New Level Empire hit it big last year when their song “The Last One” was one of the biggest favourites to win A Dal and represent Hungary at Eurovision 2014 in Denmark. Ultimately they didn’t win the competition, but they did win fans’ hearts, which has definitely helped kickstart their career. In February they will compete in A Dal again. Zola, the bands lead singer, recently caught up with our Hungarian correspondent Judit to discuss success, fans and their new song “Homelights”.

Your career really took off last year thanks to A Dal. What impact did the show have on you?

We enjoyed every moment of the show! After the final everything happened so fast. Our concert season began in May, and we’ve had a lot of invitations. Maybe we can call this a success. We tried our best to exploit the opportunity that we’ve got.

How was your summer? Did New Level of Empire conquer every festival?

Not all of them, but we had a few! VOLT, SZIN, EFOTT — all big summer festivals in Hungary. We performed at city events, themed festivals and other parties. We have other things to do this year, but we can say that 2014 was a meaningful one. Not to mention that we’ve made our first album, which we presented on 15 December.

Your second song “Wanna Get Over” was a big hit, but what’s even more remarkable is the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 and your song “Hold Your Hand So High,” which was the official song of the event.

The Hungarian Handball Federation contacted us. They really liked “The Last One” from A Dal 2014 and they asked us to write a song for this event. We said “yes” right away to this honorable mission.

Can we say that NLE has become the #1 project in your life?

This is the most important thing in our life, and this makes us busier. In the life of the performers and especially the concert bands and musicians, the summer is the densest period. In summer nothing is more important in our life than NLE, but we have time to realx and focus on other projects.

Do your future plans include the conquest of the international music scene?

Yes, it is not secret intentions, but it is still at an early stage. In 2014 “The Last One” was released in Spain and because of the handball championship, “Hold Your Hands So High” reached many countries in Europe. We’re on it, but the truth is that our Hungarian audience is very grateful and enthusiastic. There is no reason to complain.

When “Hold Your Hands So High” was released, the audience could not have known that you had sent a song again to A Dal 2015.

When our first album was released we had no idea that “Homelights” — the title track of the album— would be in the best 30 songs. When we were writing this song, we had a feeling from the first moment that this might belong there. The music and the lyrics together made a pefect couple and this song has the potential.

Last year, when we spoke ahead of A Dal 2014, you said there’s no strategy to win the competition. What about now?

This year we’re a little more conscious. We focus on the storyteling and staging.

What about the other songs? Have you listened them?

We have not listened to them all the way. I think we will do that directly before the show.

Did you watch Eurovision last year? What do you think about András’ fifth place?

We are so proud, one of the best results in Hungarian Eurovision history!

Finally, do you have a message for your fans?

In 2014 you meant a lot to us. Hopefully you’ll stay on our side and support us, you give us strength. Can’t wait to see all of you at a NLE concert. Thank you for everything!


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Melissa J
7 years ago

I will be cheering for these guys to go to Vienna in May! Best of luck!