ESC+Plus has talked to Irina Popa, semifinalist of this year’s Romanian national selection for Eurovision. Irina will perform “Lasa-ma, eu te las” at the semi-final of Selectia Nationala 2016 to take place tomorrow.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Romanian national selection for Eurovision 2016!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Well, I started my music career since I was a child, I think I was 5 years old and I never stopped dreaming of performing on the biggest stages among great artists. I’ve won several important music contests in Romania. One of which I am very proud is the Mamaia Festival where I won 2 trophies: the main one and the Press Award. I’ve always loved experiencing different musical approaches: from pop and blues to jazz and rock. Currently, I am performing with my band, The Sinners, all over the country.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “Selectia Nationala 2016”?
I like to challenge myself and I wanted to prove myself that I can make it through a though competition. Also, it is humbling to think that I could represent my country in Stockholm.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
Well, actually, I didn’t, it was a huge surprise. Although, I was very happy to see that my talent and efforts were appreciated by the members of the jury. Also, I was grateful for the wonderful feedback I’ve received on the social media platforms. It’s very good to feel so appreciated by complete strangers as well as by music industry representatives.
E+: What would it mean to you to represent Romania?
Like I said, it is truly humbling. I would be honored and I promise to do my best to represent Romania at the highest level possible with an unforgettable show.
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
“Letting go” reflects perfectly my state of mind and it embodies some of my life experiences, it is deeply personal. The song is a very sensitive one and every time I sing it, it overwhelms me with a deep emotion. “Letting Go” is about a love story which doesn’t deserve keep fighting for, even though it’s very hard to give up on someone who used to mean the life to you.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Because it sends a very strong message which people can relate to and because it has a fine and nostalgic rhythm. Also, the song manages to reflect my vocal qualities very well. Even more, I have prepared a great show which will mesmerize the audience. Can’t wait to perform it!
E+: How are you preparing your stage performance for “Selectia Nationala 2016”?
Well, that’s kind of a secret right now, I want to make a great entrance and surprise everyone on the spot. So, the only thing I can say is that it’s going to be an impressive show with elements that you would not expect to see.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Yes, I usually watch it, there are very few editions that I missed. There are many good songs so it’s very difficult for me to choose just one. Top of mind, I loved Mans’s performance from last year as well as Dima Bilan’s “Believe”.
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
It would definitely be Celine Dion for her performance in 1988, the year I was born. It has a very emotional meaning for me and also I appreciate it for its impact and relevance, which still stands as reference point after so many years.
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
I’m planning to release a new single along with a video and to record several covers in a personal way, infused with jazz, pop and blues influences. Stay tuned to my Facebook page and my label’s page and YouTube to keep in touch.
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
My dear friends, thank you for all your kind messages and support. I’m looking forward to your votes and I am grateful to enjoy your appreciation.
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!