Dansk Melodi Grand Prix — Denmark’s national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest — will take place in Aalborg on Saturday, 7 February. But before the euro-pop magic unfolds, we had a chance to speak with one of our favourites Andy Roda. He’s competing with the song “Love is Love”, which resulted from finding love in his own life.
Hello Andy Roda! Congrats for making it to the Danish national selection, Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. How do you feel?
Thank you Ramadan and wiwibloggs! I feel so good, excited, ready and focused. Most of all so proud, honoured and appreciative for this opportunity.
What made you decide to submit a song for DMGP 2015?
I was part of the experience three years in a row, singing backup. The network asked me several years in a row, but when Love is Love came to be last Summer, through the magical reunion of my longtime friend Maria H Jensen and I, and the fact that I found new love, it all was a beautiful expression of life, which came together in this song. I had been working on finishing my new album (out soon) so the moment we wrote “Love is Love”, I just knew that I was ready, and now was the perfect divine moment to share my song and message with Eurovision and the world too.
Some readers outside of Denmark might not know much about you. Could you tell us about yourself?
I am a singer, songwriter, producer (engineer) and visionary. I reflect on life, and therefore write and sing about life. I grew up singing in church, so my aim is to spread the good news about love, and to inspire others to follow their dreams and live your life to the fullest. I released my debut album Dish on Virgin Records, and have since lived and released music in the US (I lived in NYC), the Philippines, and Europe. In fact I have toured as a lead vocalist for the platinum selling act Safri Duo for the past 4-5 years. I sang as a backup for Basim’s “Cliché Love Song” which represented Denmark last year, and now it’s my turn to spread my message of “Love is Love” with my song co-written with my good friend Maria H. Jensen, at this year’s final for Denmark 2015.
Your song is called “Love is Love”. What’s it about?
It’s a culmination of many things. But the most poignant one, is that I met love (again). To be able to wake up next to the person you adore in life, is a gift. I want everyone to experience this. Love is not always easy to find, so when you do, you want everyone to feel this life force move through you! Love is what we all come from. It’s the Source behind everything, and therefore it’s what connects us all. It’s a song with a deeper spiritual meaning to me, which is why this is the PERFECT song to share on such a huge platform, because at the end of your life, this will be the most important thing you’ll remember. The love you shared and the love you received.
Have you heard the other competing songs in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix? If so, which are your favourites?
No. I have chosen to stay out of the “competition” mindset, and stay focused. I think it’s like the Olympic sprinter who is about to run the 100m. His task is to leave the outside world, stay focused on the goal, and perform to the best of his ability.
What do you want to get out of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix?
I love that it’s a celebration of life through music. It’s a world community experience. So for me to be able to not only represent my home country Denmark and also my roots the Philippines, where my parent are from, would be an astonish honor. The fact that I at this time in my career get to share my gift and music on such a world platform, is so exciting, yet on a more profound level, something that I hope will inspire others to keep breathing life into their dreams, and to always stay focused and true to their calling in life.
Have you followed Dansk Melodi Grand in previous years?
Actually it’s part of my childhood, so I have lots of great memories from this event.
You showed us your moves last year with Basim. Can we expect some great choreography this year?
I can’t reveal too much, however I will say that I have the gorgeous multitalented dancer/artist Mynte Lagoni with me on stage, sharing some very lyrical and intimate and beautiful moments. The rest you’ll have to find out by watching Dansk Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday!
Last year you were there to support Basim. Is it hard, as an artist, having to play a supporting role rather than being centre stage?
Well, it’s just different. As a a professional musician since I was a teenager, understand the mechanics of this business and look at every opportunity to grow more and more into my own light. In the end, music is really a collective effort, so whether it is as lead singer or singing harmonies, everything has the same validity. Though I feel more ready than every to really stand in my own truth and potential, so it’s the right timing to stand as the front man leading my parade of LOVE with my song LOVE IS LOVE!
When did you start thinking about competing this year? Was it immediately after your Eurovision experience?
The network asked me several years in a row, however, as mentioned, when “Love is Love” came to life, I just knew it was the right time and moment for me to share my message as a lead singer.
Are you a Eurovision fan? Do you watch Eurovision yourself?
I do. However, for the past few years I’ve been working as part of the production (vocalist) so it’s limited how much you actually watch, cause I’ve seemed to always be on the go while being part of the show.
Who’s your favourite Danish act from Eurovision?
Several, but a childhood memory is Birthe Kjær’s VI MALER BYEN RØD and Kirsten and Søren’s duets!
What would it mean for you to represent Denmark in the biggest song contest in the world?
I would be extremely honoured, proud, grateful! Not only would this be a testimony of many years “journey” as a working and touring musician, but also this would reflect the many prayers and well wishes from my family and friends and people who’ve supported me since I was a child. I would really be honored for this to be a pinnacle of our collective dreams and hopes coming true, and on a spiritual level, it would be a testimony of the greatness of the universe or God, or whatever you want to call that Life force that lives inside each of us. The fact that I would be able to live out my dreams, I hope would inspire and uplift others to follow their hearts as well. In the end that is my main purpose in life. Share my light so that others may share theirs too.
What musical styles do you like?
I love all kinds of music. Soul/jazz/pop/house/electronic and I grew up singing Gospel in church – so the core of this music – sharing love and light is the heart of my ministry.
Have you always enjoyed music?
Yes. It’s as essential to me as breathing.
The simple yet profound word: FOCUS.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Kim Burrell, The Clark Sisters, Lalah Hathaway, Prince, Janet Jackson and MAAAAAANY MORE.
Do you have a message for the readers of wiwibloggs?
I would like to congratulate all the other contestants and wish us all well. This is a celebration of our gifts, so I thank everyone listening – for allowing me to share my message of love.
May it bless your heart and may the fact that I am living out a dream of mine, on stage, inspire you all to live your dream. As my song says: “LOVE IS LOVE, NO ONE CAN JUDGE US, JUST FOLLOW YOUR HEART AND REMEMBER WE ONLY GOT ONE LIFE TO LIVE!”
Thank you for the interview from all of us at wiwibloggs. We wish you the best of luck in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2015!