fredag 11 februari 2011

Sami Hintsanen wants to bring back some old influences to Eurovision

I met with Sami Hintsanen who is a busy man. Despite his participation in Euroviisut he also continuing to act in the musical Chicago. After today's rehearsal in Turku he went back to Tampere for the show but before that I had a chance to talk to him.

How was your first rehearsal Sami?

It went well. We just fixed some small things with the cameras.

Have you changed something since the semifinal?
The biggest change is that I have new clothes. Otherwise only minor things.

This is your second time in Euroviisut. Last time was 1996.
15 years ago and I had long hair and was 15 kg thinner. I became eight in the final and it was good that I didn’t win. I was too young and inexperienced. Among this year’s finalist I think I’m the only one that has been in the contest before. Weather it is an advantage or not is difficult to say. It was so many years ago.

Is it different this time?

Not such a big difference. The orchestra was gone already in 1996. The big difference is that I’m so much more experienced and I feel more confident in my performing.  A funny coincidence is that the final was in Turku also in 1996.

Can you tell us something about your background and what you are doing?
I’m an actor in theatre and since 1997 I have been in different musicals. Right now I’m performing in Chicago in my hometown Tampere. I am also hosting a TV-show called “Grab the microphone” where professional singers are competing against each other. And after 20 years of thinking I am finally working on my first solo album. It will be published in October.
Privately I have two kids, a son of 7 years and a daughter who is only 10 weeks.

How would you describe your song for those who do not understand Finnish?
It’s a big ballad and the mood in the song is a little bit in Johnny Logan style. The composer Antti Klemola, is a huge fan of Elton John so it has a bit of inspiration of his music as well. The lyrics are about a father who sings to his children that he will be protecting and support them. It represents the situation where I am in my life right now.

Your musical role model?

I’m a big Eurovision fan and I like Johnny Logan and his great songs. He represents the finest period of Eurovision. I hope the competition is going backwards in that sense. Outside the Eurovision world Steve Wonder is the artist that has influenced me the most.

Is Johnny Logan the reason why you participate in Euroviisut again?
Well – there are several reasons. One is that people in Finland see me as a TV-host.  It’s a chance for me to show that I’m a singer by profession plus that my solo album will be released later this year. The other reason is that I want the contest to have a winner like my song. I got the question about what kind of new things I will bring into Euroviisut. My answer is that I want to bring back something old. This is a SONG-contest and that’s why we do not have dances on stage. We hardly move and let the song speak for itself.

If you win, will you sing in Finnish?
We have no decided yet.  Finnish is a difficult language and the lyrics have a lot of Ä, Ö which sounds very strange to people in Europe. I like to keep the same feeling and idea in the song and if we can’t do a proper translation we keep it in Finnish.  But first of all we have to see what happens in the final. There are nine other good songs.
Antti Klemola wrote your song and he participated last year. Have you got any advices from him?
Nothing special. We are good friends since many years. I called him and told him to write me a beautiful song. I trusted in him so I went directly to the studio without having heard the song. And he trusts in me as well. We enjoy performing together. Maybe he will before I go on stage.

Any favorites among your competitors?
It’s really difficult to say. Everyone can win. A personal favorite is the song “Da Da Dam” with Paradise Oskar very much. It’s a James Blunt kind of song.

If you don’t win what’s your future plans?
If I do win, then I’m in trouble because of my busy schedule during spring. If I don’t win I will continue according to the my plan with theatre, my album etc.

Thanks a lot Sami. We wish you good luck in the final.

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