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Stella Christine: “My act would be something new to be heard and seen in Eurovision” (Finnish candidate – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Stella Christine, semifinalist of this year’s Finnish national selection for Eurovision, “UMK 2016”. Stella will perform “Ain’t Got Time For Boys” in the first semi-final 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 Finnish national selection for Eurovision 2016!

E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

I’m a 23-year-old singer & songwriter, currently living in Kotka, Finland. Music has been a part of my life since an early age and I’ve worked in many different ensembles. I graduated as a professional musician in 2014 and have worked as a freelancer since then, playing gigs around Finland. I’ve written songs since a teenager and Ain’t Got Time For Boys” is my first official release. Last year I co-wrote a song to an other artist in UMK but this year I participated myself. As an artist and a songwriter I make music with my heart more than my head. I don’t follow a trend and make music where I like to push the limit and combine different styles that are close to my heart. Mostly it’s soul, R&B and jazz but other genres too. I pour my feelings into music and I think it shows in my performance. UMK is one of my biggest achievements so far and I hope it will open new doors and further my career as an artist.

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

My dream has been to get the music I’ve written out to a bigger crowd and be known as a Finnish artist in Finland but also to be known internationally. I’ve watched UMK since it started and found it to be a very good way for artists to be heard and seen. That’s why I applied in the first place, but also to represent Finland in ESC would be a dream come true.

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

It was a surprise. I was thrilled, mainly because my only doubt about my song was that it’s different and not a very traditional Eurovision kind of song. I had all my faith in it as a song, but wasn’t sure if it was going to qualify to be in the UMK. It also represents a genre which isn’t so common or popular in Finland. So it made me really happy to know that the jury was so open-minded and saw the potential in my song and understood my piece of art really.

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

I would be so honored if I was voted to represent Finland with the song that I’ve written. It would mean the world to know that people in Finland respect my music and would want it to represent Finland internationally.

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

About the song itself and the story behind it, like I said I pour my thoughts and feelings into music. Sometimes It’s something that I’ve been through or sometimes I get inspired by other people’s stories. This is something I put on paper and tells about the mood I was in that moment and what my thoughts were about back then. I think every girl has her own “Beyonce moment” if you know what I mean 😉

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

I think I and my song are different but in a good way. I think it would be something new to be heard and seen in Eurovision, you know, a girl with an electric guitar singing this type of music. I believe my song is a very international song too. Other than that I think my main strength is authenticity. I write my songs by myself and there’s always a true emotion and experience in the song, which I think is important.

This song with its lyrics hasn’t necessarely a message that everyone in the world can relate to, but I would like people to see the bigger picture. I hope people could see my story and see this small town girl make it to the big stage in Stockholm, with a song she’s written by herself. I think that is the inspiration I want to be and I want to show people who anything you dream of is possible if you work for it. Even though you’re ”Miss Nobody” from Kotka, Finland you can make it to the top if you dare. I want to stay true to the subjects I write about and not fall into any clichés which aren’t truly me, just to make it to the Eurovision. Or compromise my choice of music style to fit in. Stay true and believe in yourself is my message and I hope it finds its way to Stockholm.

E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “UMK 2016”?

Yes. Next week 6th of February is my turn to perform and everything is ready and planned. Make sure to tune in!

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

I’ve watched Eurovision regularly since a teenager and fallen in love with it ever since. I have so many favourites but to name a few I love the songs performed by Conchita Wurst, Sabina Babayeva, Dilara Kazimova, Softengine and Paradise Oskar. Sweden has also been a favourite many years!

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

I’d like a nice, cheesy duet with Måns Zelmerlöw 😉

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

To keep challenging myself and chase my dreams and not let fear and doubt come in my way. Life will surely open the right doors so I don’t really have a script written. Mostly I’d like to release more of my music and I would love to find the right connections for that. Other than that I will just keep writing music and performing, it’s part of my lifestyle.

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

My biggest message to everyone is that be brave and be bold. Dare to chase your dreams and don’t let fear and doubt come in your way. I believe in you and your vision and together we are #stellars.

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)