Last time I talked to ZOË it was September 2015, her debut album Debut was due in a couple of weeks and her single Mon Coeur A Trop Aimé was already in the Austrian radio charts. I remember well that she was dizzy from all the events, somehow scared, proud and excited at the same time. And she couldn’t stop grinning.
Last year ZOË also participated in the Austrian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest candidate, and finished third. It was a disappointment, I imagine, but also a disappointment that gave her a big popularity push. This year, with one extra year of experience under her belt – and believe me, if you’re 19 years old, one whole year is a looot of time! – she entered the competition again with her Loin D’Ici.
Friday night the big live event on national TV took place. Here is how it ended…
ZOË is going to represent Austria at the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden, this summer! More that 180 million people will follow the live shows in front of their TVs in 43 countries. I guess that, in terms of international visibility, it will be difficult to top that!
I took this excuse to ask for an update, five month later, of our last interview.
Congrats ZOË, that’s it! You’re going to Stockholm!!
Thank you so much! I’m extremely grateful to get this chance!!
Who’s going to come along with you?
My father, who is also my producer and co-songwriter, and of course my boyfriend Kaspar – he’s half Swedish
Have you ever been to Sweden?
Unfortunately, I haven’t been there yet.
What’s the most famous Swedish food?
At my boyfriend’s house, with his family, we sometimes eat Köttbullar. So I guess it’s one of the traditional dishes…
Anything they don’t serve at the Ikea canteen?
There’s this fish that you put into a box and you let rot for a long time. It stinks like hell but it’s traditional. I never tried it, though.
I don’t know… Is there a traditional Swedish drink? I have to ask…
Can you say anything in Swedish?
Jag älskar dig!
(I love you)
I know more but the things my boyfriend taught me are rude 😛
The Eurovision Song Contest is legendary, between other things, also for the sheer amount of kitsch it contains. Your show Friday also had his moments, with the pink flowers and your fluffy princess dress… 😛
The whole show will be reworked. I want it less kitschy It should be more of a minimalistic, colorful piece of art.
Do you like garden gnomes? How much kitsch do you allow in your private life?
I hate garden gnomes & there’s no kitsch in my private life!!
Last time I asked what is the most important skill required to become a successful musician, and you answered discipline.
Have you been disciplined the last five months?!
Yes, definitely, I worked a lot these last months. Discipline is essential.
But it’s also important not to give up when things don’t work out immediately. If you have a dream, don’t give up until you reach your goal!
You told me the anecdote of the one time you forgot your lyrics on stage and faked it with pidgin French and you learned how important it is to keep cool no matter what.
I’ll tell you only one word now… treadmill!
Yes, this was tricky!! But only because the treadmill was only 50cm wide and I could not see it in the fog. Hopefully we will have a much larger treadmill at the ESC show, and then it will be no problem.
Last time you said that you couldn’t really understand why people would, every now and then, recognize you on the street. Is it getting better? Did you have time to adjust to your popularity?
Now it’s getting really more noticeable! But I enjoy it and get used to it. It’s great since all the people that start talking to me on the street only say nice things!
What was the most difficult thing to deal with during the live show? And what is the most pleasurable thing that comes with winning?
The tension of the decision was the worst! The relief of the decision was the best!
The most pleasurable thing is that I can show my music to whole all of Europe now, and I hope that we can tour around all the European countries soon.
You get compared to other artists a lot, like Brigitte Bardot for your looks, or Conchita because of the two Eurovision national finals… flattering or annoying?
I don’t know. I don’t mind. I’m ZOË and I hope that people will start to identify myself only with ZOË.
Anyway, comparisons like Brigitte Bardot are really flattering
Last time that we talked you were so amazed at the events that all your energy went into dealing with it… five month later and you have the next huge thing – the Eurovision Song Contest! How do you feel? Still dizzy?
Dizzy, relieved, very very happy and sooo grateful!
Do you have time to breathe?
I don’t, actually. But I love it!
Last time we talked about fashion and you told me you were still searching for your own style. How’s the search going?
I think, as a pop-artist you can have many looks. It is very important to present yourself in different ways, think of Madonna, or Lady Gaga. So, I’m not fixed on one look, I like to change a lot.
I’ve learned that Loin D’Ici is a song about an imaginary paradise and one can read what they want in it… but to me it sounds a lot like a love song!
Et quand tu chantes, oui moi je chante aussi
Quand tu t’élances, je suis
Et quand tu voles, oui moi je vole aussi
Si tu t’élances, j’te suis
(When you sing, I will sing along
When you go for it, I follow
And when you fly, yes I will fly with you
When you go for it, I follow)
You can see it as a love song too, but in fact, it’s meant to describe the journey to an imaginary paradise – a place where everyone is happy singing and dancing.
But it’s true, the song describes this journey for a couple. In paradise, you don’t want to be alone!!
Are you in love?
YES! With Kaspar. And he’s half Swedish. Isn’t that funny?
And maybe also a good omen! Thank you ZOË!