During the XII edition of Ukrainian Culture Festival “Ukrainian Spring” in Poznań, Poland, just before her concert, we interviewed Jamala – Ukraine’s Eurovision Song Contest 2016 winner! Who is her favourite for Tel Aviv, what does she think of Michał Szpak and Laud and does she enjoy Poznań? Read carefully!
PFE: As Eurovision fans we’d like to know first if you’ve heard this year’s songs as Eurovision 2019 is beginning next week. Do you have any favourites or you don’t know the songs yet?
Jamala: It’s really hard to say now, because I love watching semi-finals and final and then decide. You know, the audio format is good – we can hear it’s fine or understand it really sounds clean, but I really need to see performance on the stage: the singers, their charakters, their emotions, what they want to say and what they feel in that time, you see. That’s why it’s really hard, it’s really hard to say. I know the Portuguese song sounds unusual. Let me think… Armenia! Sweden, of course – they sound good every year, like superstars (laugh).
PFE: Poland is represented by a folk band called Tulia…
Jamala: Yes! I actually think that Poland’s representative every year is in a good quality: both the singer and the song; but sometimes we need something more. It’s only my opinion, but maybe for someone it sounds so traditional, maybe it’s not so modern now. But who knows, who knows – it’s Eurovision. That’s why I love this contest: because nobody knows who can be a winner, even the bookmakers make mistakes.
PFE: There have been rumours that Michał Szpak, who competed in 2016, wants to actually come back. Do you think he should do so?
Jamala: What can I say- good luck to him! We have a rule that we can compete several time, but for me it’s enough (laugh)
PFE: Talking of comebacks: there is a guy called Laud, who’s competed in the Ukrainian national final twice and he was actually in your team in The Voice. Do you think he should go to Eurovision in the future?
Jamala: I think so. He’s a great singer! But he needs to write a great song, because Eurovision is about a song and a performance. As I said before, it’s about charachter and emotion. It’s good if it works together.
PFE: For the end: it’s not your first time being in Poznań. Do you have any favourite places here?
Jamala: Oh, I love being with people from here! I don’t have any favourite place yet, but I can say it’s really really cute and nice to be here. For me it looks like a movie decorartion.
Jamala represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm with her song “1944”, describing the deportation of Crimean Tatars, which her ancestors were victims of. Despite controversy she scored 534 points, winning the competition and bringing the contest back to Kyev after 12 years of Ukraine’s previous win.