He won Lithuania’s national final with the song ”Run With The Lions” and will compete in the second semi-final on May 16.
But before he gets to Tel Aviv, Jurijus Veklenko has been on tour across Europe, to promote the song.
And last weekend he performed at the PrePartyES in Madrid, where he also sat down with our Deban to discuss his song, journey and more.
Jurijus Veklenko interview at PrePartyES
This isn’t the first time Jurijus has been to Eurovision.
In fact, he has been a couple of times. First in 2013 with Andrius Pojavis and then in 2015 with Lithuania’s Monika Linkyté and Vaidas Baumila.
Jurijus tells us that as a backing vocalist, he always wanted to represent Lithuania:
“Of course, everyone wants to go to the front when they see the glamour and attention that everyone gets as an artist, the recognition, who wouldn’t want to be in front, that’s pretty much every backing vocalist’s dream come true.”
However, he thinks being a backing vocalist has helped him prepare to be Lithuania’s representative:
“I know how it works now and what goes after what and it’s not any strange thing for me. And I know how the rehearsals work so it’s a lot less stress for me than for the others.”
”Run With The Lions” is a song filled with high notes which doesn’t make the song easy to sing. However, when Jurijus is asked whether he feels that his voice will be stretched too much, he answers:
“I think I have prepared myself and I will keep attending lessons from my vocal coach in Lithuania, so I have to keep this under control. But yeah, I think the amount of rehearsals is not that many for my voice to be strained. So I think I’m gonna be fine.”
As mentioned above, Jurijus has been at the contest before as a backing vocalist. But now that he is representing the country, the experience is totally different:
“I mean, as a backing vocalist, I only saw a small amount of the actual work that has to be put in, all of the interviews, all of the attendants… all of the travelling, that actually kind of sucks, the travelling itself, I don’t like airplanes. But yeah, it’s still is a phenomenal experience and I think every artist that tries to be an Eurovision artist, has to experience it once in a lifetime.”
Jurijus also tells us that he has been asking advice about the journey from former Eurovision representatives of Lithuania, including Donny Montell, who has represented Lithuania twice:
“All of them have said don’t overwork yourself. Just stay as calm and chill as possible because you will have your stress moments at the end, firstly, at the semi-final and if successful, at the final, so just try to enjoy what you have now.”
The meaning of “Run With The Lions”
“The message is that a lot of people these days kind of listen what the society has to say about what they should be, what they should do. And I just want to encourage people to just open their hearts and open their minds to what the rest of society has to offer. And just go free and love who you wanna love, I mean, this is 2019, for Christ’s sake.”
What do you think about Jurijus and his song ”Run With The Lions”? Let us know in the comments below.