Michael von der Heide speaks to esctoday.com

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Michael von der Heide will be representing Switzerland in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest with Il pleut de l'or, a song especially written for the competition. Find about more about the Swiss bid for Eurovision in the interview Michael von der Heide has kindly given to esctoday.com, below.

Congratulations on having been selected as the Swiss contestant at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. When did you find out that you are going to represent your country in Oslo and what were your instant feelings back then? How does it feel at this point, with the certainty of being a part of this big event?

Thank you very much indeed. Of course I am overjoyed that the jury has chosen my song Il pleut de l’or. I was on the street carrying heavy shopping bags when I got the news and had to sit down on abank first in order to realize that I will be going to Oslo. I am feeling very honoured.

In a first statement about your Eurovision participation you told Swiss television that you are geared to those singers who brought great success to Switzerland, such as Lys Assia and Celine Dion, who both won with a song in French language. Is this the reason why you decided to sing in French?

With this statement, I mean that we should rather remember the good results than the bad ones. As you are mentioning it: Just recently, I have sung a duet with Lys Assia, the first ever Eurovision Song Contest winner. Ever since I have been making music, I am also singing in French language. I have always found it great when artists were singing in their national language. However, Il pleut de l’or will also be released in English and German language later on.

Your song Il pleut de l'or probably could be described as a mixture of chanson and disco, as far as the style is concerned. How would you describe your song in your own words and what message does it convey? Has it been made especially for Eurovision?

It’s always a bit difficult for me to describe my own music, but I like your formulation. Il pleut de l’or is an homage to love. I wrote the song together with Pele Loriano, a successful songwriter. And yes, especially for Eurovision. What an adventure!

You will be trying to bring the long desired "rain of gold” and get Switzerland back to the Eurovision Song Contest final again, after a series of failures. Before you, other well- established Swiss acts had to stay in the semi final, including the Lovebugs and Paolo Meneguzzi, one of the fan favourites back in 2008. An ostensible fact about the recent Swiss entries is their diversity of styles. Tell us, why do you have what it takes to turn things around for Switzerland?

All of them are great artists and of course would have deserved to go to the final. Maybe they just weren’t lucky and so I am hoping now that Fortuna will stand by my side.

What will you be doing on your way to Oslo? Are there any plans for a promo tour?

Yes, I am already giving interviews and will be performing in Latvia, the Netherlands, Germany and Romania in the near future and of course I am hoping for more journeys to come.

Do you already have a concept in mind on how you would like to present your song on the Eurovision stage? According to previous media reports, Amanda Nikolic, ex- member of the girl band Tears, will support you as a backing vocalist in Oslo, like she did at SwissAward. Who else will be on stage with you?

I am very happy to have the opportunity of working with such a great team. Amanda will be on stage, as well as Freda Goodlett and Sibylle Fässler. All three of them are fantastic solo singers and make a powerful choir and my co-composer will play the balalaika.

Would you call yourself a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest? What does Eurovision mean to you? Do you have a special Eurovision memory, a favourite Swiss entry or perhaps another Eurovision song you particularly like?

As a child, I have been an extreme fan and also in the last years I followed the competition whenever I could. My first memory was the performance of Paola (1981) with Cinéma. I had such a huge crush on her. Some years ago, I had the big pleasure of working together with her.

In 2009, after a decade of 100% televoting to determine the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, the rules have been altered to 50% televoting and 50% jury voting. This year, this very system will not only be applied in the grand final, but also in the two semi finals, in one of which you will compete as well. What is your personal opinion on this system? Having been one of the five experts of last year’s jury, you obviously are familiar with the concept. Can you tell us who you voted for and why?

Personally, I find it very interesting that a jury of experts is involved again. I had the honour of being a part in the Swiss jury last year and my voting was very similar to the final result.

You are an experienced singer and performer, having released numerous albums over the years, mostly in German but also in French language, your last one being Freie Sicht, released in 2008. What are your future musical plans? Is there a new album coming out this year?

I am currently on tour with my band and working on my new album, which will of course be released this year.

To come to the conclusion, is there a message you would like to send out to the readers of esctoday.com or something else you want to say regarding your Eurovision adventure?

Ne paretez pas sons moi and let’s have fun !!!

Esctoday.com would like to thank Michael von der Heide and wish him all the best on his way to Oslo.

Von der Heide will be performing for Switzerland in the first half of the second semi final, to be held on May 27th, in Oslo.

Il pleut de l'or, the Swiss bid for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest: