1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Music

Elaiza: 'Our music is just colorful'

At this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Germany is betting on a pop trio with roots in eastern European folk sounds. The young women based in Berlin enter the fray with ample self-confidence.

The three members of Elaiza on stage

Elaiza: Yvonne Grünwald, Elzbieta Steinmetz and Natalie Plöger

DW: How have your lives change since being selected to represent Germany at Eurovision?

Yvonne Grünwald: Our number of Facebook fans - the people who are interested in us and our music - went from 2,000 to 16,000 overnight after we won in Cologne. Now, we're almost up to 22,000.

Elzbieta Steinmetz: Facebook explains a lot of what has suddenly happened. We're getting fan mail - that's really wonderful and so new to us. It's just crazy how much attention our music is getting now.

How hard or easy is it to suddenly get used to the immense media attention?

Grünwald: We're giving a few interviews and such, but it's not exactly a massive amount of media hype.

Natalie Plöger: Actually, I think it is, but you get used to it. There are just a few cases where you don't know what to expect, but otherwise it's all right.

Steinmetz: Yeah, when we don't want to do something, then we make that clear.

The three members of Elaiza in a press photo

ESC fans see Elaiza as having good chances this year

How are you all preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest?

Steinmetz: It varies a lot - we know more or less the plan for the week, and we'll be there a week early. Rehearsals are planned, of course - can't forget those; that's what it's all about after all. Then, we'll also be at the various embassies' receptions. We can get to know the other artists. People keep telling us, "Girls, once you're there, it's going to be a huge party - very, very mixed." What we still have to clear up, though, are the outfits.

Grünwald: And we can only decide once we're there how we'll work with the stage because it's very big: 17 meters wide. We've never played on a stage that big, and that's why we'll have to be there before we can figure out: How should we stand? How far toward the audience can we go? How can you interact with the cameras? That's what the week is for.

And now to your album, "Gallery" - where does the name come from?

Steinmetz: We named the album "Gallery" because every song generates an image and represents a different kind of gesture. I write the songs and lay the foundation, and then the girls are responsible for the arrangement. Our music is just colorful, and we all come from different places. People like to call it neo-folk, but it's a bit more than that. When you listen to the album, that's clear right away. Of course, we include Eastern European elements - this Slavic "minor," the groove and the instruments: accordion and double bass. But there are also lots of poppy melodies - although sometimes it's more to the point and more rock-oriented.

Grünwald: So as a result, it's like walking through a gallery. Every song is a different picture.

The three mmebers of Elaiza holding a German flag behind them

After Germany's dance pop entry Cascada from last year, Elaiza will bring a more folksy sound

(Questions to Elzbieta Steinmetz): What are some of your most formative childhood memories from growing up in Ukraine?

Steinmetz: It's the musical influences. My mother is Polish and studied opera and jazz singing there. Then she met my father. He was Ukrainian and a guitarist. I grew up with music. I was already on stage by age five. Those are very sharp memories. So it's really just that much nicer being able to connect our music with my roots.

Do you think the Ukrainian crisis will affect the ESC?

Steinmetz: I hope the Eurovision Song Contest will remain apolitical, which is how it should be. Ultimately, the ESC is about music that connects people. We think that's a really great idea and are happy to be part of it. We do hope that the conflict doesn't spill over, although we are, of course, concerned about Ukraine - I am personally because of my connection to the country. We're worried that it will be split in two. What's going on in eastern Ukraine is really not very good. I think diplomacy and communication would be the best solution, but we can only hope for that.

The band Elaiza is representing Germany at the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 10 in Copenhangen. The name of the band, whose three musicians are based in Berlin, is a short form of lead singer Elzbieta Steinmetz. She grew up in Ukraine before moving with her family to Germany at age eight. Her songs draw on eastern European folk influences.

DW: How have your lives changes since being selected to represent Germany at Eurovision?

Yvonne Grünwald: Our number of Facebook fans - the people who are interested in us and our music - went from 2,000 to 16,000 overnight after we won in Cologne. Now, we're almost up to 22,000.

Elzbieta Steinmetz: Facebook explains a lot of what has suddenly happened. We're getting fan mail - that's really wonderful and so new to us. It's just crazy how much attention our music is getting now.

How hard or easy is it to suddenly get used to the immense media attention?

Grünwald: We're giving a few interviews and such, but it's not exactly a massive amount of media hype.

Natalie Plöger: Actually, I think it is, but you get used to it. There are just a few cases where you don't know what to expect, but otherwise it's all right.

Steinmetz: Yeah, when we don't want to do something, then we make that clear.

How are you all preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest?

Steinmetz: It varies a lot - we know more or less the plan for the week, and we'll be there a week early. Rehearsals are planned, of course - can't forget those; that's what it's all about after all. Then, we'll also be at the various embassies' receptions. We can get to know the other artists. People keep telling us, "Girls, once you're there, it's going to be a huge party - very, very mixed." What we still have to clear up, though, are the outfits.

Grünwald: And we can only decide once we're there how we'll work with the stage because it's very big: 17 meters wide. We've never played on a stage that big, and that's why we'll have to be there before we can figure out: How should we stand? How far toward the audience can we go? How can you interact with the cameras? That's what the week is for.

And now to your album, "Gallery" - where does the name come from?

Steinmetz: We named the album "Gallery" because every song generates an image and represents a different kind of gesture. I write the songs and lay the foundation, and then the girls are responsible for arranging it. Our music is just colorful, and we're each from different places. People like to call it neo-folk, but it's a bit more than that. When you listen to the album, that becomes clear quickly. Of course, we include Eastern European elements - this Slavic "minor," the groove it has, and just the instruments we use: accordion and double bass. But there are also lots of poppy melodies - although sometimes it's more to the point and more rock-oriented.

Grünwald: So as a result, it's like walking through a gallery. Every song is a different picture.

(Questions to Elzbieta Steinmetz): What are some of your most formative childhood memories from growing up in Ukraine?

Steinmetz: It's the musical influences. My mother is Polish and studied opera and jazz singing there. Then, she met my late father. He was Ukrainian and a guitarist. I grew up with music. At five, I had already gotten on stage. Those are very sharp memories. So it's really just that much nicer being able to connect our music with my roots.

Do you think the Ukrainian crisis will affect the ESC?

Steinmetz: I hope the Eurovision Song Contest will remain apolitical, which is actually the way it should be. Ultimately, the ESC is about music that connects people. We think that's a really great idea and are happy to be part of it. We really do hope that the conflict doesn't spill over, although we are, of course, concerned about Ukraine - I am, personally, because of my connection to the country. We're worried that it will be split in two. What's going on in eastern Ukraine is really not very good. I think diplomacy and communication would be the best solution, but we can only hope for that.

Elaiza is representing Germany at the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 10 in Copenhagen. The band name is a short form of lead singer Elzbieta Steinmetz, who lived in Ukraine before moving to Germany at age eight. Her songs draw on eastern European folk influences.

Interview: Sonja Kaun / gsw

DW recommends