Aussie fan of the week - Renee from Perth
What is your name and where are you from?
First off, thanks guys for contacting me. I'm Renee from Perth on the West Coast of Oz.
Tell us something interesting about you?
I live and breathe music and football (aka soccer) since a young age - I'd say 8 or 9 years old. I'm of a mixed European heritage; my father is Italian and my mother's family comes from Cyprus - so I did have a taste of Eurovision in my younger years.. I just don't fully remember it.
Firstly we love that you're a football fan - huge fans here too ~ Aussievision
So you compose/write music and are involved in a few acts this year, tell us about that?
I've been fortunate enough in the past to get a few songwriting opportunities with Aura in Belarus, and now more recently with the newly established song writing team made up of members from SIRIS and Hymner. With Aura, I did some work back in 2016 on a song in the Belarussian final called "Flame" where we finished 5th. More recently, the discussions heated up with one of my great friends Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson (Iceland 2004 & 2007) about us collaborating and submitting a track in Eastern Europe. We spoke with a few artists, however nothing really materialised. But in 2017 we got more serious, we penned a track for Lithuania with Hymner (Oskar and Joel) and sent the demo of 'Turn it Up' to Paula Valentaite who's an amazing young talent in Lithuania. The track made its way to her producer Gytis Valickas who suggested another singer he worked with to perform it in Eurovizijos - 16year old Germante. We continued to work with Gytis on writing a brand new track for Paula - even Donny Montell put his spin on the track. Fast forward a few months later and we're honoured enough to make the cut to the final this Sunday with Paula. We also had a project in Iceland where Aron Hannes finished 4th with 'Gold Digger'. Our plans for 2019 is to expand our output and hopefully submit five songs into Eurovision selections.
That's unbelievable, fingers crossed for a good result this weekend!
On to Eurovision itself – when did you first get into the contest?
I'd pinpoint it in 2001 when one of my favourite groups Antique represented Greece with 'Die For You'. I was insanely crushed with they came in 3rd... Probably I really got hooked when Elena came back in 2005 and won Eurovision for Greece. Man did I celebrate! But also 2003 was quite a fine year, the songs from Turkey, Spain, Romania and Croatia impressed me.
Do you have a favourite Eurovision year? Why is it your fav?
I would say 2008, some classics from that year. Overall a great final with really solid songs from various genres; Pop; Ukraine, Greece, Armenia and Iceland. Rock: Turkey. Ballads: Israel, Serbia. As I mentioned before 2003 was also really good and we got our first taste of 'ethnic' pop.
Underrated year 2008, was a cracker!
Which Eurovision song:
Is your favourite?
Aaaaa.... let's go with a safe choice; Loreen - Euphoria. A song that was not only iconic at the time, but continues to be. In my opinion that's what a great song is.
Unquestionably; Running Scared in 2011. In fact, probably one of the poorest years and worst results *sorry*'
Totally agree with you on this one, I loathe it. ~ Dale
It's not that bad, I actually quite like it ~ Mike
Greece in 2001, Malta was unlucky in 2002 and as iconic as Heroes was for Sweden, I really think Italy was hard done by the juries in 2015...
Could have coped with Polina winning in 2015 but not Italy. Urgh.
Had the best live performance?
Ever ? Haaa... Vocally? Visually? Obviously the more recent years have really upped the standard for onstage presentation for Eurovision songs. So I'd say Shady Lady was one of the first "complete" presentations that was super memorable for me! Great vocal, great track, awesome props and tight choregraphy! It will always be an absolute banger. Also I really loved the presentation of LoveWave by Iveta Mukuchyan a few years back, I think what she brought to the stage was impressive.
Ha well it's however you want to take the question but agree entirely. Shady Lady nailed every aspect - unlucky not to win. And Iveta - wow.
Did you last play?
Hahah do you want the truth or the lie ? Bulgaria 2018
Is your guilty pleasure?
Laka - Pokusaj ! My partner is Bosnian and I always whip out Laka's music for a laugh :D
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
Bulgaria 2007. Elitsa & Stoyan - Water. I'll always appreciate the uniqueness and risk they took that year. I met her in 2012 and she was really down to earth about it all and wanted the focus to just be on Sofi Marinova (who had just won the national final).
Out of the songs released so far this what are your favs?
Hungary. But I feel the contenders are Estonia, Belgium, Spain... and Bulgaria when it's released
Now you're just teasing us...
Why should Australia be in Eurovision?
I don't really have a for/against argument, I'm very neutral. It's just something that's happened. I say the 3 minutes we give Europe is more than worthy of annual participation. We take it seriously and we deliver live. No questions asked.
Are you happy with the choice of Jessica this year for us and her song 'We Got Love'?
SBS and Blink TV have been doing an exceptional job in the way they are handling their Eurovision entries, so whether I am happy or not I feel is irrelevant. In Eurovision there is immense pride, we either care about where Australia finishes up on the leaderboard (let's be real), or that we put on a bloody good show. So far all the entries we have sent have done stellar jobs. We have a 100% qualification rate and have always finished top 10. However, those results aren't guaranteed forever, so as long as Jessica gets up there and gives 100%, I'll certainly be ecstastic. As for the song; it's great, it's catchy, and it's a perfect composition for the contest, but I feel it's probably not for my playlist - sorry!
Fair enough - it's not for everyone but agree Jessica will perform the hell out of it (and it's totally for us).
And finally favourite Australian song – Sea of Flags, Tonight Again, Sound of Silence or Don’t Come Easy?
Unquestionably; Sound of Silence. Best song and best performance
Anything else you'd like to share?
Not really, but if anyone's watching the Lithuanian final, feel free to chat to me via @rpoz89 on twitter. I really love to hear people's input and opinions.
We agree follow Renee she's awesome. Thanks for your time!