British singer Kitty Brucknell made a splash in the Eurovision ocean when she announced that she would enter the Swiss national selection. Love her or hate her, she is one of the biggest names of this national selection season, and her bid for Moldova has not gone unnoticed. After the live auditions, where her song “Remix” was surprisingly selected over the more popular “Yearning”, we simply had to sit Kitty down for an interview. The bubbly and very talkative singer did not shy away from any question and was as open and honest as ever. This is one of the reasons we love her.
Hello Kitty! We are very happy that you could talk to us again at this busy time, and congratulations for qualifying in the semis of the Moldovan selection. What were your thoughts when you heard your name, followed by “Remix”? Were you as suprised as everyone else that “Remix” went through over “Yearning”?
Hi! I’m so happy to talk to you too! I am so excited about everything. It’s always so much harder for international artists representing another country to get juries behind them, so I was happy beyond belief! It’s nice to have been accepted into such a prestigious event by organisers and fans.
“Yearning” had been submitted for Switzerland and perhaps the jury thought that if it hadn’t got support to qualify over there then perhaps it wouldn’t have support in other places if it was to represent Moldova in Vienna. I love performing both songs. “Yearning” had always gone down best with fans, but I expect that was also because of the additional publicity it had received through the Swiss national selection.
What are the best aspects of “Remix”?
One of the writers for “Remix” is Charlie Mason, who of course won last year with “Rise Like A Phoenix”. That’s a great name to have on the track! I’ve worked with him on a few songs and he’s an amazing lyricist. “Remix” is also a really happy song. So many of my tracks are dark and brooding and I get really intense with it all. But when I hear “Remix” all I want to do is jump around on my bed and sing into my hairbrush! By the way, my manager has a theory – when you hear a song for the first time, if you can sing it in the voice of Britney Spears and the song sounds like it could be a hit… then it’s a hit. Try it with anything! It works! [laughs]
So you are happy with the jury’s choice?
Now that we’ve had time to think about it, I’m really grateful and excited they picked it. “Remix” is such a great track and there’s so much we can do with it performance-wise. I’m actually going back into the studio this week to do a cracking final version. We want to really beef it up with some live drums and give it a more of a “performance” feel. I want to create more light and shade within the song, but still have that thumping chorus. I have a lot of ideas!
Last time we talked, you were getting ready for the Eurovision selection in Switzerland. Obviously that fell through and we were sad that “Yearning” was not considered. Do you have any bitterness about Switzerland not shortlisting your song?
Not at all! We were obviously gutted not to qualify and somewhat surprised because I know that the song had so much online support from my fans, and Eurovision fans alike. But it’s led to something else and to have so much support from people across the continent is really exciting. Sometimes fate can take you in unexpected directions.
You told us that you would only try in Switzerland. What made you change you mind? And thinking back, do you regret not sending “Remix” in for the Swiss selection?
To be honest, I think the Swiss selection wants Swiss artists. Which is absolutely fine and I probably should have researched that a bit more! Whoever represents the country – I wish them the best of luck! You can’t win them all, so there’s no hard feelings. Anyway, after we had time to look at the stats for the Swiss voting and my social media interactivity over the period – we noticed that there was a huge amount of support from Eastern Europe, so when we heard that this year Moldova would be looking for international artists as well as local acts – I had to give it a shot! I was actually going to submit another song I wrote, which has a very Eastern sound to it, but after looking at the kind of music that does well in Eastern Europe and the country’s recent entries, I felt that “Remix” and “Yearning” were the best bets – and I’m so grateful and glad that our gamble has paid off!
To the delight of your fans, you’re documenting every step of the road to Moldova on social media.
When you look at the Eurovision Song Contest fan base, you can see that it’s a family and community of fans across the globe! But to some extent there’s always an invisible barrier between fans and the artists they support. It was really important to me to share as much of this experience with fans as possible. I’m always posting on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram! I’m addicted. I want my fans and Eurovision fans to know that my journey is because of, and with them, all the way. Being able to share the journey so far has been great!
What did you make of Moldova and Moldovans?
Moldova itself was awesome, and I’ve got even more photos to share as well. We went around sightseeing a bit! I’ve got my VT/Postcard to do for the TV semi-finals – so I’m going to do a bit from London, and then a bit from Moldova.
I love the country! It was really fantastic, and the food over there is incredible. I can see myself putting on an insane amount of weight if I’m not careful! And I can imagine especially in the summer it’s a great place to be. I would really love to see more of it – we are coming back in February to tour and promote the song, so hopefully I’ll get that opportunity.
I’m also learning Romanian! It’s similar to French and Italian, so it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. If I’m going to represent a foreign country, it’s only right that I learn their language.
Right after performing live in Moldova, you took to Twitter to say that it was nerve-racking. Considering your X Factor experience, some fans were surprised. What made the live auditions in Moldova so tense?
Performing in a contest is always going to be nerve-racking as the outcome is almost sure to change your life. I have worked hard to get where I am. The Eurovision Song Contest is such an amazing thing and very different to the X Factor. Almost incomparable. This means so much to me it’s unreal – and of course, it’s a song contest, not a singing contest; there’s a big difference. There are so many amazing songs and talented artists in the contest. I’m proud to be in the semi-finals, and proud to show off my pink and purple wig to Moldova!
After listening to the other songs and waiting for the results, did you expect to advance to the semi finals?
A few people came up to me after I performed and complimented me on my performance – I was so surprised! Even ‘Epic Sax Guy’ came up to me. It’s definitely given me a boost. And no, I didn’t expect to advance at all. In contests with as much talent as this, you can never just expect to be safe. I was saying over and over that I didn’t think I’d make it – I need to be more positive! I actually have a really embarassing video that my manager took when they called out my name. My heart was pounding ridiculously fast and then I was so, so happy when they said my name!
Also on Twitter, before the jury decision was announced, you said something to the extent that you were rooting for “Yearning” to go through and that “Remix” is more difficult to perform. Does this fact make you worried about your semi-final performance or do you take it as a challenge?
It’s 100% a challenge. But that’s what makes these things so exciting. There’s a LOT of fun things I’m planning to do with “Remix”. I really want to hammer home the message of the song. I always said that I wanted to give people something different. My fanbase are called “Kitty Divas” for a reason – no matter who you are, or where you’re from, you can be a Kitty Diva and it’s a licence to be free and believe in yourself. It’s not so much a fanbase but more like a family. I follow all my fans on Twitter! I’ve become really close friends with a lot of them, because we all have the same dreams and hopes and I want them to feel like they are part of something special.
But what do you have to say to those who think that “Yearning” was the better song and that you were screwed by the jury?
Both songs are great. “Yearning” was definitely easier to sing, but that’s just a more interesting challenge for me. The jury know what they are doing, and they know what Moldova wants and Eurovision wants. I’m insanely grateful for being chosen and I will seriously BRING IT in February.
Speaking of February, have you had time to think about your semi-final performance? Will you have dancers and backing vocalists?
Well, you’ll have to wait and see! But YES and YES. With all the trimmings. I’m coming at this like it’s the Grammys. No expenses spared! My manager even said to me, “Kitty, you do realise this isn’t the Brits?” – but to me, it’s so much bigger. I’m going to treat it like it is; I have some incredible plans that you’re going to love!
Wow, that’s exciting indeed. Now, how do you think the Moldovans will react if you win, rather than a Moldovan act?
If I do win, that means the people of Moldova have voted for me, and that’s proof enough that they’ve accepted me and that they’re happy for me to represent them! I want to give the people in Moldova something to root for at Eurovision this year. I’m probably very different in terms of the kind of artists they have usually, with my wigs and my costumes and everything but I think that’s a good thing! It’s great to be different and it’s great to be competing in this. I’ve got some great things in the pipeline if I get through, and I can give Moldovans a stage show they won’t ever forget and can be proud of.
That’s the spirit! Lastly, do you have a message for your “Kitty Divas”?
Divas, this is OUR journey! Let’s do this!!!
Photo: Josh Smith