Our editor Matt spoke to Vanu who’ll be competing in the final of this year’s Selectia Nationala. Vanu spoke about the awful time when his brother died and how it inspired him in his song ‘Never give up’.
Hi Vanu. Congratulations on being chosen for the final of this year’s Selectia Nationala! How did you first get into music?
I’ve always been into music and if you see me in public, I probably have headphones on, but my “debut”, so to speak, was actually in high school. I was 15 years old and I did a duet with one of my colleagues. Doing that, it really felt like the right thing, even though I was terrified going on stage for the first time. But I knew from that moment on that this is what I want in life and I started to take baby steps towards fulfilling it. My biggest support was my grandma, she was a singer as well in her youth and she encouraged me to pursue my passion because she never could.
How were you chosen for Selectia Nationala?
The song “Never Give Up” was written for Eurovision. My initial goal was to reach the final of Selectia Nationala. Now that I’m here, it’s to win it all and represent my country. It would be an amazing challenge and honor.
What’s your song about?
Since art rarely comes from happiness, the song “Never Give Up” has a sad story behind it. I’ve lost my brother 5 years ago, he was found stabbed in the back at 18 years old. Each time I perform it, it feels like he’s next to me and it helped me heal and deal with that pain that is never going to go away. There is a saying that “time heals wounds”. Well, music does that too. Even though, metaphorically speaking, I stopped bleeding, the scar is still there and will remain there for the rest of my days. I’m grateful that, thanks to Eurovision, it will probably get to people that need it. At the end of the day, this is what’s important. This song puts on the table a part of my soul, my story, how I felt and still do, but it also talks about hope, remembering, appreciating and cherishing life with all the ups and downs. Everyone has a story and unfortunately, many of them are left unsaid.
What inspires your music?
You know, “Never Give Up” is actually my first original song, I usually perform covers with my band. Thus, so far, tragedy inspired my music, but I’m not going to stop here. I believe you can find inspiration anywhere, you just have to open your heart and look for it.
Thankyou for sharing that with us. Will you be changing any of your staging?
The staging for the final will be quite similar with the one I had in the semis, but improved. I have some other ideas but I still want to keep it simple and impactful. Less is more.
Do you have any previous experience of taking part in a singing competition? If so, how did it go?
Yeah, I do. I was on “The Voice of Romania”, 9 years ago, and got to the semifinals. This competition gave me wings and courage to pursue this amazing dream of performing on stage because I got the validation I needed from people in the music business, that I must be doing something right.
Are you fan of Eurovision? When did you first start watching it?
I’ve been a fan of Eurovision for as long as I can remember and I watch it every year. Well now, I get to live it and it’s a totally different feeling. It’s an amazing competition, I always get goosebumps when I see all the flags in the audience, the cultural diversity and amazing artists and performers. It seems like, for a couple of hours, we all set aside our differences and realise that we are more alike, than different. It’s a celebration. I love what Eurovision stands for – progressive thinking, love, unity, inclusion, art.
What’s your favourite Eurovision song?
Matt, why are you doing this? Are you really going to make me choose only one song? That’s impossible, there are sooo many I love! :))) But I’ll give it a try. My douze points go to… drumroll… Loreen – Euphoria. I love her, got to meet her and she’s amazing. If it wasn’t for Eurovision, I’m not sure I would’ve discovered her so I’m thankful for that, she’s such an inspiration.
What’s been your favourite Romanian song?
This one’s easy. Luminita Anghel & Sistem – Let Me Try. Such a banger, I still listen to it.
Love that song! What’s your favourite non Eurovision song?
There are a couple of songs here as well, but the one that takes me on a journey every time I listen to it is a song by Black Pumas – Colors.
Is there anything about you that people may not know eg. a special skill?
I’m fluent in Spanish when I’m a bit tipsy. :))) Not even joking, I never studied it. I watched a lot of “telenovelas” with my mom when I was a kid and it stuck. If I’m sober, I can never find the words to express what I want to say. And I’ve been told I’m a good listener, I studied Psychology in college, but I only do free therapy sessions with friends. :)))
Thanks so much for your time. Do you have any messages for your fans?
It was my pleasure, thank you for the opportunity! <3
And for all the Eurovision fans out there, I wish them all the happiness in the world. Don’t forget to take time for yourselves, live your truth and be kind to one-another. We need more of that in the world. And tell that special someone you love them. Send a text, call, whatever. Just do it, I’m sure they will appreciate hearing it. Life’s too short.
P.S. also, lots of booze, fun times behind closed doors (wink/wink), and I hope you all hit the lottery :))) But the first part is the most important one.
Thanks Vanu! Wishing you the best of luck in the competition 🙂
You can vote for Vanu in our poll below:
- WRS - Llamame 27%, 447 votes447 votes 27%447 votes - 27% of all votes
- Gabriel Basco – One Night 16%, 275 votes275 votes 16%275 votes - 16% of all votes
- Vanu - Never Give Up 14%, 229 votes229 votes 14%229 votes - 14% of all votes
- Dora Gaitanovici - Ana 11%, 183 votes183 votes 11%183 votes - 11% of all votes
- Cream, Minodora, Diana – Romania mea 9%, 142 votes142 votes 9%142 votes - 9% of all votes
- Moise - Guilty 6%, 107 votes107 votes 6%107 votes - 6% of all votes
- Andrei Petrus – Take Me 6%, 104 votes104 votes 6%104 votes - 6% of all votes
- Alex Parker and Bastien – All This Love 5%, 82 votes82 votes 5%82 votes - 5% of all votes
- Petra – Ireligios 4%, 71 vote71 vote 4%71 vote - 4% of all votes
- Kyrie Mendel – Hurricane 2%, 30 votes30 votes 2%30 votes - 2% of all votes
You can see Vanu performing his song below: