Interview with Roberto Bellarosa (Belgium in ESC 2013)

 First winner of the Belgian edition of "The Voice", the widely popular international TV singing contest, Roberto benefited from a large exposure in the media. He then pursued his musical adventure and artistic career by touring with the "Tour des Restos du Coeur Belge" (including Patrick Fiori, Amel Bent, etc.) and by participating to The Voice tour. This was followed by the release of his first single "Je Crois" and his first album in September 2012 "Ma Voie" written by Quentin Mosimann, international artist and his former coach in The Voice.
Roberto will be representing Belgium at the ESC 2013 with the song ‘Love Kills’ in the first semi-final, on 14 May.

What do you feel now, becoming a Eurovision contestant?
I feel good, positive and I am looking forward to being in Malmö in May.

Are you a big fan of Eurovision?
Yes, when I was younger I watched the Song Contest almost every year! I always thought it was amazing. Whenever I saw it on TV, I only wanted to do one thing: be on that stage. So it's kind of a dream come true that I get to perform at Eurovision this year.

Belgium: Roberto BellarosaHow do you go from winning The Voice to representing Belgium at Eurovision? How did you get the message that you had been chosen for the Contest and what was your first reaction to it?
First of all, I participated in a TV show called ‘The Voice’ which was aired on the RTBF, a national TV broadcast. After I won The Voice, the director of the RTBF asked me if I wanted to represent my country at the Eurovision Song Contest. My first reaction was that I was a little bit afraid, but after thinking about it, I became excited about the idea of participating in the Contest. 

Can you describe your entry “Love Kills”?
I will describe “Love Kills” in a few words: mysterious, emotional and powerful. I really believe that this entry has a lot of potential.

“Love Kills” won the national selection last December. It has gone through a major revamp since then. Having worked in Finland, can you tell us more about how this part of the process went?
At first, the original song was 4 minutes long. It was too long for the ESC and we had to cut it to 3 minutes. Also, we had a version which was too pop-rock for the national selection and difficult for a singer. In fact, I prefer a more emotional song. Therefore, I went to Helsinki to work with the composer of “Love Kills” in order to have a song which suited me more. He worked on the musical arrangements and I worked on the vocals with him for 2 days. I love the outcome.

Not only the song, but also your image has gone through changes, you appear as a totally different person on the official photo shoot. How do you feel about it? 
I feel comfortable with my new image. I like the serious person that I am becoming. Plus, I am getting older and more mature which must show on the pictures.

What type of performance are you going to give at Eurovision? Are you going to use new technologies or keep it simple?
I think we will keep it simple, with emotion, a beautiful show, dancers, backing vocals but no technology. 

Can you introduce the people who will be backing you on stage in your Eurovision performance?
I can tell you what I will have on stage: beautiful lights, dancers Cassandra & Manelle and backing vocals Yvan, Magalie & Virginie. I do not know them personally, yet. It’s a new team which was formed around that new song. I am looking forward to sharing this amazing adventure with them and getting to know them better after spending two weeks together in Malmö.

Gallery ImageYou are only 18 and have just started your career, how does it feel to have the opportunity to sing in front of millions of people? Do you feel the pressure already?
I do not feel the pressure yet because I already had a TV experience with “The Voice Belgique”. I definitely think it helped me a lot, even if the scale is not comparable. I am very thankful to already
have an experience in that field, spending four intense months with a lot of cameras around me, performing in front of a large audience. Furthermore, I love challenges. 

And what is the most difficult for you in Eurovision preparation, or what do you feel you need to practice more? 
The most difficult for me is to sing in English, so I practice the song continuously. Plus, I take English conversation classes. 

Why singing in a foreign language then and not in your mother language?
I think that for Eurovision, it is better to sing in English because it is a universal language and many people understand it.

Have you listened to the other contestants? Any favourites so far? 
No, I do not listen to other contestants, thus I do not have a favourite song so far (besides mine J). In fact, I do not want to be influenced before my performance. But I will listen, with pleasure, to all the songs during and after the contest.

And if you could sing any songs at the contest, which one would it be and why?
It would be “Fairytale” from Alexander Rybak and mine of course!

Do you have a message you would like to address to your fans?
Thank you for your interest and your support.

Interview elaborated by: 
- Max Rod (Portugal no ESC represetantive in Malmo)

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