Despite the devotion of her growing fan base and high expectations from many critics, Sennek finished 12th in her semi-final — meaning Belgium had to sit out its first Eurovision final since 2014. But disappointment has not gotten the best of her. Inspired by Eurovision and the creative boost it gave her, the singer formerly known as Laura Groeseneken already has plans for the future. She’s taken some extra leave from her job, which gave her the time to have a chat with wiwibloggs. Among other things, she opens up about her non-qualification, handing over her stage dress to a museum and a very special letter she received from the CEO of IKEA Belgium. About not qualifying

The day after the semi-final, Sennek told Flemish newspaper ‘De Standaard’ that “the love and warmth I got here, that is what a person does it for”.

The Flemish website VRTNWS, the news outlet of the broadcaster, delivered an opinion piece a day later. Their conclusion: the staging and visuals strangled the song. “Without a convincing act on stage, every good song falls apart,” they wrote.

Two weeks after Eurovision, Sennek shared her own thoughts with us. “I think the question to ‘why’ isn’t that important to me. Things happen for a reason. I was definitely not devastated: I watched the grand final in the arena in the crowd and enjoyed that so much, together with my team. For me what counts is the whole experience of being there. People were so sweet, and still I get a lot of messages. I’m a proud loser, if you can call it that.”

Support from her IKEA colleagues

As all of her fans know, Sennek works as a visual merchandiser for IKEA. Her colleagues have been supportive throughout her journey, and she received messages from IKEA colleagues as far away as Japan and Indonesia.

“The day I had to perform in the semi, the CEO of IKEA Belgium wrote me a beautiful e-mail to support me. IKEA also posted a message on our internal employee platform. My message box just exploded. I received messages from IKEA colleagues from all over the world, including Japan and Indonesia. From IKEA Italia and Switzerland I got pictures and posters showing they support me.”

“I appreciate that so much in IKEA: getting the possibility to chase your dreams. Being able to do your own thing, next to your professional job. The day before I left to Lisbon my manager announced he will move to Waterloo [a city in Belgium], and we joked about it being a sign for Eurovision. We have a group chat, and I speak to colleagues every day. They have been really supportive, also after Eurovision.”

Eurovision dress now in Fashion Museum of Antwerp

Sennek’s black dress, worn during the semi, is a creation of Belgian fashion designer Veronique Branquinho. Last week the Fashion Museum of Antwerp (MoMu) announced that it had acquired the dress — the first from Eurovision to find a home inside its storied walls.

The museum is currently closed for renovation, but will reopen in the autumn of 2020. It’s known to have the largest collection of work from Veronique Branquinho. The dress was a ‘must have’ for the museum. Sennek went to the museum herself to hand over the black garment.

Is she sad about letting go of it?

“The curator of the Antwerp fashion museum called me to ask if I would be interested in donating the dress. I don’t regret it. It’s like a wedding dress: you’ll never wear it again, but you have a special bond with it. It stays a very unique piece: the masculine trousers and then the feminine overdress.  That was the statement I wanted to make.  It matched my personality, was really ‘Sennek’. I know the conservation of the dress is done in a professional way and the dress will still be there in 100 years. I’m looking forward to seeing the dress in the next exhibition. It was symbolic for me to take the dress to the museum myself.”

Sennek’s future plans

Sennek hasn’t returned to work yet. Instead she’s taking some additional time off to make sense of everything that’s happened. Her future plans include writing news songs, performing and signing a record deal.

“I’m leaving soon for a writing camp in France. Eurovision has given me so much inspiration.  If I want to write new songs, I have to do it now. ‘A Matter of Time’ was really my debut single, and I’m eager to release more music soon. I’m not going to put a date on it. I combined the preparations for Eurovision and my work at IKEA for eight months. Now it’s time for me to be creative and write music and poetry. I’m currently also in search of a record label.”

And what of her future music? “The songs will be like ‘A Matter of Time’: that is what I do, make timeless songs with a bit of melancholy in them”.

She also plans “to make some small appearances at festivals in Belgium”, including the popular Pukkelpop. She will team up with a few other artists to sing a number from Serge Gainsbourg — the father of French chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg and the author of the Eurovision winning song “Poupee de cire poupee de son”.

“My career now just started because of Eurovision. It’s the most beautiful event for a beginning artist. Specially because I had the chance to do it all my way. It’s an ideal platform to bring your music: the Eurovision community is so friendly and honest.  They know how you are, listen to your music and are interested in you as an artist and well informed. It’s about more than just the show. I would recommend it to any other artist!”

Last week Sennek released an acoustic version of “A Matter of Time”:

A message for her Eurovision fans

“Thank you for everything. You have all been so sweet, so supportive. I still get so many messages and I’m trying to write everybody back. The people have been so nice and I just want to thank you. Miss everyone already.”

What do you think? Are you looking forward to new songs from Sennek? Let us know in the comments below!

Read all our Belgian Eurovision news here!

Read all our Eurovision 2018 news here!

Photo: Andres Putting (EBU) / Inset: ALEXANDRU for wiwibloggs

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bastian
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bastian

Never understood the hype for this boring song. Just because its Belgium??? I dont understand the fans sometimes. The song was dull and too dark to do well. From the moment it got released i knew it would do a Finland 2017 and Estonia 2016. Two moody/dark songs that just dont come across. Really, got what it deserved 🙂

Elsa Alves
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Elsa Alves

I have to agree. She is a mediocre singer.

Maldric
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Maldric

im sorry but a “matter of time” is a very nice song, she must feel proud about it

Lola
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Lola

They were partying after their non-qualification in their dressing room and at the bar because they put it aside and wanted to enjoy the rest of the contest, how is that lying? 😀

Zebb
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Zebb

Yeah, albeit me ignored all commentary about how it looked, but having 12th televote result in packed semi-final it could be blamed for real. And still there was Switzerland, visually a confident qualifier.

Bella
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Bella

You watching a video and interpreting what someone is thinking is not « facts », that’s just elucubration.

KESC
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KESC

OFF-TOPIC:

RTS just confirmed that Slovakia will NOT return to the contest in 2019 due to financial difficulties.
Such a pity, I thought that they might return, especially after Czech Republic’s success. 🙁

Vox
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Vox

Yay Sennek article! Can’t wait for more music from her! 😀

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I believe Sennek found her sound and I’m glad to know that she wants to pursue this path. The whole “melancholic indie pop” suits her like a glove. And timeless is exactly something that came to my mind when I’ve listened to her song for the first time. You don’t come up with something as sophisticated as “A Matter of Time” without talent. So no matter what has happened in Lisbon, she’s one of the artists I really want to follow on the years to come. Even more knowing that she’s so down to earth.

Alex
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Alex

Sennek will always be the James Bond queen of Eurovision

MiniPack
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MiniPack

Get out of this website. Thanks

Mohrant
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Mohrant

Sennek had a great song and she’s been a real good sport about her result. It speaks volumes about the kind of person that she is!

Cesar's salad
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Cesar's salad

Great artist. Eurovision is not a matter of the result among the artists but a matter of music and love. Fans take note!

Erasmus
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Erasmus

A Matter of Time was my favourite prior the show, I still listen to it. and I love that she will stick to these genre, it’s one my favourite genres, kind od dark, moody indie pop. I will follow her for sure, and that’s one of the most important things for an artists that he gets new followers and fans