Sasha Son, also known as Dima Shavrov, the Lithuanian representative in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, has spoken to esctoday.com about his preparation and hopes for Moscow. He also expressed his feelings about the Lithuanian government that doesn't pay attention to the contest.
Sasha, how did you feel back on 14th February when you won the Lithuanian pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest called Dainu Daina? You've got 12 points from all ten Lithuanian regions!
First of all I wanna say hi to all www.esctoday.com readers and thank them for voting for my song in its poll! I really appreciate that. When I won Dainu Daina, first ten seconds I just couldn't believe it hapened. I was looking at the screen with the results and didn't believe it was for real! When I realised that, the only feeling I had at that moment was euphoria. Also I was thankful to the Lithuanian people who have decided that it's me and my song that have to go to Moscow.
This year Lithuanian television have decided that they don't need the pre-selection for Eurovision anymore. They're replaced it with the song contest Dainu Daina. What is your opinion about the new pre-selection way?
To be honest, I don't see a big difference between what we had last year and what we have this year. In any case, it remains a song contest, almost all rules are the same. There even are semi-finals, just like in last year's pre-selection. The only difference is that in Dainu Daina the voting procedure is more objective. All Lithuanian regions present their votes in Eurovision style – 12, 10, 8, 7 and so on points. In this way we can see how different the regions are in music taste.
This year, for the first time since 2005, the Lithuanian representative is going to promote his song in Western Europe. Why do you think that promotion before Eurovision Song Contest is important?
I am sure that the promotion for the contest's artists is more than necessary! People in other countries need to get to know your song before they see you live on the semi final. I believe that chances to get points are bigger when people have already heard your song before the contest. I've already visited Latvia and Ukraine during their national finals. And I'm planning to go to the Netherlands, Ireland and Malta. I would love to visit more countries but my budget doesn't allow me to do that. I can only envy Jade from the United Kingdom who has a possibility to visit about 40 countries!
Let's talk about your finances – do you have any sponsors? Or maybe Lithuanian government is willing to help you?
The answer to both questions is no. As the winner of Dainu Daina, I was awarded with 15 000 Litas (about 4 300 Euro). I already spent this money for the trips and promotion. So far no private companys are interested in supporting me. Lithuanian government doesn't pay any attention to my preparations for Moscow either. My manager has contacted them a few times and they stated that "so far no money was dedicated to Sasha Son and his promotion". That's why we have decided to ask Lithuanian people for a help. On the 13 of April a live support concert will be broadcasted from the LRT studio. During this concert, people will be able to help me by sending SMS's or transfering money to my bank account. I thought – who else can help me if not Lithuanian people who have selected me to represent their country in the international contest?
Last year your song Miss kiss was the hot favorite to win the preselection for the Eurovision Song Contest but unfortunately you took third place. How did you feel about it?
I felt really sad because it was a great song and it had a chance to be heard by millions of people. Well, we now know that it didn't happen. I am only surprised why those people who have voted for me in internet sites as the hot favorite didn't vote for me during the national final? In any case it was last year, and this year I managed to win a ticket for Eurovision.
Tell us about your performance in Moscow. Will it be different from the one we've seen in Dainu Daina? Which language will you sing?
The performance in Moscow will be totally different. First of all, I will have three backing singers. There will be a grand piano on the stage because I wanna show people that I am not only singing, but also playing and creating music. I can now confirm that there will be social adverts on the screens during my performance, just like in the video of Love. The stage in Moscow is very good for us because there are so many screens! Regarding language – I will not reveal it yet. I can only say that you will hear English lyrics. But I can't tell you if the entire song will be performed in English.
Did you hear the songs from other countries? What are your impressions?
I've heard some songs but not all of them. My biggest favorite is the song from the United Kingdom. It has everything – melody, powerful voice, very beautiful singer. I hope she is going to do well in Moscow. Also I liked Norway – it's different. The singer should score well. He is a good looking young man singing a cheerful slavic folk song!
Thank you for the interview! What would you wish to your fans in Europe that love your song?
I thank all my fans for the support and for believing in me. I promise I will do my best to prove that in Eurovision Song Contest the song is much more important than the show. See you in Moscow!