Andrada Popa: “I hope the staging will enforce the message of the song and touch people’s hearts”

Selecția Națională 2023 will soon find out who will represent Romania at Eurovision and a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to talk to one of the contestants, Andrada Popa. Andrada will compete with the song “No Time for Me” and she told us what to expect from her performance for Selecția Națională, you can check the interview down below. The national final will take place on 11 February and the winner will be selected only by the public.

Hello Andrada Popa and thank you for taking you time for ESCBubble! First of all, how was your reaction when you heard you will be at Selecția Națională 2023?

Hello, nice to meet you and thank you for reaching out. The announcement came out at 9 am on a Saturday so it was the first thing I saw when I woke up. I was in London with my manager, so she was the first person that I told and we both did a cute happy dance in the kitchen and then I proceeded to panic about everything we had to take care of moving forward.

What made you decide to enter Selecția Națională and what are your expectations from the contest?

To be honest, I had two reasons for entering- number 1 was the fact that people have been telling me for years to sign up as I did represent Romania at Eurovision as a child at JESC 2008 in Cyprus and it felt like the next natural step to try out the big one as well. I’ve always been a big Eurovision fan, been watching it since I was a child with my mum, so I would love to relive the experience as an adult after all this time. Reason number 2 was definitely the fact that the country hosting it is the UK where I have studied and which has been my second home for over four years. It would make me extremely happy and proud to represent Romania in my ‘home away from home’ and be surrounded by the loved ones from both countries. My friends from London have already promised to show up with a big Romanian flag in Liverpool if I go through.

You already participated in Junior Eurovision 2008 with Madalina and the song “Salvati Planeta”, how was that experience for you?

It was probably one of my top 5 memorable moments in life and an unique experience for such a young child. I remember my favourite part being the street parade where I got to walk through Limassol with the Romanian flag. I was obviously very nervous, yet excited and honored at the same time.

Your song for Selecția Națională 2023 is called “No Time for Me”, what can you tell us about it, what’s the message behind it?

“No Time For Me” is a little insight into my overthinking brain and probably the way most people my age feel. Sometimes, it seems like things happen at the speed of light and there is so much social pressure to achieve and become everything all at once. At 25, you are expected to have your whole life figured out and know exactly who you are, when in reality, life is a continuous path to self discovery, trial and error, heartbreak and healing, mistakes and growth.

Personally, I have moved countries 3 times in the last few years, lived on my own, moved out of 5 different flats and about to move once again to finish my studies in Paris. Yet, in the midst of it all, it still feels like there is so much left to be done and not enough time for it all. Whenever I travel and stay in a place for some time, I leave a part of me there, yet still feel the urge to run off to the next one. My head is a maze, I wouldn’t recommend trying to decipher it.

So, in a nutshell, “No Time for Me” speaks about the constant feeling of not being enough and the need to leave behind people, places and things in order to become the person you want to be. The last chorus ends on a happier note – sometimes letting yourself simply exist without constantly worrying about the future is the kindest thing you can do. If you’re in your confusing 20’s and empathize with the song, just know that your anxiety is lying to you. Ultimately, we do have time. We just spend too much of it worrying about not having enough.

How will the staging be at Selecția Națională 2023? What can we expect from your performance?

You can expect drama. I am working on the choreography with Bogdan Boanta to portray the message in a beautiful, vulnerable, yet simple way and I will have the one and only Bubu Cernea (from my ex band – La La Band) on drums. I don’t want to divulge too much, but I hope the staging will enforce the message of the song even more and touch people’s hearts.

Which of the other contestants are you excited to see on Selecția Națională this year? And who do you consider to be your biggest competitor?

If I’m being honest I think my biggest competitor will be my own nerves haha. I also think the public will have very different preferences and the favorites will differ. I am excited for rehearsals and for the show and everyone’s performances and I hope I can deliver the show the audience deserves.

This year the public will choose the winner of Selecţia Naţională, is this the right decision or should they bring the jury panel in the final back again?

I think in a way, having a professional jury helps in terms of choosing the best composition from a technical/ musical aspect, but at the same time, music is universal and most people listen with their hearts, not their logical brains. Sometimes you can choose the best written piece of music, but it doesn’t mean the public will empathize with it so I guess the jury has its role, but the public’s voice will always be louder.

Are you still watching Junior Eurovision, as well as the Eurovision Song Contest? Maybe you can tell us some of your favorites songs.

I must admit, I haven’t watched the Junior Eurovision in a while, but I haven’t missed any Eurovision competitions so far. I think my top favorite Eurovision songs are Heroes (Mans Zelmerlow), Euphoria (Loreen), Arcade (Duncan Laurence), Soldi (Mahmood), Satellite (Lena) and our very own Playing With Fire (Paula Seling and Ovi).

And any other plans for 2023? Can we expect new music from Andrada Popa?

Yes, indeed. I have another song ready for release called ‘Already in Paris’ which goes together with my temporary move to Paris to finish my Masters degree. I also have some TV projects in the pipeline and some deadlines for my songwriting work in London, so it will definitely be a busy year.

In the end, I want to thank you for your time and please, if you have a message for your fans and our readers here on ESCBubble?

Thank you for having me and enjoy the show! To my fans, thank you for your support throughout the years and I hope I can count on you once again to vote for me in the Eurovision final. To all ESC fans out there, please be kind to one another and to all performers, we’re trying our absolute best to deliver a great show and at the end of the day we’re all just humans brought together by our love for music. I hope my song touches the heart of the public and even if it doesn’t, always remember that we’re all on different journeys and some of them might not meet in the middle. Oh, and if you made it this far, thank you for reading. I appreciate you.

You can listen to Andrada Popa’s entry in Selecția Națională 2023 right here:

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