We’re delighted to welcome Anica Russo, another finalist of Unser Lied für Liverpool, to our interview today!
In this interview, we will be discussing her motivation for submitting an entry to the German national final, her musical style, and her Unser Lied entry “Once Upon a Dream.” Additionally, we’ll be exploring her Eurovision week traditions and her plans for the future.
I’m excited to welcome Unser Lied für Liverpool finalist Anica Russo to ESCUnited for an interview today! How are you doing today, Anica?
I am fine, thank you! And thank you so much for having me, ESC United!!
What motivated you to submit an entry for the German national final this year? Has participating in Unser Lied been a long-term career goal of yours?
Participating in the Eurovision Song Contest has been one of my biggest dreams ever since I was a child. The funny thing is, that I was actually approached by the German ESC team several times in the last years, for example to sing the song “Sisters” for 2019 Eurovision – the problem was, that I really wanted to participate with my own song and with a concept and a clear vision that I fully believe in – this is why I turned down the offer back then and it’s why I submitted my entry for this year’s “Unser Lied für Liverpool” – the time was just right and it was definitely worth the wait. Always listen to your heart.
How would you describe your music to our readers who might not have heard any other songs from you before? Are there any musicians you’d say influence or inspire the music you write and perform?
I love to mix together a mysterious, dark sound with self-empowering lyrics.
“Once Upon a Dream” is pretty much influenced by Church music and a bit of a “fairy tale” kind of world. I want to get across a feeling of hope and belief – in yourself, your dreams – and let the audience dive into a magical world.
Now I’m going to ask a question to help our readers get to know you better – what is one thing someone would be surprised to learn about you?
My name, Anica Russo, is half Croatian and half Italian. Most people call me “Anika”, even though the right pronunciation is “Aniza” 😀 but to be honest – I am pretty much used to being called “Anika”, so don’t worry if you would’ve said “Anika” as well. <3
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with a former Eurovision artist on a new single, who would you choose to work with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Mahmood – I just LOVE his voice and sound and his Eurovision performances as well. Also, he’s Italian too – that would be such an honor!
I’d love to talk about your Unser Lied entry “Once Upon a Dream”. What was the songwriting process like for your song, and how long did it take you to create it start to finish?
It was back in September 22 when I met with two friends from Finland for a songwriting session. Initially, we just wanted to write a new song for my project but then we started to passionately talk about the Eurovision Song Contest – so I asked my friends Rami and Wilma: “Should we write a Eurovision Song?” and then it happened. We did not only write the song, but we instantly had the idea for the staging, the message and the whole concept in our heads – it was truly a magical moment.
From that day on, me and my boyfriend worked on the song, the structure, vocals, mixing,… for 3 months, including several night shifts in the studio and at home. It was a real journey – and we are more than happy about how “Once Upon a Dream” turned out.
If you were to describe your staging plans for Unser Lied using no more than ten words, which words might you use?
Only one word: MAGICAL ✨
Now the winner of the German national final will go on to represent the country at Eurovision this coming May – what does Eurovision week usually look like for you at home? Do you consider yourself to be a big fan of the contest?
One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the Eurovision Song Contest together with my parents – The ESC night became THE TV event of the year for me and my family.
I remember sitting on the couch with my parents, watching the contest, rating the different performances and always dreaming about how my own performance could look like.
I always tried to stay awake ’til the end but would eventually fall asleep on the couch so that my parents had to tell me the winner in the morning. 🙂
Regardless of the end result on March 3rd, what comes next for you? Are there any concerts, music, or projects you’d like to promote?
Being on stage is where I feel the most fulfilled and present – after Covid I really want to be on stage and perform more – I am also already working on new songs – so let’s see what the future holds! <3
Last question, do you have a final message for the readers of ESCUnited?
Dear ESCUnited community, thank you so much for taking your time to read this interview. I am so grateful to be a part of the ESC community now – I think it is something very special and I really hope that we see each other again in Liverpool! Thank you for your love and support so far!
Oh and: Always BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS! <3
You can watch Anica Russo’s performance live from Cologne, Germany on March 3rd via a live stream available at www.eurovision.de. For more updates from Anica Russo, check out her Instagram page linked here.