Category Archives: Interviews

Mei Finegold speaks to ESC Views!

Okay, it’s fair to say that both James and I are HUGELY stoked about this interview. We were lucky enough to grab an interview with THE Israeli representative this year – Mei Finegold. We’re both massive fans of her Eurovision song “Same Heart” and we were so lucky to get the chance to interview her even with her really busy schedule! So what did Mei have to say to us? Well you better scroll down to find out!

What did Mei have to say to ESC Views!
What did Mei have to say to ESC Views?

Mei was selected to represent Israel back in January (we compiled a ‘Rumour Has It’ article concerning her selection only a few hours before it was officially confirmed – what about that for timing?) and two weeks ago her Eurovision song was chosen by the Israeli public – “Same Heart”. If you want to have a listen to “Same Heart”, have a look below! And just for some clarification, an R or a J designates our questions and an M designates Mei’s answers. Oh god, are you guys ready? We can’t wait!!

R: First of all, since you confirmed you were going to represent Israel, how do you feel about representing your country on such a big stage?

M: It is an amazing honour. It is a dream come true for me.

J: Has your participation in Kokhav Nolad prepared you in any way for taking part in a live TV event like Eurovision? 

M: It has. My participation in Kohav Nolad had taught me how to perform in front of a camera lens and reach the audience. It is so weird to know you perform in front of millions, but you can’t see them. I wish they could all sit in the audience. That could have been amazing, no?

R: You have ranked quite highly in may fans ranking. Does this add any pressure to you, knowing that many fans are supporting you and “Same Heart”?

M: Love overcomes pressure. I feel so much love from ESC fans that it makes me feel lucky, if anything else. It makes me feel good, no matter what place the song will reach at the competition. Free love is not something you get every day from so many people. I feel blessed.

R: If you were to pick a favourite from the three candidate songs, which would you pick?

M: My choice would be “Same Heart”. I absolutely love it.

R: Are you planning to promote your song before you go to Eurovision?

M: At the moment, my days are extremely busy. Besides preparing for the ESC every day, I am a very busy theatre actress and also have a busy pop-rock band called “Limozina Express”, and above all, I raise my two-year old amazing daughter. I would love to promote my song before the competition, and if I will get the chance, I will do everything I can. More than promoting the song, it sounds like great fun and I love to travel. In my life I’ve visited 11 European country’s and even lived in Ireland for a while. But I always remind myself to be happy with all the best things I have in life, even if it means, I will not have the time to go on a promotion tour, it is only because of good and fortunate reasons.

J:  You showed us a range of fabulous outfits in the videos for each of your selection songs.. have you thought about what you’re going to wear in Copenhagen?

M: I think about it all the time. I think it’s extremely important. That is why I didn’t choose an outfit yet. It was important for me to have the performance done first. I move a lot when I perform and also take a part in the choreography. I had to know what I was doing on stage first, before I decide what to wear, in order for my outfit to be comfortable as well as beautiful.

J: Have you thought about how you’d like to present the song on stage yet?

M: At the moment, I rehearse with two amazing female dancers. It was important for me to save the spirit of the video clip we shot for the song. “Same Heart” has a lot of power in it and I had always been an artist that women-empowering was a main issue in my art. When ESC fans asked me ones, why I don’t use men in my act I responded: “Who run the world?”.. Ha ha. I love queen B.

R: Have you heard much of your competition? If so, have you picked a favourite?

M: I’ve heard some. Not all. But from what I’ve heard. It is going to be a hard competition for me. I love it! I love talented artists and I know it’s a competition, but it’s a damn good one. I wish every one the best of luck.

J: What’s your favourite Israeli Eurovision song apart from your own?

M: I don’t like to pick one, because I love so many. But I truly think that Dana International’s “Diva” was something special.

R: Who do you look up to musically? Do you have any idols?

M: I know it sounds corny, but I’m influenced by so many artists, you wouldn’t even believe. Every few weeks, I get stuck to one artist and find myself listening to them all day and night until I move to the next.

R: What are you most looking forward to when you go to Copenhagen?

M: I can’t wait for the moment when the camera start rolling on Same Heart at the semi final. I think that the adrenalin rush I will experience will be like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. I’m looking forward to that.

R/J: Finally, do you have a message for the readers of ESC Views?

M: Only with ESC fans have I experienced such love for a competition. They don’t want only their favorite to do well, they want everyone to do well. They want the best competition and I love it! You don’t get that in any other competitions. They love Eurovision and love you because you are apart of it. There is nothing like it! Since I experienced it, I am an ESC fan. Thank you so much for the free love, I will do my best to make you all proud. Love to all. See you in Copenhagen.

Well reading that interview, it seems that Israel is definitely preparing for something huge in Copenhagen and I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to see Mei and “Same Heart” take to the stage, but that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Are you a fan of Mei’s song? How well do you think it will do at Eurovision? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!

And Mei, thank you very much for letting us interview you, you were fabulous!

Hersi Matmuja talks to ESC Views!

So on our Facebook page, we said that this would be our 100th post and to celebrate, we’d be having a special surprise for the readers and here it is! Here at ESC Views, we managed to get an interview with Herciana (Hersi) Matmuja, who will represent Albania in Copenhagen! So what did she have to say to ESC Views? Well keep reading to find out!

So what did Hersi say to ESC Views?
What did Hersi Matmuja tell ESC Views?

So as dedicated Eurovision fans, you should know that Herciana is representing Albania in Denmark with her song “Zemërimi I Një Nate”. However, she was met with negative reactions from the fans, as seen in our NF review of Festival i Këngës. But she’s representing Albania, so you can’t get rid of her! Here’s her track being performed at FiK:

In the following questions, it will be marked with an R or a J so you know which questions were whose and a H designates Herciana’s answer. Hope you like the interview!

R: So Hersi, now that you’ve had time to settle down from winning Festival i Këngës, how do you feel that you will represent Albania at Eurovision?
H: I am now aware of my big responsibility: to represent the Albanian music on the stage of ESC the best I can! I was confused the first days after winning, but I think right now I’ve settled myself and my thoughts are all focused on the next performance, which means, we’ll have to rearrange the song, and I have to think of my vocal performance in a new way. It’s time for me to think more rationally, I’m done with emotions, but just for now.

R: Is it true you’ve decided to sing in English instead of Albanian?
H: I’ve only considered it as an idea, actually that’s what I wanted in the beginning, because I wanted much more people to understand the lyrics, but now, I don’t know, because I’ve read many people want it to be in Albanian.

R: Have you thought about how you will stage the song in Copenhagen?
H: We haven’t discussed that seriously, since there are a lot of things to think before that, like how will the song be arranged, than the video-clip…All I can say is that I want it to be a simple performance, because I want ESC watchers to listen to the song, not only to be focused on the visual performance.

J: You’ve taken part in both Festivali i Këngës and Kenga Magjike – which festival did you enjoy participating in most and why?
H: Both; because they’re different. The FiK stage comes with the responsibility of singing with a live orchestra, for a wider range of viewers, and you always have to think for the European public, too. Kenga Magjike it was fun and entertaining; I had to perform with a choreography and I really enjoyed it.

R: Who do you look up to musically? Do you have any idols?
H: I look up to a lot of singers and music genres: I listen to Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, but I also enjoy listening to Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Rihanna, Bjork or Abba, because I think that listening to a wider range of music, is the only way to create my own personality as a singer.

J: Which is your favourite Eurovision song from Albania apart from your own?
H: I liked all of them, really, because all the singers were names on the Albanian music, or, young talents, who have already made a career here; Eurovision has actually helped them to grow up professionally. But if I’ll have to pick up one, I’ll have to go for Rona Nishliu with “Suus”, it was one of the performances I’ve enjoyed the most, because of its spirit and her personality on the stage; it was a big emotion for all of us to watch her representation take us to the 5th place!

J: We’ve only heard your song performed with an orchestra so far – do you prefer singing with live music, and do you think it would be good to have an orchestra back at ESC?
H: I personally like the song in both versions: the studio version, with the masterization of the composer/arranger Genti Lako, which is more phonetically clear, and I can’t not love the orchestra version, where every instrument it’s live, and it kind of gathers the spirit of each musician in one sound. As for Eurovision, I like it as it is.

R :What are you most looking forward to when you’re in Denmark?
H: I can’t wait to go there! I’m thirsty for living some of this unique experience! I’m so looking forward to meet the people, to visit Copenhagen, and I am so exited that I will sing on that big stage! Can’t wait for the first rehearsaaaal!

R, J: Finally, do you have a message for the readers of ESC Views?
H: I’m so impressed of your support, I’ve seen your beautiful comments, read some very beautiful messages you’ve written to me, and I promise I’ll give my best for not letting you down! Have a happy New Year! My biggest affects!

So Hersi Matmuja is getting ready for Copenhagen and I think we’re gonna see something spectacular on stage in Denmark, but what do you think? Do you like Hersi’s song and how well do you think she will do at Eurovision? Feel free to let us know by commenting below!

P.S. Like we said at the top of the article, this is our 100th post! Thank you so much for standing by us all through the off-season. It just shows how great you guys are! So from James and I, we want to thank you guys so much and we can’t wait for Eurovision 2014! You guys are awesome!