ESC+Plus has talked to Petruska, candidate of this year’s Hungarian national selection for Eurovision, “A Dal 2016″. The singer will perform ” Trouble in my mind” in the 3rd heat set on February 6.
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’ve been singing since I’ve been able to talk and studied guitar since a very early age, so music was the same joy for me as any play for a child. In my teenage years I started to compose and had several bands, experimented with many musical styles and later on I went to music school. My solo career began in 2010. Ever since then, I do around 100 gigs a year, 2 years ago my first album ‘Metropolita’ came out, the second comes out in two months. Most of my songs are about questions of my generation – the Y one -, my main musical inspiration is blending the Hungarian traditional music with rock’n’roll and the unique finger style guitar technique.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “A Dal 2016”?
Challenge. Though I have pretty much experience in the music industry, this alternative acoustic music I’m playing doesn’t get much media attention in my country. I don’t really know this kind of TV show world and here’s a chance to try how can I deal with this kind of situation. It’s a challenge to learn new levels about me both in artistic and psychological ways.
E: How do you feel when you know you had qualified for the heats? Did you expect it?
I was surprised. To tell you the truth I hadn’t really cared about it, because I thought there’s no chance to blend my musical scene and the Eurovision. So I applied for it, because it was open – I thought if I succeed it’s a good thing, if not, I wouldn’t be disappointed. So I was really surprised and happy of course.
E+: What would it mean to represent Hungary?
That’s a hard question. Of course I’d be happy and proud to be the guy who represents Hungary with his thoughts and music. It’s a big responsibility, because it’s not only about a song, it’s about a whole nation. I think all I could do is trying to do my best, perform in my most relaxed mood, find my peace in the rush of the whole event.
E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
‘Trouble in My Mind’ came from a nightmare. I dreamt meeting all my friends and each of them told a different problem with me. I woke up in the middle of the night and started to take notes about this experience as I always thought dreams were messages from your subconscious – the naked truth what you really think of yourself. As I was typing to my cell phone, I thought this could be a song. Though the whole thing came from a very frustrated mood, I think it’s really important to write about these things. Not just for myself, if we dare to face all the hidden fears, frustrations and all the burdens what we’ve been carrying for many years could lead us to a solution and a happier life.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?
I think my song comes from a very different musical scene than the songs that are typically represented in the Eurovision, it could be unique. The lyrics might be a little darker, the arrangement is a bit more conservative than the usual compositions. I can’t really for see if these are advantages or disadvantages, this is what I am in an honest and a vulnerable way. However, it’s a pop song with a dancy groove and has a message. I like it, hope you too.
E+: How are you preparing your stage performance for “A Dal 2016”?
Yes, we started to prepare with Bence, the fiddle player, my regular band member and with Domi guesting on the backing vocals (remember him backing Boggie in Wars for Nothing?:) just after Christmas and we finalised everything in the early days of January since I had a Holiday booked. So the next time we meet will be the camera rehearsals for the TV show. A bit risky, but at least I’ll be relaxed.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favourite songs in the history of the competition?
To tell you the truth I haven’t really been watch any TV in the last decade. But I remember watching the ’97 finals in our weekend cottage when Katarina and The Waves won. A few years later we even rehearsed the song with my then band, but I don’t remember playing it live. I have memories of Hungary’s first Eurovision entry ‘Kinek mondam el vétkeimet’ by Friderika which is still the most succesful one in the country’s history with the programme. A few years ago the composer asked me if I could do a cover of it and I did it in my own way – that’s going to be the “B-side” of the ‘Trouble in My Mind’ single coming out on 1st February.Also I have very fond memories of Boggie’s ‘Wars for Nothing’. She and her backing singers are very close friends of mine, we usually hang out together. The funny thing is I’m singing in the studio version of the song and I was also asked to contribute in the Eurovision shows as well but unfortunately I couldn’t make it due to other duties.
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Maybe I’ll surprise the readers, I would definitely choose ABBA. The way Björn and Benny crafted those songs are just perfect. The arrangements, the recordings, the mixes still sound exciting today. There’s a lot to learn from them.
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
I have my second album that contains ‘Trouble in My Mind’ set to release in late March. We start touring from April until – I bet – the end of the year. I really enjoyed my last year of composing, recording, drafting the artwork, etc. and I’m looking forward putting it out, letting the songs live their on life. It would have been a busy year without Eurovision as well, but with it I think I’m going to find some new challenges that will get me some new inspiration as well.
E+: Finally, Can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
I didn’t know there was such an international following for each country’s shows. Your support and comments came to me as a surprise and have got me so much inspiration and confidence for the competition already. I’ll try my best to make you happy during the shows. Feel free to communicate with me on my platforms and hope to see you on live performances as well!
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!