Interview: Eurovision songwriter Alfie Arcuri releases emotional ballad ‘Handsome Man’
Back in 2016 Alfie Arcuri was the first openly gay winner of The Voice Australia. He then went on to compete in ‘Eurovision - Australia Decides 2019’ with the song ‘To Myself’ were he finished in 5th place. This then led to Alfie to represent Australia at one of Europe's biggest Song Contests, ‘The Golden Stav’ in Romania, where he won Best Song Interpretation.
As a songwriter, Arcuri has penned tracks for Sandro for his Eurovision 2020 entry for Cyprus, ‘Running’ and for Sheldon Riley's Winners single for 2018's The Voice Australia. His single Same was a finalist amongst more than 4,000 entries in the 2018 Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition, and in 2019, ‘Handsome Man’ won Best Ballad at the Berlin Song Week Conference amongst thousands of entries.
Alfie has now released the emotional love ballad, ‘Handsome Man’, along with singer and songwriter Cam Nacson.
We spoke to him about the release of his new song, Eurovision and the upcoming Mardi Gras this weekend.
Firstly congratulations on the release of your new song, ‘Handsome Man’ with Cam Nacson! We absolutely love it! The song is so emotional and it’s a heart warming ballad. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
I always wanted to write a gay wedding ballad - as there wasn't one that existed to my knowledge. I feel we created a love song for the 21st century - I'm singing to my future husband and Cam is singing to his future son.
What was it like collaborating with Cam Nacson, and can you tell us a bit about the song writing process?
Cam was one of the first producers/writers I met after The Voice and we instantly had a natural chemistry together. We've worked creatively together on several other tracks too including my first single 'If they only knew' and one of my more recent tracks ‘Same'. Over the years, we've become very close and I actually recently officiated Cam's wedding to his beautiful wife which was amazing!
The music video is stunning and emotive and touches on same-sex themes which have run through your music videos in the past. Can you tell us a bit about the concept behind the music video?
The video tells the story of a loving relationship between 2 men on their wedding day - not only their union, but also of a father's acceptance of his son's path. There wasn't a dry eye on the set that day when we were filming - including me!
What does ‘Handsome Man’ mean to you personally?
The song holds sentimental value to me as I wrote it anticipating my own wedding to my partner at that time.
We also understand the song has made the top 40 finalists in the Vanda & Young Global Songwriting Competition. Can you tell us about the competition and when the results are expected to be out?
I believe it's one of the biggest songwriting competitions - I heard this year they had over 4000 entries. This is second time I've been shortlisted which I'm excited about; to be amongst so many talented writers is an absolute honour. They are announcing the winners in early March so fingers crossed!
You were due to be in Rotterdam last year for Eurovision 2020 as a songwriter, has it been difficult watching 2021 play out without being involved?
Yes it has LOL because I was really excited to be a part of such an incredible and prestigious event. I absolutely love Eurovision and have always wanted to be part of it. Such opportunities are hard to come by so it was tough to have been so close to being there and then have it taken away LOL. But so many of us were in the same boat last year - especially the performers!
Would participating at Eurovision or writing a song for the contest still be something you would like to keep pursuing?
YES!!! 100%!! Bring it on 2022!
Will you be keeping an eye on the Contest this year?
Yes definitely. My friends and I have a ritual to gather and watch Eurovision every year and I'm excited to support and cheer Montaigne on!! She is so incredibly talented and I can't wait to hear her new song!
Do you have any future projects in the pipeline you may be able to share with us?
I'm aiming to release my new EP later this year. I wrote all the tracks in Berlin in 2019 and have been working on the final touches here....and I'll be moving away from ballads on this one!
With Mardi Gras 2021 coming up this weekend, do you have any plans to celebrate? Will we be seeing you in the parade?
I'm performing at The Beresford on Friday night for the Merivale Mardi Gras festivities with my band and I will most definitely be at the parade on Saturday celebrating love and equality! Can't wait! I just still haven't figured out what I'm going to wear yet LOL
We cannot wait for your new EP! Thank you so much for your time Alfie and enjoy Mardi Gras!
Catch Alfie Arcuri performing live and intimate during Merivale’s Mardi Gras week on March 5 at the Beresford Hotel Surry Hills with nostalgic singer-songwriter Thandi. Tickets are still available here.
‘Handsome Man’ is available on iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music.