ESC+Plus has talked to Olga Shimanskaya, known as Napoli, finalist of this year’s Belarusian national selection for Eurovision. Napoli will perform “Let’s come together” in the Eurofest’s final set 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 Belarusian national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Napoli: Hello! Thank you for your congratulations. I am very glad that I went to the final and a bit worried before the performance.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Napoli: I was born in an ordinary family. My parents are not rich, and I have always sought the whole by myself. I had a dream to sing since childhood. I always went to karaoke, and even won the championship of Belarus karaoke when I was 16 years old. Later, I began to act as a part of NAPOLI group and, after the death of lead singer Ilya Kravchuk in 2014, the group could not survive for long, so I started working alone, as a solo singer called NAPOLI. I was able to perform at major concert venues in Belarus.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “Eurofest 2017”?
Napoli: I’m a real fan of the Eurovision contest. This year is the fourth time I participate in the national qualifying round of the international song contest Eurovision-2017. It’s my biggest dream – to perform on the main stage of Europe.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Napoli: I was very happy that once again reached the final national qualifying round. Every year my results got better and better. Last year, I took the second place. This year I’m really looking forward to the performance because I want to show another Napoli – simple, sincere, opened; and I am very worried, because people are used to see me in “princess dresses”.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Belarus?
Napoli: This is a very great honor and a great responsibility. This is an opportunity to tell about ourselves all over Europe and even worldwide. People watch Eurovision from all continents. I think I can get a lot of pleasure from a performance on such a big stage and, of course, I would be happy to stand under the flag of my native country!
ESC+Plus: How do you remember your last year’s participation?
Napoli: Oh! Last year I had a very memorable action and a beautiful great dress in which it was impossible to move. I finished just a few votes from the victory and it was very disappointing …
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Napoli: The song was written for me by European authors Michael James Down, Primoz Poglajen and Niklas Hast. They sent me a few options to choose from. I initially chose another song, but it was taken by Sergey Lazarev while I was making a final decision. Then I dreamed that I should choose Let’s Some Together. I like the idea of the song and I want to tell it to the listeners.
This song is about what you need to listen to, what your heart wants. You don’t need to wait for anything, you need to start acting right now.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Napoli: I think the most important thing is that the song was written by people who live in Europe and understand European listeners. A team from five different countries worked on the creation of song, which is positive and memorable. Already on the second chorus it with me can sing along with any viewer.
I believe in myself, believe in the victory of the national selection and a good result in Kiev, if I become the representative of Belarus at “Eurovision-2017”
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for Eurofest 2017?
Napoli: We have already prepared the team room. This year, my image is very different from previous ones. I will not have huge dresses and jewelry. I chose a simple and user-friendly suit, so I was easy to dance. After all, I have such a positive song, for which’d like to move.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Napoli: I have watched all the Eurovision editions of the last 10 years. I do not miss a single one. I have many favorite songs, but most probably like Loreen – Euphoria as the best. It is some kind of unearthly, her voice, her dancing…
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Napoli: Oh, it’s difficult. I like many participants in the competition «Eurovision». I like Michał Szpak (Michał Szpak was Poland’s choice for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest). I met him at the Polish selection last year and I was delighted by his voice. I also dream to sing with Loreen, Emmelie De Forest, Barei, … and with many other participants of Eurovision.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Napoli: Hello to everyone! I love you and I hope that this year we will meet in Kiev. I want to wish all of you believe in yourself! If you believe, you will surely achieve what you want! «You know, we can achieve if we only believe. Eh-oh-oh-oh…»