In recent years, escflashmalta.com has been on the forefront in chatting to artists who would be heading to the Eurovision Song Contest and hopefully representing their country and achieving a positive result. Next up is Carl Espen who will be representing Armenia with the song Not Alone co-written with Garik Popoyan. He looks back at his experience in the music industry and the manner in which he is taking up the challenge of representing his country in the biggest music event.
Without a shadow of doubt, it seems that there have been some misunderstandings in recent weeks with the international press reporting on certain comments which you made about Conchita Wurst, the bearded lady who will be representing Austria in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Would you kindly explain and clarify the situation?
Apart from being a musician, I’m also a comedian. Music and humour are inseparable parts of my life, and some remarks I recently made that were meant in a humorous manner instead may have hurt my colleagues and fans. Those who misinterpreted my jokes maybe haven’t listened to my song attentively, as it reminds everyone that they are not alone. That is the main message.
I want people listening to my song share my idea that no one is alone in this world, regardless of what country they come from, their religion, what is their medical diagnosis or who they love. During my visit to Amsterdam I have met Conchita and had the chance to talk with her in person and clarify the situation. I am glad we could understand each other in a right way.
On behalf of Armenia, you will be the first artist to take to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 having been slotted in the first position during the first semi-final. What was your initial reaction to the running order and does it make you nervous to know that you will be the one to open a weeklong of festivities?
You know presenting my country to international audience is a big honour for me and I hope I can present it in the best way. My reaction to the selection results when I learnt I’d be performing first was quite positive. “Not Alone” will open Eurovision Song Contest 2014 and I think it’s good! Being a positive person, I have already found an advantage of my situation. I will sing first and then won’t have to be anxious until my turn comes to sing, I won’t be waiting nervous in the backstage. So let’s hope everything happens for good.
In recent years, several public broadcasters have decided to forego their national selection process in favour of an internal choice following consultation with music industry professionals. This has not always been representative of success in the international competition but has still proven to be a formidable outlet of choice. You are the product of such a choice but nevertheless, would you have gone through the trouble of a national selection?
Due to my career path I have participated in many competitions and got used to competition spirit. I would have gone for national selection as I have always wanted to participate in Eurovision, and secondly I enjoy competing, as it keeps me in a working mode.
Not Alone which you composed to the lyrics of Garik Popoyan is the song which you will be presenting during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Would you please walk us through the song-writing process and why did you select this song in particular?
We have gone a long way with “Not Alone” until we managed to have the version of the song, as it is known to public. Melody of the song is composed by me and the creation process was quite spontaneous. I guess it always happens spontaneous when you have an inspiration all of a sudden.
Muse visits me unexpectedly and leaves without warning either. Garik, who is my good friend and colleague, wrote lyrics for the melody. The instrumental arrangement, which is really great I think, was done by Lilit Navasardyan. Then it took us some time to work on it with all our team and now we have a strong song, I think.
It is fair to say that you are one of the most popular individuals in Armenia, having first appeared both as a vocalist and a presenter on a number of hit television shows such as X Factor, Idol, My Name Is, Power of 10 and Vitamin Club. How has each experience defined who Aram MP3 is and what can the public expect from you in the next couple of years?
Each experience gave a chance of meeting new people, receiving energy and emotions from them. I love communicating with new people and sharing experiences, people are such a great source of inspiration for me! Apart from this, combination of humour, music, stage performances, anchoring shaped different sides of me as a showman. I am in love with everything that is connected with backstage and on stage performances and happy to have so many ways of doing whatever I love in my life.
Betting Odds have always been pretty close to predicting the final result, having correctly seen to the victories of Loreen for Sweden (2012), Alexander Rybak for Norway (2009), Lena for Germany (2010) and Emmelie de Forest for Denmark (2013). At the moment, you are topping the leader board, with a slender lead over Sweden. How does it make you feel to note such support and do you give such predictions any importance?
I am very much thankful for all the positive feedback I am receiving. This is a huge support for me in this tough period, really. Betting odds are reflecting people’s opinion about my song and I am very touched that it has so many followers. It proves that I am not alone in my musical preferences and that my team and I are working in the right direction.
Despite the fact that Armenia and Malta are competing in different semi-finals, it is worth noting that they will both be opening acts and thus are somewhat aided through this mutual relationship. Have you had the opportunity to listen to Coming Home by Firelight and what are your thoughts?
I liked the song and the video very much. It touches upon the sensitive issue which is very important for everyone in the world. I am very concerned about what is happening in our world: there is so much chaos around us nowadays. I think that artists should be delegates of peace and love in the world and that is what Firelight tries to say in my opinion.
I also try to deliver a certain message through my song. I really hope that it unites everyone in the world who is in difficult situation now and together we can warm peoples’ heart and don’t let them feel alone whichever hard moments they are going through.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Through my song I am trying to spread the idea of love and harmony in human relationships. I wish readers of escflashmalta value their beloved ones and find the harmony. I also invite to join my Facebook page and follow me on twitter to stay updated on my coming concerts and hope for your support in Denmark! Thank you Malta!