Anica Russo: "In 2019, I got asked to sing the song ‘Sisters’ but declined"

Germany will find its representative through ‘Unser Lied für Liverpool’ on March 3rd and one of the nine finalists is Anica Russo with “Once Upon A Dream”. Anica is a 22 year old singer-songwriter from Berlin with Croatian and Italian roots. She published her first album at the age of 18 and hit the charts with the song “REBEL“. We had the pleasure to meet Anica ahead of the live show this Friday!

Hello Anica and thank you so much for participating in this interview! We cannot wait to find out more about you and your song “Once Upon A Dream” 😊

First of all, how did you get the idea of submitting a song to the German Eurovision selection?
Submitting a song to the German Eurovision selection is something I have been thinking about for quite a long time during the last couple of years. For example in 2019, I got asked to sing the song “Sisters” but declined, it just did not feel right to me. I always told myself that Eurovision is the biggest thing in music and something I dearly dream of – but I wanted to participate with my OWN song and the right team –  and now the time is right.

What inspired you to write “Once Upon A Dream” and what is the song about?
My song tells the story of someone who faces challenges and setbacks, but persists in pursuing their dreams. It is a song about hope in the darkest times and belief. 
Music and Belief have always been the most important things in my life. When I was a child, we went to Church every Sunday and had this “family organ” at home – it was the first instrument I tried to play.
I wanted my Eurovision song to be personal but also universal. Personal, so that I could fill every word with true emotions on stage and universal, so that everyone else is able to identify with the message. I love to combine dark sounds with self-empowering lyrics and this time I wrapped it in a little “fairy-tale” dress to create “Once Upon a Dream”.

You released the song together with a beautiful music video, which you also directed yourself – What was your favorite part about shooting that video?
First of all, thank you so much! 
The music video shoot was very last minute – we only had like two weeks to plan, organize, create, shoot and edit the video and (since I am an independent artist) a very small budget as well. 

My favorite part about the video is that, through the help of friends and my team, we managed to create this video with just very few resources – Me and my friends met on Sundays to put the scenery together, went shopping through so many stores to find the right flowers and until the shooting day I was extremely nervous, if everything would really work out in the end. We wanted to keep the shots very simple and thus wanted to introduce the audience to our “world”. The music video is just a tastemaker for the staging, I’d say and I am more than happy with how the video turned out!  Teamwork makes the dream work!

Can you give us a small taste of what your performance is going to look like?
As I already stated in the question before, the music video is a little “tastemaker” for the stage performance. We are currently in the middle of planning and organizing the performance so I cannot say too much BUT I want to create a dark-fairytale like world on stage – a magical garden – stay tuned!  

Do you have a favorite Eurovision song or memory?
One of my favorite Eurovision memories is sitting on the couch with my parents and enjoying the show as our TV highlight of the year. We would pick our favorites and rate every song – I would try to stay awake until the end but eventually fall asleep so that my parents need to tell me who the winner is.  

What would it mean to you if you got the chance to represent Germany in Liverpool?
It would mean the world to me. Performing my own song in front of 180 million people around the world, representing Germany is one of my dearest dreams. Not only that, but due to my half-croatian and half-italian background, I feel that Eurovision, a platform and stage that unites EUROPE, is the right place and I just can’t stop imagining how it would feel to get the chance and stand on that big ESC stage in Liverpool.  

What are you most excited about when you think of the upcoming days and weeks?
My favorite song of all time is “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus – and as it says in the song, I am excited for the whole journey – the small achievements, the mistakes I will make along the way, the preparations and the tiny things, like not forgetting to eat on a busy day in between interviews and meetings. It just feels so good – a feeling of progress and fulfillment. 

And last but not least – I am the most excited about MARCH 3rd!

Finally, do you have anything else you would like to say to our readers from all over the world?
The Eurovision community is something very special and I am so grateful and honored to be a part of it now. I am thankful for the love and support I’ve been getting already – it is ALREADY a dream come true. 

One last thing: Never stop believing in your dreams! <3

Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions! We wish you the best of luck for Unser Lied für Liverpool on March 3rd and hope to see you in Liverpool!

If you would like to support Anica Russo, you can vote for her in our poll for ‘Unser Lied für Liverpool’:
[democracy id=”189″]

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