After 3 weeks of intense competing, Jamala won the national selection final show in Ukraine. Being one of the favourites right from the start, I caught up with her during her preparations for Stockholm.
Hello Jamala, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us. What was your reaction when the Ukrainian public selected you to represent them in Stockholm?
When I was standing on the stage while jury was announcing whom they have chosen, I was thinking that probably Eurovision is not my cup of tea. So, when I heard the results of people’s voting I didn’t realise that I won. I was confused a little bit. Of course I feel happy and proud now. I’m grateful to people that voted for me and I’m sure that I’ll represent Ukraine in a best way.
What is the message behind ‘1944’?
The message is: “We should never forget about this tragedy of Crimean Tatar people, we should remind about it to our children, so they will be able to prevent the things like that in the future”. And this message concerns not only Crimean Tatar. Many nations had their own tragedies in the past. So all people in the world must remember about it.
What is your musical background?
I made my first professional record at the age of nine, it was all-day session to record the album of Crimean Tatar songs and songs for children.
I finished Simferopol Music College and Kiev National Music Academy as opera singer and was going to make career in classical music, but plans changed. In summer 2009 I went to “New Wave” International contest of young singers in Latvia and got Grand Prix there.
For the moment I have four albums of my own music. I mean all songs written by me. The latest record “Breath” was released in October 2015. For this album I received four YUNA awards (Ukrainian National Musical Award), specifically “Best solo artist”, “Best album”, “Best song” and “Best duo” (“Best song” and “Best duo” with my colleagues Andriy Khlyvnyuk and Dmytro Shurov).
Have you heard any of the other songs in the 2016 contest apart from Ivan from Semi final 1 and Nicky Byrne from the grand final of the Ukrainian selection?
I’ve heard all songs. I mean, I’ve watched all video clips. Of course the live sounds different, but I can recognize good song nevertheless. I choose France, The Netherlands, Sweden and UK, because their entries such a handsome guys. I’m just kidding. They have really good songs!
What have you been told to expect at Eurovision, in terms of atmosphere and audience reaction?
I’ve heard that ESC looks like permanent celebration and atmosphere is very cheerful. I’ve been told that the audience is open and responsive, and I count on warm reception.
Would you like to give any words of advice to our readers?
Creating the future we should remember our roots, where we came from. If you really respect and venerate your family, your own culture and history, you learn how to respect other cultures. It’s the way we could make this world better”.
We could build a future
Where people are free
to live and love.
The happiest time.
Дякую Джамалa і удачі!