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Wednesday, 16 February 2011 13:57

Exclusive: Hotel FM (Romania 2011) speak to ESCflashmalta

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With a number of acts for the Eurovision Song Contest already picked, we have decided to start speaking to some of the acts getting to know them and their music a little bit better and today we have spoken to none other than the Romanian representatives at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest who are none other the the group Hotel FM. Their entry "Change" will be performed in the second semi-final taking place on the 12th May 2011 in the city of Dusseldorf, Germany.

Well Hotel FM is a band that sounds as if they have been singing with each other for many years. Can you tell us how and when you met and decided to form a band together?

Hello and thank you for your interest in our music! Hotel FM was originally formed as a band in 2005, when Gabriel Baruta gathered a few young and talented musicians from his native town, Oradea, to record and perform some of his pop-rock songs. The line-up changed drastically throughout the years, until we reached the perfect trio: David Bryan (joined in 2008), Gabriel Baruta (who's always been around :) ) and Alex Szuz (joined in 2010). Maybe we sound so good together because first of all we are friends and when we're performing together on stage, it's the greatest possible thing.

Now – I have to admit that as a group of men you must have nerves of steel, as the live show for the Romanian selection was over 5 hours long. How did you manage to remain calm throughout the New Years’ celebrations and the Live Contest - do you think that experience will help you on the Eurovision stage?

It was fun, actually! The energy in the Green Room was amazing, all the contestants were singing, joking and in good spirits all the time, it was almost like we were there only to celebrate the New Year's Eve. The moments before the results were announced, though, seemed endless and were probably the hardest to bear. Hopefully, that magic night - and all the months we have left until the Eurovision final - will prepare us to be the best we can on Dusseldorf stage.

For some contestants, entering Eurovision is a foreign concept to them as they have not seen the show before. Have you ever been to any Eurovision before as a spectator – because do you realise just how big an event the contest has developed into?

No, we haven't seen the show in an arena, but we watched it live on TV almost every year. Also, we have many musician friends who've been there, as Romanian contestants or composers / staff members and they have been sharing many interesting backstage details with us. It's a great pleasure and honor to be part of something this big and we truly hope we will rise to the occasion.

As I mentioned earlier, the Romanian selection was an extravaganza and hosted by none other than Paula Seling and Ovi -who came 3rd in Oslo. Did they give you any advice on how to enjoy and perform on such a huge Eurovision stage to hundreds of millions of viewers?

We haven't had the chance to talk to them so much that night, but we are friends of Ovi's and we'll surely meet these days to talk a bit about the competition. Only to know that such talented artists as Paula and Ovi are supporting us and believe in our song is already a boost of confidence.

Your song “Change” is a wonderfully crafted song with strong lyrics. For anyone who may not have heard it yet – what is the message behind your song?

Thank you, we're glad you like "Change"! The message is a very simple, positive one: each one of us can make small steps towards "customizing" own life according to own dreams and wishes; there's no reason to spend your days worrying and "waisting smiles away", because our time here is so short and precious. "Change" is all about believing in your dreams - as we believed in ours when we entered the Eurovision selection... and here we are!

"Change" is a very positive and instantly recognisable song. Have you started to think of how you will present the song in Dusseldorf on the Eurovision stage?

Our show is being thought about, planned and prepared as we speak - the wonderful TVR team, our designer (Simona Hulber) and stylist (Rodica Puca) plus a coreographer and many other talented specialists who are yet to join us will help us make our performance something to remember. Still, we will be aiming for an elegant, natural show with no exaggeration or over-the-top extravagance. Our music is played straight from the heart and our show should totally reflect that.

Do you know if Romanian TV will be making a promotional video for the song “Change”? If so, can you tell us when that is planned to be made and released as we all surely all dying to know?

Yes! The promotional video for "Change" will be shot in the next period and we are really excited about it. It will be our first video together and we really hope you will enjoy it ;)

The voting in the Romanian National final was very close and exciting. What has the public reaction to Hotel FM and “Change” winning?

It seems to us that the Romanian audience has received us open-heartedly, although we are far from being a famous band. People in our country are more open to pop-rock music nowadays and are expanding their cultural horizons very fast. We are proud to have offered them a song they can relate to and that speaks to their hearts, even though it's in English and not in Romanian.

People do not realise that being a contestant at Eurovision is not just about being on stage for 3 minutes. There are hundreds of hours of rehearsals, interviews, promotional tours, more interviews, meeting fans, even more interviews and performances. Are you ready for this now being your life for the next 5 months? How will you cope with the demands made of you?

Yes, we are ready, set to go and more inspired than ever! Really, we have spent more time in the studio than ever before, we've been rehearsing with more devotion than ever before and everything simply seems to fall into place, now that we're living our dream and we have such a powerful motivation to be better by the day. It's this enthusiasm that helps us cope with our crazy schedule and stay fresh and full of energy.

Romania has a wonderful record at Eurovision. You have qualified for every Final since Semi Finals were introduced. Do you feel any pressure to continue this tradition?

Everybody asks about pressure - you see, this is how pressure is created, actually! Just kidding, it's only natural to acknowledge the responsibility that has been placed on our shoulders (and our voices!) and not forget for a second that Romania is expecting only the best from us. Still, we like to think that's more like motivation and drive than pressure. We'll hopefully fulfill our promise and make a dream come true, "it ain't that hard to do"... :)

When Eurovision has come to an end, what will be the next step for Hotel FM? Can we expect an album and if so what type of songs can we hope to hear from you?

Surely, an album will be the next step for us. We are currently working on several songs and we will try to present as many of them as we can during gigs and TV performances, besides our song of the moment, "Change". You can expect to hear fresh pop-rock melodies with strong lyrics and emotional vocal interpretations, as well as powerful tunes that we'll rock in our live performances.

And finally I would like to thank Hotel FM for taking the time reply to our questions today. As you leave now, what would you like to say to your fans here on ESCflashmalta and the Maltese Islands and your new found supporters throughout Europe?

Thank you for listening to "Change" and receiving us with so much enthusiasm! We need all the support we can get, 'cause we simply can't change the world alone! :)

Last modified on Thursday, 31 March 2011 23:15