Last Sunday, London was the next city in line to welcome several contestants who are competing at this years Eurovision Song Contest. We caught up with lovely Valentina Monetta, who’s the 3rd participant to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest for San Marino.
The San Marino born and bred lady has lots of enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to speak to us. Prepare yourself for her findings on working with Ralph Siegel, her love for music and Facebook!
Hi Valentina, thank you so much for allowing us to ask you a few questions before heading into a really busy time. How are you? Is it your first time in London?
”Hello! Yes it is my very first time in London. I am enjoying it very much here. London is the center of music. There’s a lot of music and live clubs around here. I really love live clubs as I work there. It’s all about music here in London, and that’s really my thing!”
Congratulations on representing San Marino at Eurovision. You were internally selected by SMRTV (San Marino TV broadcaster). Can you remember when you were selected and how you were asked?
”I’m feeling very honored and really proud to represent San Marino, my country at Eurovision. On one night Carmella Sorella saw me in a club and she came up to me and said ”you are the person to represent San Marino at Eurovision this year”. So the next day I went to Munich to meet Ralph Siegel in his recording studio to record a song. We did the Facebook song in one take and it was clear to everybody that we had found the right song. Afterwards we had to change a few things which wasn‘t much of a big deal, as music is my salvation.”
You just mentioned Ralph Siegel. The German composer achieved huge success throughout the 8o’ies and 9o’ies with his entries, with his entry ‘Ein Bisschen Friede’ winning for Germany in 1982. How was working with mister Siegel for you and did he give you any advice for Eurovision?
”He told me to be myself and really pay attention to connecting with my entry ”The Social Network song (Oh-Oh uh Oh-Oh). Ralph and I are very close. After five minutes we connected really well in the studio. He’s very special to me and an amazing composer, and very professional person.”
Do you hope to work more with him in the future?
”I hope so. I like his style of work and the connection was there from the start”.
Valentina, if you had to describe your entry ”The Social Network Song (Oh Oh Uh Oh OH) in three words for us. Which words would you choose and why these words?
”The word’s I’d choose are fresh, cute and ironic. The ”Social Network song” is very ironic. the song was made before I was chosen as the singer but has a very strong message: connecting. It’s about social networking so whether it’s about sharing a photo, talking to friends, making friends it really is about bringing communities and people together.”
You have indeed been very active on Facebook connecting with people can you tell us out of your head how many facebook friends you currently have?
”Oh Gosh, I can’t remember now. I think around 1900…1870… the number of friends I make grows all the time. ”
Are you secretly hoping the EBU will allow you to have your Facebook address on screen during your performance so that the 120 million viewers who are watching the event worldwide can add you on Facebook?
Which leads us to another question, about Facebook. The song was originally called ”The Facebook Song” but the EBU couldn’t allow the song and urged you to change the lyrics. How was that for you?
”Well, I keep saying in interviews that for a day I lost my Cinderella shoes hahaha. It wasn’t a problem for me or the producer. We went back in the studio for the night changed a few lyrics and mixed a bit with the bass and that’s how the ‘Social Network Song’ is born. For me, the new and second version are a lot stronger. ”
We read in your biography that you are also a jazz singer. Are you thinking of rerecording the song and give it a different arrangement, such as a jazz version and sung in Italian?
”That’s actually a great idea, I have been experimenting with the song a bit and found that ‘The Social Network Song’ sounds really really nice when performed in swing style. (Valentina treated us here to an Acapella version) I tried it at home with my piano and added a bit of bebop on it too. I love bebop as well, just as Jazz. People say that jazz singers are purists. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a purist as I really love a lot of styles. I love hip hop/ R&B too for example. Music is my life.”
”I’d like to keep it more or less secret for now, but what I can tell is to expect more energy, irony and a lot more spontaneity. As you probably noticed I am a very spontaneous person so I really hope people will connect to me and the song.”
Thank you so much Valentina for this great interview. Lovely catching up with you and good luck in Baku.
”Thank you very much. I hope to see you all in Baku!”.
See the San Marino entry by Valentina Monetta below. San Marino is performing in the first semi final on May 22.