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Gergö Oláh: “The idea of my song came when I was watching tales with my son” (Hungarian candidate – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Gergö Oláh, candidate of this year’s Hungarian national selection for Eurovision, “A Dal 2016”. Gergö will perform “Gyöz a jó” in the second heat set on Saturday.

ESC+Plus: 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?

I learnt to play the piano, the guitar and drums as a teenager. Later I was learning to be a dancer and choreographer. A friend of mine applied me for X-factor Hungary in 2012 and I ended up as the winner of the season. I got the ‘Bravo Otto Award’ as the ‘New Talent of the Year’. My first single became a Number One Hit in Hungary – called ‘Breaking the Silence’. Last year I got the ‘For Ethnic Award’ from the Ministry of Human Resources, admitting my charity work. I’m very-very proud of it. I got a role in a new musical and we had a tour all around Hungary in every major city. There is a new HIT TV show ‘Divorce’ and I sang the theme song. In December I had three concerts with an American Gospel Choir and they invited me to perform with them in the USA. Last year was very exciting. Specially when my song passed to Top 30 in Eurovision Competition.

E+: What impelled you to take part in “A Dal 2016”?

Last year I was part of this competition as well and I ended up in the semi final. Immediately – after the show was over – I decided to take part in it this year again. I have a lot of things to say, and it is a fabulous opportunity to tell my thoughts and show my music to as many people as it is possible.

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the heats? Did you expect it?

I was absolutely happy about it. The truth is, that I believe in this song so much and I hope that the jury and later on the audience is going to like it. This song is based on authentic Hungarian Gipsy music with a modern twist, so I feel that it is a special and unique song.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Hungary?

The composer I was working with on this song can’t imagine any other options, than our song is going to win… 🙂 He already represented Hungary a couple of years ago as a member of a band called ‘Compact Disco’. I know that it would be the biggest opportunity for me and a huge possibility to tell people my message.

E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

The title of the song means: the good always will be the winner. The title and the idea came when I was watching tales with my son. The evil is losing and the good one has to be the winner. In tales there are no any other options. When I was a kid, we were not wealthy at all, my parents were poor and they had to work very hard to feed us and get everything to my siblings and me. But no matter what, we always believed that we have to stay on the right path and whatever happens, finally good things will come. Sometimes it was not easy to be a gipsy kid in the school, but I trusted myself and not just in my luck, I did everything I could to turn my life better. And everyone else can. Or should be. This is the song about. You have to believe and you have to act.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?

For me it is hard to tell nice things about my work and myself. The truth is I’m quite modest, to praise myself is not my strength… I love this song, I sing authentic gipsy theme and the music is modern. This song doesn’t want to be very fashionable, but it is easy to remember the notes. The lyrics are very nice, simple and it’s easy to sympathize with it. It is an exciting crossing of the old and the new.

E+: How are you preparing your stage performance for “A Dal 2016”?

We have so many things to do. I will perform with four dancers and I will dance as well. We already started to do the choreography and practice a lot. Singing and dancing at the same time is not so easy… I sing my song all the time, in the car, in the bathroom, permanently. Even my kids know the lyrics.

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorites songs in the history of the competition?

I watched it every time. I really liked Måns Zelmerlöw and his winning song, I think he deserved it. Gay Sebastian and his music style is very close to me. If I have to say someone from the previous years, I would say Alexander Rybak, his song was very positive, he is very likeable a real natural, and singing and playing an instrument at the same time, it is not easy at all.

E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

One of the biggest singer of all time of Eurovision history: Celine Dion. I really admire her, it would be wonderful to sing with her.

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

I have so many plans. My new album is just finished and it’s gonna be released soon. I’m playing a main character of a gipsy musical called Somnakaj. The end of springtime I will act in the Shrek musical as well. I have a new band called Roma Soul, we play crossover of modern and gipsy music. And I have a newborn little son Nolan, so this year is not going to be boring at all.

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

I love the fact, that people are so different. Nobody is average or nobody should be. Difference is the spice of life. I hope one day everybody will be capable to respect everyone else. I hope this Eurovision will prove it. The power of cooperation.

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)