A whole generation grew up on his music in Russia. To this day, he is still the only Russian winner of Eurovision. Dima Bilan is turning forty this year and has a long career to look back on.
In an in-depth interview and shoot with the Russian branch of OK! Magazine, Dima spoke about his anniversary and future plans, including the possibility of returning to Eurovision.
In August, the Eurovision 2008 champion will be the centre of attention during the New Wave festival in Sochi. There, his jubilee will be celebrated with a grand concert with many regional stars. Next to that, the “Believe” star is continuously releasing new music. Most recently, he released the single “Ona moya”.
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Dima Bilan’s willingness to return to Eurovision
Dima Bilan has never hidden the fact that he loves Eurovision. Since 2005, his career has been connected to the contest. He represented his country twice, winning the microphone trophy in 2008 as the first, and so far only, Russian participant to ever do this. In 2012, he finished second in the Russian national final with a duet alongside former t.A.T.u. member Julia Volkova.
Since then, Dima Bilan has never ruled out a return to Eurovision. Back in 2019, he teased his fans that he was open to participate again in case the country was to hold an open national final. When OK! Magazine enquired of him whether he wanted to appear on the Eurovision stage again, Dima answered:
“I can’t say anything with that regards, because… You understand why.”
When OK! Magazine asked whether it’s a case of “never say never”, the “Believe” hitmaker answered:
“Probably, yes. I hear more and more often, that they assess me from different sides, and I think they will push me out there at some time with their desires. Such a common consensus, like there was then, I don’t remember, honestly, not in history.”
Later in the interview, Dima adds:
“One of the first questions you posed me about Eurovision, for example, is one I can’t say anything about, because all is still subject of discussion. Maybe, 2022 will turn into something bright, who knows.”
Dima Bilan shares pride in Manizha
Back in March, Dima Bilan was one of the first local artists to actively support Manizha. The “Russian Woman” songstress received a lot of negative attention from both locals as well as Russian musicians. However, Dima jumped to her support and called out those who discriminated Manizha for her Tajik background.
In his OK! Magazine interview, Dima repeated that he absolutely loved her song and added that he thought her performance in Rotterdam was very authentic. He said:
“(…) I am inspired by how Manizha did it and how she went against the big shadow of hate, luckily. I also went through that multiple times, but it broke me very much, and I needed a long time to come to my senses afterwards. I was watching and I understood that yes, she is powerful, she’s strong, she’s interesting, she was something before, she didn’t come out of the blue, she always talked about these kind of social problems, things and also stood for her position.”
Going into Eurovision for the second time and being the red hot favourite to win made an impression on Dima. He added:
“[All the feeling of being broken] stays behind the cameras, behind the stage. People only remember the victory or the bright performance. And what happens within and what happens with a person, is something nobody knows, you can’t climb in their heads. I am constantly analysing, looking, how much effort something is worth. I just know it. I am such a person, like all, who was confronted with all that, when they were telling me: ‘Don’t return without the victory’. Some of those famous politicians and political scientists said that nothing shone for me, swearing that they would eat their hats.
“If you can remember, we only used to have television, there was no internet. The victory was as strong as the sale of a million or two vinyl records, it was the maximum breakthrough for the whole world, even Australia joined afterwards. Even the United States opened for me.”
Do you want Dima Bilan to return to Eurovision? Who should represent Russia next year at the contest in Italy? Let us know in the comments down below!