the goods at eurovision. My heart and mind is in the now.


7. What does the theme “All aboard” means to you?


Inclusion! A well chosen slogan, considering how many nations in europa feel torn between their nature to help people in need and their fear of ...whatever it is they‘re afraid of.


8. Eurovision this year will be without big LED walls, what do you think about that fact?


I think that it can cause countries to make sure their song can hold it‘s own even without that effect, or to bring some innovations of their own. Or both!


9. The inspiration for the theme of this year was the ocean. Which meaning does it has for you?


I have been thinking about that, when i was last in Lisbon, where it becomes apparent how many different influences there are in this city, have been for hundreds of years, and the beauty and richness of culture that results from it. Its ironic how it‘s a nation with the heritage of conquerors is especially inclusive and open today. Maybe thats how you learn that you always gain something as well when you share your culture with a foreigner. In my opinion its communication and dialogue that forms character, not isolation.


10. What do you think will be the biggest difference for you this year at eurovision?

I honestly don‘t know. I guess we‘ll find out together...:)


We thank Cesar for the interview and wish all the best for Lisbon and yeah let check out how it works this time for you.


Pedro de Almeida

Grandparents from Portugal, so I am excited to eat Pastel de Nata in Lisbon

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on March 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

She is the Latvian representative in Portugal, being half latvian and brasilian. It was her first time sening a song to a national final and it was a first shot first victory.

Being the grandchild of portuguese it will very special for her and Portugal to be in Lisbon.


Read now what Laura has to say about Portugal, the family story and Eurovision.


1. When you think about Portugal, what is the first thing having in mind? And what does it specially means to you participating in Portugal?


I have dual citizenship: Latvian and Brazilian. My mothers’

Brazilian family is from Portuguese descent, so representing

Latvia in Portugal is the most perfect familly combination.



2. Have you ever been to Lisbon and what did you like the most? Or what are you the most excited about Lisbon, if it is your first time?


This will be my first time in Portugal. I look forward to visiting

Lisbon and hopefully, also other cities in this amazing country,

which is Brazil’s closest friend. I am excited about the legendary

Portuguese charm and hospitality, making new friends and

tasting the delicious Portuguese culinary treats. I specially love

freshy baked “pastel de natas”.



3. What was your reaction about the victory of Salvador last year?


It was well deserved. Salvador sung with all his heart and the

audience felt it.


4. How did the idea come up to participate at the national final?


It was serendipity. My family and I had already made plans to visit

Latvia in 2018, for the centennial celebrations, the Song and

Dance Festival that happens every 5 years, and to visit my

cousins who have moved from Brazil to Latvia. While doing

research for our trip to Riga, I came across a piece of news about

Supernova and decided to submit my latest original song, “Funny

Girl”.



5. What was your link to Eurovision so far?


I am a huge fan of Eurovision and enjoy discovering new acts

every year. This is the first time that I submitted an entry to the

contest, though.



6. What do you expect from Eurovision for your musical career?


It will be an unique opportunity to connect with a larger audience.



7. What does the theme “All aboard” means to you?


The 2018 Eurovision slogan enhances the core values and the

unifying power of this outstanding song contest. We are “all

aboard”, coming together to enjoy a fantastic journey through

different cultures, celebrate our diversity and share our Music and

wonders in peace.



8. Eurovision this year will be without big LED walls, what do you think about that fact?


The fact that there will be no LED screens and no projections will

focus a lot of atttention on the uniqueness of each performer and

their songs. The Lisbon stage is extremely versatile and offers

cutting-edge technology. Memorable visuals can be created with

a good light design.



9. The inspiration for the theme of this year was the ocean. Which meaning does it has for you?


I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

I have a very close connection with the sea, which means peace,

wonder, discovery and adventure.



10. What is the story behind your song?


The song tells the story of a girl who falls in love with her best

friend. She always makes him laugh and her feelings are her best-

kept secret, until she decides to open up. Unfortunately, it was too

late: he had already fallen for someone else. To him, she became

only a friend, just a “funny girl”.


All of my songs are inspired by personal experiences. One night, I

was alone at home, playing the piano, reflecting upon everything

that was going on at that time, and the song just came to me, all

at once, lyrics and music.


We say "muito obrigado, beijinho e até já Laura".


Boa sorte


Pedro de Almeida


Thank you Salvador - Zibbz excited about Portugal

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on February 24, 2018 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

ZIbbz is the duo represting Switzerland. Brother and Sister will perform the song STONES in Lisbon.


Eurovision on top had the chance to speak to Zibbz about Salvador's victory, the host country Portugal and what they think about the theme and slogan of this year. Read now.


1. When you think about Portugal, what is the first thing having in mind?

The great weather, free spirit, sports and the beautiful country! We love it!


2. Have you ever been to Lisbon and what did you like the most? Or what are you the most excited about Lisbon, if it is your first time?

Yes, we visited Lisbon for one day as kids with our grandparents a looong time ago! So we are looking forward to being there, tasting all the amazing food and soaking up the culture and maybe even catching some sunshine on the beach! ;)


3. What was your reaction about the victory of Salvador last year?

We love the fact that, simple, honest and PURE music talent won the contest! It’s time for real, well handcrafted songs to win.

Thank you Salvador!


4. How did the idea come up to participate at the swiss national final?

Of course we always used to watch the ESC with our family when we were kids. But never felt we had the right song to compete. With «Stones» we think we have a song in hand that has the potential to make a little difference in this world.


5. What was your link to eurovision so far?

We like that it brings people of all races together.


6. What do you expect from Eurovision for your musical career?

To play as many shows as possible! Releasing new music videos, and keep creating!


7. What does the theme “All aboard” means to you?

On every ship you have to have a working team/crew. Which we are happy to say we have!

It also tells us that everyone is invited and equal. We can totally relate to that.


8. Eurovision this year will be without big LED walls, what do you think about that fact?

We love that! We are totally „old school". The focus will be on the performers, and the music. That’s the way it should be in our opinion.


9. The inspiration for the theme of this year was the ocean. Which meaning does it has for you?

We LOVE the ocean. It’s a symbol for freedom, travel and adventure.

We used to go sailing with our family, in our heart we are sailors. The sea has a certain free feeling to it, and it makes us feel at home.


10. What is the story behind your song?

We wrote «Stones» in a songwrite-camp with the Canadian songwriter Laurell Barker.

The message is something which moves us all deeply and is sadly still a problem in today’s world. It's about inclusion, equality, diversity and tolerance. It's a call to stand up against bullying and hate.


We thank Zibbz for the interview and wish a lot of fun in Lisbon and all the best for the Eurovision.


Pedro de Almeida