His song “Lie to Me” has been making waves in the fandom ever since it was released last fall. And on Monday Mikolas Josef saw the buzz move up a notch as Czech broadcaster CZ released the final line-up of songs for Eurovision Song CZ — its national selection for Eurovision.
On Wednesday, as hype continued to build, the 22-year-old star sat down with wiwibloggs for his first English-language interview. Among other things, he discussed the songwriting process behind his hit, his saucy lyrics, what it was like working with THAT camel in his music video and the fact he was offered Martina Barta’s Eurovision 2017 song “My Turn”.
“I’m really happy that the nationals are going on,” he says. “The last time the nationals went on was in 2008. You can feel the vibe. You can feel that people think differently about Eurovision now here in the country because there is a lot of competition going on. You can switch the radio on and hear people talking about it. It pushes the standard higher and motivates people to do better.”
Scroll down for interview
Both of his parents were English teachers in the past and he attended an English school. And it really shows as he glides through his answers in perfect English.
He’s the runaway favourite in our poll and has enjoyed a wave of support on social media. But he doesn’t want to think of this as a matter of winners and losers.
“I’m trying not to look at Eurovision as a competition, because honestly I think it’s more about people and nations getting together and trying to push each other further…I’m trying to really take it easy on the competition. I’m just here to have fun and see what happens.”
“Most of the people I know from the nationals are my friends. We’re just there hanging out. We’re not trying to take it seriously or go against each other somehow. This is music. You cannot be so competitive about it or it ruins it.”
His song was a long time coming.
“I remember having the first demo version last year on October the 8th. I remember sending it to some friends of mine. It’s been a year that I had it in my pocket and I just waited to release it. Honestly, I enjoyed working on ‘Lie to Me’ the most so far. You never know what’s going to end up on the radio, but I know I enjoyed every second that I worked on it. It was good to finally do something dance-y and really positive.”
Support for the song grew organically.
“There was a huge wave on social media where famous models and famous bloggers started to share this song without me asking for it or knowing them. I was really surprised. Just the fact that it got to the national final makes sense because a lot of people stood up for the song and said it sounded international. The one year wait was worth it.”
His lyrics have raised many eyebrows — they’re cheeky, sassy and at times ambiguous. So we had to ask what he meant with this gem: “By the way she moves, got me making a puddle…”
“I was thinking about sweat. I think making a puddle would be about peeing yourself from excitement, like a little dog. You can interpret it any way you want.”
“Genuinely this song is about a young man having a hard time finding the right woman — or a relationship — and being after a breakup that didn’t end the best way and trying to get things off your chest, but in a positive way. This is about hard times that you’re going through and not getting swallowed by the negativity. I try to take the negativity, transform it in myself somehow and spit it out in a positive way so it’s dance-y and people can be happy when listening to the song.”
Initially he wanted to include a bear in his music video rather than a camel, “but then I learned that it’s not legal to be shooting with such animals, and I went for a camel. The lady was really fun. She said, ‘he really loves music. he’s really friendly.'”
“He took about three rides with me around the studio and I kind of panicked. But it was fun….sometimes he moved. Some people asked me, ‘is this CGI?’ but the camel was actually there. Sometimes he did the moves.”
Mikolas Josef was offered “My Turn”
He also opened up about last year’s internal selection, which saw the Czech broadcaster approach him to compete. How far did those talks go?
“They went really far. The thing is last year they chose a song, which ended up being the song Martina sang at Eurovision [“My Turn”]. I didn’t really connect with the song. When they contacted me and asked me to put some vocals on the song I said, ‘I don’t think I would be comfortable with this because it’s not really a reflection of myself.’ To be an artist and try to put yourself into something you don’t feel and trying to share it with the people wouldn’t really make sense. So I said let’s see next year. That’s how far it went.”
Are you loving Mikolas’ personality? Do you think his song could make an impact at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments box below!