Roxen will represent Romania at Eurovision 2021 with her song “Amnesia”.
Roxen was originally due to sing “Alcohol You” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, just like several other countries, Romania rested its usual national final for one year and internally selected both Roxen and her song.
Let’s take a look at 10 facts you need to know about Roxen. Let’s do this!
Romania at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Roxen
1. She’s a Cluj native
Born as Larisa Roxana Giurgiu, the “Alchol You” songstress hails from Cluj-Napoca. It’s one of Romania’s biggest cities after Bucharest and is mostly known for its history, the famous Untold festival, and local football team CFR Cluj — Romania’s reigning champions and one of the big surprises in the 2019/2020 European cup season.
2. She’s a soccer fan
Speaking of football, Roxen does have an admiration for the beautiful game. But not for the “cherry red” (pun intended) team mentioned above. Instead, she’s a big supporter of CFR’s fierce rivals Universitatea Cluj. They currently play in the second tier of Romanian football.
3. She’s a rising star
Although she’s been involved with music since she was seven, Roxen’s career only kicked off properly in 2019. She was featured on Sickotoy’s “You Don’t Love Me”. The single charted in Romania and Bulgaria, and received airplay in other countries too, including the United States, Russia and Spain. Her debut single “Ce-ti canta dragostea” was also a success, topping the Romanian charts. The song was also the most Shazamed Romanian track of 2020. Ahead of the cancelled Eurovision 2020, she was the third most-played artist on Romanian radio.
4. She has a Eurovision connection
Despite being only 20 years old, Roxen already has some ties with the contest. And we’re not talking about her coming from the same city as Voltaj frontman Calin Goia (Romania 2015). She studied at the Octavian Stroe School of Choreography in Cluj, where one of her teachers was none other than Mihai Băcilă — the father of Romania’s Eurovision 2017 star Ilinca.
5. She’s a dancer
Roxen may not have performed any Fuego-like choreography for “Cherry Red”, but she can be the queen of the dance floor when she wants to. She attended modern dance classes for five years.
6. She’s entered many singing competitions
Since childhood, Roxen has often appeared at various singing contests throughout Romania. At one such event, she even crossed paths with one of her main critics — Eurovision 2006 star Mihai Traistariu. Despite criticising her selection for Eurovision, he had this to say about their first meeting:
“I’ve realized that Roxen is actually Larisa Giurgiu from Cluj, whom I’ve given an award to back when she was 14 years old, at a music competition! And guess what, I gave her the Mihai Traistariu Special Award, a trophy that I only give to phenomenal voices. I’ve even promised her that we’ll record a duet together, but we didn’t ever since”.
7. She has seven cats
Roxen is definitely a cat person. Some might even say she’s a feline fanatic. That’s because she has seven of her own. However, she tells Eurovision.tv that only one of them lives with her currently. “She makes up for all the others and then some”. When asked why do cats get so angry, she replies “because no one listens to them”. That may often be the case, but Roxen’s own cats have been listened to thousands of times — you can hear several of them cameo in her Wiwi Jam At Home 2020 performance.
8. She dyed her hair purple for an ad campaign
In summer 2020, Roxen became the brand ambassador of the Romanian box-dye hair colour brand Loncolor Expert HEMPstyle. She fully embraced the product. She dyed her hair in the shade 4.22-Violet Intens — a dark, rich purple tone. Roxen also featured as the model on the product packaging. Her Selecția Națională entry “Storm” played in the campaign’s TV ads.
9. She’s a vegetarian
In a video by tabloid Unica, Roxen reveals that she’s been a vegetarian for three years now… with a few exceptions that “she isn’t proud of”.
10. She’s worked with a Eurovision winner
Roxen didn’t mope in the aftermath of Eurovision cancellation last year. Instead she focused on her craft and released a slew of new music. This included “Spune-mi” which became her second song to top the Airplay 100 chart in Romania. She also collaborated with Norway’s Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak on “Wonderland”. The “Fairytale” hitmaker’s influence can be felt most clearly in the strings, which mesh smoothly with the tropical house undertone. They’re present but not overpowering, giving the electronic sound a warm, folksy feel. He also has a writing credit on the song.
What do you think of Roxen’s career so far? Are you happy that she’s back for 2021? Let us know in the comments.