Aistė Pilvelytė – ‘It was my Dad’s dream for me to represent Lithuania’

Tonight sees the first of the live semi final’s of Lithuania’s selection process “Pabandom iš naujo!” (Let’s Try Again!) where 9 acts who qualified out of the heats will perform again for one of just 4 qualifying places for the final which will be held on February 15th.

Performing tonight is fan favourite Aistė Pilvelytė, who is competing in the process for the 11th time, having been 2nd on 3 occasions!

We were given the opportunity to chat with Aistė about her experiences, and jumped at the chance!

Aiste, welcome back to the Eurovision family! We last saw you in 2017 when the fantastic “I’m like a wolf” narrowly missed out on being Lithuania’s entry in Kiev. How was that experience?
Thank you, I’m happy to come back to the Eurovision Selection 🙂 So, yes I came in second place in Nacional Eurovision, but I think I was the winner really, because I had a good team! I received a lot of supportive messages from many Lithuanian people and also from around the world from people who were watching, and saw my journey to the final. So for me it was a very good experience, because I had a good song, and a good show. So I’m very happy that I participated in Nacional Eurovision 2017. I’m glad we as a team made a real performance, because that’s what we wanted to show the audience. So really the experience for me was overall good 🙂

You have finished 2nd on 3 occasions but thankfully this hasn’t deterred you from trying again. Where do you get your strength of character to pick yourself up, straighten your crown, and try again?
I think I’m a very strong woman. I am very happy now as I am. Because I feel like I have a lot of life experiences. And that strength comes only through hard work, and painful surprises. So now I’m very strong, i feel good, very good, both in my energy, and my state, I think you can see and feel that in my new song “Unbreakable”. Therefore, I think that love makes a woman happy. 🙂

Having researched your whole Eurovision catalogue, I have to say “Troy On Fire” from 2008 stands out for me, so much power! Do you have a favourite song that you have competed with?
Yes, I agree, “Troy On Fire” is one of my strongest songs. Many people liked it and supported me. People still talk about this song today, so I think they really liked it too! it’s one of my strongest songs and I could never stop my love for it. I think all of my songs are different and strong. But I think there were three particular ones which were very strong and are my favourites – they are “Melancolia” (2010) “Troy on Fire” (2008) and “I’m Like A Wolf” (2017)

All of your past entries have been very different in genre, from the power rock anthem of 2007’s “Emotional Crisis” to the beautiful ballad of “Melancolia” in 2010. Is it easy for you to switch musical identities?
Yes, participating in the Eurovision selection process, I have had a lot of different songs and music genres. I think I can sing a lot of genre (Pop, jazz, rock). But I’m thinking I’m lucky if I get to sing ballad songs. I like ballads with lyrical music. So I think ballad is my strongest of all the different music types.

Let’s talk about 2020 and your Thomas G:Son penned absolute schlager-banger “Unbreakable”. How did this collaboration happen?
We live in the modern world, an internet world where we can communicate with anyone. A lot of people have profiles on all the social media platforms… So now it’s easy to connect with people. I became very interested in G:son’s musical work, especially his Eurovision songs, so I started writing to him around 2 years ago. And step by step, we ended up communicating by emails and video calls ,and he ended up writing a song for ME, especially for me! And this was the song that became “Unbreakable” I think it’s a very strong song, with a good message for people. I’m so very happy with this song! G.son is very good music producer, and I’m happy that we can work together. He’s also a very nice man!

How do you manage to combine your life as a mother with that of a professional singer?
I think my daughter is the engine that runs my life. Right now she’s young, so she copies me in everyday life. She watches my life, my work, and my communication. So I must not give up, I must be strong for her. Life is not easy. But now I am a Mum, I must be a good example. Yes, I perform at a lot of concerts and now I am working on a new album and new songs.  My own mother helps out a lot if I have a concert to perform at, she has a great relationship with my daughter.  I do feel the need to plan my time very well!

You’ve said in the past that you are scared of old age. Firstly, you are definitely not old, but with age comes wisdom! Do you embrace your age, and the life experiences it has brought you?
Yes, my age – its my life experiences. Now I really know what I want and what I can achieve.

Going back over past performances, you have worn some AMAZING outfits (my favourite is for “I’ll let you fly” in 2005), and this year is no exception! How do you decide about staging and your appearance for the song?
Ooh thank you 🙂 It’s a nice song which I really do like. The song itself was born from my life experience. So for me it’s a very rich and emotional song.
For this years Eurovision selection I have been working alongside a big team who have produced my stage show. Both the choreography and clothes were decided by my stage director, Rasa Micakiene. So yeah, I think there were definitely some very nice aesthetics in 2005. But I’m also happy this year’s show could be as promising for you as 2005 was!

The Lithuanian selection process has now been simplified, with less shows and a shorter season. Has this helped the competitors?
Very difficult question. I think some performers can be helped by a shorter selection process for Lithuania’s Eurovision entry, for other artists this is not a good thing. When there are more shows, you can change clothes, performance and music, which can be good. But Eurovision itself is just one show. For me, I am happier that we have a shorter season this year. When I participated in 2016 with my song “You Bet” there were a lot of shows (editor: 6 including the final!) . It was so hard to sing so many times and always be ready for the show, with all the stress and nerves that you get as a performer. So this year I am much happier that there is a shorter season!

Finally, what would it mean to you to at last be chosen as the Lithuanian entrant to the Eurovision Song Contest?
It was my Dad’s dream for me to represent Lithuania in the Eurovision song contest. He always watched the show and said to me that one day I must participate. My father sadly passed away 3 years ago and this was definitely his dream, so if I went on to win, my Dad would be so happy!
I do also think that the people of Lithuania would be happy too, as I always seem to be in second place! People have said to me in the past “You have a nice, strong song, why do you never win?” so I feel that there are a lot of people who support and believe in me. So yes, I do want to win this year, and I think I do have a strong enough song, and it is the right time. Journalists would get to write that finally, AIstė Pilvelytė has won and will represent Lithuania in the Eurovision song Contest 🙂 My family, friends, and team would be very happy. I really want that.

Thank you so much for that fantastic chat Aiste! Best of luck to you in tonight’s semi final!

You can watch Aiste’s performance of “Unbreakable” from Heat 3 here, or listen via this Spotify link

ESC Bubble will of course be live blogging the event tonight, so join us here from 2000CET as we take you through the performances and the all important results!

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