Romania heating up the competition: Exclusive interview with Paula Seling
“Playing With Fire” is the title of Romania’s entry at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest and it will be performed by the duo Paula Seling & Ovi in the 2nd Semi-Final at starting position #10. The vigorous, energetic song, written by Ovidiu Cernăuțeanu, is Romania’s 12th entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.
In an exclusive interview with ESCradio.com, Paula Seling talks about the shooting of their video clip, their preparations for a breathtaking performance in Oslo, and a further collaboration with Ovi. If you missed the broadcast at 15:00 CEST, you can listen to the interview here:
For more info on Paula Seling & Ovi, see below please.
Check out the video clip:
ABOUT PAULA SELING & OVI
Paula Seling is a Romanian singer and composer. She was born on Christmas Day (25 December 1978) in Baia Mare. She studied piano since she was 6. At the age of 10 she started singing in the school choir and found it to be very enjoyable. It wasn’t long before she turned into a vocalist. Between the age of 11 to 15, Paula grew stronger in her music knowledge by participating into piano contests, festivals and choral music contests. It was her success during this period made her very confident in her talent. From 1994 until 1996, Paula joined a high school band as their keyboard player and played at many different festivals for children and young people, winning several awards. In 1996 she won her first trophy as a solo artist in a national singing contest. Since then, the list of trophies and awards got bigger and bigger:
• EUROVISION National selection in 2010
• “Best pop album” at Romanian National Radio Awards in 2010
• First prise at “Mamaia Festival 2009”
• “The Golden Stag” trophy in 2002
• ”Best Female Voice” at Romanian Musical Industry Awards 2002
• ”Best artist in a Video” at MTV Romanian Music Awards 2002
• ”Woman of the year” by “Avantaje” Magazine in 1998
• The Mamaia Trophy in 1997
• Numerous awards in music festivals from Turkey, Malta, Skopje.
In 1998 she recorded her first album in Germany, ”ONLY LOVE”. Paula released twelve albums, including three Christmas albums and a compilation. Her latest one, called “CULEG VISE (I PICK UP DREAMS)” / “BELIEVE”, released last year, is a double album with 17 songs, all composed, produced and arranged by her.
2002 brought her a very interesting experience. As she sais: “I was a fairy tale character. It was a story about the making of a hit. Tony Hawks, producer, composer, director and writer decided to air a documentary movie on Discovery Channel, a movie that reveals the audience the recipe for a successful song. „He chose me for his case study in Romania, we recorded a song written by Tony, in his studio in London and then we started promoting it. The whole story took off and we performed it on Gloria Hunniford’s show on Channel 5 in London, then in Kashmir club, famous for many British star debuts, where I performed together with my band. The show was broadcast on the internet.”
In 2005 she launches her own recording studio and record label, called “Unicorn Records”, along with her husband. She sang in duets with Al Bano, Anita Doth (from 2 UNLIMITED), Tony Hawks and she performed opening acts for Joan Baez (27 June 1997), Chick Corea (9 November 1998), Ricky Martin (2003),Michael Bolton (7 July 2007), Beyonce (26 October 2007).
Ovi is a Romanian/Norwegian singer and composer, born in the north of Romania, in a town named Botosani. Early 2009 he released his first solo album “This Gig Almost Got Me Killed”, a solid result of hard work with help and influence from experienced professionals from the music business. Ovi’s talent was noticed while he was just a kid. In his early years he listened actively to music and he actually discovered his voice “by accident” while imitating everybody from “We Are The World”.
When he was only 14 years old Ovi earned his first prize in a national singing contest called “Florile Dragostei” and that was probably all he needed to be sure that it was a musician “he was meant to be”. The following years, he started playing in different bands. First with his father and then with his former music teacher. In the early 90’s Ovi was old enough and able to record a demo with a friend, and together they went out to chase the big dream – first stop was Germany. Unfortunately the tour didn’t give them the dream start they were hoping for as they illegally tried to cross the border and got caught. Luckily they only had to spend a few hours in prison. When Ovi was 18 years old he travelled with this band to Tokyo, Japan, where they stayed for a year. Ovi describes this as his “music school” period. They practiced every day, sat the standards high while playing at The Hiltons and not least; Ovi got the opportunity to see his biggest heroes play live.
After a year in Japan the band dismantled and Ovi got a job offer to play in Norway. He made new friends, found love and have since that become a real Norwegian. Over the years there has also been a number of small musical projects abroad. For instance he made the “Nanu Disco” project in Greenland together with the Danish producer Morten “Starman” Stjernholm. This was Greenland’s first dance album and became a huge successes – in Greenland.
Despite all experiences and adventures, Ovi describes the past years as the most important period of his life. He has competed in the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the song “The Better Side Of Me”, and ironically represented Norway in the Romanian “Golden Stag” in 2005. Springtime of 2006 he and his management in Mentor Promotion AS went to Los Angeles with the intention to record the ultimate album. Ovi says it was very educational to work with the famos American producer Preston Glass, he was the producer for Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole. However there was so much misunderstandings and broken promisses with the record company that Ovi and his manager decided to cancel the project in Hollywood. Back in Norway Ovi got back in touch with Simen M. Eriksrud, the producer of Ovi’s entry to the Norwegian finals for Eurovision Song Contest and also the producer behind national Norwegian entry “Hold On, Be Strong” sung by Maria Haukaas Storeng two years later. Ovi’s debut album was recorded in Livingroom Studios in Oslo with good help from Simen and Espen Berg. He did also receive good help from Simen’s girlfriend, D’Sounds songwriter and lead vocalist Simone, who wrote the song “Seven Seconds” for his debut album.
In september 2009 Ovi attends again The Golden Stag Festival in Brasov, Romania and this time he wins two prizes – The Golden Stag Bronze Trophy and The Popularity Prize. It`s here at this festival he gets to meet Paula Seling and they initiate a dialog on commencing a project toghter. The rest is Eurovision history!
On this album a lot of the inspiration is gained from the 70’s big piano and keyboard based singersongwriters such as Billy Joel, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Without a deadline or set rules the album has developed naturally – a process that has taken two years. For Ovi “This Gig Almost Got Me Killed” is the start of something new, and finally he’s ready to release his work.