Headed into the final of Germany’s Unser Lied für Israel, the duo S!sters were last with the bookies. When they won both the televote and the jury vote on Friday evening, you could feel their surprise, which almost seemed like shock.
Sharing the joy was Laurell Barker, the Canadian songwriter who penned their entry “Sister”. Laurell, who is also a killer singer herself, caught up with us moments after the show. The stage was literally being dismantled, so that’s why you’ll see us scooting from stage to hallway to lobby in real time. Keep it moving, right?
So was Laurel, who already has at least one other song at Eurovision 2019, actually surprised to have won?
“I was completely in shock,” she says. “We had quite a week leading up to this and I just had no idea how the song was going to translate.”
“This competition is so fierce. All of these songs are absolutely amazing. All of the vocalists are mind-blowing. This is the toughest competition I’ve seen this year. By far!”
The staging saw the girls having to hit marks on a moving turntable — all surrounded by smoke and raised slightly from the stage. To be frank, they seemed lost at times and I was worried they might slip off the edge. Was Laurell concerned about the choreography and movement?
“That’s why I was so worried. They were thinking and thinking in the first few days. Trying to get all the steps right. We simplified some of the choreography. The stage was wobbly.”
Voting all over the place.
“I told myself if we lose to any of these people I’m OK with it. Makeda’s voice. Wear your love — hello, total bop! That’s why we’re a bit, ‘What just happened?’ We won the jury vote and the public vote. I literally cannot believe it.”
The song is all about the conflicts that emerge between women and the tendency for some ladies to shove their sisters down.
“When I wrote this song, I was feeling something….it struck a chord with other people in the same way it did with me.”
“I can relate to this song because I’m the youngest of three sisters. But it’s at large about women who, aren’t necessarily related, but who may feel intimidated or just thrown down by each other. It’s about making space for each other in the workplace and in life and in society. There’s room for all of us to be strong and powerful if that’s what we want to be. I’ve totally experienced the opposite. We’ve even experienced it here.
“I think anyone that’s marginalised is in a difficult position because there is so little room for us. This is not just about being a white, male with privilege. It’s really about rather than fighting for those spots, encouraging each other to fight for those places and make more space instead.”
Are you loving Laurell’s candidness as much as we are? Do you think she has a Eurovision winning song on her hands? Let us know down below!