The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 may be over, but there is still time to catch up with a host of entries to find out how how they felt, what their immediate plans on and to reflect on the artists themselves. Here Danish entry Leonora was more than happy to talk to Global Mainstream Arts about her journey from the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix to arguably music's biggest stage, the Eurovision Song Contest; this time held in Tel Aviv, Israel following Netta's win with 'Toy' last year.
Denmark has a rich history of winning the song contest having won it three times, the last win being 'Only Teardrops' by Emmelie De Forest back in 2013, so was the pressure on Leonora?
"Of course! They [Faroe Islands] should be in the competition, just like Iceland and the rest of the North."
Leonora, firstly how did it feel to be representing Denmark at this year's Eurovision Song Contest?
"First of all, it’s been overwhelming winning the National Final, and that part was my first goal. It’s amazing how much wonderful support I’ve been receiving, both from friends, family and the entire team I have behind me – as well as from fans all over Europe. So it’s been an amazing, and I think Eurovision was the biggest moment of my life. Thank you so much!"
Denmark last won with 'Only Teardrops' back in 2013, what would it have meant for Denmark and yourself to add a fourth win?
"Well, I hoped so. But I’m very proud of my self and my whole team behind me. And I’d never thought I would make it to the final. It was an amazing experience. And come on – 12! It’s kind a cool, when you don’t expect anything. ;)"
Eurovision always throws in some way out-there artists, this year arguably it's Iceland - what are your thoughts on Hatari? Have you got any Eurovision 2019 songs you like?
"Well, I have talked to the guys from Hatari, and they are the sweetest. I think it’s nice to be who you are, and take a chance for once in a while. And just rock this great show! They are truly good guys. My favourite song this year is Czech Republic – (and they are sort of my friends too, hope it’s not cheating?) and Mikis ’La Venda’ always makes me dance!"
Your song 'Love Is Forever' is unique in itself being multilingual, are you fluent in German and French alongside your native Danish?
"No, unfortunately not – we have German and French in Danish schools, but not fluent. But I really like that the song i multilingual. It shows everyone that we’re all equal and Love is forever and for everyone! I believe we all have to appreciate the differences in the world, and we should treat others with the same degree of respect, as we would like to be treated ourselves. We should embrace our differences, not be afraid of them."
You're also an award-winning skater, what was it that made you take a step back? Ice skating has it's own choreography, with Eurovision did you look back at your ice-skating for inspiration? Or where did your ideas come from?
"That’s true. I had a hard time finding the motivation, because I started spending a lot of time on music. Also, it’s very common in Denmark to stop competing when you’re 18. Well, both disciplines feel like natural extensions of who I am, and I feel comfortable with both. Skates quite literally serve as extensions of my legs! They are a tool that allows you to do a lot of technical moves and tricks, but, more importantly, they allow you to dance on the ice and do choreography, which is the side of the sport I love the most. My ideas comes from all over, my family, people I walk by, something I see in TV – anything. "
Would you agree that Eurovision offers escapism for everyone worldwide, free from politics, heartbreak and bad news we face everyday?
"Without a doubt. Eurovision is a singing competition, not a politic statement."
The Faroe Islands have long tried to participate, would you welcome the Faroe Islands into the contest?
"Of course! They should be in the competition, just like Iceland and the rest of the North."
Now Eurovision has finished, what are your plans? Will you be looking to record an album?
"Afterwards, my plan is to record a new album with my own songs, and treat myself to a very long vacation! I’m already craving some relaxing downtime at home."
Do you have any greetings to send out to friends, family, fans etc?
"Thank you so much for all your support through this journey of mine! Remember: Love is forever and for everyone Lastly, I’d encourage everyone to always be kind to one another – love is forever!"
For fun what are some fun Danish phrases people should know and use in their daily life as well as at (any) Eurovision?
Based in Chelmsford, the only city in Essex is alternative rockers Lemoncurd Kids. Their unique sense of fashion does not detract the focus from their musical brilliance and to prove they should not be taken lightly, the quartet have delivered their second album "Consequence Of Doubt". To show that there are consequences should you doubt this band's musical arsenal, the guys discussed the new album, their back-story and their place within the Essex rock scene.
"The problem in the [Essex] music scene is getting people to shows and keeping venues alive"
For those who have not heard of Lemoncurd Kids, could you give us a brief history of the band, the meaning behind the name and how you all became musicians?; was you in previous bands? Was it hard to obtain your signature outfits?
"Lemoncurd Kids were born in Winter 2014. Mark was a solo performer under the name of 'The Lemoncurd Kid' and he decided to put a band together for a charity show, so James, Jon and Matt joined him and he has been unable to shake them off ever since. The name comes from Mark’s propensity as a child to smear lemon curd over his face and stick slices of bread to it. He thought ‘The Lemoncurd Sandwich Kid’ was a bit of a mouthful so it was shortened.
We’ve all got a fair bit of band experience so we came into it knowing how a band should work; we function pretty well and have kept disagreements to a minimum.
The cardigans (or ‘Curdigans’, as they’ve become known) were purchased online from an American label called ‘2/men’ - I would guess they’re discontinued now. Also in the line-up is the burgundy cardigan - the ‘Burdigan’, and the lesser-spotted lemon corduroy trousers - the ‘Curduroys’. When we’re not naming our clothes, we sometimes make music."
Back in December, you released your music video and single 'Tick Tock', could you explain the meaning behind the title, what the video is meant to portray and where inspirations came from? What was the reception like?
"I guess the whole feel of the song is a message. A reminder to really live in the present, look around you, take it all in and appreciate all the little things that we take for granted in everyday life. In the video you see us connecting musically with each other through some strange scientific experiment. Take time every now and then to stop, put your phone down and really have a moment of peace. Social media and the instant gratification culture that we live in is screwing with people's mental health. The track had an amazing response and has become a firm favourite for people at our shows."
Regarding the video, is it true you made the hats yourself? How long did they take to make and did you have any inspiration to go by?
"James had the initial idea for the hats; I think his inspiration cams from an 80’s film, maybe ‘Ghostbusters’ or something, and he created his for a fancy dress party a year or so ago. It was a good look so we all had a go at making our own and personalising them in some way. Apart from Matt, who is inept and cannot operate a glue-gun without adult supervision so he got his friend Tom to do it for him."
What is the Essex rock scene like right now? Is it going strong? What could (or should) change in your opinion?
"The Essex music scene, in terms of the music itself, seems to be in rude health. Here in Chelmsford the established acts are putting out really strong efforts, and up and coming bands like Children Of The Fuzz are getting the recognition they deserve. Further afield, Shooty & The Bang Bang released an absolute banger of an album last year and we really have to be on our toes when we’re on the same bill. We’ve been lucky to play with some truly great talents. The problem in the music scene is getting people to shows and keeping venues alive - we lost Asylum around 18 months ago and The Square in Harlow went and The Railway in Southend nearly went. It’s a shame but we keep fighting the apathy."
Out of all the gigs you have done, what has been your favourite and why?
"Favourite gig is a hard one; we’ve had some great times and a great crowds but personally I’ll never forget the crowd singing along to ‘Tick Tock’ at a charity gig in January 2019, the song hadn’t been out long but everyone seemed to know it and it’s an undeniably amazing feeling when that happens."
Would you agree that rock music in the UK is on the up again? Or did it never really fade away?
"I think the supposed demise of rock music pre-dates The Beatles, so I’m not too concerned at a national level. The festival scene has diversified, and that’s a good thing, but it’s not unusual to see rock bands headlining here there and everywhere."
With 2019 in full swing, what plans (aside from album promotion) have you got for the year ahead?
"We have two gigs in the diary - June 16th at The United Bretheren in Chelmsford and The Fling Festival on 6th July, also in Chelmsford. We’re planning on making another video. And after that who knows?"
Finally do you have any greetings, thank you's, etc., that you wish to send out to friends, family, fans, etc?
"We’d like to thank everyone who continues to support us. Playing in empty rooms or to disinterested punters is no fun so to all that come to our shows and listen to and like our music - thank you so much. Peace out x"
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