Sylvie Heyse is the songplugger and publisher of Raph Schillebeeckx, one of the writers of the song “When You’re With Me,” performed by Antra Stafecka. Raph has written music for acts such as Selah Sue and Monrose. Now he’s prepping for Dziesma 2013. Sylvie gave us the inside scoop.
ESC UNITED: Hello! Congratulations to your team for making it to the next stage of Dziesma 2013. Tell us a bit about Raph and the other songwriters
SYLVIE: When you’re with me was written by Raph Schillebeeckx (Belgium), Bruce RF Smith (Netherlands/UK) and Karen Verresen (Belgium). You can find Raph’s bio on his website http://www.raphschillebeeckx.com, in the ‘about’ section. Raph is a songwriter/producer/guitar player. Raph started playing when he was only a child. Since then he’s writing, playing guitar, he loves every aspect of music.
ESC UNITED: How would describe your song “When You’re With Me”?
SYLVIE: “When you’re with me” is a simple song, with a strong atmosphere. Guitar, bass, drums and vocals. “When you’re with me” has an out-of-the-box, quirky character
ESC UNITED: What led you to deciding to submitting “When You’re With Me” to Dziesma 2013?
SYLVIE: As Raph’s songplugger, I’ve read some time ago that Latvian television was accepting songs from foreign writers to participate in Dziesma 2013. The Eurovision always took away our interest. It’s always an enjoyable evening to watch the show, with family and friends. It would be awesome if Antra would represent Latvia at the Eurovision with “When you’re with me.”
ESC UNITED: So where were you all when you found out “When You’re With Me” made it? What was the first thing you did?
SYLVIE: Guntars from MicRec Publishing mailed us with the message that “When you’re with me” was one of the 24 semi-finalists. We were working in the studio at that moment, and had a good glass of champagne.
ESC UNITED: Tell us about Antra Stafecka.
SYLVIE: We found Antra (Stafecka) through Guntars Racs from MicRec Publishing. Antra is the perfect performer for “When you’re with me”, she immediately felt the magic.
ESC UNITED: Now that we are a few days away from Dziesma 2013, how are you feeling? How are you and your team preparing for your Semi-Final?
SYLVIE: We’re feeling excited about the upcoming semi-final. As we’re based in Belgium, we unfortunately can’t see the show on television, so we’ll be expecting a mail or phone call from Guntars after the show, hopefully with good news!
ESC UNITED: What do you believe is the key to winning a song contest like Dziesma or Eurovision?
SYLVIE: An outstanding singer with attitude, a song which is just a bit quirkier than the rest, and a solid performance.
ESC UNITED: Do you have any favorite Eurovision songs?
SYLVIE: Favorite Eurovision songs: Satellite – Lena / Euphoria – Loreen / Fairytale – Alexander Rybak
ESC UNITED: What advice would you give to anyone interested in songwriting?
SYLVIE: Write a million songs, the more you write, the better you’ll become.
ESC UNITED: Any closing thoughts you would you like to share with your fans?
SYLVIE: Enjoy “When you’re with me” and vote for Antra!
ESC UNITED: Sylvie, thank you so much! Please wish Raph, Antra, and everyone else the best this weekend!
Catch Raph’s song at Dziesma 2013! “When You’re With Me” will be performed by Antra Stafecka on February 8, 2013.