Ramona Nerra is one of the 90 artists who has submitted a song to Romania’s Selectia Nationala. We know her from the Swiss selection, where she competed with the same song, “My Heart Is Still Winning”, while German readers may remember her from the first season of The Voice of Germany. It’s time for wiwibloggs to meet with Ramona and learn more about her journey!
Update: Unfortunately, Ramona Nerra was not picked by the expert jury to advance to Romania’s semi-final. We are surprised and saddened by the news and we wish her to come back to Selectia Nationala in the future. Her song is still winning over our hearts! #TeamRamona
Hi Ramona! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! First of all, you are Romanian but live in Germany – how come?
First off, I would like to thank you for this interview ! I read your blog and voted for you to win again at the UK Blog Awards this year — I guess that makes me a fan! Yes , I am Romanian, but I live in Germany since 2002. I was younger and the decision of changing the country to learn more and become a better artist seemed very easy. But far removed from reality… The very first years outside of my comfort zone turned out to be very rough. However, I decided to chase my dreams no matter what. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Nonetheless, ten years later you were a contestant on The Voice of Germany, which is always an amazing accomplishment for a foreign artist. How do you think this experience has prepared you for your life as a performer and possibly for Eurovision success?
Yes, I had the pleasure of being part of the first season of The Voice in Germany. Great experience! But heartbreaking as well. I assume that Eurovision has some of the features that this show had, only bigger. Not only the song is important, but the whole stage performance and the Eurovision community. And I hope I’ve learned enough to be able to perform on a high level.
You recently performed with Ann Sophie, one of the stars of Eurovision 2015. Tell us more about that show!
Yes. Two weeks ago Ann Sophie was invited to join us on stage as a special guest at our band’s birthday party. The party that I’m talking about is a Fresh Music Live event . We were celebrating seven years of monthly shows here in Düsseldorf. It was my first time singing with this talented young lady and I was very happy to get to know her better, as I am her supporter and fan. In my eyes she was wronged in that whole mess at the German national selection. And I will always support artists who want to be on stage and who aim to be closer and there for their fans! This is one of the reasons I think she should have won the national selection in the first place.
You also collaborated with ATB for “Never Give Up” and “In And Out Of Love”. How did it come about and how was that experience?
Yes. The collaboration with Andre Tannenberg aka ATB started right after The Voice. He had seen me on one of the live TV shows and called one of my team mentors to inquire about a collaboration. Luckily, instead of recording one song as initially planned, we ended up recording two wonderful songs, both released as singles too. Later on I was invited to join him on his USA tour . I am thankful for that experience! Coming from an Eastern European country, it was a dream come true to sing on monumental stages like Los Angeles – Palladium, New York – Roseland Ballroom, plus I was joining one of the biggest Djs worldwide… Amazing, isn’t it?
Wow. Indeed! Speaking of worldwide stages, you have submitted your song “My Heart Is Still Winning” to the Swiss selection as well. How come you thought of Switzerland?
Well , I was initially scared to submit the song to Romania. I knew there are so many talented artists there, and most of them have huge fanbases, so I figured I wouldn’t stand a chance. It was my mistake. At the end of the day, I still believe we have a great song here! I won’t give up so easily just because five people in a jury didn’t let this song come through. They say that 97% of the people who give up their dreams fulfill the dreams of the 3% who never give up. I don’t want to give up!
But do you think you might try to represent Switzerland again in the future?
No… Never… Ever. [laughs]
Alright. Now you’re submitting the song to Selectia Nationala and you’re already considered one of the fan favourites alongside Mihai with “Paradisio”. How do you feel about taking on one of Eurovision’s stars?
Yes, [songwriter] Mihai Alexandru and I decided to submit the song to Selectia Nationala as we strongly believe it will be the right song to bring Eurovision 2017 to Bucharest . It is encouraging to see what a great response this song already has. Competing with Mihai Traistariu or other Romanian pop stars is only empowering me! I feel blessed!
Speaking of Mihai Alexandru, who was also behind Nicola’s “Don’t Break My Heart” (Romania 2003, 10th place), he wrote the melody for “My Heart Is Still Winning”, but you penned the lyrics. Were they inspired from your own life?
Well, Mihai and I felt the music had that happy feeling to it and it didn’t take me long to come up with the story. There is this girl that has been through a lot in her life, many disappointments, many heartbreaks, and suddenly when she’s least expecting, she meets that someone who makes her believe she is the one. Though she is scared to even dare to dream for this to go well, at some point she has to admit that the right person finally arrived in her life and that maybe all the storms she’s been through had taught her to be even more grateful to meet the man of her dreams. Fairytales do happen in real life and it takes a good heart to know one! That’s why the message of the song is that love will eventually win. Because love always does!
Romania’s live shows are less than a month away. If your song advances to the semi-final, have you thought of the staging of your performance?
I do have some ideas about what I would like to do, yes. But I give it more thought when we get there. “My Heart Is Still Winning” is a very powerful song and the live performance shouldn’t be any less.
Finally, do you have a message for our wiwibloggs readers and for your fans?
Yes. First and foremost I would like to thank you all for your support. Even in the hard times you wrote about this song and thanks to you I have to say I didn’t feel alone in this for a moment. So thank you, thank you! And then again, if you happen to like my song please take your time and share it on your social media, spread the word and most of all spread the love. The Eurovision Song Contest is a competition and your active help and support does make a difference! I wish you all at wiwibloggs a great Eurovision season! May your heart win!
Thank you, Ramona! Best of luck at Selectia Nationala!