Marc Calleja Bayliss has spoken to the duo who will be representing Romania in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. This is what they had to tell us whilst wishing everyone a pleasant couple of weeks with regards to what will be coming up soon.
This years’ Romanian selection was quite complicated for fans to understand because despite the fact that it was open to everyone, the broadcaster namely TVR heard the submitted entries and also decided which songs were good and had unsuitable singers. Do you think that this kind of system worked in the organization of the selection in your opinions?
I think this is a smart decision for TVR because this makes the whole process more efficient. First of all, the decision is favorable to the young composers who can’t afford to have an experimented artist singing their song, because we all know that a good song can be seriously disadvanteged by an unsuitable voice. This is, basically, for the good of the song, for the good of the selection.
As soon as I heard that Ovi was joining forces with Paula, I remarked that this is going to be a fantastic collaboration because I am quite a fan on your work having followed you in your respective national selections in previous years. What was the reason behind the collaboration and is it just for the Eurovision Song Contest or will it continue after the event?
Paula: I met Ovi on the stage of a very important Romanian Festival in Brasov and it was definitely a compatibility from the first moment we talked. We are both singers and songwriters, we like almost the same music and artists and we found it interresting to start writing and singing songs together, for our upcoming albums. Few weeks later, Ovi decided to make our first duet for Eurovision, this was a great oportunity to start the collaboration, so we begun to work at the concept. The ideea came naturally after we begun to talk about our music, and we were happy to see many similarities in musical preferencies.
Despite being a new collaboration, you cannot say that you are new to the music industry and that is because you are already both quite famous within your own countries being the host country of Norway and Romania. This is due to the fact that you have released a number of studio albums onto the scene already. Would you care tell us what you have been up to in the past and do you believe that it has made you the persons that you are today?
Every little step we take is important for the person you are and you are about to become. I have released 13 albums during 14 years of musical career and I can proudly say that after all this work, I have produced my first album that I entirely wrote (music , lyrics and orchestration) . It was released last year and it’s called “Believe” , you can listen to the songs on www.paulaseling.com . I have opened the concerts of Chick Corea , Joan Baez, Rcky Martin, Michel Bolton, Beyonce, and I had the honor to make a duet with Al Bano and Anita Doth from 2 Unlimited recorded one of my songs in duet with me and sang it on the stage of Callatis, a festival that takes place in a beautiful seaside resort.
The song which you will be presenting in the second semi-final of this years’ Eurovision Song Contest is entitled Playing With Fire and it is written by none other than Ovidiu Cernau?eanu. What was the main inspiration behind the song and is it relatively the same to what you had heard when the demo version was first released or has it changed a lot since then?
The song is based on a musical “duel” between two piano players. Ovi and I have both studied classical music in the past so we thought it was an opportunity to apply our piano skills and make a special song based on the concept of a competition both vocally and on the piano. This concept was developed to emphasize the idea of the competitive energy in a relationship and the battle for control envisioned as a “fight for supremacy” between two lovers.
Well, we can’t say that it has changed a lot, but it has definitely changed during the production, there were many ideas that transformed the song into what it is now. Every song needs to be adapted to the type of voices and personalities of the artists that interpret it.
One of the most impressive qualities about your participation this year is surely the music video which incorporates together several modern elements including glass pianos, robots and even clothing. What was the idea behind the promotional clip and what can you tell us about the filming of such an impressive piece of art?
Well, thank you so much for the appreciation!
The song has a futuristic sound that makes you think of a parallel world. As you know tha story and the inspiration of the song, you see why we took its action into the future : Ovi and I, we take our “fight” in the virtual environment , in a computer game where we compete with each other at different levels. Each of us, we choose an avatar as pilots, urban guerilla fighters, dancers and robots. The video uses a last generation special technology and it is a premere for Romania: “motion capture” . Motion capture uses a special suit with sensors similar with the ones used in the movie “Avatar” that transposes the movements of a person in a generated character – the robots in the video. The shootings took place both in Romania and in Austria at Grafenegg Castle. There were over 60 persons involved in the production of the video and the result is so good due to the austrian specialists in motion capture, the team and the brilliat ideas of the Producer Eduard Schneider and Director Mihnea de Vries
This year it seems that the broadcaster namely TVR has been investing quite a hefty sum of money in order to promote you in the best possible way so that the result achieved in Oslo will be satisfactory and surprisingly high of course. I am of course speaking with regards to the extremely busy promotional tour which you have been doing all around Europe. Where have you gone to thus far and do you believe that such a tour is necessary when one can make good use of the internet?
Nothing compares to meeting people in person. It is true that we can promote the song on internet right now, but I believe in the special chemistry that happens when you meet people face to face, when you talk to them, when you sing them live. This is why we wanted to do this tour and we managed to go to Moldavia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey , we will go also, in UK. I am sorry we haven’t managed to get to Malta also, because it is something that we want to do for a long time.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been ongoing for more than 50 years up till now and therefore has had numerous numbers of songs each year. Do you consider yourself a fan of the event and if so which entries would you consider as the best ever submitted, both Romanian and international ones that is? In the meantime, have you heard any of the other songs competing in this years’ edition which is set to be staged within the city of Oslo in the confines of the Scandinavian nation of Norway?
I was watching ESC every year with great interrest, together with my family and I consider it the most important music event of Europe that has fans all over the world. I consider myself a fan for many years and it is a great honour for me to be part of it, this year. I think that ABBA with Waterloo is one of the most important winners of ESC, like Johnny Logan with “Hold me now” , Brotherhood of Man with “Save your kisses for me” ,Celine Dion with “Ne partez pas sans moi” , Toto Cutugno with “Insieme” , “Everyway That I Can” by Sertab Erener, “My Number One” from Helena Paparizou , Alexander Rybak with ” Fairytale” and many others.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at www.escflashmalta.com?
Yes: Thank you so much for reading this interview , for being interrested in Ovi and me, I hope you will enjoy “Playing with fire”. Wish you all the best!