Mushu: “Uncle Tom is a song about exploitation and freedom” (Hungarian finalists – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Mushu, finalists of this year’s Hungarian national selection for Eurovision. The band will perform “Uncle Tom” in the final of A Dal 2016 set on February 27.

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!

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

Heh, I’m not sure we have any. Our Band Started up back in september, Our Guitarist, Tony is almost entirely self-taught, and I’ve only a vast library and passion for music and some practice to thank for my capabilities. Our Drummer, Örs had formal training in a Jazz Conservatory, and had a couple of bands before us, but I think we can agree that our mutual work is the first Major step towards professionalism on our parts.

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

We started up very quickly and got quite excited about the kind of music we were making, and got excited about sharing it with as many people as we could. Around the time I wrote Uncle Tom we came up with submitting some music to A Dal, especially as we felt this had a message strong enough for such a wide audience.

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

It wasn’t something we were expecting. We worked very hard to get our staging just right and gained a lot of support from a load of very talented men and women, but the whole team, I feel, had a bit of an air of resignation about them, stemming from the fact that what we do, musically is a lot more alternative than the rest of the competitors so we weren’t sure how it’d go over with a mainstream audience. Then when we heard the announcement it just felt like a weight off our backs, like all our efforts had paid off.

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

I think it’d be a great confirmation of the art we’re trying to achieve. That we managed to connect with people through our music,and get the chance to do that even more and I really don’t think we can ask for any more than that.

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

Uncle Tom is song about exploitation, and a song about Freedom. It describes how people today will work endless hours, with no time for themselves or their loved ones, not being rewarded for the effort they place into their careers. I saw many people trapped in these sort of circles in their lives, talented, intelligent people spending all day in office or factories for zero pay, and it reminded me of American Slavery. ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’, where people would turn a blind eye to injustice just because it was common, and I desperately wanted to wake people up from that daze.

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

Our Greatest strength is really the message of the song. I think it’s much simpler to write a catchy or pretty song than one that’s meaningful, earnest and speaks to the people.

E+: What do you think about your previous performances at A Dal 2016, heat and semi-final?

Honestly, I wasn’t too happy about our initial performance, but felt vindicated by the semi finals. the first staging was just bare, I feel we were able to come up with a far more effective look and concept for the semifinal.

E+: Will we see any changes at your final performance?

You’ve always got to keep moving, otherwise you get left behind. We plan on fine tuning the show a bit more so we can really bring the most out of it.

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

Not regularly, ‘Knock Knock’ by Mary Hopkin, ‘Making Your Mind Up’ By Bucks Fizz and ‘Weil der Mensch Zählt’ by Alf Poier, are all lovely tunes in my opinion.

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

I may be biased, but anyone from Iceland.

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

We should be headed into the studio in early march to record some more material, hope to release as much of that as quickly as possible. We’ve already got a second song up on YouTube by the title ‘Amy’. And aside from that we just hope to play as many shows as we can muster.

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

Be Safe, and Do What You Will

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

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