The Romanian Eurovision show Selecția Națională gets under way next week and we were lucky enough to get the chance to catch up with one of the competitors in the first Semi Final – Johnny Badulescu!
Find out his thoughts about the contest and more about his song and inspirations in this interview:
Johnny, congratulations on being in Selecția Națională 2018!Can you tell us a bit more about your song “Devoted” and the team behind it?
Well, I chose “Devoted” out of almost 40 songs as I fell in love with this song from the very beginning. It came out after a breakup so I honestly can say that this song suits my feelings best.
This is a love song about a man who broke up with his girlfriend, the one that he has been devoted to, the one that he still wants but probably the one that he will never have. So, the emotions will be very powerful while singing this song. I totally believe that I made the best choice, and I’m trying to make this song a story that everyone will be able to feel. The people that helped this story come alive are three amazing composers, Michael James Down (UK), Jonas Gladnikoff (Sweden) and Primoz Poglajen (Spain), three beautiful human-beings that I’m really thankful to.
You obviously have the experience of performing in live TV shows such as X Factor, is there anything you do to prepare yourself before a big performance?
Well, indeed! Before X Factor, when I was a bit younger, I was part of the biggest music TV Show for teenagers in Italy called, Io Canto. I really believe that all the experiences that I’ve been through have helped me become a more confident singer. Different hard situations have made me think quickly and made me perform as nothing happened, which is really hard to do under pressure. The emotions are bigger as you grow older, and what I can say now is that the feelings you feel when you are on ESC stage, can’t be compared to anything else. I tend to rehearse a lot in order to give the audience a perfect performance and I also tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to something this big. Obviously, I can’t skip my vocal skills practice in order to make my voice sound at its finest.
How are the rehearsals for Selecția Națională going?
We are spending almost all my time rehearsing, thinking of the best lights and graphics to make a real love story from my song and my performance. Now that I can talk to you I really can say that it was a needed break from all the rehearsals, even more so, it gives me the chance to open up to all of you.
Can you tell us anything about how the song will be staged for the contest?
Umm, hard question. The only thing I can say now is that we’re really trying to make a real love story from this song. I truly believe it’s impossible to explain how you genuinely sing a song. Something happens that I can’t say with words. It’s like something crosses my body, a melody comes out of me and suddenly that melody speaks. It’s something magical that I can’t explain that goes through you like a storm, like something blossoming. This is what we’re trying to make you feel when it comes to my performance including staging as well.
Have you had the chance to listen to any of the other entries yet, any standouts?
I honestly didn’t manage to listen to all of the songs as I’m really focused on “Devoted”, but as an overall opinion, I can say that it’s going to be a really hard competition, with a lot of amazing songs which thrills me, as I want my country to be represented by a masterpiece.
And what artists inspire you musically?
Well, if you open up my wardrobe you are going to find two books: Adele and Ed Sheeran.
I’m totally inspired by Ed Sheeran as he was never an obvious bet to become a global superstar. And yet, that’s exactly what he’s achieved, winning plenty of awards (and hearts) along the way. His development makes me think that as long as you do something to make your dreams come true, nothing is impossible.
Adele, the queen, is one of my favorites as her songs literally take my breath away. I really love her because even if she’s a superstar, she managed to protect her family life from the audience which is pretty hard nowadays. I love the fact that both of them put their real feelings in their songs, that’s why probably I start crying almost all the time when I listen to their stories.
Do you have any dream artists you would love to duet with?
Except Adele and Ed Sheeran, I would really love to duet with Beyonce. No words needed to describe her, that’s why the only thing I can say is that she’s been an inspiration to me.
Do you currently have any other musical projects in the pipeline we can look forward to?
As I put myself into this project, I decided to focus with all of my resources, feelings and time on “Devoted”. Stay tuned though as other projects are announced to happen after Eurovision.
What do you enjoy doing when not performing?
Maybe it sounds a bit cliché, but I really enjoy studying, as I think it helps develop myself. I obviously enjoy spending time with my friends, having fun, taking pictures and talking about everything. I love driving and it comes with my love for traveling. One day I want to say that I managed to travel all around the world. I can’t skip those lazy days when I can’t get out of my bed, TV series being my biggest interest, haha.
And finally do you have a favourite Eurovision song from previous years?
I have a lot of them and I really can’t decide which one is my favorite. So, some of them are: L’essenziale, Euphoria (the one and only), Heroes, Milim, Drip Drop, Beautiful Mess, and this list could continue.
Many thanks for this interview Johnny, we look forward to being Devoted to your performance at Selecția Națională!
You will be able to watch Johnny perform in the first Semi Final of Selecția Națională on Saturday 21st January. Make sure you follow him on Facebook and you can Listen to his song here: