Spanish singer and Eurovision 2009 representative Soraya Arnelas looks back at her past experiences, talks about her current projects, and looks forward to future ventures – including a possible return to Operación Triunfo.
Soraya has become a notable artist in Spain since placing 2nd in Operación Triunfo 2005. The charming artist gave a candid interview to magazine Bekia.es in which she discusses her musical career, including highlights Operación Triunfo and Eurovision, and of course her latest single.
Qué bonito and upcoming album
Soraya recently released her latest single Qué bonito, which is also the official theme for the Copa Del Rey Gran Canaria 2018 basketball cup. Soraya is very proud of this single:
I would highlight the message of Que Bonito, it is a very special project that follows just being a mom, which is as you will notice a before and after in my career. I return to Soraya from the beginning, more melodic and singing in Spanish . It’s something that I like a lot because I like everything that has to do with the origins. Defending a more intimate part, because I sing this song to my daughter. It has a positive and cheerful message, it represents me a lot. The video clip has just come out and we also have the lyric video and the choreography. Now I am going to Gran Canaria for the final of the cup to support the teams and to deliver their soundtrack.
Qué bonito will feature on Soraya’s new album, which is expected in 2019:
I would say that El Pretendiente, my previous single, was much more Latin, Que Bonito is close to pop and the album that comes in 2019 will approach this style. There will even be some ballads. There will also be dance themes and it will be 100% in Spanish.
Soraya summorizes her most special experiences in music business:
There have been two very impactful moments in my life, Operación Triunfo and Eurovision. Also some scenarios like when I performed in Paris at a festival together with Antoine Clamaran in front of 55,000 people and some concerts like the one I had on the beach in Cádiz before a million people. Doing Akústika was also a very nice project.
Operación Triunfo 2005 marked Soraya’s mainstream breakthrough and since then the singer has always kept evolving:
It’s all because I always tend to compare life with a sack, you carry the sack and you go on putting experiences in it. I am still being sacrificing, hardworking, methodical when it comes to work, orderly. There still remains that girl full of dreams despite being fourteen years old. Nor do I take it for granted that I have my place, I always try to earn my bread every day and make a statement to the market and to the public: ‘I have come to stay but you know that I am going to fight, I am a warrior, I am always in constant struggle’.
Operación Triunfo still holds a special place for Soraya. How does she feel watching the current season?:
Everything, I come from the same, I know what they are living, the illusions and the fears that they have. I’ve been a fan of all editions, I knew it was a format that was not in decline and that was going to explode.
Soraya may even return to Operación Trunfo in the future, as a coach:
Yes, I think it could help a lot, I have knowledge of the cause, I have lived what they have lived, I know how to help them use their resources and I have the necessary tact to speak to them from experience.
The artist shared her thoughts on Operación Triunfo’s Alfred & Amaia, wo will represent Spain at the ESC 2018 with their entry Tu canción:
I love it, I wanted them to win, there’s nothing more beautiful than winning, look at me when they told me I won… That song comes from the truth, from love, when they sing their bubble is formed and it’s just them, the music and its love, that goes through the screen, it’s beautiful.
Soraya is also clear about criticism concerning Spain’s Eurovision entry and the country’s chance at winning:
You know what happens? I always send a message to all those who think they are Eurovision experts, who have always done badly with their predictions because we have never won. We have to try other styles, Spain has never gone with a duet. The music is very open, there are tastes, you have to respect them. I would have understood if Ana and Aitana would have gone but on a personal level Amaia and Alfred were my favourites.
I am one of those who think that when you enter a contest you have to go win and fight. I think that this year we can aspire to be very good, nobody can assure us that we will win, we must aspire to create a great staging, and with that I do not mean that things happen without defending the entry, as it deserves to get a good promotion.
Eurovision again for Soraya?
Would she herself consider participating in Eurovision once again?:
I would not go back to Eurovision but I am very proud of my representation. I do not know what happened that night, we will never know, maybe the song did not please Europe, maybe because we skipped the semi-final, there were many things. There were a lot of circumstances that made it place second to last, I do not care about the result. I now see it with time and I know I did what I had to do, I represented my country with a lot of professionalism. I fulfilled my mission, others I do not know, I did mine.
Soraya’s greatest joy, besides music, is her little daughter Manuela Grace, who was born in February 2017. Manuela brought a new aspect into Soraya’s life:
At first everything is very complicated because the balance does not exist, or you dedicate more to work or more to your daughter and you can not neglect anything. After eleven months I’m seeing the light, I’m taking the rhythm a bit, I already have some schedules, the girl is getting older, she adapts more to us. Now it’s a little easier but it’s very hard to have to leave your daughter alone when she’s so small, when you have to work.
Did becoming a mother put any restrictions on her professional life?:
No, because I do not neglect my professional life. It gives me many joys, the day I signed my first musical contract I knew very well what came to me in the fine print of the contract and the details of this trade. Never leave anything aside, everything can be adapted.
The future looks bright for Soraya. What can we expect in the near future, and where does she place herself in ten years time?:
I am preparing the summer tour, the single, I continue with the promotion of the film La Bola Dorada, I am working on the edition of my daughter’s stories book and I’m also preparing a very special album.
I follow the music but with a much slower rhythm, without doing so many things together, living in the country with my family, enjoying life, working less, doing things with music at a more relaxed level.
Soraya Arnelas Rubiales (Valencia de Alcántara, 1982) is a Spanish singer and actress. She has some Portuguese roots as well. Originally working as a flight attendant, Soraya always had a passion for music and entertainment.
Soraya became known to the wider public when she particpated in the fourth edition of the popular TV-show Operación Triunfo in 2005. Placing 2nd, she released her debut album Corazón De Fuego, which reached platinum status.
Soraya represented Spain at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia. With her entry La noche es para mí (The night is for me) she eventually placed 24th with 23 points.
Soraya has a relationship with male model Miguel Ángel Herrera, together the couple have a daughter, Manuela Grace.