Last Saturday she held the Ukrainian flag while delivering an explosive performance at the Eurovision Pre-Party Riga 2017.
But hours before she popped and locked and tore it up on stage, Eurovision 2004 winner Ruslana sat down with wiwibloggs to talk about meeting Michelle Obama, watching Jamala win last year and Kyiv‘s preparations to host Eurovision 2017.
Right off the gate, the “Wild Dances” singer promised us that she was working on even more energetic material than the one that brought her international fame when she won Eurovision more than a decade ago.
“I am preparing you a project with more energy and crazier than ‘Wild Dances,'” she says. “I know it sounds unbelievable, but believe me. We have a crazy mix with amazing elements, which will bring you my energy more than before.” Gurl, we believe ya. And we’re already grabbing a Red Bull.
Ruslana was still giddy when describing how Michelle Obama presented her with a Woman of Courage Award in 2014. “I bring this amazing [award] to Ukraine and show to other people that it’s about us,” she says. “I was really inspired by this event. Thank you again and again.”
She even got to sing for the former First Lady and spoke with her about the situation for women in Ukraine and around the world: “It was an amazing conversation and I’ll never forget it.”
Speaking of Ukraine, the singer assured us that things will run smoothly in Kyiv for the 62nd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. “I ask God every day, every moment for that,” she says. “I promise you guys, it’s about music celebration and nothing more.”
This, of course, is a thinly veiled reference to the entire Julia Samoylova debacle, which a journalist brought at the press conference moments before. Ruslana made her position on the matter clear, saying that Ukraine was right to ban the Russian singer from the contest for breaking the law.
The only issue that Ruslana is not 100% certain about is the acoustics in the hall of the International Exhibit Centre, which she also mentioned at the press conference. But she assured us that this is only because she is a worrywart.
“It’s not a big problem. I spoke with the production team and they promised me that everyone would use in-ear monitors and there will be no issue. Also, with a big audience, it will be better. But that’s how crazy I am — I worry about everything.”
As for Jamala winning the contest last year with “1944”, Ruslana confessed that she was absolutely sure of her friend’s victory. She confessed that she prayed to God that Jamala would bring the Eurovision trophy to Kyiv.
“We needed this win, with Jamala’s strong message, strong voice and strong song. She is a strong woman,” Ruslana says. She also revealed that she had been trying to persuade Jamala to participate and win for a long time.
Lastly, Ruslana had a message for the Eurovision fans who plan on visiting Kyiv in May.
“Ukraine has been waiting for this moment. All the producers and musicians are ready to welcome the visitors with a lot of positive energy, with smiles, with crazy ideas, fresh, original and exotic things. I think you will be inspired. Just visit Ukraine.” We are so ready!
What about you? Are you ready for Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine? Are you visiting Kyiv or will you watch from home? Let us know!
You can watch all of our interviews from Riga in the playlist below.