We’re on a whistlestop tour around Switzerland as we get ourselves ready for Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow on January 31. So why not interview as many of the acts as we can along the way? Today we’re chatting with Andy McSean, the only solo male artist in the final competition.
Hi Andy! First of all, could you tell our readers a little bit more about yourself?
I am a singer-songwriter, born and raised in Switzerland as one of two sons from a Swiss father and an Italian mother. I’m a proud father of two boys. If I’m not traveling around with my music, I’m working as voice-over artist, audio producer and creator of radio commercials.
I just spotted the online form and entered – it seemed to be the perfect moment for that. I’m trying to reach a bigger awareness to give the promoters the courage to book me. It’s a bit of a pity, but today a big name is worth more than music itself. The Eurovision Song Contest is still one of the biggest TV events in the whole world. So, it’s one of the best stages to present yourself and your music.
As a Swiss act trying to make a name for himself and having qualified through the SRF online voting platform, do you think it’s a good thing that international acts can also take part in that process?
It isn’t wrong, but I would prefer the approach to give national acts the chance to represent their own country.
What about your song for the contest, “Hey Now”? Can you tell us some more about that?
It was a great experience as a songwriter to write a song targeted on an event. I’ve tried to imagine the moment of performing the song in front of the ESC crowd. It was my wish to create a happy song with the power to start the crowd moving, clapping or singing along. Lyrically it tells the story of these magic little moments, catching somebody’s eyes on the dance floor – overwhelmed by this character.
And were you overwhelmed yourself when you qualified for the final round?
I didn’t expect it so I was really surprised! They called me when I just arrived at home after the expert-check. After that, I had a glass of good wine – and started working again for the next steps.
What were those next steps? Did they include what you’ll be doing for the final?
I wrote press communications and social media posts until about 3am. Not really “rock n’ roll” – but the music business is at least much work and only a little bit party [laughs]!
My performance at the final should be a good mix of coolness, naturalness and entertainment. In the end, it is the music that should be at the fore. I do like performances with little moves, some interaction with the crowd and the cameras – pretty much fun! I think, everyone notices if you enjoy what you’re doing on stage. It shouldn’t be put on.
What about your fellow acts, who do you see as your biggest competition?
That’s a good question – I think all of the six finalists have the quality to win. It is really subjective! I think Timebelle fit best to my personal taste though.
Let’s talk a bit more about your music. Your debut album, Passenger, came out earlier in the year. What was the process of making the album like for you?
It was absolutely a dream come true. I was writing songs for so many years and tried to implement them with a few bands, but I was getting a bit tired of making compromises. The chance to record the songs the way I imagined from the first note was incredible and gave me a whole new perspective in making music.
So I sent my demos to the producer and we made the arrangement together. After that, we sent the raw track to musicians and they recorded their instruments – finally I played my parts and did the vocals in the studio of the producer. It was an absolutely new world; before, we’ve walked in a studio with the whole band, had to record all tracks in one day, spent all our money – and walked out with just one demo CD. But I don’t want to forget those times because they let me be so thankful for the opportunities I’ve got now!
Are you inspired by any other musicians?
There are so many – and there are a few newcomers hitting the list these days! But most inspiring are guys like Gavin DeGraw, Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) and Rob Thomas (Matchbox Twenty). I really like their songwriting and live-performances.
How can our readers reach you on social media?
And that’s not all from Andy – he’s also reached out to the wiwibloggs readers in this message he’s sent in to us:
Thank you very much Andy and good luck!