Ira Losco is a name every Eurovision fan knows. She represented Malta back in 2002 with her song “7th wonder“, and reached Malta’s highest placing in the history of Eurovision – 2nd place! 14 years later, Ira decided to come back, and is competing in Malta Eurovision Song Contest with two songs – “Chameleon (Invincible)”, and “That’s Why I Love You”.
We had great pleasure to chat with Ira Losco regarding her come-back. She spoke to us about both of her songs, the messages behind them, the staging, and also how she compares Eurovision in 2002, and nowadays. Check out all of that and a lot more in this interview right here:
First of all I would like to congratulate you for making it to the top 20! How do you feel about being in the semi finals of Malta’s selection?
Thank you. I was very happy but I am not one to jump with joy mainly because I take nothing for granted and equally do not expect anything in return. There’s a semi final on Friday which is the first hurdle to overcome. Two songs of mine have qualified but only one can pass through to the final. The only expectation I have is the one I impose on myself. To do my utmost best.
How did you decide to return to this Contest this year?
A number of things I have to say. Since I represented Malta in Eurovision and got a 2nd placing I was asked several times to return. Three years ago I released my previous album “The Fire” which was “pop” in genre . It was very well received both in terms of reviews as well as iTunes charts where it retained it’s 10 position since it’s release in 2013 and enjoyed a No. 1 spot in the Malta iTunes for several weeks. 2-3 years ago I was asked to co-host Malta’s selection for Eurovision with Gianluca. I must admit I really felt the warmth of the audience and that’s when I started to re-consider this. Last year I also reached out to my fans on my fan page and also asked for their feedback with regards to my possible return to Eurovision. Since my album is due for 2016 I felt this was the right time to return.
Can you tell us more about the story behind your two songs, and the teams who worked on them?
I typically write most of my stuff together with my producer Howard Keith. So I was involved in both songs as a writer. “Chameleon” is written by myself and talkback is a mix of both electronic and organic sounding. It starts off dark and moody, which then opens up in the chorus and further opens up when the dance beat kicks in. There’s a lot of peaks and drops in the song which would work very well for a TV show imo. “That’s Why I Love You” is written by myself and three other writers. It is a power ballad with a good feeling. I love the good feeling it has in the chorus. It’s also very anthemic imo, and brings out the feeling of a band performing it live. So they are two different songs with two different visions.
How were you getting ready for the national final?
No different than I would get ready for one of my concerts to be honest, with the difference that it’s only three minutes per song instead of two hours. But I must admit I do feel an extra pressure. High expectations, having a song which seems to be the favorite is much much harder to handle as opposed to being the dark horse. It does take away the innocence, however I feel I can handle it. It is what it is.
Did your ideas for the stage performance all come together, and how is everything going to look like?
Sometimes you get a vision whilst writing a song, recording it or even finalizing it. Other times it is an after thought. I would say with “Chameleon” I also felt it had to be simple, whilst “That’s Why I Love You” I felt it called for a more anthemic feel. Both songs are very different and required a different approach. I have to admit I do not like cheesy over the top performances. I prefer an honest and more simple approach at least in the national final. I look at things in stages and try to adopt a long term vision of where I want to get at in the end .
Who do you think is your biggest competition to win the Maltese national final?
It would be unfair to pin point one at this stage as I believe they all stand a chance to win. I am aware there is a lot of expectancy and assumptions on favorites as it always happens, but I’m also aware that sometimes a dark horse is the one to look out for. Ultimately I will keep a close look out at the people’s votes as it is after all a contest representing a country and it’s important that it is reflective of their wishes. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the contestants best of luck and above all to enjoy the moment.
What would representing Malta in Eurovision for the second time mean to you?
It would probably bring back a lot of great memories but Eurovison has changed a lot since I came 2nd. There are more countries. The standards have shot up. The TV viewership is now close to 200 million, so obviously the game has changed. But what it also means is that the industry looks at it differently. After I came 2nd the industry snobbed Eurovison and I had to wait for one year to get signed to a label. I think it’s fair to say it is a valid platform for the pop world but one cannot expect miracles based on a TV show. A career is based on what your story has been so far and how you follow it. I think that part is as important as all the above.
What would be your all time favorite Eurovision song?
It would have to be “Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)” as in it’s an all time classic.
What sort of music do you listen to in your free time, when all you want is to relax?
My tastes are actually quite weird and possibly dark. I wouldn’t know where to begin to be honest. I listen to so much different music it would surprise you, but I also listen to great pop albums as well. I look out for credibility and honesty in an artist.
What do you do when you are not singing?
It depends where I’m at. I enjoy a good movie to relax. I love good dining and I also enjoy keeping myself fit.
Are you engaged in any other projects at the moment?
They’re all musical related. Some collaborations with other artists and planning a few other things as well. I am also currently working on my 5th studio album due for release in 2016 which will also include a track featuring Destiny who won Junior Eurovision 2015. I absolutely love her. I’m half way there in the album but there’s still a lot to be done. I hope I will manage to meet my expectations. If not, I will not release it. I will only release it when I’m 100% happy.
Do you have a message for all the readers of ESCBubble who will support you in Malta’s national final?
I am thrilled and excited to be back on the Eurovision stage. It is of course always an honor to represent my country and if I had to win the Malta Final this would be my 2nd time. If not, it will be no let down at all. I genuinely believe things happen for a reason and I prefer to see things from a broader perspective. Regardless of the result I will do my best to be the best version of myself I possibly can. Even if that means LESS is MORE 😉 Eurovision fans will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you all.
We would like to thank Ira Losco for her time for doing this interview with us, and also to wish her the best of luck in Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
If one of the two songs of Ira Losco is your personal favorite in Malta Eurovision Song Contest, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll here (click!).