Because it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year – Easter – we are coming with a very beautiful interview with the Croatian contestant Jacques Houdek. We talked a little about his entry and how it was to be Nina Kraljic’s coach at The Voice.
How do you feel about the thought that you are going to represent your country?
Honestly, I am still thinking – really? I can’t believe this! After so many years of hoping to participate at the ESC, finally, I get to do this! Eurosong is a huge thing for me, it is a great honor and I feel so blessed to be able to represent my country, the beautiful Croatia.
How did you react when the Croatian National television selected you as their representative? Did you expect?
Honestly, over the years I have stopped hoping I would ever get to experience Eurovision, so this invite came as a big surprise for me, yes! I’m thankful to the Croatian national television for this once in a lifetime chance and I promise to do my very best to make everyone proud!
Let’s talk about your Eurovision song: „My Friend”. What is the message that stands behind it?
„MY FRIEND” is:
*an anthem, a hymn that celebrates life as a miracle, a song that encourages us to live every day to the fullest and be who we need to be in life.
*a song that reminds us to respect each other and our differences. Let’s just be friends – regardless of our race, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation, social status, background…
*a „2 in 1” pop – operatic crossover duet sung by one vocalist. Two voices, two languages, two characters – two completely different personalities in one person co-existing and collaborating, creating beautiful music and celebrating their diversity.
What are your thoughts regarding the participation in Kyiv?
I’ve never been to Ukraine before, so I am very much looking forward to this trip to Kiev! I’m glad that Eurosong is in a country I never visited before, it gives me a chance to explore it and makes this whole experience even more interesting! I’m looking forward to this contest, it is going to be a tough one though, as the songs are amazing this year. I am also very happy to meet other participants in Kiev, hang out with them and share our passion for music. I’m sure this will result in friendships and maybe even some musical collaborations in the years to come.
We are looking forward to getting familiar with you. Could you tell us who really is Jacques Houdek and how does an ordinary day look for him?
Jacques is just an every day man that happens to be completely and madly in love with music. I am a son, a father, a husband… And a very devoted musician. I often say that I’m in this (music) for better and for worse, just like in marriage or a serious relashionship. I adore music and could not live without it, it is my life!
Last year, Croatia was represented by Nina Kraljic with „Lighthouse”. How did you feel when you saw your „student” from The Voice of Croatia, in the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest?
I cried like a baby! She was amazing, I was so proud of her! Nina is my „kid” in a way, I was her coach on the Voice of Croatia, and we won the first season of the show! These kinds of connections among emotional people like the two of us are very strong, especially when the music is the reason for bringing us together.
What is the biggest challenge that can happen to an artist on the Eurovision stage?
The biggest challenge has to be the stage fright. I am constantly thinking – what if I mess up? It is a huge pressure for all of us, I am sure… We all have to find a way to win over ourselves, our nerves and our fears… I hope I will, for the sake of everyone believing in me and in my song!
Which Eurovision songs do you still have in mind and why are they so special to you?
I adore HOLD ME NOW by JOHNNY LOGAN, it has to be among my favorites… MOLITVA by MARIJA ŠERIFOVIĆ is one of the biggest ESC songs, LOREEN’S EUPHORIA, LOVE SHINE A LIGHT by KATRINA & THE WAVES… There is just too many i love! There are some that did not win or even qualify for the final, but have stayed in our hearts, so, it is not always about winning Eurosong, right?
When have you first watched Eurovision Song Contest and why does it attract you?
I first watched Esc back in 1989, when Yugoslavia won the contest by a croatian pop group called RIVA, and the song „ROCK ME BABY”. I was blown away and immediately attracted to Eurosong, forever! I am not able to let go of this passion ever since, really I am the biggest fan!
What do you think about the song that is going to represent Romania at Eurovision, „Yodel It”? Also, do you have a message for Ilinca and Alex?
„YODEL IT” is really, positive and original, I like it! I think that originality is the key, as there are so many countries and so many great songs… It is important to stand out, more than ever, so Romania stands out! I believe the my song, called „MY FRIEND” also stands out, due to the pop-operatic blend and the whole idea. Fingers crossed for Romania and Croatia!!!
Finally, do you have a message for the ESC on Point readers?
My message is – BE A FRIEND. BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. BE BETTER!
Enjoy Esc 2017 and If you like Croatia’s entry song „MY FRIEND”, vote for us! Croatia loves Romania ❤
Georgiana Eftodi contributed to this article