ESC+Plus has talked to Barnabás Pély, singer, songwriter and guitarist of B The First, participants of this year’s Hungarian national selection for Eurovision. The band will perform “You Told Me That You Loved Me” in the third “A Dal” semifinal to take place tomorrow.
Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Hungarian national selection for Eurovision 2016!
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Of course, but I think that the best thing in being a musician is to live the moment and expressing yourself in your songs and perform them on stage. I’m really making an effort capturing the effects that “Life” was making on me. I wrote my first tune when I was 16 with 4 chords because I only knew that much. After Highscool I went to the Music Academy (Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest) and got a Diploma of Jazz-Singing in 2000.I met a wonderfully talented pianist (Aron Romhanyi) in a musical camp (Big time!!!:-)) and we formed our Pop-Funk band : UNITED in 1999 . Our songs were broadcasted all over Hungary and that really made a difference. We wrote several radio hits ( Végső vallomás, Kererű Méz, etc…. ), performed thousands of concerts, drank a lot of wine and palinka (a Hungarian spirit:)), and the girls….A year ago were awarded by ARTISJUS for our achievements in our songwriting. That made me proud ! Besides I’ve been teaching at a Kodolanyi Janos University since 2007. I really like to work with other musicians and live their dreams that’s how I started Music Producing. In 2011 I started a kind of solo career, too, wanted to experiment unwalked musical and life routes alone without disturbing others with my decisions. So “ B THE FIRST” came alive! It’s Two wonderful musicians (Attila Péterfi-Bass, Akos Kottler-drums) joined me and has been helping me for years. I’m greatful for that. They made me a better person.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “A Dal 2016”?
Adventurousness!I realeased my third album with B THE FIRST in October,2016. It’s a song contest, so I gave in all the songs I could. But I didn’t bet that we could get in!:-)
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the heats? Did you expect it?
Definitely not! But the feeling was awesome! Actually I was surprised, because the song is quite old school .But old genres always fail and rise again.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Hungary?
It’s always an honour to represent Hungary abroad officially, because it makes you feel that what you’re doing for your culture really gives a shot. You know…That’s why I like to combine different styles even from distinct musical cultures . In a way we are all the same that’s why I respect the opposite ideas, too. “Unity in diversity” is an exact motto for that.
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
My song has a storyline that can connect anyone to the other. I think we all fear something when we are in love, or we can misunderstand it, we can live it, we can drop it, and we can fight for ourselves even if we desperately want to get rid of the pain it causes. My story is simple nut true. Almost 17 years ago I was really down because my girlfriend couldn’t decide on our relationship. It made me mad and self-destructive. She broke my heart. Escaping from this madness I started madcap dating with girls and forced myself to learn gaming in love affairs.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Well, you should ask my friends or fans, but the best would be my mother. She always thought that I’m perfect, which is not true. I just want to be myself, and make others happy, and I love the Blues. I hope it’s going to be enough!
E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “A Dal 2016”?
I will keep it on a low profile. We are rock power trio, even if this song (You Told Me That You Loved Me) is more like a country-blues-rock boogie. We’ll do what we usually do!
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Yes. And of course : ABBA-Waterloo!:-)
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Sorry!… again! ABBA…..Really! 🙂 Can you imagine….?
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
We’re working on the 4th album with B THE FIRST and the 6th album with UNITED. I’m going on tour in Switzerland and Germany in spring alone with my guitar .In the summer we’re touring with UNITED in Hungary . More than enough!
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Have fun, be yourself, and respect the others! Unity in Diversity!
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!