Our Q&A with Australia Decides performer Diana Rouvas
Diana Rouvas won 'The Voice' in 2019 after first appearing on the show in 2012.
Later in the year, after her win, it was announced she would be performing in Australia Decides for a shot at Eurovision 2020.
With one of the strongest voices in Australia she will be a live threat, and her song 'Can We Make Heaven' was released earlier this month.
We chatted with her about the upcoming competition, the songwriting process and more.
You co-wrote ‘Can We Make Heaven’ with the Dutch-born Australian Louis Schoorl who you previously collaborated with for your 2014 single ‘Heart Of Goodbye’. Louis has previous written and produced music with Australian Eurovision contestants Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy, and Dami Im, and he also co-wrote ‘Dance You Off’ for Benjamin Ingrosso Sweden’s 2018 Eurovision entry. What is it like working with Louis? Can you tell us a bit about your own song writing process for the song and your music?
Working With Louis is amazing! Louis is extremely talented, a multi-instrumentalist - Who is Full of light & very inspiring to even just be around, let alone create with. I have usually written alone in my life bar one long time writing partner & Guitarist Eric Aranda, But Louis made the co-writing experience for me very rewarding and easy for me, my process is usually very personal and comes from truth & life experience. Lyrics often come to me first. Once I feel I have something to say the rest can follow. So adjusting to how others work can be challenging, some people are very good at it like Louis, who works with so many artists. For me once I feel i have something to say, I usually sit at the piano, and being completing something. Time stops when I’m onto something that’s got heart… That’s when you know you’re right where you’re meant to be. haha
‘Can We Make Heaven’ song has a strong message about how can we make something good out of something bad. Can you also tell us about the message of the song and how it resonates with you?
I think understanding we have a choice, on how we respond, and react to certain things in life. And for me, it resonates with me because I am constantly learning, and evolving… challenging myself. And anytime I’ve had even a moment of feeling sorry for myself, I realise, I can CHOOSE sometimes entirely, And other times to a degree.. how i respond, either way I always have a choice... what I do, how I think, which way I walk, and WHOM i choose to walk with… We are responsible for our lives, and taking responsibility is very rewarding I find. I also touch on The separation that is often in society. Diving us, Suggesting there’s a difference between us. We all bleed, feel, cry, laugh, And love the same… and that no matter where we land we can come together and we can choose to walk together. Accept each other, And spread light and love. Half of the time we’ve created the hell… haha. We can also create the heaven.
You are from a musical family and started singing and songwriting at a young age. You’ve worked alongside some big names – touring with Tina Arena as a backing vocalist when you were just 17 years old, with Keith Urban on the ‘The Voice Australia’ in 2012 and then Boy George when returning and winning in 2019! So firstly congratulations from us here at Aussievision for you 2019 win, but what’s it like having worked with those figures in the music industry?
Firstly, Working with anyone of their calibre is always an honour. For me personally, the greatest reward, is that I feel these three artists specifically, are GOOD, GENUINE people… And while the business is hard, & beautiful all at the same time.. the thing that warms me the most, is learning that they come from a genuine and authentic place. And the fact that these artists have MAINTAINED their integrity in this business, is why I have so much respect and admiration for them. Their achievements are outstanding….it shows great work ethic & character... They maintained their integrity as HUMANS, in this business...This is all we have when we go, & it’s always a focus of mine… To remember WHO i am, and why I am here, and why I chose music. The lessons you can take from these artists is also extremely valuable. When you don’t come from Ego, you learn. When you don’t come from Ego you teach. And when you learn, and teach with authenticity, you HELP and you HEAL those you touch. And through music especially, this is I believe the purpose of music. To connect… and speak truths. These artists broke rules, did the long haul, & remembered who they are in one of the most challenging career paths there is. If I can be half of what they are I’ll be doing alright.
Given you have had huge experience on stage through tours and television shows, if you were to win ‘Eurovision - Australia Decides 2020’ what do you think you could bring to the Eurovision stage?
Well all I can do is my best… to win would be an incredible moment. I can only always bring my entire heart, soul, authenticity, & connect. I will always come from truth.
We know you grew up with a Greek father and an Australian mother. Having that Greek heritage, did you have any exposure to Eurovision growing up? Do you recall the first time you watched the Eurovision Song Contest?
I don’t recall the first time I watched actually… Growing up in a musical family meant my parents were always gigging, mostly 6 nights a week and teaching everyday… so we didn’t often sit down and “normal” times to watch things like that together to be honest. And I also started performing young. haha. But I have watched the show & love the diversity of this show!
Now we believe you’re not related to Sakis Rouvas, who has represented Greece in the Eurovision Song Contest twice, and even co-hosted it in Athens 2006.
We have got to ask you though, out of his two EPIC Eurovision entries for Greece which song is your favourite? ‘Shake It’ or ‘This Is Your Night’?
Well, ROUVAS isn’t a common surname and our families are from the same part of Greece. Samos. So Who knows!? Maybe we are!! haha “This is your night”!!
And finally, if you were sent to the Netherlands but you could only take three items with you, what would you take?
My Chinese herbs! Ventolin, And my phone. hahahahahaha HEALTH & COMMUNICATION. lol. So. I’d be naked but breathing & singing. haha sounds interesting.
That would be interesting! Thank you Diana for your time!