Gabrielius has become a very familiar name in Lithuanian preselections, and has this year entered the competition for a fifth time. He debuted in 2013 in a duet with Ieva Zasimauskaite, tried again in 2017 and 2018 and was unfortunate not to progress to the grand final in 2020 when he just missed out with his song ‘Tave Cia Randu’ despite garnering a lot of support from international fans.
This year though, he is back with a fresh new look, and a new song ‘My Guy’. A strong performance in last Saturday’s heat saw him finish second, and qualifying for this Saturday’s all important semi-final.
We were lucky enough to get some time with Gabrielius to talk about his participation, and this is what he told us!
Hi Gabrielius, it’s so good to see you back in Pabandom Is Naujo. What made you want to enter the competition this year?
‘The idea came without a long of thinking. I wrote the song and then I thought – I should go to Eurovision with this. And even though I had said to myself that I wouldn’t try again after last year, I changed my mind. It takes a lot of energy, but in the end, it’s worth every penny.’
Well yes, this is now your fifth attempt to be selected for Eurovision. What is it about this competition that you enjoy so much?
‘I said to myself, that I just really want to represent Lithuania in Eurovision, that’s why I’m still here ;)) And what is more, that thrills if it could be this year somehow makes me feel good. Not to mention all the people that hear you worldwide. My first attempt in 2013 seems such a looong time ago, and even though you can sometimes forget about those times, luckily we have archives. And my last entry ‘Tave Cia Randu’ didn’t pass to the final, but I gained so much more anyway with so many good comments from the fans and it’s one of their favourite songs of mine to listen to’
We do indeed have archives – and here is that first entry with Ieva Zasimauskaite – ‘I Fall In Love’
And with your song last year, you changed to singing in Lithuanian, but this year back into English. Was that a conscious deliberate decision and have you recorded ‘My Guy’ in Lithuanian at all?
‘I went straight away with English position this time as we tried Lithuanian last year and we wanted some changes, but it just ended up naturally this way. I don’t have it recorded in my native language and I think it will be only in English.’
Can you tell us a little about the song itself – is there a particular message in the song and what inspired you to write it?
‘Yes, there is. The song is about support from a person that you trust. The one that is Your Guy. I have more than one Guy and I’m more than happy to have them. I think it’s one of the most important things in life, because everybody needs their strength which they could hold on to.’
In all your performances you have been a bit of a style icon, rocking a completely different look every time we see you. Is this something you have chosen to do specifically for each song, or is it something that is natural to your personality to keep up with those trends?
‘Oh that is a pretty good thing to know! It’s natural. From my childhood I was always the one that was matching outfits to wear to the school in the mornings. It’s just how I feel myself inside and how I want to show it to the world. And it turned to what I am today.’
2020 was such a difficult year, especially for those working in the music industry. How have you coped, have you managed to put on any live shows and how have you managed to keep in touch with all of your fans.
‘We had our album tour planned on spring of 2020 and we had to reschedule it to the autumn. Then we had to make even more changes but we had all 7 concerts done, of course with different conditions than it would have been in normal times. We had one big show from a venue live without any audience there – it all was in their phones and computers. It was an interesting experience. But it’s a nice thing that we all could keep in touch due to all social networks.’
We know that a couple of artists withdrew from the competition because of some of the restrictions in place right now, but from watching the heat it seemed like everything ran smoothly – how was it from your perspective, have you found it challenging performing without an audience? (I recall last year you even started your performance from being sat with the audience!)
‘It was different, but I didn’t mind performing it this way. The show itself is made for TV audience, so we can cope to make as best performance only for them as we can.’
Can we expect much to change in your performance for the semi-final. How was the feedback that you received and will you do anything different?
‘The outfit will be different as it always is haha, and the feedback was really great. I got a lot of supporting messages and even with people singing to My Guy!’
What else do you have planned for 2021. If the restrictions ease soon will you plan a tour, any more new music or projects?
‘I can’t wait to come back to a live stage with a full audience. There are some plans for new stuff in music as well, so let’s only hope for the best.’
Gabrielius performs My Guy again in Saturday’s semi-final, but you can watch his performance from the heats right here:
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us Gabrielius, we really appreciate it, and we wish you the absolute best of luck in the competition!
What do you think of My Guy?, let us know in the comments section below!, and don’t forget to vote in our poll!