ESC+Plus has talked to Olivér Berkes and Andi Tóth, candidates of this year’s Hungarian national selection for Eurovision. The duet will perform “Seven Seas” in the third A Dal heat to take place today.
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?
Olivér: My musical career began when I was around 13. It was the time when I started to question Tennis as being the major goal in my life. (Until then I really believed that I was going to be a professional Tennis player). I had to realize that there was something that got to me much more than Tennis, which was making Music. For a long time Music played a minor role in my life, but after I began to sing a lot at home, and explained to my parents what I intended to do; there wasn`t really any question about it, making Music was what it was all going to be about.
The first larger milestone of my musical career was The Voice of Hungary competition where I finished in the semi-finals. I had the opportunity to sing in front of millions of people and got requests to sing at a large variety of events, including stadiums. Nowadays, I work on my own music only. For a while I wrote songs for other Artists, but now I feel that I need time to expand and develop my own portfolio of lyrics and melodies that communicate my message and are more fitting to my personality. One of my biggest successes was to have a song called “Good bye” with Dj Newik, which topped the Hungarian hit lists for several weeks and is considered as one of the biggest hits of last year.
Andi: I was born in Nagyvárad, Transylvania. I began singing seriously when I was 13 and with 15 I signed up for the Hungarian XFactor, which somehow I managed to win. Before I won the Hungarian X-Faktor I had attended some minor competitions, but definitely the X-Faktor brought me what I had been dreaming for a long time… Following that I had the opportunity to try my luck in theatre, after I received a request from the famous Madách Színház, to play the role of Eponine from Les Misérables. I am currently in a television series under the name of Válótársak streamed on RTL Klub, which is really successful and I am very happy for trying it out and being a part of it. I hope this streak will not be interrupted, and we will achieve similar successes with the Dal and the Eurovision.
E+: What impelled you to take part with Andi Tóth in “A Dal 2016”?
Olivér: I received 7Seas as a request from Johnny K. Palmer and Kovacsics Ádám last year. The intention to work with them has been there for a while now, but somehow so far it just didn’t quite come together. After we recorded the song, we listened to the tape and realized that the female vocal part – which we had already introduced in the background of the song- sounded very pleasant and really complemented the essence of the song. And that’s how Andi came into the picture. I was following her career since she had won the X-Factor and her talent as well as her unique character always amazed me.
I think especially in this song our voices and our characters have a perfect match. I’ ve really been enjoying working together.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had been selected for the live shows? Did you expect it?
Olivér: It was a pleasant surprise for me. It is always a nice feeling when a professional jury believes in a song like you do. We believe that the song has its own value and a universal message that should awaken thoughts in the mind of the listener, or if not, at least they can relax and smile for those 3 minutes when they play our music. But to give an answer to your question: We hoped that the jury would believe in our song just as much as we do and will select it to the best ones.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Hungary?
Olivér: Obviously, next to considering it a great personal accomplishment, able to represent Hungary on an international stage is a responsibility to give our very best. Right now though our focus is on the present and the nearer future. We are really trying to give what we can on the show and are hoping for good results.
Andi: Even being in the show is a really big thing, but it would be a huge honor as a Transylvanian to represent my beloved country, Hungary!
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Olivér: The Song really has its own internal message, which can be applied on a very individual level. We have to believe in the power of music, as a way of a message in order to achieve a collective goal, together as a “team”. ñthat is viewed by millions.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Olivér: Well I think first of all its just our message, that music is a universal language that is understandable for everyone who listens to it; regardless where you’ re from, what culture you live in, what language you speak. You feel the vibe, the melody and when done correctly the honesty behind the music. Another aspect of the song is to fight together for the sake of something good, because as a collective power we can achieve marvelous goals. Secondly, I believe we are unique as a couple in the “competition”. There is no other duo this season. We have great synergy with Andi, which is I think an important aspect in our “job”, because the honesty and emotions both act as determinants of the end result.
Andi: I think both Oli and I are a bit insane, which creates a good vibe and a great atmosphere on stage! It might just be one of our strengths! Our song is easy, catchy, and spreads a little happiness to the people who need it!
E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “A Dal 2016”?
Olivér: Yes. We have a very professional and efficient team working with us. Every member is working towards the same goal and for us it’s just great to have this team spirit around. Everyone is trying their best but at the same time takes a moment to enjoy the creative process around it all.
Andi: We do rehearse a lot (sing and do the choreography) and of course, mess around a lot☺ In my opinion we are entirely ready for Saturday and I can’t wait to go crazy on stage!
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favorite songs in the history of the competition?
Olivér: I usually watch them yes, but honestly I don’t watch TV that actively, it’s almost the only time I turn it on. I really loved András Kallay Saunders- Running and probably last year’s Australian member: Guy Sebastian.
Andi: Loic Nottet- The Rhythm inside
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Olivér: Either Guy Sebastian or Loreen.
Andi: For me, last years Loic Nottet- The Rhythm inside was a smash. I totally fell in love with that song!
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
Olivér: I am having my last exam period at University, so finishing my degree is definitely on the list, but besides that, I am working on quite a few songs that I’d like to release this year as an album and I plan to do several cover songs now that I will have more time to focus on my musical career after I graduate.
Andi: This year I want to focus on my projects. My new songs, an album, concerts and of course everything else that has to do something with music!
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Olivér: Sure! Well first of all we really appreciate you guys, without you Eurovision as a whole wouldn’t exist. So we’ re really grateful for being a part of the Eurovision “family”. We look forward to meeting some of you personally, or online for that matter. And hope you guys enjoy this season of Eurovision!
Andi: Lots of Hugs and Kisses to everybody and of course some Rock And Roll!!! ☺
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!