Jukebox: “We are usually recognized as the best live band in Romania, with a lot of happy and positive energy on stage” (Romanian semifinalists – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Jukebox, semifinalists of this year’s Romanian national selection for Eurovision. The band will perform “Come on Everybody” in the semi-final of Selectia Nationala 2016 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 Romanian national selection for Eurovision 2016!

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

First: we all love music. We love to play it, we love to listen to it. This is what got us together 15 years ago. We got thorough a lot together, but music was always there. We have over 1500 live concerts behind, looking forward for as many as possible. We got very popular by time, known for exigency by professionals and for fun starters by audience. We get along very well with everybody we meet. Our tagline: Feel a Live with Jukebox! Jukebox is usually known and recognized as the best Live band in Romania, with a lot of happy, positive energy on stage 🙂

Short description of Jukebox:

• 3 albums (“Christmas Songs”, “Feel Like Making Love” and “Picuri de Rai”)

• 7 singles (“Te Adoresc”, “Breakout”, “Cum VreiTtu”, “Editie Speciala”, “Sarbatorile-au Venit”, “Addicted” and “Come On everybody”)

• 10 years of television for prime time “Cronica Carcotasilor” show on Prima TV

• Festivals and Contests (Eurovision, Festival Mamaia, X Factor, Vocea Romaniei/The Voice)

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

Probably every European creative musician has an untold dream and that’s Eurovision. Would be an honor for us to represent those dreams. We feel lucky as we are. Crowd coming to see us, dancing, getting loose after hard work. We connect and we build together what define us, we all let go of everyday worries and find a peak in music. We play mostly covers and it’s an easy way to win people hearts. They already know the lyrics, we sing together. Most artists are great but some of them try to fight own fears. We think is the audience you have to feel and relief. Feed them and they will feed you. Your dreams. Will relief you. And your creativity…

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

When we decided to submit the song we didn’t know a thing by the other contestants. We didn’t know what to expect. We tried our best for having the song ready in time as we decided late to submit. The feedback from friends was very encouraging, so we had many reasons to be confident. We knew that getting in the contest was the easy part, now we are working a lot to take the song further. Beside that we were very happy to hear that we’ve been given the chance.

E+: What would it mean to you to represent Romania?

It would mean a lot. Also a lot of responsibility. We would love to play our song in Stockholm, and have a great show. The song gives a lot of perspectives to have the best show.

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

The music is a mix of rock and Romanian traditional music, lyrics/stories combined with some comic Romanian traditional phrases. Is about romance starting between a boy and a girl in the country side, with a bit of teasing, and an invitation to dance (“Joc” as is called in rural villages). As in metro area people get together in dance clubs and find partners, in rural villages they are meeting for traditional dances (“hora”) and music in weekends.

“Hai la joc” translates in “Let’s go dance” and “Din opinci sa iasa foc” will be “Until shoes catch fire”. The lyrics are part English part Romanian as a pamphlet referring to Romanian people using English words in daily conversations combined with Romanian of course. This is probably happening because of the music, movies and other tv shows (not dubbed here, only subtitled mostly), and a lot of contacts with foreigners, either for business or friendship. There’s even a new word in the street here for this kind of language: Romgleza (Romglish). The song is inspired by boys and girls in the countryside of Romania and also by our customs, language, traditional way of life, for which we (Romanians) are recognized as people who will always make fun of themselves even during hard times.

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

We think is a powerful song, with a lot of energy, funny and also unforgettable, with a positive and optimistic message, and allows a great show to be built on it. It is definitely European, as comes from European land and is told in European languages. It has a beautiful story with a lot of interpretations. It has a complex musical composition (7 instruments and 5 vocals since it was created Live in our rehearsal studio, not with a computer). A bit unusual for the competition most song styles seen before, but then again some odd numbers had shown in ESC over years.

E+: How are you preparing your stage performance for “Selectia Nationala 2016”?

We are working hard with a great, extraordinary team (ones of the best professionals in Romania) for the show. We will try to help the song with a great visual. It will be a surprise, this is as much as we can say for now, and we are sure that everybody will love it

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

We do keep an eye on ESC every year. There were a lot of great songs and artists. Probably one of the top favorite songs from the last years is “Euphoria”

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

This is a not easy to answer. ESC has a rich history, a lot of huge artists and songs titles, like ABBA or Celine Dion. We are musicians that love to jam with other musicians, so we would be thankful for a session, but the list is too long 🙂

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

We are focused on ESC for now. A lot of our plans will depend on what happens now. We will release a new single later this year, we started to build a Jukebox Live show… and some other big projects, but they are surprises for our audience 🙂

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

Keep listening and supporting your artists and music! And of course: Feel a Live with Jukebox!!

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

Thanks, U2 🙂

About Tony Rojas (Spain)

Spanish journalist. I love good music and I like Eurovision. I’m bringing you different interviews with the candidates of the European contests for Eurovision. Follow me on @tonyrojas and @tonyrojasofficial (Twitter and Instagram).

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