Eurovision Fan of the Week - Lukman from Melbourne
Our Eurovision fan of the week is Lukman from Melbourne. A fun-loving regular at Australian Eurovision events, we chatted to him about how he got into the contest and went over some of his favourites. Have a read below.
What do you do or tell us something interesting about you?
At the moment I’m a hot mess doing odd jobs to pay the bills but working towards a career where I can do creative things. Something interesting about me, but perhaps shows the virility of my dad, is that I was his 9th child and youngest child.
Tell us how you got into Eurovision?
As a child I was always interested in different cultures and geography, I even wrote to the embassies in Canberra telling them how much I loved their country! As part of this passion of countries, I was attracted to competitions involving countries such as the Olympics and Miss Universe, so the Eurovision Song Contest was just another thing to add to that list.
Being raised in regional Western Australia, the only link we had to the outside world was SBS (We didn’t have internet until much later). We watched SBS a lot, and I was watching the Sanremo Music Festival a couple of years before finding out about Eurovision. Back in 2001, my sister suggested that we watch Eurovision after seeing commercials for it. I ended up loving it while funnily enough, she felt the opposite.
It's interesting, there's a lot of us who were attracted to the contest in the same way - large scale national competitions ~ Aussievision
You have Indonesian heritage, how big is the contest there?
I sure do! My parents came here sometime in the late '70s or early '80s and I’m kind of on a journey trying to reconnect with my roots. I’ve seen quite a few fans from Indonesia online but generally, as a whole, it’s not really a thing despite the long history Indonesians or Indonesian descended people have participated in the contest. This list includes but is not limited to Anneke Grönloh who participated way back in 1964, Sandra Reemer who participated three times in the seventies, Justine Pelmelay and of course Anggun!
Indonesia seems to be on board with such things and I wouldn’t be surprised if interest in the contest grows further as more and more people are finding out about it. The country seems pretty keen on entering similar events such as the ABU Song Festivals and Asian Idol. There’s even a singing competition called “Liga Dangdut Indonesia” where singers represent their home provinces.
It does seem to be growing there and we've learnt more about Indonesia's history with the contest!
Which is your favourite Eurovision year and why?
My favourite year would definitely be 2005. I loved the stage, the graphic design and a lot of the songs.
If you could change one thing about Eurovision what would it be?
Maybe it’s my drive to learn about different cultures but I wish they would bring back the rule that entries need to be sung in the country’s official language(s), even if it’s just for one year, like for example an anniversary year.
Which artist would you like to see return to the competition?
There’s a lot, but I would like to see Max Barskih finally enter one day. He tried back in 2012 but didn’t end up representing Ukraine, that was Gaitana’s year. In terms of artists who actually have entered Eurovision, I would go for LOBODA (Svetlana Loboda) because she has some pretty great songs!
Love Max, he'd be a fantastic entrant!
If you could pick only three Eurovision songs to listen to for the rest of time, what would they be?
As someone who gets bored of songs easily, this sounds like pure torture to me! Hahaha! But if I had to choose, I would pick “Nocturne” by Secret Garden (Norway 1995) as it’s mostly instrumental and it’s good to chill with. Would pick “Love Unlimited” by Sofi Marinova (Bulgaria 2012) when I’m in love but then “Let Me Cry” by Mariana Popova (Bulgaria 2006) for when I’m out of love.
That is a diverse mix, we also love how this questions infuriates/terrifies people!
Which Eurovision song:
Is the best winner?
“Dansevise” which won for Denmark back in 1963. I love the “special effects” they used which were pretty amazing back in the day, and the melody is actually pretty haunting and builds up quite nicely.
Fantastic in so many ways, one of the best.
Has the best live vocal?
A lot of people are going to disagree but I choose Remedios Amaya’s "¿Quién maneja mi barca?" which received nil poi back in 1983. The reason why is because I appreciate hearing her culture, identity and country in her voice as she performed her flamenco-rock song. It’s not about being pitch-perfect for me, it’s about being authentic!
Had the most 'interesting' (in a good way) vocal we would agree... guess it's how you define 'best' haha!
I’m gutted for Leon who entered for Germany with the song “Planet of Blue” who didn’t make it past the audio-only prequalification round they had back in 1996. This marked the first time Germany was out of the contest, they weren’t too happy about that!
Is the best from this decade?
Too many hard questions Aussievision mates! Fair dinkum! If I had to choose, I would pick “Soldi” by Mahmood. A really contemporary sound with a deep message.
It's not meant to be easy! Great choice, unlucky not to snatch the crown.
Is your guilty pleasure?
I have a lot of guilty pleasures! But one that stands out is “Have Some Fun” by Tereza Kerndlová back in 2008. It was just too much fun and silvery to not get mentioned here.
Is your favourite National Final song (that didn't make it to Eurovision)?
Definitely hands down Max Barskih’s “Dance” back in 2012. It’s so cool and would have been amazing to see zombie back up dancers, maybe?
Any other interesting honourable mentions?
Too many to list but quickly off the top of my head, I would say “Stop” by Omar Naber (Slovenia 2005), “Dime” by Beth (Spain 2003)”, “Shangri-La” by Gerard Joling (Netherlands 1988), “City Lights” by Blanche (Belgium 2017) and “Samson” by Emly Starr (Belgium 1981).
Loving all the throw-backs, some great choices in there!
And finally... Tonight Again, Sound of Silence, Don’t Come Easy, We Got Love or Zero Gravity?
I’d rather be silent on this because it’s not an easy decision to make. I love them all, but I guess I got to make a decision before tonight. I choose “Zero Gravity”.
Haha not so silent! Thank you for your time Lukman!
You can find some of Lukman's creative work on his Instagram: @madebylukman