Aisha, the Latvian representative in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo has spoken to esctoday.com about her preparations for this year's contest. She talks about the personal significance her song What for? (Only Mr. God knows), balancing her rehearsals for her new musical in Riga with her preparation for the contest and how Hard Rock Halleluya by Eurovision winner's Lordi has caught her attention.
esctoday.com: Firstly, congratulations on winning this year's Latvian national final. Can you tell me about your feelings on winning the competition and on representing Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Aisha: Thank you! It is a great honor and incredible experience to be a part of Eurovision Song Contest. In summer 2009, I represented Latvia at New Wave (Novaya volna) which had the audience of hundreds of millions, including in China. I am to give the best performance I can and speak about the result after it.
esctoday.com: How would you describe your entry What for? (Only Mr. God knows)?
Aisha: Well, it is the song the lyric and music of which can touch everyone. Throughout our lives we ask many questions, search for answers. Some of them are answered, some of them are just sensed, but no matter what the reply is, we always have a hope for the better to come and happen.
esctoday.com: In your preview video you give a very emotive performance of your entry. Does the song have any personal significance for you?
Aisha: I heard the melody of the song at first, later on Guntars Racs showed me the lyrics. It was in January. A new year had just started, but there were some less nice things going on in my personal life, like a breakup. Everything happened in such a short span of time. Of course, I had my head full of why’s and what for’s. The song came to me at the right emotional moment. Actually, we recorded it in one take. esctoday.com: Your stage performance of What for? at the national final included four backing singers hand washing clothes. What is the significant of this?
Aisha: Yes, there have been a lot of discussions about the laundry moment, both positive and negative. Technically, the theme of the song is so global we could have had anything on the stage and it would still relate the topic. It suggests us to stop and think of the reasons and causes, even the backing singers washing clothes.
esctoday.com: Do you intend to make any changes to the presentation of your song in Oslo?
Aisha: The only thing I can tell is to confirm that there are going to be changes. What exactly? Well, we are still working on the performance and presentation. So, let it be a little bit of a surprise.
esctoday.com: You have achieved impressive results in past Latvian national finals. Preceding this year's victory you came 2nd in 2008 with Your really got me going and 4th in 2009 with Hey hey hey hey. Both these songs are more rock influenced than the bluesy What for? Which musical style do you prefer?
Aisha: Oh, right! True, it was a totally different image and class. I do not mind singing both rock and blues. I enjoy learning new things and developing myself. Actually, lately I have discovered the beauty of blues. It is so amazing, positive and I love improvising. esctoday.com: As an established artist and popular personality in Latvia can you tell me a little about your musical and entertainment background? Aisha: I grew up in a musical family. My dad is a lead singer in a rock group called Opus Pro. Early on I participated in different musical competitions for children both singing and playing the flute. Yes, I play flute and piano, but I still consider my voice the favourite and dearest instrument. In 2004 the participation at reality show Talantu fabrika (like American Idol or X Factor) gave me a solid experience and background for the future musical career. I have done and tried a little bit of everything – with various success I took part at Singing with the Star 2 and Strictly Come Dancing, as well as hosted a TV show Loves me? Loves me not?. So, as you see, the last few years have been quite busy, but incredibly productive – I have managed to release three albums as well.
esctoday.com: How are your plans progressing for Oslo and do you plan a promotional tour?
Aisha: Oh, it is definitely an exciting and busy time! We have just released the dance version of What For? What regards the plans – the schedule is quite packed – rehearsals, interviews for local and international media, and concerts in Latvia. The promotional tour is not planned but I am going to the Eurovision Party in the Netherlands.
esctoday.com: I understand that you have been busy over the last month preparing for a new role in a musical in Riga. Can you tell us about this and how you have balanced it with your preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest?
Aisha: Yes, the rehearsals have taken a lot of time. I have the leading role. It is a story about two little devils (the other one is played by Candy, a backing vocalist of Pirates of the Sea) who are to learn the wisdom at two “schools” both on and underground. They must take the decisions and evaluate the situations to suit the “on the ground” life. No matter what happens, at the end there is a chance given to everyone even to those two playful beings to turn everything to good, to change their mindset to the positive one. It is a musical for kids – funny, comical, with a positive mood.
esctoday.com: Have you had a chance to listen to the other songs participating in this year's contest and if so, which are your personal favorite songs?
Aisha: To be honest, I have not listened to many songs, only some of them. So far, my favourite is the Swedish song.
esctoday.com: Do you have a favorite Eurovision Song Contest song?
Aisha: There have been so many songs that have become popular during the Eurovision years. I have no definite favourite, but there is one song that certainly caught my attention – Hard Rock Halleluya by Lordi. A strong and powerful rock song with an unexpected yet amazing performance.
esctoday.com: Finally, do you have a message for your esctoday.com fans?
Aisha: Thank you for your time! It is a pleasure to talk to you! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Recently, I have received a lot of good feedback from Eurovision fans – I would love to thank every one of you. Smile! It makes a day brighter!
esctoday.com: Thank you for taking the time to answerer these questions and on behalf of esctoday.com, may I wish you the best of luck in Oslo.
Aisha: Thank you! See you in Oslo!