Today we will be travelling to Ukraine for our 6th interview in the series of the 2014 ESCToday Eurovision Interviews. We met up with the 2014 Ukrainian representative Mariya Yaremchuk in Kyiv and got to the chance to discover the real Mariya, who revealed and disclosed further details about her Eurovision entry and spoke about the current problems afflicting her country.
Mariya, You’ve been performing for quite some time now, participating in The Voice of Ukraine, the international New Wave festival, and at many more festivals and shows. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I think, winning national selection to the Eurovision Song Contest this year and a chance to represent my country in Copenhagen. It was a long-time dream for me and it finally came true last December. I was taking part in a previous selection but now was my time. The main point for me is to be worthy of the trust of my people, and I have to deserve this trust. Eurovision is a moment of love and peace to everybody and I want to become a part of it.
You won the Ukrainian national final back in December with the original version of Tick-Tock, which was composed by you, and written by yourself and Sandra Bjurman. Since December, we’ve seen some major changes to the song, including the one performed at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and now the final version to be performed in Copenhagen. Can you tell us a bit about that process?
First of all, in December I won with the alfa-version of Tick-Tock and it was written and composed by me, later all the changes came along. I’ve has a chance to collaborate with Sandra Bjurman – great Sweden composer, songwriter and singer who co-wrote a lot of Eurovision hits in the past – and she helped me to find the right way for my song. This changes are a part of the standard creative process, which is always a search for the ideal. Now the song reflects what I wanted it to be much deeper, and it is very close to my feeling.
Have you always been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest? What’s your favorite song from previous years? Can you share a story of yourself and family watching the contest?
I’m watching Eurovision religiously for a very long time, I guess, since the first Ukrainian participation and it was always something incredible and breathtaking for me, I used to imagine how one day I will go up on this special stage and now I will do it for real! Wow! Every year I’ve got a favorite song, from the last year I’ve really loved the winner Only teardrops. My family has always watched Eurovision with me and the most memorable for us where Eurovision 2004 where Ruslana won with Wild Dances. I was so happy for her and for all Ukrainian people.
Ukraine is going through some difficult times at the moment. What do you hope your performance will achieve for the Ukrainian people?
I support Ukraine and Ukrainian people, people’s desire for prosperity and unity and I will do my best to share this notion with Eurovision audience. Every contestant is the cultural ambassador of the country. I want to make my country proud.
Even though it is not officially confirmed, many songs have had a political essence or even a direct political message in Eurovision. Do you think there is ground for politics in Eurovision, or better, can Eurovision be the platform that will unite two or more nations?
Eurovision has never been a political contest for me. It’s a music event, and everybody’s listening to the song and, I guess, only few thinks about politics. But as my country representative I hope to do everything to unite people even only for 3 minutes. Everything that helps people to stay strong even in the hardest times must be done.
The turmoil your country is facing at the moment, reached its peak during the past two months. Did it cross your mind to adjust or even change your song in relation to the current circumstances in your country?
I was trying to stay away from politics, but of course now it is impossible. But we’ve decided to go on with the song which was chosen by national jury and Ukrainian people in December. First of all, we must obey the rules of the National Selection, which state that the song cannot be changed. Second of all I want to cheer everybody up and Tick-Tock is very dynamic and positive song, it was made to do so.
What is your entry Tick Tock about? What is the story behind it? What message would you like to convey to the European audience with your entry?
Tick-Tock is love anthem for me, it’s the story that everybody can feel and understand. We all spend so much time to search for one true feeling, to find that special something who would make us complete. But when love comes along, we aren’t ready, it always comes as a surprise. I’m singing about this special feeling that makes our hearts goes from steady beat to crazy Tick-tock within seconds.
What are your plans for Copenhagen? Will there be anything different or special regarding the staging of your song? Could you share some details.
I’ve got a lot of surprises for you, but let me save some fun for later. Just wait for May and I promise I will bring the best performance I could. Take my word on it.
What’s next for you after the contest in May? Do you have any plans, or are you too focused on the event in May to think about it?
Of course, I’m focused on the main event in May and I can think only about Copenhagen but we’ve got plans for later too – I’m planning to hit the road and to go on tour, I want to share my music with European audience. So wait for me!
Do you have a message for your fans and our readers at esctoday.com?
I hope that you all well and having a great day. I’m very grateful for your interest in me and in my music and I really hope that I will fulfill all your expectation. Looking forward to see you all in Copenhagen and stay tuned for more surprises!