Interview Eurovision Eurovision 2015 Finland

Norlan “El Misionario”: “My song is a dedication to my father” (Finnish participant – Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Norlan “El Misionario”, one of the eighteen participants at Finnish national selection for Eurovision 2015 “Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu” . The Cuban artist will sing “No voy a llorar por tí” written in Spanish.

ESC+Plus: Hello Norlan! First of all, congratulations on having been selected to compete at the Finish national selection for Eurovision 2015. Can you tell us about you, musical evolution and important achievements?

I was born in Havana, Cuba in 1977. I started my musical career in 1996 and I started my first musical project Cuban Hip hop group in 1997. It was called Alto Voltaje and we were the Hip hop pioneers in Cuba, because hip hop was not allowed in Cuba until we started the revolution of Hip hop music, and gave the voice to this music. We were 8 years on the top of the Cuban hip hop music and toured around Cuba. One of our biggest hits was called: “Que vola acere”.

In 2004, I got an invitation to bring my hip hop group in a culture exchange project to Finland and Baltic countries. I found the love of my life when touring in Finland, and she is still today my wife and my manager, we`ve being married and worked together now for 10 years. I came to live permanently in Finland 2005 and I brought reggaeton music to Finland, and I was a first ever foreigner , immigrant in Finland to put Spanish spoken music & reggaeton for radios. My single “Sauna Caliente” rose up to the national single charts of Finland to nro2. Spot and it stayed there 10 weeks, which was a great achievement. Music has kept me busy in Finland as artist, dj and club promoter all these years here.



E+: What is the meaning of your nickname “El Misionario”?

Like I told earlier I have being pioneer in Cuban hip hop scene and I brought reggaeton music to Finland with me and I have done a lot of missionary work in Finland for latin & Caribbean music & culture. So they started calling me first “The missionary of reggaeton” and then later on came “The latin ambassador”. So it was quite natural for me to take the honour of this nickname. “El Misionario” which means; The Missionary.

E+: Why did you decide entering UMK 2015?

When I came to Finland 2005 to live here my wife taught me how important Eurovision are to her and her family and I started watching them every year. 2006 when Lordi won, I remember I told my wife that one day I really want to be there representing for Finland. So now to have being selected out of several hundred songs to TOP18 of Finland`s best songs in UMK 2015 I`m truly honored and it`s a dream come true.

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

It would mean so much more than words can describe. Finland is my home country now and I just as strongly towards Finland as I do for Cuba. Cuba is where I was born and I will carry proudly my roots always, but I`ve lived now 10 years in Finland and I´ve learned to love this country as my own. As an artist it is a dream come true to be able to sing & share your music for 100 million people worldwide and Eurovision has a special place in my heart.

E+: Your song is called “No voy a llorar por tí”. Why did you decide to sing in Spanish? How was the composition procedure?

Spanish is my mother language and it is world`s 2nd spoken language right after mandarin from China.

Spanish is a beautiful language and I express my deepest emotions with it. I composed the song together with my musician Oldrich Gonzalez, he is also Cuban, but he lives in Sweden.

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

“No voy a llorar por ti” means “I don`t cry for you”. I wrote it to my father who passed away 2 years ago. I received the news in the middle of the night from Cuba and the pain was so strong because my father was and still is my biggest idol. And I couldn`t be by his side because of the distance when he passed away. So the very same night I wrote these lyrics for the song. It was my way of telling him how much I love him and how much I appreciate everything he has done for me and everything he taught me in life. Because of him I am the man who I am today. He was amazing father, great husband to my mother, they were together almost 40 years, and he was my best friend. He was the one who pushed me to do music, he was a musician too and he always told me to believe in my dreams. And the reason why I sing “I don`t cry for you”, is because he always said that he wants us to be happy and continue life smiling no matter what happens, and he died naturally and with a smile on his face, so I know he is now in a better place and smiling down on me. This song is dedication to my father. I love you.



E+: If you win UMK 2015, would you sing in Spanish, Finish or English at Eurovision? Would you make a new version?

I would definitely sing in Spanish, and I think it would be the same version, maybe some minor changes and details to add. But I will make remixes of the song for my fans to listen.

E+: How are you preparing your UMK performance? Can you reveal us anything about it?

We are preparing a beautiful show with 5 dancers representing different dance styles and I have my dj Amara Diamond with me. We will give our absolute 100% heart and soul to this. I`m preparing myself both physically and mentally. I`ve always believed in hard work and I`m 100% dedicated to this.

E+: What are your main strengths so as to get the people’s support to reach Eurovision?

My main strengths are that I have a lot of international experience, the song is in Spanish, the song has strong message, it comes from the heart and many people can relate to it. And I don`t think ever in Eurovision history there has being a reggaeton song, so I would make a Eurovision history if I got chosen. I want to spread positive & multicultural message of Finland to the world. We are ready. Finland is ready.

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?

Of course from Finnish acts Lordi`s song and I liked Loreen`s Euphoria very much. I`ve watched Eurovision since 2005 every year.

E+: Do you have any favourite song among the other UMK participants?

Honestly I haven’t had time to really listen to them, but what I like is that it`s 18 very different artists with different styles and personalities. Lot of talent. So it`s awesome to be amongst them.

E+: Have you ever thought about composing any song for Spain in the future?

Well, nothing is impossible. But right now I`m very pleased and happy to concentrate in Finland. That`s where my home & heart is right now. But naturally I`d love to work also in Spain with my music and tour around Spain in the future.

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

To release my 3rd album which will be released this year 2015. It`s called ” Caribbean KoneXion” where I`m combining plenty of different latin & Caribbean rhythms and styles from different Caribbean islands. I can`t wait to share with you all my new material. I`m really exited about this 3rd album. Also I`m planning to tour a lot around Finland and also Europe if possible. I never stop writing lyrics, I do that all the time so I create new music as well, and I`m also dj and music producer so I got so many exiting projects ahead.

E+: Finally, would you like to send a message for our readers?

First of all I`d like to say I`m so grateful for this interview, and thank you to all the readers for taking time to read this. I really do hope we meet in Vienna, and I wish my song brings you joy & comfort no matter which part of the world you are from. I want to say also that always believe in your dreams and do things you love and have passion for them, because anything is possible and I hope my example inspires many immigrants all over the world. I`m Cuban representing as a candidate in Finnish Eurovision contest in Spanish, so YES anything is possible if you believe and work hard for your dreams. Thank you once again.

You can follow Norlan “El Misionario” on his Official Facebook Page.


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