Suzy interview: "I’ve always dreamt of participating in Eurovision"
While the preparations for Eurovision 2014 are still being made in Copenhagen, ESC Reporter managed to speak to this year’s Portuguese entrant, Suzy.
Suzy delved into her memories of Eurovision, what the contest means to her, and even revealing herself as a Eurovision fan!
Thank you for speaking to us, Suzy! We are excited for your performance in Copenhagen!
You won Festival da Canção 2014. Do you feel any pressure from representing your country in the contest?
To be able to represent Portugal in the ESC is a childhood dream becoming reality. I was only 11 years old when I saw the ESC 1991. I was enormously fascinated with Dulce’s interpretation and I fell in love with “Lusitânia paixão”. In that precise moment, my desire to be a singer and to eventually compete in the Festival RTP da Canção emerged.
Since I met Emanuel and embarked on this project, I have worked intensively with him and put all my soul into it. I want to thank Emanuel for his trust and all his teaching. I would also like to thank my entire crew and all the fans that voted for me in the semi-final and in the final. We worked hard for this and it’s a great honour and responsibility to represent my country in an international competition.
This being said, I wouldn’t define myself as being afraid or pressured, but I must admit I’m quite honoured and exalted to represent my country in such an important contest as the Eurovision Song Contest.
“Strange would be if we all liked the same gender
and the same music“
Your victory at Festival da Canção 2014 was controversial in the media in Portugal. Does it bother you that certain individuals have devised a smear campaign about you?
One of the best aspects of our country is to live in a democracy, where we can freely express our opinions and our feelings. This was the greatest achievement of April 1974, something that our parents and grandparents give much value, since they experienced a regime where this was not possible.
It is natural that some people don’t like my song and they are entitled to their opinion. We all like a musical style and a specific type of songs. Strange would be if we all liked the same gender and the same music. You can not please Greeks and Trojans! Therefore, it is not for me to judge people who do not like my music. They are fully within their rights and I just have to respect their opinion, as I hope they respect me as a human being and as a singer.
Unfortunately, there are people confusing freedom of expression with slander, defamation, and threats. This is not expected in a fair and democratic country! These threats existed and hurt me a lot. We made a press conference where everything has been clarified and where we explain the legal actions we took.
Your song is called “Quero ser tua” – what is it about and what was the inspiration?
“Quero ser tua” is a positive and cheerful theme, which creates a very cheerful mood in the audience. Talks of love and sharing feelings. Speaking of true love, when we commit ourselves with body and soul, sincerely and with strong feelings. That’s what my song talks about. The willing to love unconditionally, respecting everybody, and experience the supreme feeling. We want to bring joy and positive feelings to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Here in Portugal, we are living quite difficult and hard times. We want to bring joy to everyday life and a positive message. We just want people to believe that things will change and they will change in a very positive way.
Are you planning any promotion or touring before Eurovision?
We have decided some appearances and we are now deciding some others. We confirmed our presence in Amsterdam on “Eurovision in Concert”, that took place the 5th of April. The organization had invited us, showing that they are very interested in having us present at this great event. We were delighted by the invitation and I performed my entry in the concert and three other songs in the after-party (three surprises, especially prepared for the fans that attended).
The organization of the “London Eurovision Party” also invited us and we were very pleased to be able to perform there, on the 13th. Again, I will sing “Quero ser tua” and some other songs.
There are many other possibilities that we are considering and we hope they will materialize. We are doing our best to visit Spain, France, Denmark, Romania and Italy. All depends on opportunities and our agenda that, thank God, is very busy now.
Are you planning any changes to your performance for Eurovision?
At this exact moment, we are already working on some changes. Those changes will not only be on the stage performance, but also in the orchestration of “Quero Ser Tua.”
We are currently experimenting some ideas (e.g. increasing the importance of percussion in the melody of chorus), verifying which works best and which might be most pleasing to the European public.
Paulo Magalhães, our choreographer, is rethinking the stage performance. We want to recreate the importance of Portugal and the 15th century Portuguese sailors in the discovery of the New World. Representing our own country in an international contest is such a huge responsibility that we are putting all our efforts into it and we hope we manage to create an unforgettable performance.
What will the final version of “Quero ser tua” sound like? What do you think about it?
As I mentioned earlier, we intend to rethink the orchestration of the melody, making it even more powerful. The African and Brazilian sounds and flavours will be much more evident. We will pay more attention to the percussions, allowing the African and Brazilian souls to be more exposed in its true form, without subterfuge.
“I would love to have the audience
singing along and dancing with me
during the entire performance”
What do you hope people will remember you for once Eurovision is over?
My main goal is to make the Portuguese people proud of my performance. I will give all my heart and soul, and sing as if the world will end tomorrow. I want to conquer each and everyone with my performance and with my song. I would love to have the audience singing along and dancing with me during the entire performance. Those are my main goals.
Of course I will be quite happy if I’m one of the finalists and if I do well in the final. My wildest dream is to be remembered as the singer that achieve the best score ever for Portugal. Will you help me with that? (laugh!!!!)
This is the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, are you a fan and if so how long have you watched?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always followed with great interest the Eurovision Song Contest and I’ve always dreamt of participating in it. There are so many Portuguese songs that representend my country in the ESC that I love. I can mention “Desfolhada portuguesa” (1969), “Menina do alto da serra” (1971), “Uma flor de verde pinho” (1976) “Um grande, grande amor” (1980), “Bem bom “(1982), “Silêncio e tanta gente” (1984), “Conquistador” (1989), “A cidade até ser dia” (1993), “Chamar a música”(1994), “Dança comigo” (2007), to mention only a few.
Personally, because it has influenced me as a singer very much, I must mention Dulce Pontes and “Lusitânia paixão” (1991). I remember her entire participation in Rome, and because of it, my dream of representing Portugal in the ESC emerged.
Do you have any favorite Eurovision songs from previous years?
Definitely yes: so many! As I mention, I am a huge fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. Many were the non-Portuguese songs which passed through the ESC stages that marked my adolescence and that I particularly like.
For example, I remember a wonderful ballad, that represented Serbia and was sublimely performed by a singer named Maria – can’t really remember the name of the entry! It was such an emotional and powerful song, that even now, when I hear it, I get all sentimental and some tears appear in my eyes.
In 2012, I also loved the Spanish entry. “Quedate conmigo” is a fabulous and fantastic ballad, sung divinely by Pastora Soler. I like this song so much, that I sing it regularly in my shows and TV appearances.
Beside these two entries, there are so many others that I like quite a lot, as “Puppet on a string” (UK 1967), “Waterloo” (Sweden 1974), “L’oiseau et l’enfant” (France 1977) – did you know that Marie Myriam is of Portuguese origin? – “Aleluia” (Israel 1979), “Ne partez pas sans moi” (Switzerland 1988), to name only a few.
“I would prefer to see/hear the competing artist
singing in their own national language”
Have you heard any of the other Eurovision songs this year? Which are your favorites?
I have heard some of the songs. I think we have a great contest this year: great songs and fantastic singers. There are so many great entries, that it’s difficult for me to pick one or two. Fabulous ballads, great up-tempo songs and amazing ethnic melodies that I like quite a lot.
Nevertheless, there is one thing I don’t particularly like – almost all the songs will be sung in English. I would prefer to see/hear the competing artist singing in their own national language, as it use to be. I would also like to see the orchestra coming back to the event!
Have you ever visited Copenhagen?
Unfortunately, I still haven’t had the opportunity to visit Copenhagen. I have been watching and studying a few things about the city and Denmark. I so look forward to visit and to experiment their specific culture. I have been seeing it on some internet sites and it seems to be a wonderful city, full of glamour and magic.
“Being Portuguese is a characteristic way of living”
You have lived for some time in Dubai. How is it compared to Portugal? Are you moving back to Portugal?
About two years ago, the opportunity to develop an extremely exciting and challenging professional project came to me. I was working in the pharmaceutical industry, which, as we all know, is an extremely competitive and stressful world.
Back then, I felt the need to slow down and embrace this project, which allowed me to accomplish one of my biggest dream: to visit numerous countries and travel all over the world. Living in Dubai was a magnificent experience. The way of living and how they embrace the day-by-day routine is significantly different from Portugal. I really enjoyed the experience and I must say those were two fabulous years.
This doesn’t mean I don’t like living in Portugal. On the contrary, I love it! We have a very special way of living and a soul full of fado, a characteristic sadness that defines us. We are very emotional and caring people, who face the problems head on, something we did from the beginning of our nationality.
Being Portuguese is a characteristic way of living. Most Portuguese, me included, can’t live for very long time away from their country. Although we are a nation of emmigrants, there are very few who do not dream returning to Portugal.
Can we expect the release of a future album or an upcoming tour?
The Festival RTP da Canção and the Eurovision Song Contest is only a way to make myself known again to the Portuguese audience. I’m already working on my new CD and I’m recording new songs to be included in it. One of these songs will be a duet with Emanuel himself.
If all goes well, my new CD will probably be edited in the beginning of the summer and will include “Quero ser tua.”
Besides music, what keeps you happy and motivated in life? How do you best like to spend your time when you aren’t busy working?
First of all, I like to travel. I like to experiment new cultures, new ways of living. Also, I really like to hang out with my friends: going and dining out, going to the movies, etc. I love the summer and I can not imagine myself without going to the beach. I love spending the day at the beach or by the sea, watching the waves and merely reloading my inner forces listening to the sound of the ocean.
But, without a doubt, where I feel better and fulfill myself is on stage, singing. This is where I fully express myself and where I really expose my soul.
Do you have a special message for the readers of ESCReporter.com?
I would like to thank you all and I hope you will support me in Denmark. I hope you like my song, my performance and that I can fill your hearts with joy and happiness. I so hope you feel proud of me and happy about the return of Portugal to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Thank you all for your support and for all your love. Very special kisses and hugs to all the readers of ESCReporter.com
Thanks again, Suzy! Good luck and see you in Copenhagen!
Suzy will perform 13th in Semi-Final 1 on May 6 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Suzy – “Quero ser tua”