Mélanie René interview: "I used to be quite shy and introverted"
The Swiss national selection was won by 24 year-old Mélanie René and she will thus represent Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015!
We got to ask Mélanie a few questions about her life, inspirations, and Eurovision.
Hi Mélanie, thank you for sitting down with us!
After winning the Swiss selection for Eurovision, do you feel any pressure from representing your country in the contest?
There is a little, as I want Switzerland to go as far as possible in the contest, but I am aware that this is an amazing experience as a debuting artist in the music industry, and I am not taking this for granted! I want to enjoy every second of it, with all the people in the team working with me!
“Through this song I want them to understand
that there is nothing standing between them
and their dreams”
Your song is called “Time To Shine” – what is it about and what was the inspiration?
My song was inspired by the album «Alive» by Jessie J. I used to be quite shy and introverted, afraid of other people’s judgement. When I went to England to study music I learnt to appreciate and embrace who I truly was, and it made me feel free. Listening to Jessie J’s album made me want to write a song about it. I know there are a lot of people still feeling like this out there and through this song I want them to understand that there is nothing standing between them and their dreams: «The sky’s the limit».
I wrote «Time to Shine» at a time in my life when I realized how much I had grown, both in my personal and musical life. For the first time I felt like I knew where I was going in life, and it made me feel free. It is this feeling of freedom that I tried to portray in my song.
It is a constant reminder for me to stay true to who I am, and to what I believe in, even if it means having to walk alone sometimes. ‘Time to Shine’ is not about «bling bling» or glitter, but more about embracing who you are.
Are you planning any promotion or touring before Eurovision?
We have already started the «Eurovision tour», first in Lithuania, then in Slovenia and next in London. We might have more dates but these are still unconfirmed at this stage.
Are you planning any changes to your performance for Eurovision?
Maybe or maybe not. I can’t say more for now.
“For me, music is all about sharing
something with the audience”
What do you hope people will remember you for once Eurovision is over?
I would love for people to remember the message and emotion I will have shared with them in my song. For me, music is all about sharing something with the audience, so if I manage to do this I will be happy.
This is the 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, are you a fan and if so how long have you watched?
I used to watch it every year with my mum since I was a child. There have been so many incredible voices and performances that I honestly can’t pick only one! However I do remember what I think was my very first memory of the Eurovision Song Contest . It was Secret Garden with their song “Nocturne,” and I still remember the violin, vocals and the blue background that amazed me.
Have you ever visited Vienna?
Not yet! I always wanted to visit this town though, and I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity!
“I did my first steps on stage
when I was seven”
How did you initially become a singer and what inspired you to pursue this career?
I come from a very musical family, where everyone plays an instrument or sings, so I developed a passion for music quite early on. I did my first steps on stage when I was seven, for a Mauritian charity show, and that was when I realised how much I enjoyed singing in front of an audience. I am extremely blessed that my parents have always encouraged me in pursuing my dream.
What music, artists, bands do you listen to yourself? Any favorites?
I grew up listening to whatever my mum or dad were listening to: Sega (typical maurician music), chansons françaises, country, gospel, soul, funk, reggae and so many more genre! Thanks to them I now have quite an eclectic taste in music, ranging from different styles and languages.
If you weren’t a professional singer, what do you think you would be working with?
I would probably be a novel writer or a nutritionist.
How do you best like to spend your time when you aren’t busy working?
I love reading, catching up with friends, window shopping, and playing Mario Kart.
What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
To have gotten this far with my music.
Are there any causes that you are passionate about and/or involved with?
Growing up, together with my family, I was very involved in helping the sick children in Mauritius get the right medical treatments they needed. We did a lot of charity events to collect money for this cause.
Do you have a special message for our readers at ESCReporter.com?
I would like to thank every single person who has supported and encouraged me since the very beginning, and who still believe in me. You are what keeps me motivated and passionate about what I do! You guys are simply amazing <3
Thank you Mélanie and good luck in Vienna!
Watch Mélanie perform in the Lithuanian Eurovision selection: