I sit here, listening to Brendan Adams, (from South Africa) a new artist I met while at a music conference (M4Music) in Zurich a few weekends ago. Ahh the sweet sound of a songwriter. For a while there, I was getting caught up in the lights, computer-stage-screens, fancy hair, elaborate dresses, dances, make-up, thousands and thousands of people, flourescent necklaces, waving flags, lanyards, cameras, lasers, teams, screams and everything else! Welcome to Eurovision. For we North Americans, it isn't something we are entirely familiar with. This song contest has been on the go since 1956, featuring winners like ABBA & Cèline Dion. This is an epic display of wild television. One of my European friends reminisces of her childhood; being allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve and on Eurovision night, junk food and cola allowed! Well this was all new to me! I was invited to attend this major event because one of my closest friends (who I also met at a music conference in Canada about eight years ago) Christina, who was representing Switzerland (she is half Canadian half Swiss) as RYKKA with her song "The Last of Our Kind. Unfortunately, Switzerland did not make the finals, but I went to the Grand Finale anyway. I mean, I had the tickets. It was day three spent at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, the largest hemispherical building on earth. So by the end, I was all lasered and Eurovisioned out! I barely slept at night, I had no idea that all that "action" would overwhelm my senses to the point of sleeplessness, but there ya go. And I wouldn't change a thing. To see how it was all put together, was a real eye-opener and surely a once in a lifetime event to be a part of.
Walking around Stockholm for a few days was also something new for me. I had never been before and I have to say, the shopping was great! The sense of fashion there, totally suits to me! Everything seems to be flowy and over-sized, where size small actually fits! Haa!! I found the best second hand retro store ever "Beyond Retro." I spent two hours in there and found a couple of awesome dresses! (yes, two dresses after all that time!) Hello Ottawa Bluesfest this Summer... Which, by the way, I am playing!! Friday the 15th of July on the MONSTER ENERGY STAGE, 6:30pm, opening for Coleman Hell... who I THOUGHT I had never heard of, but it turns out I have heard his music and I totally dig it, check out "2 Heads." He is from 'lil 'ole Thunder Bay, Ontario. I am playing FULL BAND STYLE (same as my CD release ONE YEAR AGO tomorrow!) time certainly flies!
Back to Sweden and Eurovision...
We would take a subway to the main arena each night, even the semi-final nights were PACKED! When I heard the song "1944" from Ukrainian singer "JAMALA" it was the one that spoke the loudest to me, but I truly NEVER in my wildest dreams thought that it would win the entire competition. Too good, too soulful and mostly, too political. In a sense, justice prevailed!! This song stood out from the rest, to me, a singer-song-writer, so I thought no way it can win!! I had shivers from my head to my toes.. How could something so emotional and non-Pop win the Beast that is Eurovision??? Watch the WINNING SONG HERE. Seriously. Wowza!!! I really MUST listen to my gut instinct more. Which, by the way, is one of the big lessons I will take away from this great Eurovision experience; always go with your gut!
So, I will say good bye now, I really must get back to my guitar. I didn't play it for a week and I have a gig tomorrow in Luzern. One of the most beautiful cities in the WORLD!! Thanks, as always, for reading... Love and LIGHT xoxox