Kisses: “If things aren’t going so well, a “kiss” and a little “dance” can do a lot!” (Interview – The Netherlands at JESC 2016)

ESC+Plus has had the chance to talk to the trio that will wave the Dutch flag at Junior Eurovision 2016. Check out what Stefania, Kymora and Sterre have told us and how they are preparing for the contest below:

ESC+Plus: Hello Girls! First of all, congratulations on having been selected to represent The Netherlands at Junior Eurovision 2016!

How did you feel when you were told you had been selected to be part of the Dutch group for Junior Eurovision? Can you tell us about the experience of taking part in the auditions?

Stefania: I was at school when Julia van Bergen (Dutch contestant in 2014), accompanied by a camera crew, came to tell me I had been selected for the pop group. I couldn’t believe they came for me! It took about a day to realize I was in the group. I was soooo happy! The auditions were a lot of fun and very exciting!

Sterre: I was really surprised! They entered the classroom with a camera crew and I did not know anything to say… When I realized what had happened, I was very happy! The auditions were exciting and we had a lot of fun together. The auditions took a whole weekend and after that, the waiting started. I later found out that my parents had been called early Monday morning after the auditions. They had to keep it a surprise until Friday.

Kymora: It was very special. I would have never expected that I would be chosen to be part of the pop group. Taking part in the audition was a lot of fun. We had an awesome time!

E+: Why did you decide to enter the Junior Songfestival internal auditions? Did you already know each other before the competition?

Stefania: I had already participated in another Dutch singing contest: The Voice Kids. I came pretty far, but didn’t win. This program made me realize I didn’t want to stop singing. I joined a famous Dutch children’s choir, Kinderen voor Kinderen, where I also met Sterre. Kymora also joined this choir for a brief period and we gave a lot of concerts and shows. I learned a lot here. When I stopped with the choir, I still wasn’t ready to stop singing. Why not try and audition for The Junior Songfestival, I thought. This turned out to be a great choice!

Sterre: I have always loved singing and I have watched the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for years at home. It seemed like such an amazing experience to represent your country. I knew Stefania quite well, because we both sang in the famous Dutch children’s choir ‘Kinderen voor Kinderen’ for quite a while. I knew Kymora a little bit, because she used to dance in Amsterdam and so did I. She also joined the choir for a short period.

Kymora: I already auditioned last year, but didn’t make it through then. I wanted to try again, and I succeeded this time! It was a coincidence that we already knew each other. We were shortly singing together in a famous Dutch children’s choir called Kinderen voor Kinderen.

E+: You chose your group name after asking fans to submit their ideas. Why did you finally select Kisses?

Kisses: The first letters of our names are in the word (Kymora, Stefania, Sterre) and the fans called this name multiple times. We all liked the sound of it, and together with AVROTROS we chose Kisses for our official group name!

E+: Tell us what your song is about. What is the thing you most like of “Kisses & Dancin’”? Did you take part in the composition of the song?

Kisses: If things aren’t going so well in your life, and everything is against you, this song is supposed to make you happy. It’s an encouragement to all the people in the world, to push through and be positive. You’re not alone. A “kiss” and a little “dance” (preferably to this awesome song) can do a lot!

It’s a happy, up-tempo song, which you can easily sing and dance along to. It’s hard to sit still when you listen to this song! The producers of “The Producer House” wrote the song Kisses & Dancin’. They were also responsible for the entries from the Netherlands during the last two Junior Eurovision songcontests ( Julia (2014)-Shalisa (2015)). We couldn’t have been more lucky to work with them and we’re really happy they wrote such an awesome song for us to sing in Malta.

E+: How did you feel the first time you listened to your song for Junior Eurovision? Did you expect it to be like that?

Stefania: I actually didn’t quite know what to expect what kind of song it would be. When I heard it for the first time, my body practically started moving by itself. All I could think was “whooowowow what a good song”!

Kymora: I immediately loved the song and it made me happy right away! I really like upbeat songs and it was better than I expected!

Sterre: I was very excited about the song and I already saw us standing on the stage in Malta with it! I was hoping it would be up beat and it was.

E+: You have recorded an official video for your song, how was the shooting experience? Were there any funny anecdotes you can share with us?

Kisses: It was A LOT of fun! Which is good, because it took all day. Being together and with the team is always a lot of fun. We really feel at ease and that makes it a lot easier to make something like a video clip. A funny moment was when Stefania threw a heart-shaped pillow in the air, and it came down right in her face! Sterre was a little too enthusiastic with the vintage radio and accidentally threw it on the floor when she tried to put it down. A lot happened that day: we dropped things, we threw things and we laughed a lot. We would do it all over again!

You can also check out the video on our YouTube channel that shows the backstage footage of this experience:

E+: You have spent the last months preparing for Junior Eurovision as we have seen on several videos. What’s the most memorable of all of them for you?

Sterre: It is difficult to pick one; there were so many memorable moments! But if I have to choose… the moment when we met each other as a group (after we auditioned separately) with all the press and the team present was very memorable.

Kymora: All the video’s we made with the three us are my favorite! It’s always a lot of fun to work, sing, dance and vlog together.

Stefania: We did so much over the last couple of months; I can’t pick only one! Every time I heard what we were going to do in our new video, my reaction was “this really can’t be surpassed” and every time I had the same reaction! And there are more video’s coming… 

E+: Have you already decided how your performance will be? Will you have any dancers on stage?

Kisses: We will be dancing by ourselves. We will be singing and dancing together.

E+: What do you expect from the upcoming experience at Junior Eurovision? What do you think it will mean for your musical career?

Kisses: We really hope we get to know all the other participating children. It’s international so that’s a lot of fun! Afterwards, we hope we are satisfied with our performance and that everything went the way it should. If we have fun and make the best out of it, the rest doesn’t really matter! We don’t know what it will mean for our personal career or our career as a pop group. We think that it gets lots of publicity, so that’s a good thing for all of us. But first, we have to enjoy this experience and the rest will come naturally.

E+: Do you usually watch the senior Eurovision? Would you like to take part in the future?

Kisses: Yes, we’re all watching the senior Eurovision! That would be so great, but we’re not thinking about that yet. But then again, who knows…

E+: If you had to choose one Dutch singer or band to compete at Eurovision, what would be your choice?

Kymora: TP4Y, a Dutch girl band that participated in Holland’s Got Talent!

Stefania: O’G3NE as a group, or Glennis Grace as soloist.

Sterre: O’G3ne, three sisters (Lisa, Amy and Shelly) who competed at the JESC years ago in 2007. They are adults now and won the Dutch version of The Voice as a group.

E+: Tell us one word which best describes you:

Kisses: Girlpower!

E+: Tell us more about yourself, your favorite music style, favorite school subject, hobbies, musical career….

My name is Stefania: I’m 13 years old and have two nationalities. My parents are Greek, and I was born in The Netherlands. I have an older brother (Georgios, 26 years old) and sister (Nitsa, 22 years old). Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber are my favorite artists, but I like a lot of different music styles. Because I’m in an expression class, I can be creative and musical at school too. I love singing, dancing, acting, singing, singing and singing!

My name is Kymora: I’m an energetic, 12-year-old girl with a lot of passion for singing, dancing and acting. I’ve acted in various Dutch musicals and have been dancing since I was five years old. When I was nine, I started taking singing seriously. I like to be around people and therefore enjoy hanging out with my friends. My favorite school subject is Film.

My name is Sterre: I started to really sing when I was seven years old. I won a talent competition and after that I was asked to join Kinderen voor Kinderen, a famous Dutch children’s choir. I sang on two of their albums, and performed on a lot of big stages. I sang solos in different songs for them, danced and presented in TV programs during that time. I also sang a few times for the Royal Family and acted in a few TV commercials. After that I did a theater show for one year. And now I’m doing this!
I take guitar lessons, dance lessons and singing lessons. I love all of it. Besides that, I like to read, take pictures, make videos, swim and hang out with my friends.

E+: Can you send a message for our readers and Junior Eurovision fans?

Kisses: We are very honored to represent The Netherlands in Malta. We hope we can give everybody a happy feeling with our song Kisses & Dancin’ and that everybody dances along! We look forward to the event: meeting new people and discovering the beautiful island. We’re from a small country, but hope to show you something big on stage! We’re going to enjoy every step of the way. See you in Malta! Three kisses from KISSES!

E+: Thank you very much for your time. See you in Malta! 

Kisses will perform “Kisses & Dancin'” for The Netherlands on November 20 in Malta.

About Belén García (Spain)

Belén García (Spain)

My name is Belén. I’m a musician and English teacher from Spain.

I have been following Eurovision since I was only 11 and the junior version since the beginning (expert of this contest). I love Eurovision because I love discovering new songs every year.

Before ESC+Plus, I have been part of very well-known websites about (Junior) Eurovision. Apart from writing, I love taking professional photos, designing and editing videos, I’m very creative!

I have already traveled to Eurovision and Junior Eurovision a few times and I highly recommend it! =)

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