Elina Ivashchenko made herself known in 2016 on the project The Voice Kids Ukraine (1 + 1), in which she confidently won. Subsequently, she has won the Grand Prix of the Ukrainian Festival “Chornomorsky Ihry”. In 2019, she won the 10th anniversary season of the X-Factor show ( STB Channel). All the achievements Elina considers as small steps on the big path to the dream of becoming a famous singer. The next step is to participate in the National Selection of Eurovision 2020 in Ukraine. February 15th, in the second semifinal of the selection, Elina Ivashchenko will compete for the right to represent Ukraine in the continent’s most famous music competition with the author’s song Get up. Here Eliana Goncharova interviews Elina for ESC Covers –
Elina, first of all, congrats on the victory in the 10th season of the X-Factor. Was is it difficult?
Thanks! Yes, it was quite hard. I didn’t get enough sleep and was constantly learning songs. It was morally difficult, but these efforts were not in vain. Every day I’ve had tryouts, rehearsals, shootings and productions. It was fun, but tiring. Once you’ve said that your every victory is a step towards the dream of becoming a famous singer.
What are the plans for the Vidbir National Selection?
For me Eurovision is not a place for competition. It’s also an opportunity to get my message across to millions of people. I’ll start with the National Selection and ff Ukraine believes in me, I’ll proceed in Europe. I understand that it will be a huge responsibility. I also want to remind Europe that our nation is very singing. (laughs).
For the National selection you have written an emotional ballad Get Up. What life circumstances inspired you to write the track?
Many people do not listen to their heart, but do what they are dictated. Some are humiliated and underestimated. Unfortunately, in this world it’s more difficult to live for open and honest people, than for evil and narcissistic ones. There’s lots of cruelty. With my song I would like to dispel the idea that lookers-on see more than players. We make our own history and no one has the right to tell us how to live. Personally, this story has touched me too deep: watching the brutality of people has inspired me to write this song.
One of the judges of the Ukrainian selection –is Andrii Danilko. Sometimes he did not very flatteringly comment on the ballad songs. Aren’t you afraid of the criticism?
When I presented the song on the X-Factor, it was very important for me to hear the opinion of Andrii Danilko. He did not say anything wrong, but kept comments for the National Assembly itself. But I’m not afraid of any criticism. It is very important for me to hear the opinion of each judge. I understand that everyone has their own taste and their musical preferences. But I’m sure the judges of the National Selection will be objective.
In 2016, under the direction of Tina Karol, you won the show Voice Kids. Now Tina is on the National Jury. Do you think she will be objective in evaluating you? Or can her decision be influenced by the fact of your acquaintance?
In 2016 Tina was my mentor on the Voice Kids project. She is now a member of the National Jury. These are two different roles with different tasks.
The fact of our acquaintance, I think, should in no way affect her points. It is unlikely that she will sacrifice her reputation and professionalism. I think Tina Karol will even be very meticulous about my performance. However, her opinion is highly important for me.
Have you listened to the songs of your competitors? Whom can you single out?
I’ve heard the songs of many contestants. I really like FO SHO. The participants are very different, and each song is interesting in its own way. It seems to me that my song is worthy to represent our country, but only the audience and the judges decide. So I have no right to judge participants.
What is the Eurovision contest for you in general? Opportunity to show yourself and to represent the country or a platform that brings together millions of people who are in love with music?
Many musicians and vocalists dream of joining Eurovision. As for me, this is the pinnacle of international competition and if I’m given the opportunity, it will the honour to remind the world as Ukraine sings. As already said, for me this competition means much more. I go for it with an idea, it is embedded in the song and I hope many will find themselves in the song ‘Get Up’. It is very important to me to remind the world how Ukraine sings. And it will be a great honour and responsibility to do so. Of course, I am very interested in experiencing the complexities and inner life of Eurovision. If the country chooses me, it won’t be a shame for sure.
Finally, can you send some wishes to our readers.
Believe in your dream and it will come true. If you listen to your heart and work hard, you will definitely succeed.
INTERVIEW BY: ELIANA GONCHAROVA
You can hear Get Up by Elina Ivashchenko below.