Objetivo Eurovisión takes place this Saturday and the excitement and eurodrama is building. Ahead of the grand final, we spoke with Paula Rojo — one of Spain’s most famous ukulele girls — who will be singing “Lo que nunca fue” (What never was).
She’s amassed a huge following with her sweet voice and soothing strumming. But it took her a bit of time to gather the courage to enter: “I’ve always imagined myself on the Eurovision stage, but I’ve never considered myself a Eurovision type of artist”. Want to know why? Read on to find out…
Paula Rojo – “Lo que nunca fue”
Hello Paula! You are entering Spain’s Eurovision selection for the first time. Can you tell us the story behind your participation?
My team told me there was an option of taking part in the selection, and I just felt it was the moment. I’ve always imagined myself on the Eurovision stage, because I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl. However, I’ve never considered myself as a Eurovision type artist, and so it took me a while to gather the courage.
Also, in recent years, I’ve seen that the public has begun to appreciate less typical proposals at the contest. I was certain that I was going to enter the contest with something authentic, something mine and honest. I wasn’t feeling like becoming “Eurovision Paula” and wearing a sequin gown or something because that’s not me.
And that’s how we sent “Lo que nunca fue”. We thought it is a song that defines very well what’s going to be my next album. It sounds very Paula Rojo, it’s the music I want to do, and I’m telling my stories. I’m entering Objetivo Eurovisión with all my illusion and all the respect for the contest.
And what’s the story behind “Lo que nunca fue”?
I wrote it two years ago, and I wasn’t thinking about Eurovision. To me, that’s a good sign, because if you create a song dedicated to something, it ends being a bit forced, and I don’t like composing something being forced. Not unless I have the time, and then it’s another kind of project. For example, I did the soundtrack of a short film, but I could see it, get inside the paper and I made a beautiful song that matched the film.
So the story was that I was composing a song with my guitarist. He had a very “country” melody, but it wasn’t really for his group, because he’s more of a rock musician, so I told him “give it to me, and I’ll work something with it”. And that’s how, between the two, we created “Lo que nunca fue”.
For the story, I was inspired by my own experience, as always. I always try to find something I want to tell, and in this case, the story is that of a friendship which could have been something else, but because of the fear of taking the step, it never happened. Then I felt nostalgic, and I was asking myself what could have been if it had happened… and also, keeping the hope of being braver with other relationships.
So you wrote it two years ago. But when it was time to decide for Eurovision, was it clear that this was your song?
We had three songs that could “fit” the Eurovision. Well, “fit”, you know I’m not the most Eurovisive artist ever, but you know, we had three songs to decide from. In the end, we knew it was “Lo que nunca fue”, because it was the song that we wanted to pull out as the first or second single of the album. I really like it, and I have like something special with this song. And TVE agreed, because they didn’t put any objection, so…
You are mostly known as “the ukelele girl” after The Voice. Are you going to play it at Objetivo Eurovisión?
Yes. Actually, I’m not allowed to say much about the staging, but well, it’s evident that I’ll have my ukelele with me. I think my song is perfect for playing with a band, and not like walking round the stage. Also, although I’m a soloist, I like to feel like I’m part of a band on stage, and give my everything with them.
So…will there be more people with you on stage?
I can only say that I’ll be very well accompanied, but I can’t say anything else, or the producers will tell me off [laughs]. No, really it’s going to be a very simple staging, like I am. I’m not going to pretend to be someone I’m not, basically because I won’t feel comfortable and I will not enjoy the experience. And selfishly, I want to enjoy it!
So we’re going to go for something simple, and we’re going to play with “the extraordinary” in simplicity. Sometimes we forget that most of the times, what’s beautiful hides between the most simple things.
Actually, simplicity is something very common for country songs at Eurovision. Did you like any of them in recent years?
Of course, I loved The Common Linnets. That is, in one word, elegant. It was simple, but very elaborated, and I thought it was elegant, so beautiful and captivating.
So let’s talk about the actual Eurovision. You’ve done big things already: you’ve been in The Voice, you’ve been the warm up act for Ariana Grande’s concert in Barcelona… How do you prepare for Eurovision?
I’ll be so nervous if I get to go to Eurovision! But for the moment, I’m not going to think about it until Saturday. I don’t want to think much about it, neither positively nor negatively, because if I think about Kyiv, and I don’t go in the end, then I’ll be sadder. So for now, I’m thinking about enjoying Saturday, and that the people enjoy it as well. Maybe they won’t see me as an act for Eurovision, but at least I hope they say, “Hey, this girl was singing well, she made me feel emotions with her song”. In the end. I’m an artist, and my career will continue after this. I want to give my best, but my career will go on after this anyway.
Talking about your career, you’ve told us that you’re working on your new album. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Well, we’re recording, and we want to release it in Spring. It’s going to be 12 songs, and I see it as a travel back in time. Each song is like a stop, and each stop is a story of things that happened to me in the last few years. Those are the 12 stories I want to tell.
What I like about my music is that people get to know Paula Fernández [her real name] through what Paula Rojo sings. In the end, we’re the same person, and I write about my life, which is the normal life of any 26-year-old girl, but I love that people get to know who I am through my music. To me, that’s so interesting and so beautiful.
So will we find a connection between the 12 songs, or are they just random stories you wanted to tell?
Of course, there’s always a common thread. For example, in this album there’s a song that’s going to be like the second part of a song of my first album. In that one, I sang about my first year at university, and in the second, there’s a song about my first year living in my own home, and I can tell they are so different! But for both songs I had to leave home, and I find it cute looking at the two tunes and saying “look where I was and where I am now”. Also, in the CD there’s stories about my current relationship, about how we fell in love, etc…
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk, Paula! Best of luck tomorrow!
Thank you for having me! Best wishes!
Paula will compete in Objetivo Eurovisión on Saturday. How do you think she’ll fare? Will she be flying the Spanish flag in Kyiv? What do you think about “Lo que nunca fue”? Do you agree with our Wiwi jurors? Tell us in the comment section below!
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