Versão em português aqui
1) You started in music when you were a child. How did you find out this talent and why did you get interested in folk music?
A: My parents discovered my talent very early; I still have my very first home-made record done when I was 3 years old. Then when I was a student I fell in love with folk music. Once I heard an archive record of authentic spring songs. I was so impressed that even cried. I never heard anything like that, as I was born and grown in a big city where almost no one remembers those ancient songs. Since then I started to investigate folklore and use some elements of authentic music in my own songs.
2) You are born in Kiev, but you have Greek descent. Do Greek music and culture influence you in the way you make your music?
A: I am interested in Greek folk music and spent a lot of time analyzing melodies from different regions of Greece. I found that some features are very similar in Greek and Ukrainian traditional music. I surely use that knowledge while composing my own music. And also my grandmother, who was Greek woman, had wonderful voice, maybe I inherited mine from her.
3) Even having recorded some songs and being part of an important folk-rock band, you decided to take part of the second season of The Voice. Why did you decide to talk part of it? What did you learn with the show?
A: I decided to take part in the Voice to get more popular, as my music was considered to be too alternative for major TV or radio shows. As soon as I appeared at Voice my talent was appreciated by both judges and audience. Thanks to this show I became more experienced and positive about my musical style.
4) Now you’re doing Eurovision for the first time. What motivated you to send a song? Why do you think “Thank You For My Way” is the right song to represent Ukraine in Eurovision?
A: I want to tell my story and to thank luck for my hard but interesting way. I hope that my song will help a lot of people to believe in themselves, in their dream and true love. Also this song is very melodious and combines both modern themes and elements of traditional Ukrainian music.
5) You said on your website that you’re telling the story of your life in three minutes. How are you planning to use the stage (lights, background…) to help you telling this story to the audience? What can we expect from you on February 11th?
A: It will be my conversation with audience. I cannot tell you a lot, but it will be an interesting performance, based on symbols and metaphors.
6) Jamala won last year and she’s now judge of the national final. Does it put some extra pressure on you? How are you feeling about singing in front of her and in front of other two big names (Konstantin Meladze and Andriy Danylko)?
A: I respect all judges and admire their talent. It is a great opportunity to show my song to them. It does not put any pressure; indeed it gives me a chance to get their opinion and advices.
7) Did you follow Eurovision last year? If yes, what do you think about “1944” and Jamala’s performance?
A: I am a big Eurovision fan from my very childhood. I always dreamed to be a part of it. So surely I followed last year’s contest. Jamala’s performance impressed me a lot. Her story and the way she told it melted me into tears. I am happy that that particular song won and brought the Eurovision to Ukraine.
8) What’s the first thing that come to your mind when we say Brazil? What do you know about us?
A: Carnival, of course! I know that Brazil is a wonderful country, with beautiful ocean coast and ancient forests. I like Brazilian music and also know that in your country people love football and know how to play it well. I never been to Brazil but I am sure that I will visit your country soon to bring you my music and to take part in carnival 🙂
9) Send a message to brazilian fans.
A: I thank my Brazilian fans for interest in my music. I wish them not to be scared to discover new ways and also tell that they are always welcome in Ukraine!
ESCpedia team wishes Illaria a great show tonight in Vidbir and we wait for her here, for our next Carnival season!