Few life events impact people as much as the loss of loved ones. It’s a reality that Blas Cantó understands well, having lost both his father and his grandmother in 2020. The death of his dad made Spain’s decision to re-confirm him for Eurovision 2021 all the more powerful. “It was a miracle,” he tells me on Zoom. “I needed to perform on that stage. I needed to share my music, my soul.”
“When I was writing [“Voy a quedarme”] I lost my dad,” he explains. “It was difficult because I was on interviews, on television, I was recording something for Netflix…and it was like, ‘Oh my God, I need to escape.’ And this song gave me that escape. It was beautiful for me.”
That beauty comes through in the lyrics, which capture the intense emotions that occupy the gap between transience of life and the permanence of loss: “Stay tonight until the break of day, so that I feel your voice caressing me, stay just for one more second, there’s nothing to lose…”
But Blas’s difficult year was only starting. “I lost my grandma to Covid on the first of December,” he says. “The song gave me again that breath, and I recorded and it was so emotional for me.”
Spain’s Blas Cantó on “Voy a quedarme”
For Blas, choosing between “Voy a quedarme” and “Memoria” in the two-song national final was an easy task. “Deep inside of me I thought ‘Voy a quedarme’ was the song to sing for her, for me, for everybody on that stage. It’s been beautiful since that day.”
That has given him a unique perspective on Eurovision. “It’s beautiful,” he says. “When you tell a true story and you imagine yourself on that stage singing your truth and your situation, it’s like, ‘OK, I don’t want to win, I don’t want nothing else but singing.’ I need to express that. I need to do it. And then I go on with my career…but that moment will be forever in my heart and that’s the most important thing.”
The former Auryn boy band member also discusses what it’s like to represent Spain, which, arguably, is home to Eurovision’s most passionate and vocal fans. He sees this as a blessing.
“I think we have a great alliance,” he says. “They tell me things that I don’t figure out — things that I didn’t know, things that could make me feel better on stage. I talk with them and they are so enthusiastic. I appreciate it so very much.”
What else? Well Blas also sings the praises of his stage director Marvin Dietmann, who he says is both honest and direct, but also very kind. He sings a little bit of the English-language version. And he shares his love of Barbara Pravi before teasing the French-language version of his song.
Are you as touched by Blas’s personal story as we are? Does the meaning of the song elevate the performance to you? Let us know in the comments box below.