Ukraine is one of the most successful countries in the recent history of the Eurovision Song Contest. After a long lasting national selection held by NTU, Mika Newton won the Ukrainian ticket to Düsseldorf with her song entitled Angel. She spoke to esctoday.com about her musical career, plans for the future and this year's European favourite music competition.
1. Hello! You were chosen by the Ukrainian people to represent them in Dusseldorf. Did you expected to win the national final?
"I cannot say that it was very unexpected. We had time to prepare for the national selection and worked hard in this direction. During the selection process there were three leaders defined: Jamala, Zlata Ognevych and me. We all had equal chances but people and the jury made their final choice during our last performance at the final of the national selection. So I could definitely count on it but of course it was an exciting moment!"
2. What do you think about the original decision of NTU to set up another national final after Jamala complained about the results?"I don’t think I am in a position to judge NTU which is a national public broadcaster. It is NTU who is a member of the EBU and it is their right to establish certain rules inside the country."
3. Ukraine is one of the few countries that have always qualified for the grand final. Do you feel any kind of pressure from the Ukrainian public in order to achieve a good result in Dusseldorf?"I wouldn’t call it a pressure. Of course, I feel responsibility to represent my country in the best way I can. I have a long track record in the Ukrainian show biz and I do have my audience and fans among Ukrainian people. I rather feel their support than pressure."
4. What do you think about the recent changes in the contest. Do you agree with the introduction of the national juries (50%) in the final result?"Eurovision is meant to be voted by the viewers. But as time went by, EBU took different decisions regarding voting rules and obviously there were reasons for that. I am sure jury members in each country are very experienced and competent in show business industry."
5. Have you decided about how your stage act for Dusseldorf will look like?"Yes, we have already made arrangements concerning our stage performance and I can promise it is going to be an absolutely outstanding act. So far we cannot reveal the details, it has to be a surprise in order to leave a long lasting impression in the hearts of the European viewers."
6. Are you planning to release your Eurovision song prior to the contest?
"Yes, we have already presented our song to the audience."
7. Have you listened to the other competing songs? Do you have any favourites?
"Yes, I had a chance to listen to many entries of this year and I do have several favourites. Personally I like Nadine Beiler from Austria who I had a chance to meet in Vienna last weekend. Of course, I like the legendary British music band Blue, Danish A Friend in Lodnon and German Lena who has already proven herself as an accomplished artist."
8. Speaking about your career, what should the international fans know about your music?
"As a vocalist I have been recognized back when I was 9 years old. It has then turned into my permanent occupation. 12 of my songs became soundtracks to popular TV series and films in CIS countries. My audience ranges from young boys and girls up to grown-ups at the age of 40 and above. And that is because my songs carry a deep message. I love to perform both ballads and up tempo songs."
9. What are your plans for the future? Would you like to start a European musical career?"I have very ambitious plans to develop my career abroad. The Western market has always attracted me. My dream is to perform at Grammy. In summer I am planning to work with American recording studios and as a result in the fall I will be releasing my new album. I will then embark on a tour around CIS countries. May be I will tour around Europe."
10. Do you have a message for the readers ofesctoday.com?
"Yes. Dear viewers and fans of Eurovision, please, enjoy every second of this wonderful event. I wish you all to have a great time during the two weeks in Dusseldorf!"
You can watch below Ukraine'sentry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011: