Eurovision sometimes feels like a parallel universe where boundaries between fans, artists, delegation members and EBU decision-makers are somewhat blurred. Apart from being in constant interaction with artists and other Eurovision-related personas, Eurovision fans often cross the line and become artists or take on other ESC-related roles. This miraculous nature of Eurovision made it possible for me, a Eurovision fan since the age of 5, to make a small dream come true and send a song to a Eurovision preselection. This is my story.

My ambition to write music for Eurovision dates back to my early childhood. As a five-year old, I remember singing a long medley of Eurovision 1991 songs in their original running order until my poor mom couldn’t stand it anymore. I adored Eurovision songs, and as I stood in the middle of the living room singing, I dreamed about holding a real microphone and standing on a real stage. When I was eight I tried to create some catchy Eurovision-like tunes on my piano, and then worked hard to memorize them (little girls didn’t own recording devices back then). In my teenage years I wrote Hebrew lyrics to Eurovision songs that I liked. These lyrics had no connection whatsoever to the original lyrics which I didn’t understand, but they matched the melody and made nice cover versions. Around that time I started fantasizing about writing an actual song for Eurovision. But this dream looked so remote and unreal. You see, writing the song was the easy part. I could do that. But what happens next?How does a song find its way to the Eurovision stage? Who do I send it to? At the start of the 21st century, information like this was hard to find. I hoped that things will become clearer when I grew up. Then I did grow up. I finished school, went to the university, started working my days away. And you know how it is: the closer you get to 30, the scarcer your spare time becomes, and your childhood dreams pop up in your mind less and less often.

Ori poses with Ace Wilder at Melodifestivalen 2014
Ori poses with Ace Wilder at Melodifestivalen 2014

But last May my dream came back to me. I had just gotten a new interactive TV and wanted to try it. I went to Eurovision.tv and decided to watch the press conference after the second semi final. The artists were all sitting at a long table, speaking about what it feels like to qualify for the final. While most artists sat with some delegation member from their country, Carl Espen from Norway sat with the composer of his song, who also happened to be his cousin. Something in the image of the two of them, sitting together, speaking about how they enjoyed working with each other all along, lit a spark and woke up my childhood dream. I suddenly understood that there’s nothing I want more than to sit at this table, because a song that I wrote has made it to Eurovision, and even qualified for the final!

I started making phone calls the day after Eurovision final. During the rest of May and June spoke with friends with whom I could cooperate, with producers, potential singers and people who knew a lot about national finals and the various regulations. But the plot thickened as I learned that despite the high motivation and all the effort, not everything would go the way I wanted. I’m not a professional, experienced m musician which makes existing obstacles even bigger. The final straw came when a singer told me and my friend in the most straightforward way that our song sucked and he didn’t think it could get anywhere. In an instant I thought that maybe Eurovision is only for professionals after all, and I abandoned the project of sending a song to Eurovision. I returned to directing all of my energy to work again, and the months passed by

And then it was October. A Facebook friend of mine wrote that he had submitted a song to the Swiss preselection. I watched him in his video, singing and accompanying himself on his piano, and then it hit me. I didn’t need to make such a big deal of this “sending a song to Eurovision” thing. I’m not a professional musician, so I don’t have to demand so much of myself. Will the world collapse if I just compose something beautiful and sing it all by myself? I could do it for the sake of having a fun experience, and that’s what counts. I crossed my fingers as I checked the deadline for submitting songs to Switzerland: four days were left. But now I knew what I had to do.

Things moved quickly. I asked permission from my friend Gil to use his lyrics which I liked. I composed the song, and recorded it on my piano. I recorded the voice, then decided to have some fun and add some more of “me” as the choir. Gil listened to it and he liked what he heard. In the little time that was left we worked together to create a logo and a name.

And…we were done. And now we have a song that we’re both very proud of. We think it’s beautiful and touching, and most importantly the process of creating it was so much fun! You know what’s fun too? When your friends are excited and can’t wait to hear your song. Or when your song is ranked #48 out of 209 in the popularity rankings. Or when some of your favorites in Switzerland are actually ranked a few places below your own song! It feels kind of weird, also.

Me and Gil sent our song “Miss love” under the name Gilory, which is actually a combination of our first names. By submitting it we both made a tiny childhood dream come true, which is what Eurovision is all about. So if you have some Eurovision-related dreams, whether it’s writing an original song and sending it to some national final, meeting your favorite Eurovision artist, working in showbiz, getting to produce Eurovision one day or even just going to Eurovision and watching it live – I suggest you just go for it. Eurovision dreams are the best! And they’re even better when they come true.

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Erin
Erin
5 years ago

Ori, this is an awe-inspiring experience and a testament to the power of following a dream and living a passion. It’s also a reminder of how we really are a global village with plenty of opportunities that can make us break our self-imposed glass ceiling. I think the Swiss NF process is one of the best examples of being in tune with the Eurovision spirit of equal opportunity and inclusiveness, so it’s a great platform to put your talent to the test. Gilory’s creation is a little gem that can shine with a bit of professional polish, and whether it… Read more »

Ron
Ron
5 years ago

i really enjoyed reading that story, good luck 🙂

Zack
Zack
5 years ago

This is awesome!

Danit C.
Danit C.
5 years ago

Kol hakavod and behatzlacha! I enjoyed your story. Never stop chasing those dreams xx