Iceland: Hera Björk speaks to esctoday.com

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In anticipation of the final of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins 2010, Iceland's pre-selection to determine the country's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, esctoday.com has been providing you with interviews of all six participants competing for the honour of representing Iceland in Oslo. The national final will be held this Saturday, February 6th and our series of interviews finishes with Hera Björk. Find out what she had to say below.

First of all, congratulations on qualifying to the national final! How does it feel to be back in the Eurovision race with the possibility of representing your native country Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest just being a heartbeat away?

It is fantastic – This has been my dream since I was a little girl so I am a happy girl today πŸ™‚

You already are quite an experienced Eurovision performer, having competed in the 2007 Icelandic pre-selection, as well as having sung backing vocals for the Icelandic Eurovision entries of 2008 and 2009. Moreover, you also reached 2nd place at last year’s Danish national final. How big is the desire to finally be the leading artist and go to Eurovision with your own song?

As I said it has been on my “to do list” for as long as I can remember πŸ™‚ ESC is a great platform for us artists to introduce ourselves to the rest of the world. Singing has always been my number one passion in life and performing for such a great and thankful audience is a dream come true πŸ™‚

After last year’s attempt to win the Danish ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest, you are the favourite to win the Icelandic one this year. You obviously have plenty of connections to Denmark, but, honestly, would representing Denmark mean the same to you as representing Iceland?

Of course not! I am as Icelandic as it gets and proud of it πŸ™‚ Even though Denmark has a big place in my heart I believe it would have been difficult to go up against Iceland and Yohanna last year! For me the Danish selection was a ticket into the Danish music industry and I got to know a lot of great people πŸ™‚

Having been part of the Icelandic delegation at the 2008 and 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, you already know how the competition works. If you were to represent Iceland this year, do you think that those two previous Eurovision experiences will help you with your endeavour to represent your country the best way possible?

Yes, it goes without saying :)I have met so many lovely people and some of them are close friends today. I was of course very observant and learned all the tricks in the book :)I might even give a lecture in the future about “how to go about when representing your country in ESC” πŸ™‚

Which edition of Eurovision Song Contest did you prefer? The one in Belgrade or the one in Moscow? What were the main differences? Do you have a special memory or encounter you are particularly fond of? And which of the other participants did you like the most?

The one in Belgrade was my first so I have to give it 12 points πŸ™‚ Moscow was also great but in a whole new way πŸ™‚ I think the main difference was the hotel we were staying at and also the fantastic “sight seeing tour” we had in Moscow with the adorable English speaking tour guide with the fabulous Russian accent and orange hair – Ohh I loved her:) Regarding the participants, in Belgrade my favourites were the Norwegian Maria and Boaz from Israel… and of course Vania Fernandes… and many more :)In Moscow I was really in love with Portugal again, Finland, Norway, Estonia and then some more πŸ™‚

Let’s talk a bit about your song Je ne sais quoi. You wrote it together with Örlygur Smári, composer of the Icelandic Eurovision entries of 2000 and 2008. As far as the genre is concerned, your song is quite similar to Euroband’s This is my life. Please tell us about the process of creating your song for Eurovision and what message it conveys. And why the French title?

Why the French title? Well, we were watching “Britain's got talent” on TV and heard this catchy phrase and thought it was perfect for our song πŸ™‚ Je ne sais quoi is an up tempo love song really! You know how sometimes when you meet new people you instantly “fall” for them without being able to explain why!?! It can be co-workers, friends, lovers etc.! This is what this song is about and we actually had a little “je ne sais quoi” moment when we were writing it – there was something about this song we both instantly fell for! We decided to go for the “up tempo euro-pop” sound because we like it! It's happy and suits my voice!

How are the preparations for your performance on Saturday going? Will there be any changes compared to the semi final?

It's going great, thank you πŸ™‚ And yes, there will be some slight changes in the graphic and the costumes next Saturday πŸ™‚

You are the clear favourite to win this year’s Icelandic national final. What is your opinion on that? Does that make you nervous or are you confident about your chances?

I am of course very thankful to those who support me and I hope to make it to Oslo in May! My opponents are all great performers and singers so anything can happen really! I am focused on doing my best on Saturday because at the end of the day it is the performance that determines who will represent Iceland in Oslo 2010! So I hope you'll enjoy πŸ™‚

In case you win, are you planning on releasing other versions of Je ne sais quoi?

I think I can answer that question with a yes πŸ™‚

To conclude this interview, do you have a message for the readers of esctoday.com?

MAKE LOVE – NOT WAR:) Hugs & kisses from Iceland, Hera Björk

Esctoday.com would like to thankHera Björkfor taking the time to dothis interview and wish her the best of luck for the Icelandic national final on Saturday.

Interview with Icelandic broadcaster RUV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-tyuq9kquo

Hera'sbid for Eurovision, Je ne sais quoi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh-J9B28m5E

Live performance of Je ne sais quoiat thethird semifinal of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JviBKyYIJZE

Hera and other participants rehearsing before the third semi final:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygER8FJckBA

Backstage at the third semi final with the contestants watching the handball game Iceland against Denmark at the European Championship in Austria:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy0mu1gtdXA

Hera and Örlygur talking to RUV:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N9a3PpWKrY

Hera performing Someday in the 2009 Danish national final, finishing second:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFrU6dA40b0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTbQ25QsGUQ

Hera performing Mig Dreymdi in the 2007 Icelandic semi finals

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-LJL_WyUhU

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