As we look ahead to the final heat of Pabandom iš naujo, we were fortunate enough to interview to interview Gebrasy ahead of his performance. Together we talked about his journey into the music industry, his experience in the Lithuanian national final last year, his song for this year, and his message for Eurovision fans.
Hello Gebrasy! Thank you for speaking with us today! I know that you’ve previously participated in the Lithuanian pre-selection, but for those who are encountering you and your music for the first time, why don‘t you give us a brief introduction?
For starters, I’m Gebrasy, a singer-songwriter from Lithuania. I’ve been writing music since I was 10-11 years old and performing on stage pretty much my whole life. I’d say my music style is a mix between pop, r&b and indie, and my most notable experiences would be a third place in X Factor Lithuania and I also finished second twice in the Lithuanian Eurovision selection in 2020 with Monique as a supporting vocalist and 2021 with my own song “Where’d You Wanna Go?”.
Wonderful, thank you for that! I know that every artist has their own “origin story”, so how did you first learn that music was something you had a gift for?
In all honesty, it’s difficult to answer this question since I started singing when I was four years old and I haven’t stopped since then, it sometimes feels that music is all I know. There is a tendency to amount it all to talent or call it a gift, but I didn’t start out as a good singer, nor did I start out as a good songwriter. There were a lot of years put into honing this craft, so I had to work hard and I made a lot of mistakes and wrote a lot of awful songs that will never see the light of day to get to where I am today.
You mentioned that you write many of the songs you release, what does the songwriting process look like for you?
Since 2018, when I adopted my stage name Gebrasy, I have written every song that I personally released. There is some older stuff or collaborations that I didn’t write, but honestly, I don’t think that I could ever go back to releasing music that I haven’t taken part in writing, because it’s easier for me to represent my thoughts, experiences and stories.
As for the songwriting process, since recently I used to work on songs alone, finding chords on the piano, thinking of melodies and writing lyrics. Nowadays, I still write alone on occasion, but sometimes I also collaborate with my producer Faustas Venckus, where for example, he plays a progression of chords, whilst I’m thinking of melodies and then I work on the lyrics at a later time.
You of course had a highly successful year in Pabandom iš naujo last year, coming second in the final. Did you expect your song would be that successful?
I absolutely loved “Where’d You Wanna Go?” when we were making it, I didn’t know how the public would like it, since I didn’t have a history of doing well in the televote. I just started fully committing to what I believed in and I guess that people felt that and could relate to it better.
Now your song this year is titled “Into Your Arms” and was actually released today – can you tell us about the message behind your song?
I think a lot of people will be able to see themselves in this song. It is filled with nostalgia and probably everyone has those moments of weakness, where you start regretting your decisions, when things that are familiar feel more safe than trying something new. The song is about an unsuccessful relationship, where you’re trying to move on, but you’re absolutely not ready to move on, there are a lot of regrets, thoughts and memories that linger, keeping you awake at night questioning yourself. You know it’s not working, but you’re still thinking about every positive moment from that relationship, because you’re not ready to process that you’re not going to be together anymore.
Can you describe for us what the preparation process has been like for Pabandom iš naujo – like the rehearsal process, staging preparation, etc.?
There’s been a lot of work in preparing the song itself and the visual aspects of the song. Recording live instruments, filming the music video etc. Right now our focus is the staging, which includes camera directions and lighting as well as working with the backing vocalists to make everything look and sound as close to perfect as we can.
Of course, you know that the winner of Pabandom iš naujo will go on to Eurovision in Turin this May. What would such an opportunity mean to you and your career?
For starters, it would definitely be the biggest stage that I performed on and having so many people hear my music is very important for me. What that would mean for my career would depend on how many of those people would then decide to follow my music journey to hear what I’ll release next and so on. As for the other aspect, I’ve been watching Eurovision since as early as 2001ish, I think. I was always very fond of the contest and since I also had silly dreams of becoming a pro athlete (I was not that good at sports), having the opportunity to represent Lithuania in something would be a huge honour for me and it would be very exciting for my crazy competitive side to have a chance at competing with all of the other artists.
For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?
That would be @Gebrasy on Instagram, Facebook for socials, my music is on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and other streaming platforms and you can also find me @gebrasymusic on Twitter.
Last question – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?
I’d say I wish them to enjoy the pre-Eurovision season as much as they can, because it is just as fun of a ride as the ESC in May. And even though there are hugely popular selections such as Melodifestivalen, Sanremo, Melodi Grand Prix, I would highly encourage ESC fans to show more love for the selections from smaller countries, because it is a good place to discover very nice indie artists that would appreciate every single one of you listening to their music. I also hope that you’ll support me in my journey of trying to represent Lithuania in 2022 and I hope that you’ll connect to the message of my song!