ESC+Plus has talked to Otreya, semifinalist of this year’s Lithuanian national selection for Eurovision. Otreya went through the first heat of Eurovizija with the song “Last Two Weeks”:
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Lithuanian national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Otreya: I started my music career in 2011 as Ugne Smile, when I was only 14 years old. I’ve participated in various music events and festivals in my country. In the same year, I began to create my own songs, and I love to do it till this day, at this moment I have over 100 my own unreleased and 20 released songs. In 2012, I was selected to participate in the National Lithuanian Eurovision song contest with song “Call To Your Mum” that I’ve wrote. Back then I was only 15 years old, so I became the youngest participant that has been on the National Lithuanian Eurovision’s stage ever. After participating in this competition I became even more motivated to go further with my music.
In 2014/2015 I was constantly in the recording studio working on my songs, throughout these few years I released 5 music videos. Music video of my song “Haters Gonna Hate” even won 4th place in the contest “The Best Lithuanian music video clip” organized by one of the biggest Lithuanian commercial television channel “LNK”. In the beginning of 2016 I decided to compete in the Lithuanian National Eurovision song contest again and I was picked to participate there with two of my original songs. I performed there alone as Ugne Smile with song “You Don’t Know”, and as a vocalist of a rock band “Behind The Moon” with song “Did It All”. In the autumn of 2016 I decided to change my stage name from Ugne Smile to OTREYA. The main reason why I did it was that a lot has changed in my life in 2016, and I just didn’t feel like I fit in Ugne Smile anymore. In 2011, when I started to do music I felt like Ugne Smile was the best stage name I could ever come up with and that it described me really well. But the thing is that we all change with time and we all grow up, so that is exactly what happened to me, and that is the main reason why I became Otreya.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “Eurovizijos 2017”?
Otreya: To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about taking part in the National Lithuanian Eurovision song contest until the autumn of 2016. I was really surprised when the producer of most of my songs sent me full arranged “Last Two Weeks” track, because this song was totally forgotten for almost 5 years since I’ve created and recorded it. But as soon as I heard the few first chords of it, I knew I got to send this song to the National Lithuanian Eurovision song contest.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the next phase of the selection? Did you expect it?
Otreya: I was watching Saturday’s selection together with my band and our emotions went wild when we saw final results on the tv screen. We were hoping to get qualified for the next phase of the selection and it felt really amazing when we actually did.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Lithuania?
Otreya: It would be a huge honor to represent Lithuania in such a great international competition as Eurovision song contest.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Otreya: I wrote this song about five years ago, when I was in 9th grade, so the story behind the lyrics is about a teenage love and a break up, when one person messes up everything and then your relationship just cannot be fixed anymore, no matter how hard you would want that and how hard you’d try to. I guess that a lot of people can relate to this song, because we all have been in that kind of situation at least once in our life.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Otreya: In my opinion, the most important thing in this competition is to have a song and performance that would sound and look different comparing to other performances. I believe, that my song “Last Two Weeks” has a different sound than the most other songs that we are usually used to hear these days, and I think that’s why it would stand out between other artist’s songs.
ESC+Plus: Will you change anything of your stage performance or you prefer to keep it same?
Otreya: We are currently thinking what we could change for our next performance and I hope that soon we will come up with some good ideas on how to improve it.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Otreya: I’ve been following this contest since I was in the primary school, so it has even become like a tradition for me to get caught up in the Eurovision “fever” once in a year. And I guess it won’t be a surprise if I say that my favorite song in the history of this competition was “Hard Rock Hallelujah” by Lordi. I remember myself being 9 years old getting all crazy when this band won the main Eurovision song contest in 2006.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Otreya: I would definitely want to perform with Lordi, even though, I guess I would still be a little bit intimidated by their scary and totally awesome costumes.xD
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Otreya: Have a great and unforgettable time choosing your favorite song and artist in the Eurovision selections in your county! And also, as always do, I would like to wish all of you to surround yourself with positivity and music that you love!