A Dal 2014: Interview with András Kállay-Saunders

We’ve all read that MTV could exclude András Kállay-Saunders from A Dal 2014 on a technicality. But it seems like we can all forget the drama. Hungary’s MTV has not released an official statement and Kallay-Saunders’ rehearsals for Saturday’s show are continuing as planned. Despite all the commotion he still responded to our questions, proving that the most important thing for him are his fans. Let’s find out more about him!

You came fourth at A Dal last year, but your song still shot to #1 in Hungary on iTunes. Did you expect that to happen? How did that make you feel?

Last year I came in 2nd place, but thanks to the show my song “My Baby” was a great success. It reached the #1 spot on both iTunes and radio charts. I had no idea that this would happen. I am very thankful for all the people who requested my song and helped make it #1.

Did A Dal 2013 have a positive effect on your career? Can you walk down the street in Budapest or are you constantly followed by fans?

A Dal definitely had a positive effect on my career. Since A Dal I almost have double the amount of fans than I did a year ago. People do stop me on the street, but it never bothers me. I will never forget that they are the reason I exist. I love my fans.

Why did you decide to compete in A Dal again this year?

I’m back for the third time, with the same goal. It is still a big dream of mine to represent Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest. It would be foolish of me to give up. I always say, “Dreams don’t come true by sleeping”. You have to fight for them and never give up.

I’ve read that your song this year is about surviving abuse. What inspired you to write it?

My song “Running” is based on a true story about one of my friends. Unfortunately she was abused as a child. I want to bring awareness to this topic through my voice. I would like for children to know that they don’t have to be afraid to speak up and ask for help.

Are you worried that the song is too controversial for Eurovision and A Dal?

I am not worried at all. Not all music has to be about love. My song may not be the most pleasant topic, but we must face the truth. It happens everywhere in the world everyday.

Your father was a well-known soul singer. How big of a musical influence is he?

I look up to my father (Fernando Saunders)as a musician and the person he is. Many people say we sound alike. I always watched him on stage and was amazed at how he sings from his heart and becomes one with the music. To me hitting high notes and singing flawlessly isn’t what makes you a good singer. I have to believe your every word, I have to feel every sound, weather its pain or happiness. I appreciate the beautiful mistakes in ones voice. Imperfection is what is perfect to me.

Your mother was a model. Does she ever give you advice on how to style yourself or how to look in pictures?

My mother (Katalin Kallay) is my biggest fan. She is always giving me advice on everything, and is never afraid to tell me the truth. She was one of the biggest models in the world so she always has something to say about the way I dress. We don’t always agree, but she has good taste

katalin kallay

Finally, what are some of your favourite Eurovision songs?

Last year I really believed in ByeAlex. I always respect artists who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Robin Stjernberg from Sweden was also one of my favouites last year. When I heard Loreen two years ago I knew right then that she will be the winner. I have many favourites. I would have to sit here for a day to list them all Good luck everyone! Love you all!

He is a nice guy. What do you think of his song? Does he deserve to win A Dal? 

 Judit Sebok contributed this report from Hungary. Follow her on Twitter at @sjudy03 You can also keep up-to-date with the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking