It’s almost here! This time next week we’ll be just one sleep away from Eurosong 2014. As the excitement builds, we talk to the fabulous Patricia Roe.
This isn’t your first time to take part in Eurosong. However, the last time you entered was 1993. Why did you decide to try again this year?
My sister Valerie [Roe] was asked to act as mentor for this year’s contest. As mentor she has to choose the song and singer. She asked me to sing for her. She was sent 1000’s of songs from all over Europe – some were good and some, not so good. I suggested that I should write one and if nothing better came in – and she felt it was good enough – I would sing my own song.
A lot has changed in the last 20 years, particularly in the world of Eurovision. How does the 2014 experience compare with 1993?
In the past, as a song writer, you submitted a song on cassette under a Nom de Plume. A panel of experts deliberated over all the entries and selected 8 songs for the final. My songs were selected in 1992 and 1993. There were no mentors. The song was first heard on Kenny Live – a weekly chat show – one song per week and all 8 were heard in a grand finale, from which a winning song was selected. The song had to be scored for a 36 piece orchestra. Today only backing tracks are used. There was no internet or promotional campaigns and you could not perform the song before the finale. So it’s much more intense now. Hard work!
You were part of the Maltese delegation in 1994. Could you tell us a bit about that?
RTE selected both myself and Valerie as backing vocalists for the Maltese entry. It was great to be on the Eurovision Stage but nothing like singing for your own country I imagine.
You wrote “Don’t Hold On” yourself. Did you write it specifically for Eurovision? Does it have a special meaning for you?
Yes, I wrote it specifically for the contest. It is personal to me. I believe all good songs come from the heart, albeit a broken heart!
Euro-fans still talk about Moldova’s “Epic Sax Guy” from 2010. Do you think your sax-player has the potential to go down in Eurovision lore too?
Doc O’Connor is a world class sax player. He is in constant demand and seems permanently on tour! I feel very fortunate to have him playing on my song. I love sax – it adds so much to the song
Would you consider yourself a Eurovision fan? Are there any past entries which you particularly like?
I love Eurovision. I have always looked forward to it each year. It is such a extravaganza and technically a phenomenon.
I loved Loreen from Sweden – great song, well sung and brilliantly performed.
I haven’t listened to any of the yet. I always take a particular in the UK and Icelandic entries. Neither have been selected as yet. [Iceland have since picked the divisive Pollapönk].
I notice from Twitter that you’ve been getting support from a few famous faces, including Ireland’s 2006 entrant Brian Kennedy. Who else has been in touch? Have they given you any useful tips?
Johnny Logan was in touch and gave me some very helpful tips on how to improve the song. I appreciate, so much, everyone who has supported me – you just can’t take that for granted.
One word I’ve heard a lot regarding “Don’t Hold On” is classy. Will this be reflected in your Late Late Show performance? Can you tell us a bit about what you have planned?
We are still in the planning stages of the stage production. That’s Val’s department. I was rehearsing the backing vocals tonight – so far so good from my end!
Thanks so much for talking to us at wiwibloggs and best of luck on the 28th. Before we finish, do you have a message for our readers?
Thank you for including me on the site. I hope you like the song and that I do it justice on the night (no nerves allowed) I hope I win, it would be such an honour and privilege. Vote for me xxxxxxx
Do you think Patricia should represent Ireland with “Don’t Hold On”? If you do, make sure to vote for her in our poll before 26 February. And keep up with all the Irish news and interviews by clicking here.
Photos: Patricia Roe