Paula Seling: I am in love with this special world that Eurovision creates

paula_seling_and_ovi_-_photo_4Author: MÁDI Sándor

Romania haven’t missed a final since the semi-finals were introduced back in 2004. Last year Cezar came 13rd with his song „It’s my life”. This time the representatives of Romania are Paula Seling and Ovi, the singers who finished at 3rd place 4 years ago with their song „Playing with fire”. Will they bring the first ever victory for their country, or at least will they be in the top 3 again? Soon it will be knows, but until this, read my interview I made with the duo!

When did your singing career start?

Paula Seling: I’ve been singing all my life. At the age of 6, I started playing the piano and since then I knew that was what I wanted to do. But my first album, called „Only Love”, was released in 1998, in Germany.

Ovi: I started singing at a young age. As a free spirit, I had traveled from Japan to Island before I settled in Norway, my second home. I always count on my ability to connect with audiences almost instantly. But this is backed by many years of entertaining people around the world.

I can praise myself for various collaborations with international artists, songwriters and producers like: Simone, En Vogue, Preston Glass, Simen Eriksrud, Morten Stjernholm, Philip Halloun, Beyond51, Mike Raw, Espen Berg, D’sound, Thomas Shulz, Adam Powers and Paula Seling, among others, and also lots of music awards received for singing and composing.
Nowadays I am signed with Oslo based label daWorks and as a songwriter with Warner Chapell Scandinavia. These days I have been working for my second album as a solo artist.

You were represent Romania at Eurovision back in 2010. What moments do you remember from Oslo?

Paula Seling: I remember… the magic of Eurovision. The intense moments of mixed feelings – happiness, joy, pressure, pride… and many, many others! The year 2010 was very special to us, we came in contact with this amazing world of Eurovision and we fell in love with it. It was a great pleasure to make friends that share the same passion. We discovered the professionalism of the team that makes the great moments on stage; it is amazing to see how this huge machine works! We lived some amazing moments also while touring to promote Playing with fire, and now, after 4 years, we are glad to see old friends we made back then.

Ovi:I remember our presence in the Eurovision contest as a fantastic experience. Memories for life, for sure! That’s the one reason for us returning this year as well. In 2010 I wrote “Playing with fire” and sang it in duet with Paula Seling. This ended with the third place for Romania in Eurovision Song Contest.

In 2010 you reached the 3rd place for Romania, which is very respectful. How the decision made to come back?

Paula Seling: It was Ovi’s idea. I was not planning to return so soon, even though I am still… and always in love with this special world that Eurovision creates. He is the one who composed this amazing song. He sent it to me and told me about his plans to return, and while listening to it, it convinced me to try again. It has such a strong message… I think that the world needs this strong message. It is all about believing. So here we are, with a positive goal – to convince people that miracles can happen if you believe.

This year you were selected to represent Romania at Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen. What were your first impressions when you heared your names as winners? What does it mean representing your country for the second time?

Paula Seling: There were some really tense moments!… Though we believed in our song and in our performance, there were many good songs and great artists in the Romanian national selection, so anything could happen. Afterwards there came a huge happiness, but also a great responsibility on our sholders. The pressure is bigger now, because people expect the best from us. But, after all, it will happen how it’s written in the stars. I think Eurovision is not only just a competition, it’s not only about trying to be the first or about ambition… It is about enjoying every step of the way, working hard to make proud everyone who believe in you. It is about the sparkle of the moment, the bright light on the way there. It is about making people believe in your dream and making the dream come true, together. This contest is a way to feel the music, the love, the energy.

You have to concentrate on every aspect of the way, you have to think about the message you are telling people from the moment you are chosen to represent your country and till the moment of the final show.

Ovi:Our song  was directly intended as an Eurovision song. We were confident that Miracle couldn’t be ignored. Both the jury and the public appreciated our way of doing music. Both Paula and me were very, very happy, but altoghether came a feeling of responsibility. We were on the top in 2010, we have to be even better this year. But we are Team Miracle. We are back in this contest to convince everyone that miracles do happen everyday. Hope this works for us also in Copenhagen.

Being a second time in this contest, after a well known as a succesful experience 2010, puts even more pressure on our shoulders. Let’s hope that all the fans who support us will have a big reason to be cheerful on the 10th of May! I am very proud to represent my country in this music competition. And also eager to sing on that stage.

How was your song created?

Paula Seling:Miracle was born in a composition camp that Ovi went to, last year, and he wanted to work especially with Philip Halloun. They both felt there was something special about this song while recording and working on it. Ovi sent it to me immediately and waited for my reaction – which was exactly what they expected: I was thrilled. And… here we are.

Ovi:“Miracle” came alive in June last year (2013) during a songwriting camp in Sweden (Song farm). I specifically gave notice to the organizers that I wanted to work/write with the Danish writer Philip Halloun, who is such a talented musician and songwriter. We had worked before in Copenhagen on other occasions and everytime he and I meet, it’s such a huge musical/human chemistry! We just love working together, our company and the results are always very good. I told him that day that I wanted a possible return to ESC, if I had a great tune. It took us few hours of magic songwriting and “Miracle” was born!

What’s the message of your song, Miracle?

Paula Seling: The song about how many of us don’t realize how important it is to believe in something bigger then our own world. This world is made for us by higher forces and we can attract the best things for us if we realize that every day, every light on the earth, every soul – is a miracle. You can choose to live like every day is a miracle, and you can choose to live like nothing is… Happiness is a miracle and it’s up to us to believe that, to make it a state of mind.

Ovi: That miracles are everywhere, they can happen anytime. That you who believe in miracles are those who win in the end. Our song comes with a message of hope, joy. You just need to believe and Miracle comes true.

Playing with Fire or Miracle? Which stands closer for your heart Paula and Ovi?

Paula Seling: As I see things, Miracle is more mature, more melodic, with a strong general message. It is a belief, it is a way of seeing life. It gave me shivers the first time I heard it! So, I guess Miracle suits better to my personality and my heart.

Ovi: Playing with Fire and Miracle are both close to my heart. As a „parent”, I can not choose between my two „kids”.

Do you follow Eurovision Song Contest? If yes, since when?

Paula Seling: Yes, I remember watching the contest even since my early childhood, with my partents. We used to analyze every song and predict which one would win… Sometimes, I had good instincts.

Ovi: Yes, I do follow Eurovision Song Contest. I remember myself being a fan of this contest since I was a kid. But never imagined myself to be a part of this contest until a few years ago. It’s a Miracle.

Who are your favourite singers? (In the world, not only Eurovision singers.)

Paula Seling:Mariah Carey – she is anything an artist could ever be!

Ovi:Prince, Elton John, Billy Joel… just to name a few. Also Eros Ramazzoti or Zucherro.

This year there will be 37 countries in the contest. Have you listened any of the songs? If yes, who are your main competitors and your favourite ones?

Paula Seling: Of course I did! I listened to all of them. What I can tell you is that I had many pleasant surprises while listening to the songs… And András Kállay-Saunders was definitely one of them! And Sweden has also a very good song!

Ovi:Yes, of course I listened the competing songs for this year. Probably the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden are, to name a few, our competitors. There also are other good songs and acts this year. May the best win!

When your video going to be released?

Paula Seling: We recorded it the week before the last and I hope it will be ready to release very soon!

Are you still working on the choreography? Is it going to be different we saw at Romanian NF?

Paula Seling: We kept part of our show from the national selection, but for the rest, you’ll have to wait until the 8th of May… We want to surprise you. 😉

Ovi:Normally, we aim to give people an improved version of our show than the one we did in the national final.

What are your expectations, your main aims at Eurovision?

Paula Seling: Well… we wish to spread the miracle around the world! We hope to see as many people as possible joining our „Team Miracle”, that is to make as many people as possible believe that their own miracles can come true. Of course, everyone wishes to win, but the game is also beautiful!…

Ovi:I can only hope for a top place for our song. And I hope the public all over Europe will believe in Miracles from now on once more.

What inspires you?

Paula Seling: Everything. It can be a state of mind, of spirit, it can be some unpredicted joy or a nostalgic moment… It can be a certain period of time – like the one around the religious holidays – or some poem I read…

Ovi: I find inspiration being in a good company, with special friends around. I feel joy finding wonderful places. I also find inspiration in my kids’ beautiful eyes.

Paula Seling & OVI_4453What are your plans after Eurovision? Will you relax?

Paula Seling: Maybe I’ll take just a few days to rest, but soon after that I’ll have to catch up with what I lost from the courses. I attend the classes of the Romanian Musical Academy and my teachers were kind enough to understand my situation, as a representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. But still, I don’t want to push my luck…

Ovi:If we win? 🙂 To invite lots of people in the Revolution Square in Bucharest and hopefully celebrate with them the first time ever trophy in ESC for Romania. If not… business as usual, writing songs, touring and pushing hard the new “Miracle” project with Paula in Europe and other countries. I also hope for a vacation with my family back home in Romania.

What would you like to send to the Hungarian readers and fans of Paula Seling & Ovi?

Paula Seling: Believe in the great miracle, and it will come to you. Be part of #TeamMiracle, work on your miracle, make it happen… and I will personally show you around when you come to Bucharest next year . I love you! Thank you for reading this interview, it’s a part of my soul in here.

Ovi: To our Hungarian readers: Thank you for your support and remember that Miracles do come true. Believe! And if you like our song, please vote for our Miracle on the 8th of May and then on the 10th of May!

Thanks Paula Seling and Ovi for this interview and special thanks to Bianca Dinescu.

We wish all the best for you in Copenhagen!