She’s the only singer ever to sing in Crimean at the Eurovision Song Contest. And since then Jamala has made her big name even bigger, performing around Europe and maintaining a strong connection to the contest. Recently the Eurovision 2016 winner sat down for a chat with Wiwiblogger Katie over Skype. They discussed her new single “Solo|” as well as the filming of the high-fashion music video. We asked her thoughts on Maruv and those “uncomfortable questions” from journalists — and boy, did she spill the tea!

All of the drama from Vidbir left Eurovision fans wondering whether there was any tension between Jamala and Maruv.

But Jamala clarified for us that she supports Maruv and there is nothing but camaraderie between them. “She is a really good performer and honestly we are friends.”

“I was upset that some Eurovision fans blame me for the fact that Maruv did not participate. I can say right now that I had nothing to do with it and that I support her.”

Jamala is upset that Maruv did not sign that infamous contract, but recognises that it was Maruv’s decision not to sign.

“I think she would have looked really great there — I think she had a really good song. I gave her five points and I really helped her sing it. I gave her some advice about how to sing more strongly. I told her to put in the guitar and she did. I said it in the Semi Final, and as you know, she was the winner of the National Selection.”

Following her meme-tastic comments during the Vidbir Final, Jamala is the latest in a line of Eurovision stars to call out the gruelling schedule during Eurovision week, especially in regards to press interviews.

“Honestly, in my opinion, that is the hardest thing about Eurovision. Not to sing, not to perform, to give interviews every time. There’s a lot of interviews and you have to be ready to answer any question.”

Jamala was all too happy to tell us about her new single “Solo” and why she loves it: “I listened to it and I said ‘wow, what a great song’. It’s an anthem! For some, it’s about being okay with being alone, for others it’s about saying goodbye… ‘Solo’ for me is a really deep and meaningful song”.

She also revealed that the “Solo” music video is her favourite so far. She explains her three looks for the music video and the symbolism behind them. Her pink costume represents a woman’s sensitivity, while her red outfit symbolises a strong, independent woman. Her final artsy look is all about elevating yourself and becoming a better version of what you once were.

Jamala has promised that she is working on new music in both English and Ukrainian. She is also planning collaborations with hip hop artists — we can’t wait to hear what she has to offer next.

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John
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John

Arrogant, self absorbed jerk.

Taco
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Taco

I saw Jamala in Amsterdam during Eurovision in Concert. She did not sound that great, I did not think her song was that good and she was almost shy. I was surprised she won Eurovision, but although I still did not like the song very much, I had to admit her performance was great. But since then…Jamala has turned into an overly secure , maybe arrogant person (at least in my opinion and from what I saw of her) She thinks she is the bomb , and she has influence. Even now in this interview, on the subject of Maruv… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Jamala’s questioning of Maruv during Vidbir was cruel and completely out of line. For me she no longer is a winner.

Rumpelstiltskin
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Rumpelstiltskin

Jamala is canceled. What she did to MARUV during Vidbir is unacceptable. Extremely tacky of her.

HBau
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HBau

I love Jamala, but I didn’t love her questioning of Maruv. Partly it might be a lost in translation thing, and I get that the issues are very raw and personal for her, so I have moved on. Solo is great!

Roelof Meesters
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Roelof Meesters

What she said during the live show ofc didn’t fit but it was a topic that was obviously going to come up in the interviews but it would have been better if she would have prepared her for those questions backstage. The ONLY reason Jamals got the “blame” for the MARUV situation was because she asked her question in English, from what I’ve heard the host and other judges said way worse things, but only Jamals got turned into a meme. I still love both Jamala and MARUV- Jamalas win was TOTALLY deserved.

Wolfgang Krantz
Guest

It’s a shame that you offer Jamala a platform like this to promote her new single.

What she did in the national final is absolutely unacceptable. She treated Maruv like a little child and offended her in front of all the viewers. Her political question to Maruv in front of all the whole nation looked like a Grand Inquisitor in the Middle Age. Absolutely inexcusable. Now she says: “I did nothing wrong. I supported her. I gave her singing tipps” – ridiculous and hypocritical.

I never want to hear or see anything from Jamala in the Eurovision Song Contest again.

Hatari sigrati
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Hatari sigrati

I agree with you so much. The fact that she asked in English proves, that it was on purpose – so the world understands.

Azuro
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Azuro

She’s been around for 4 years now (16, 17, 18, 19) and I’ve never once heard her sing a note in tune!

Ron
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Ron

I still can’t understand how Jamala won in 2016. It was such a strong year. I seriously thought Australia, Russia or Armenia were gunning for the trophy.

Charles
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Charles

When certain songs own a very authentic story specially one that is so honest that upsets those who wish to pretend everything is rainbows and unicorns in the world, then you have a winner … But if you can’t look from outside your own personal taste, then you can never understand how a certain song wins Eurovision outside of your own bubble. Pop trash and mainstream generic pop fit your personal taste narrative better than listening to things that say probably way more than what you are willing to listen to, feel and understand. Both worlds have crashed and burned… Read more »

KESC
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KESC

Because Jamala had the best performance that night. ‘You are the only one’ was overrated due to its staging and the fact that it was sung by Sergey, who is very popular in the ex Soviet states. Lovewave was pretty good actually, but I heard that a lot of people preferred the semi final performance to the grand final one. Plus, waving the flag of Nagorno Karabakh might have costed her some votes as well. In addition to Jamala, Dami Im had one of the best performances as well, but she lost a lot of votes due to the fact… Read more »

Jo.
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Jo.

Dami Im lost because her song wasn’t any special. Sound of Silence is a generic jury bait. That’s why she lost.

Nikki
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Nikki

The question was weird and out of place. I can’t imagine people at You decide or OT asking about Northern Ireland or Catalonia status to the participants. And the fact that Maruv withdrew made the whole issue bigger. If Maruv had gone to Tel Aviv and made it to the Top 10, most of us would just be brushing the question as one of those weird things it happen in the NF season.

Patrick
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Patrick

Don’t care for her at all! And asking that question made me dislike her even more!

INAMOO
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INAMOO

I cannot blame her that much but her “uncomfortable question” moment made her more iconic. I would rather hate on Filatov and that arrogant Vidbir host even more, especially when they have wronged Anna Maria on live television.

Ellen
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Ellen

For me she will always be the winner who won just because the juries didn’t care much about her.

Jo.
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Jo.

She is right about those interviews…why so many press conferences? Most of the questions are the same stuff…
what’s the message of your song?
why did you decide to do Eurovision?
which colour of the rainbow is your favourite?
srlsly….
most of those “journalists” don’t even read the lyrics of the songs…

Tom
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Tom

BANG!

Anita Mann
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Anita Mann

True… and way too many bloggers getting access – fans parading as journalists!

Tusan
Guest

Real journalists ask real questions. In order for artists and the public to have an interesting press conference, you need to have real journalists who ask stimulating questions the public really wants to know the answers to. This is where 90 percent of journalists fail so everyone gets bored of them.

Skiwalko
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Skiwalko

Poor Jamala. I know I’ll get disliked, but honestly she was destined to get so much hate from the fandom. Firstly she won in 2016 with a great song and performance talking about her grandma’s experience that affected her very much. Whether the choice of the song or the voting itself was political is debatable, but either way it was not her fault. And many people were embittered, either by supposed political subtext of her song or the fact that the fan favorites (Australia and Russia) didn’t get the trophy. Later, during this year’s Vidbir we all know what she… Read more »

Jonas
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Jonas

That “advice” could have been given off-camera, after her victory. I like Jamala, I think 1944 was a worthy winner, but the Vidbir episode was not right.

Azaad
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Azaad

This is all true. I don’t think Jamala phrased the question all that well, but you’d think she personally intervened to force the contract upon Maruv herself the way some fans carry on.

funkerman25
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funkerman25

Eurovision fans don´t understand what military occupation means. They only think of how their eurovision party night was ruined by one less contestant. Jamala did nothing wrong by asking that question.

Tusan
Guest

@funkerman25 Finally. Thank you. There is a WAR between Ukraine and Russia. Wars affect literally every aspect of a country`s life and Eurovision is not immune either. We just have to accept that and move on.

INAMOO
Guest
INAMOO

Unfortunately, that “uncomfortable question” moment was an opportunity to stir drama on live television (views and ratings like other tv shows). Jamala is not even the root cause of this but served as a catalyst in this kind of mess that the Ukrainian broadcaster want to inflict on their artists like Maruv. She may have no other choice but to comply and have to ask that uncomfortable question. Jamala had some faults but it is definitely not that big as what fans have thought about her.

Fatima
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Fatima

“the hardest thing about Eurovision … not to sing, not to perform, to give interviews every time”
Didn’t Amaia say the same sort of thing? Then perhaps the fault is with us, the Eurovision cognoscenti, for demanding too much from Eurovision performers. They’re frightened of saying no in case this generates negative publicity on fan sites and with us commenters.

Joe
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Joe

Yeah, whenever an act isn’t in the mood to give interviews, they’re called aloof or uncaring for their fans. Things are hard enough as is, given that the contest is basically the World Cup of music. Get your questions in by email or during the pre-parties and let them spend the two weeks when they’re actually there preparing and sitting in on the occasional press conference.

Jonas
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Jonas

That’s the problem, the “press” are actually fans. Interviews are appropriate only when a certain standard of journalism is met (which Wiwi does, of course) and I think the bar for getting a press pass should be raised. Close-up access to the participants should not expected as part of the fan experience.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

This is true- everyone talked about how rude Zala and Gaspar were but they always seemed lovely with Wiwibloggs- the thing is, Wiwibloggs has actual journalists who know how to be good interviewers.

Fatima
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Fatima

Perhaps do not cut the accreditations, but lessen the press conferences or limit questions to the press conference itself. Before big marathons athletes usually meet the press just once. At Eurovision they have to do it after each individual rehearsal and then after the semifinal, if they qualify. Plus the red carpet. It’s too much. I think the semi-final press conferences can definitely go, they are too late on a day when the artists have already performed twice. They can easily do the halves draw in the semi-final, which would make that programme more compelling.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Knowing the community they’d probably get trashed for saying no to an interview.

Mish
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Mish

She’s like that one person in your office you never spoke with but somehow know they’re annoying af

Meckie
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Meckie

Some people just cannot admit their own faults, right?

Justice
Guest
Justice

I only blame her for being a b**** and never liked her to begin with. Too bad she won Eurovision, but hopefully she’ll never return. “Jamala is upset that Maruv did not sign that infamous contract.” Cool, so above everything else, she supports slavery? I bet she did not have a similar contract in 2016.