Switzerland is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest since the beginning, 1956. They won it, but after that they had to wait 32 years to get the first place once again with the help of Céline Dion. Since the introduction of the 2 semfinals system they only reached the final 2 occasions. This year Mélanie René will represent the country with the song Time to shine. We talked with Mélanie about her music career, her plans.
What was your first step in your music career?
I come from a very musical family, where everyone plays an instrument or sings, so I developed a passion for music quite early on. I did my first steps on stage when I was 7, for a Mauritian charity show, and that was when I realised how much I enjoyed singing in front of an audience. I am extremely blessed that my parents have always encouraged me in pursuing my dream.
This year you were selected to represent Switzerland at Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna. What does it mean for you?
When I was a kid I used to watch the Eurovision Song Contest with my mum, and I remember thinking it would be incredible to sing on this stage. I would not have dreamt in a million years that my dream would be coming true!
I feel very blessed and very humbled to be supported by so many people! I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
I know the competition is going to be tough as there are so many talents. All I promise is to do my utmost for my country and hope I can connect with the audience, and share my song and story with them.
I want Switzerland to go as far as possible in the contest, but I am aware that this is an amazing experience as a debuting artist in the music industry, and I am not taking this for granted! I want to enjoy every second of it, with all the people in the team working with me!
Who are your favourite singers?
I grew up listening to whatever my mum or dad were listening to: Sega (typical maurician music), chansons françaises, country, gospel, soul, funk, reggae and so many more genres! Thanks to them I now have quite an eclectic taste in music, ranging from different styles and languages.
My old time ESC favourite is “Ne partez pas sans moi” sang by Céline Dion in 1988. The first album I bought was Lââm and Britney Spears, but I used to be a massive fan of Celine Dion. I learned how to sing with her songs, trying to copy her sounds and vocal melisma’s. She was a huge influence for me vocal wise.
This year there are 40 songs in the contest. Do you have your favourites?
I have listened to a lot of them, and I can’t pick a favourite! They all have their own style, their own universe, and I personally believe that this is what makes this contest so interesting!
What would you like to achieve in the contest?
I would love for people to remember the message and emotion I will have shared with them in my song. For me, music is all about sharing something with the audience, so if I manage to do this I will be happy.
What inspires you?
My song was inspired by the album «Alive» by Jessie J. I used to be quite shy and introverted, afraid of other people’s judgement. When I went to England to study music I learnt to appreciate and embrace who I truly was, and it made me feel free. Listening to Jessie J’s album made me want to write a song about it.
I know there are a lot of people still feeling like this out there and through this song I want them to understand that there is nothing standing between them and their dreams. «The sky’s the limit».
«Time to shine» is about realising it is okay to be who you are and not to be afraid to stand up for what you believe in
Would you like to leave a message for the readers of this interview at ESCHungary?
I would like to thank every single person who has supported and encouraged me since the very beginning, and who still believe in me. You are what keeps me motivated and passionate about what I do! You guys are simply amazing <3
Thanks to Mélanie René for this interview and special thanks to Basil Lichtsteiner.
The whole team of ESCHungary wish all the best in Vienna!