Last year, despite a song that had been co-penned by Stig Rästa, his path had been cut short. He is back this year, it is Sergiu Bolota!
How would you define yourself in one word?
How would you describe your state of mind when you're on stage?
It is dreamy to me, I feel very excited. There is a sense of childish excitement, something is happening, it is just like unwrapping Christmas presents! It is honestly the best feeling in the world, being able to trigger emotions in the audience.
How would you quickly tell your life story?
My father and my brother both were singing gospel at church. I had quite a rough childhood, I grew up in a big family and my father was abusive. He has passed away now. Those events made me somehow much more mature than other kids my age, but also immature on some points.
My father inspired me in some way too, mostly to try not to be like him. My brother is my idol, my protector and my favourite advisor. I can be a little reckless or foolish sometimes, leap forward into things. I'm more like acting first, and thinking after.
How does one make you angry?
Violence. Self-defence or standing up for someone is okay, but not the rest. I hate bullies. I was the guy who bullied bullies. I hate impolite people, especially those who are very rude, in the subway for example.
How does one make you happy?
By appreciating who I am as a person. I'm not trying to be arrogant here, but when girls see that you have a guitar or that you sing, they don't pay attention to anything more. I mean, I could be an ass next to it! I like people to try and know me, not just scratch the surface. Normal, nice caring people with the most basic human qualities. And the ones who think of others in the conversation, not just themselves.
How would you define your taste in music?
Bizarre. I like everything from symphonic metal to pop. I love Adele, or Emeli Sandé. When I perform, I sing Adele, Katy Perry, the Beatles or Jason Mraz. 70% of what I listen to is metal. I never thought of singing it myself, but I could maybe picture myself in a rock band.
If there was just 1 artist you could listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Coldplay. Their music is relaxing and peaceful.
How would you describe Every little thing, your song for the contest?
I have been told that it was not a Eurovision song, that it didn't fit the competition. Good, then! Who decided what was fit or not? I mean, just take Amar Pelos Dois for example. Out of the contest's standards, but very good!
I believe in my song: it has a strong message that relates to the fact of not being able to move on from people and the sound of it is very organic. It just flows.
How did you make the decision of entering Selectia Nationala this year?
Well, I am not a passionate Eurovision fan, but I always followed it to check how Romania was represented. I never looked further, though. I was advised to go last year, I had a song that was co-written by Stig Rästa, but I was not prepared. This year, I am.
How is this year going to be different from your previous participations?
Last year, the live performance was not good enough. If I had been a member of the jury, I wouldn't have let myself through. The song changed my life, though, allowed me to go places.
How would you make us want to come to Romania?
I am going to talk about my hometown Sibiu instead of Romania as a whole. It is a former European capital of culture, it was founded 820 years ago by Germans. It is the pearl of Transylvania. There are festivals all year round in the city. The former mayor of Sibiu is now President of Romania, and he did a lot for the city, which was elected in the top 10 of the most attractive non-capital cities in Europe.
Other than that, we have Romania's two brightest stars: Simona Halep and Inna. Will I be next?
How do you picture Eurovision in 10 years?
Spectacular. The stage grew from great to amazing in the past years. Choreographies, lights, production, everything is more and more captivating. The contest is going to evolve in ways we couldn't have imagined.The songs are better and better, and I imagine more and more mainstream artists will be taking part. Inna for Romania!
How are you going to win Eurovision 2018?
I don't think my song is a winner. It is really good, but not great. Let's say that my aim is to reach the final, and then maybe top 5. It remains a competition, nobody registers for the training. Last year, maybe with the right performance, it could have happened. I will be back in future years, with a masterpiece of a song, I will deliver a great show, no flaws in my singing, and it will be a done deal.
Sergiu, thank you very much for this interview! He will be on stage in Sighisoara this Sunday!
For any requests/questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @altruismless!