Shana Pearson: “Exodus is an escape from something you no longer want” (Swiss finalist – Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Shana Pearson, finalist of this year’s Swiss national selection for Eurovision. The singer will perform “Exodus” in the final set to take place on February 5th.

ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Swiss national selection for Eurovision 2017.

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

Shana Pearson: My name is Shana Pearson, I’m half American half Swiss and I live in Lausanne, Switzerland. Music has always been part of my life since I’ve been singing since I was 5 years old. My family has always been involved in music (my great-grandmother was a famous opera singer in Geneva, my dad played the guitar and piano so I guess it runs in my blood, (…) I released 2 albums under an indie label in 2009 which received a gold disk in Switzerland and one in 2013 and I just released my brand new EP called *Fearless* on October 31st 2016 as an indie artist. In 2011, I was lucky to have collaborated on the single “Distress” with the famous US singer and party-rocker Big Ali. Our single got ranked number 2 in the French charts for weeks, which allowed me to tour all over France and Switzerland in front of thousands of people but the highlight was to be able to open for Justin Bieber in 2013.

ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in the Swiss national selection for Eurovision 2017?

Shana Pearson: I’ve always been fascinated by Eurovision from an early age. It was a tradition in my family to watch the show every year altogether. Because my parents got a divorce when I was quite young, it’s a memory that I cherish as we were together as a whole family. I really discovered incredible artists through this TV show throughout the years and it’s really a culture in itself. For example, you have Pop culture well Eurovision is a culture in itself with traditions, respect, pride, etc. I would be so proud to represent my country in such a contest. With my past experiences, I feel like I’m now more ready than ever to give it my all for this contest and conquer the world 🙂

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

Shana Pearson: I literally jumped all over the place in my entire apartment as soon as I heard the great news on the phone. They must’ve wondered what was going on but I was so happy! It’s a big accomplishment and I can’t wait to perform on February 5th for the finals. To be honest, I knew Exodus was a powerful song and had a powerful message (the song was written by incredible composers and songwriters from Sweden) but of course I had no idea I would make it to the finals since I didn’t have any comparisons. We got to the auditions not knowing what to expect and who I was competing against so I’m so thankful.

ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Switzerland?

Shana Pearson: It would mean so much. I’ve always believed in my dreams and did all I could to make things happen. Even when times get rough. Since 2014, I’m an indie artist doing everything from financing my music, to dealing with contracts and collaborations to promoting myself, etc. etc. If I were to represent Switzerland it would be an amazing revenge to those that didn’t believe in me but also to show people that if you believe in your dreams, everything is possible in life.

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

Shana Pearson: Exodus is an escape from something you no longer want. It can be from an unhealthy relationship or a life that you no longer want. It’s the door to freedom! Of course, with all that is going on in the world today, exodus is a hot topic.

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?

Shana Pearson: It’s a powerful song with a powerful message but yet it’s very modern and makes us want to dance on it. It’s a song of hope.

ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for the Swiss final?

Shana Pearson: I’ve been thinking about it since they’ve told me I was selected. I have so many ideas that are boiling in my head but now I need to see what is possible, etc. Can’t wait to work with the coaches and choreographers.

ESC+Plus: What is your favourite song in the history of Eurovision?

Shana Pearson: I fell in love with “Heroes” by Mans Zelmerlöw and ever since I’ve been a huge fan of his (bought his albums, etc). I also really liked the Belgian singer’s performance Loïc Nottet as he really has his own artistic concept. I also liked Aminata’s “Love Injected”.

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

Shana Pearson: It would have to be Mans Zelmerlow 🙂

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

Shana Pearson: I can’t wait to give you my all on February 5th to hopefully perform in Kiev! I know we will share incredible moments together and I can’t wait.

You can see an exclusive greeting video for ESC+Plus below:

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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