At the Moldovan live auditions last Saturday, Kitty Brucknell, Sunstroke Project and Doinita Gherman shined, as expected. One of the pleasant surprises was Miss M with her powerful song “Lonely Stranger”. We wanted to learn more about this relative newcomer and her Eurovision bid, so we sat down with her for an interview.
First of all, congratulations for reaching the semi-finals in Moldova! What does Miss M stand for? After all, your real name is Anastasia Ursu.
Thank you! Actually, Miss M is a musical project that was born in 2012. Miss M is a comics character that is still waiting to make her debut on the internet. She has some fantastic super-powers, but two of the greatest powers of hers are her sense of humor and of course her voice. We let people decide for themselves about what “M” could stand for. It could be Miss Moldova, Miss Micky or Miss Mishka (which in Russian means “bear”, same as my last name, Ursu, means in Romanian. Our style is mainly dance, pop-house, and indie-house. I myself am the vocalist of this project and I write the songs. Everything that I write, everything that I sing is about me, my life experiences and the things that really affect me. Every single song has a message for young people. I would be happy if my music could influence young people. Why do I say young?! Because they have the time to change something in their lives.
You were born in Moldova, but you reside in Moscow. How come?
I grew up in a small town in Moldova called Balti. After I finished school and I graduated from the College of Music, I was awarded a scholarship at the International University of Slavonic Arts in Moscow. This thing changed my life completely. I moved to Moscow and made a lot of connections in the music industry there. On the second year of my studies, I began to write songs. I think it happened because I couldn’t find “my songwriter”, the composer that really got me for who I was. That is why I live in Moscow and twice a year I come to Moldova to visit my family.
You went to X factor Ukraine last year and, although you did not reach the finals, you were truly amazing from the get-go.
How was that experience for you?
Oh! It was fantastic. I’d love to go through those moments one more time. I decided to go to Kiev in the worst time for the Ukraine. To my surprise, everything was OK in Kiev, except for the barricades. The team from STB channel welcomed me very cordially. The atmosphere behind the scenes was great. It was like magic and it was a good TV school for me. Apart from performing the songs on the big stage, we had to shoot a lot of VT’s and other clips. Three hours in front of the camera, that was stressful, but also very useful for me. I want to thank the X factor Ukraine show for the fans and friends that it gave to me.
It’s not the first time you submitted a song for the Moldovan national selection O melodie pentru Europa, last year you entered “Give Me A Smile” but you did not advance to the live shows. How did it feel to become a semi-finalist this year?
Right! Last year I got less success. Now I feel really happy. And I feel that “Lonely Stranger” can be a mirror for someone, and for sure, it can become some sort of medicine for a lot of people who suffer from depression.
Speaking of depression, we read in the Moldovan press that your song “Lonely Stranger” was inspired by Robin Williams’suicide. That’s unexpectedly dark and the late American actor is a fairly unlikely idol for a Moldovan singer.
Yes, his roles that he played influenced several generations. His characters were role models for people, especially for young kids. He channeled the most beautiful personality traits, such as wisdom, honour, and kindness. It is very tragic that he couldn’t win over his melancholy, his dark side. He lost his faith and his spirit crumbled. I think it happened because of his loneliness. You know, every artist in this world feels alone, and this feeling can either help them create something new and share it with people, or it can kill them.
How soon after his passing did you write the song?
On the night before his death was announced, I had a dreadful state of mind. I felt like I was suffocating. This always happens to me when a song is going to be born, but that time it was unbearable. The next day, I saw the news. With tears running down my cheeks, I wrote the lyrics all in one go. The song is a tribute for Robin Williams.
All this transpired at the live auditions, where you were one of the unexpected surprises. Both your song and your stage presence stroke a chord with the viewers – and obviously with the jury. Do you have any special plans for the semi-final show?
Sure! We’re going to prepare a real show. Hopefully, the TRM stage will be able to accommodate what we have planed. The show will help me to convey the right message to the audience.
Is Eurovision a passion of yours? Who is your favourite ESC act?
Yes, I love this day when Europeans gathers together like a big family. My favourite act is the Ukrainian performance from 2008 – Ani Lorak with “Shady Lady”.
Speaking of the big European family, Moldova is known for being the quirky kid at the table. If you win the national competition, do you think you can match such memorable acts like Zdob si Zdub and Aliona Moon?
Yes, I really want to do this!
Lastly, do you have a message for the wiwireaders and for your fans?
Yes! Dear wiwireaders, enjoy every single little beauty that happens in your life! Everyone has his own unique way, but make it gorgeous! So, like Pharrell Williams sings. “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth”! Be happy!
Thanks again and best of luck in the semi-final! See you in Chisinau!
Photos: facebook.com/missmofficialartist, Ken Hively