Following her victory in the Netherlands’ Junior Songfestival 2015, Shalisa has had a lot of responsibilities — and we’re not just talking about singing at Junior Eurovision in Bulgaria. She and her fellow Dutch finalists (once a group, always a group!) recently gathered to promote the Junior Songfestival CD and have a meet and greet with their fans. We had a chance to catch up with Shalisa shortly before the performance.
Shalisa, congrats on your victory! How do you feel and what was it like in the days after your win?
It was crazy. First on Sunday I slept for a long time. On Monday a lot of things happened: I was honoured by the mayor of my town, performed both at my primary school and my secondary and had a lot of interviews with radio and newspapers in between. It was a lot of fun! On the day that I won, I was quite in shock: in the morning around 9am I walked in for the rehearsals and in the evening I’ve got a trophy in my hands. That’s really weird!
You play piano during the act. Is it difficult for you to sing and play it at the same time?
If you practice a lot then it’s not that difficult anymore. The key really is practicing.
Will you bring the piano to Bulgaria too?
Not the piano itself — that doesn’t fit in the plane. So in Bulgaria we will have a new one.
In your act there are also two dancers. What do they represent?
They symbolise my song. “Million Lights” is a song about two people who love each other but live too far away to see each other. The million lights stand for the stars, which they both can see. During their dance you can see them leaving each other and going back to each other. We will bring them to Bulgaria too, but the girl dancer will have to change, because she will be turning sixteen this month [and all performers on the Junior Eurovision stage must be 15 or younger].
What will the act look like in Bulgaria? Will something change?
We are still planning. We don’t know the whole act yet. We have to know more about the stage first.
Have you seen any of your competitors yet?
Yes, I did this morning. During a talkshow they showed me a compilation of some of the other countries. But I haven’t listened that much too all songs yet. I’ll do that in some time.
Who are your favourites from those you’ve seen?
I don’t know really. There were lots of competitors, boys… girls… Australia is of course the most remarkeable of all, since it’s so far away. But some children are so young and cute!
I assume you are rehearsing a lot at the moment. How is it going?
We aren’t rehearsing that much at the moment. But soon it will be a lot more I think.
Probably when it’s autumn break soon?
I don’t know actually, I think so. My mom is doing most of my schedule, so she probably knows, haha!
After Junior Eurovision is all over, what are your plans for the future?
I don’t really have plans for the future. But I want to stick to music for sure.
Maybe you would like to represent the Netherlands at the adult contest?
Maybe I will. I think it won’t be the same as “Million Lights”, but I like to sing ballads, it’s really my musical style.
Which musicians do inspire you?
I really like Joss Stone, not many people actually know her, but she’s great! Futhermore I like some older disco music and recently I’m into Beyoncé, I think she’s really great!
You have developed your own look with your hat. When did it start?
It was actually the stylist who started it. One day she just put me in a hat and everybody liked it. That’s were it started. It will surely appear on stage too in Sofia. I will bring my whole collection!
Do you have message for your fans and followers on wiwibloggs?
I want to thank everybody who has voted and supported me. It will not only help me, but also the children of “SOS Kinderdorpen“. And for the people outside the Netherlands: see you in Bulgaria!
Shalisa’s video greeting
Junior Songfestival finalists “Living Our Dream” performance
Pictures: AVROTROS/Dutch Press Agency/Noordhollands Dagblad