From 2020 to 2021, many returning artists who missed out on their Eurovision opportunity last year are ready to show the world what they’re made of. And for Austria’s Vincent Bueno, a chance to return is a chance to showcase true versatility. A stark contrast to last year’s entry “Alive”, his 2021 song “Amen” is a heartfelt power ballad that dives deep into the singer’s emotional psyche.
Vincent Bueno interview (Austria 2021)
“Amen” explores painful circumstances
“It’s actually a song that was more fitting to my emotional path than any dance stuff or uptempo song”, Vincent Bueno tells our Esma. “There were so many things happening that were really hurting me emotionally”, he continued. “So many things where I was like, why is this happening?”
“Amen” is a song that explores the painful circumstances that Vincent found himself surrounded by in 2020. Amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vincent discovered that his 28-year-old cousin had been diagnosed with stage four brain cancer. Meanwhile, the November 2020 shooting in Vienna, which left five dead and many more injured, plunged Austria into a period of mourning. But from these tragedies, Vincent has channelled his emotions into creativity. “I felt like the song found me at the right time”, he said.
Indeed, the change of pace came as a shock to some Eurovision fans. But Vincent explained that the alternative direction of “Amen” was not intentional. “We were looking for a mix between a ballad and a dance song, I really wanted to combine that. “At the end of the day though, with all the drama that happened — and everything that didn’t happen — it was more of a humbling experience to accept what 2020 offered and all of the things that were taking place”, he explained. “To be quite frank, we didn’t want to make a song about corona — but [“Amen”] included everything.”
Despite the pain of “Amen”, Vincent is looking forward to showcase another side of himself to Eurovision fans. “Last year, I was able to showcase a little bit of my energy. And this time, my heart.”
Austria’s Vincent Bueno on “Amen”
Vincent Bueno loves Ana Soklič’s “Amen”
But of course, Vincent isn’t the only act singing “Amen” at Eurovision this year. Ana Soklič from Slovenia is also aiming for song contest glory with a track of the same name. Naturally, Esma quizzed Vincent about his competitor. “I really love her ‘Amen’. The composition, and her voice… wow”, he said. “It’s so hard to compare these two. Every single ‘Amen’ has its own kind of vibe that you can’t describe. I really appreciate hers and I appreciate the way she sings and how strong her voice is.”
Regardless of the name clash, Vincent will stand out on the Rotterdam stage. The “Amen” stage show will be directed by creative visionary Marvin Dietmann — who will also work with Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia this year. Vincent kept mostly tight-lipped about his staging plans, but he revealed that he’s aiming to recreate the intimate feeling of the “Amen” music video. “In the music video we are portraying this scenery where it moves on, even though it’s claustrophobic then you move on and it gets wider but you’re still in the same position and you still have hope. That same hope, we want to create on stage”, he shared. “It’s gonna be very minimalistic.” Vincent will also wear a custom outfit by fashion designer Michael Cinco — who of course has designed garments for Naomi Campbell, Lady Gaga and Kylie Minogue.
Austria’s Eurovision 2021 preparations
As for Eurovision preparations? Vincent is keeping busy as he gears up for Rotterdam. “I’m constantly singing the song, I’m working on details already with the performance”, he said. “To sing the song is not the hard thing. On the stage, where your body’s so nervous and you have to calm down. Actually, it’s more mental training that I do a lot of.”
At Eurovision, Vincent Bueno will perform “Amen” starting fifth in the second semi-final. We wish him the best of luck — and we know that he’ll do Austria proud. Amen!
Do you connect with Vincent’s emotional journey? Can you relate to the lyrics of “Amen”? Let us know what you think in the comments below.