ESC+Plus has had the chance to talk to Barei, participant of the Spanish national selection for Eurovision 2016!
The original video interview is made in Spanish, but you can see the translation below:
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Spanish national selection for Eurovision 2016!
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
I have been in the musical panorama for many years now as I started singing and dancing when I was very little. My mother says that, when I was only three, I already invented songs trying to sing in English, but with my own words.
It wasn’t until I was around 14, singing Mariah Carey’s “Without You”, when my mother realised that I had born to be a singer. She asked me if I wanted to work in that world and, of course, I answered “yes”. After that, I started attending guitar, piano, musical theory and singing lessons, and I have been studying hard since then.
At the age of 18, I took part at Benidorm’s music festival by chance along with another singer and we got the first place. Since then, I took it even more seriously and I started to record demos, covers…
While I was on holidays in Miami with a friend, I got the chance to perform a demo together with two producers who proposed me to spend a whole year there recording my first studio album. It was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot, not only professionally, but also personally. It made me grow up as a person and as an artist.
When I came back to Spain, I wasn’t convinced with the result because it sounded too Latin and I decided not to release the album. Anyway, the CD was useful for me because I started giving concerts around Spain. Since then, I started composing my own songs and released my first album “Billete Para no Volver”, with British and American pop influences. However, the lyrics were written in Spanish and I didn’t feel completely convinced, so now, with “Throw The Dice”, I finally feel as I am doing what I always wanted. I have made that album with my producer Rubén Villanueva, who is also co-composer of all the songs along with me. It has influences from the music I have always listened to: Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner… and now, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Emeli Sandé, black music…
E+: What impelled you to send RTVE a Eurovision proposal?
I didn’t send any proposal, it was my manager Dámaso Caminero without telling me anything. Suddenly, he told me a month ago that the broadcaster had liked my project and that I had chances to be among the six contenders.
It wasn’t until the day before the official announcement when I certainly knew that I had been selected, because there were many doubts. Here I am, very happy, but I wasn’t who sent the candidature.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had been chosen for the Spanish final?
I was a bit afraid because of the enormous responsibility that it involves. I suppose that when you are the selected one, the work is bigger… However, I was really excited and I really want to represent Spain at Eurovision, obviously. I felt excitement and vertigo at the same time.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Spain in Stockholm? Do you think that Eurovision would mean a boost to your musical career? What can you contribute the contest?
Yes, it would be a boost to my career, because I am an independent artist and I don’t have a record label behind. Showing your own songs and compositions in English in front of such a huge audience is a big opportunity, something we all hope. Eurovision is a small step in some artists’ career, but for my would be an enormous one, being able to appear on national radio stations, TV programmes… It’s really difficult to reach people when you are an independent artist and these kind of chances consolidate all the effort made every day. I would really like to reach Eurovision and see what happens!
I think that I can contribute something different to the already seen at Eurovision, which is also a risk. I don’t know if you will take it…., I really want you do so!
E+: Have you get any advice from other professional musicians, composers…?
No, but I would like to talk to Edurne (Spain 2015), who I know well because I composed a song for her last album, “La Última Superviviente”. Last year, she was here in this studio you see behind me recording all the voices for her CD “Adrenalina”. I would really like to have talked to her already, but I haven’t had any chances yet. I am sure that she would tell me many helpful advises.
I have spoken with some colleagues who have told me many advises, but all them without any Eurovision experience, just like me. They have also give me a lot of support, but I would really like to talk to someone who is experienced in the Eurovision Song Contest.
E+: Can you tell us about your song for Eurovision? What would you stand out to be the selected one?
It’s a very different song. I would highlight that it is a very powerful one, a faithful song of my last CD “Throw the Dice”. It has very modern sounds and production. I can say that “It is not what it seems” (it can start in one way and suddenly change) and it talks about something with what we identify ourselves every day, which is not love. I can’t say anything more…, well, it’s in English, for sure =) .
E+: Have you thought about the stage performance? Can you reveal us anything about it?
Yes, I have a clear idea. I would like to bring the national final something similar for you to get used to it in case I am the chosen one, but it can’t be carried out. You have to wait until Stockholm, if I am lucky, and see what’s on my mind.
E+: What are your sources of inspiration to write songs? What are your national and international favourite singers?
My sources of inspiration are huge, because I listen to all music styles. However, mainly British and American pop artists, black music, soul, funky…, Emmelie Sandé, Pink, Sia, I love her, Rihanna, Katty Perry… Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, obviously… From Spain, I like Pablo López, Alejandro Sanz, … they are wonderful artists in the music scene. There are just a few with so much talent, who can sing, compose and write, all in one.
E+: What do you think about the other competitors in the Spanish national final for Eurovision 2016?
They are really strong contenders. We all have a lot of effort behind, hard work, perseverance, excitement, …, doing our best. I think that all of us deserve the victory. Being the chosen one means that others won’t have the chance, so I would be really happy if I win but sad because of the other candidates, and the opposite. I wish we were not competing because of the music, I feel anger. If only we could be all chosen to compete one year each…., but these are the game rules.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favourite song in the history of the competition?
I haven’t followed many previous editions, only the last ones. It’s true that when I was little, me and my family used to watch the show if we were at home. It was a fun plan, but we didn’t stop doing other things to watch the show. However, It is something I like to watch on TV and stay at home that night. Last year, for example, I watched the show because we were working with Edurne and I wanted to support her and see how she did. She did it amazing because she has an incredible voice. I would have liked that she would have sung in English because the original track was written in that language and she has a very good pronunciation. It would have been great, but she was vocally enormous, anyway, and she danced at the same time which I find really difficult.
One of my favourite songs from last year was Aminata’s “Love Injected” because of everything: the staging, her movements and voice, the song, … From the Spanish representatives I really loved Pastora Soler, everything was coherent: her performance and fashion design, the song and its lyrics… It was a 10 for me.
E+: Apart from Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
I will continue my musical career, obviously, promoting my CD “Throw the Dice” which was released a few months ago. I will also give concerts, launch new videos, compose songs for other artists from Spain and abroad, Japan, for example,…
Firstly, I want to do my best to go to Stockholm, and if I am chosen, focus my attention and efforts on Eurovision.
E+: Finally, can you send a message for all the readers of ESC+Plus and fans of Eurovision?
I just want to say thank you. I am wowed because of the amazing welcome I am having, I didn’t expect it being the most unknown artist of all five finalists. I have got many supportive messages from people who didn’t know me before, saying that they want me to represent Spain at Eurovision. It means the world for me and I have already gained a lot these last days.
Thanks! I hope not to deceive you and that, in the case I am not the selected one, Spain chooses an original act this time to see if the results are better. Nothing ventured nothing gained!
Big kisses, many thanks and happy new year! See you on social network!