He won the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 and told Europe “music is not fireworks”. But a year on Salvador Sobral thinks he has failed to change the contest.
“Last year people would say, ‘Now that you’ve won things will change!'” says Sobral in a rare interview with Portuguese paper Publico. “I do not think so. Maybe in the future.”
In the interview, he took aim at Israel’s entry “Toy”:
“YouTube thought I would like the Israeli song. I opened it and a horrible song came out of it. Luckily this year I do not have to hear anything.”
The interview also discusses Salvador’s difficulty with overnight fame.
“I hope to stop being regarded as the winner of the festival and to return to just being Salvador Sobral of music. There aren’t many stories in Portugal history of such instant fame. I was not ready. When I arrived in Portugal, after the victory, it was hard. I was tired of crying. I said to myself, “What did I do?” I could not go outside.
“But then the time passed and people came to respect me. They realise that I don’t like to take pictures for example. Instead they say they like my work very much and I thank them. It’s simple.”
On balance, Salvador does view victory as a positive thing:
“Eurovision has brought me many good things.I went to jazz festivals where I would never dream of playing. I played in Spain in beautiful theaters. Anyway, things I did not imagine and that I owe to Eurovision. So there is a love-hate relationship, but in the balance of what this experience has brought me, I see more positive than negative things.”
Asked about Portugal’s chances this year, Sobral said “political issues” make it difficult. On the other hand, he doesn’t believe Brexit will be a “decisive” factor in the UK’s result.