Anri Jokhadze: "I promise we'll light the fire"
In our exclusive interview, Anri Jokhadze, the Georgian representative for Baku, tells more about the story behind his song I'm A Joker, he explains his truly special way of performing on stage, and he gives a first glimpse of what to expect from him on the Eurovision Song Contest stage. Of course he also has a special video message for the visitors of Eurovision.tv!
Eurovision.tv: Lets start the interview with a question about history: So far, Georgia has always been represented by female lead singers in the Eurovision Song Contest. How does it feel to be the first ever male singer in this position?
Anri: Well, I feel special, it is hard to compete with the Georgian women. It seems to me that there is a double attention on Eurovision this year. It is a little bit challenging but I'll try to be on top anyway.
Eurovision.tv: Have you met the ladies who represented Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest in the past years, and did they give you any advice?
Anri: I have a friendly relationship with almost all previous Eurovision Song Contest participants; actually I stood on ESC stage as a backing vocalist prior to them and we could share our experiences of course. I feel great support from their side, that gives me even more confidence.
Eurovision.tv: There are only a few weeks left until the rehearsals start in Baku. How do you prepare yourself?
Anri: It's been different that any other competitions that I have had in my life, so the preparations are more intensive and very exciting. I'm delighted to work with the group of professionals from the Georgian Public Broadcaster. They provide a lot of support and encouragement to me. This gives me hope that we will have a successful performance.
Eurovision.tv: I'm A Joker is a very exceptional song, playing with different styles of music. Can you tell a bit about the story behind the song? Is it meant as a joke?
Anri: No, the song is not a joke at all, it just reveals a type of a person which is satirical and humorous. This is a part from musical that has not come out yet. The song incorporates different elements of funk, disco and opera, so it's different and I guess it will reach the audience and impress them when performed live on the stage.
Eurovision.tv: Compared to the national final version of I'm A Joker, you made some notable changes. For example you added some lines in Georgian language at the beginning, where you also sing in ballad/opera style. Why did you make this addition?
Anri: It happened just because I could not manage to represent a perfect version in the national selection. But I hope it is not a problem, as far as we know from Eurovision experience very often the artists change the complete song at the very end. For instance this year Italy which has a great representative did so. I think if it needs some correction to make composition better why not do so? Previous version was not good enough and we decided to improve it by adding some new verse and orchestral arrangement.
Eurovision.tv: You already took part in the Georgian national selection three years ago with the song I, where you also showed quite an extraordinary performance on stage, dressing up as various celebrities, and even in underwear! Where do you get these ideas from?
Anri: Yes, that was a crazy idea to dress like a Soviet style military, but I thought as long as I was going to Moscow it would be ok.
Eurovision.tv: Do you perform like that only on the Eurovision stage, or are your concerts in the same style?
Anri: Not all of them but sometimes it can be even more extravagant than it might be in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision.tv: Having watched your past performances, probably everyone is already excited what you plan for your stage act in Baku. What can we expect? Can you already reveal parts of the secret what will happen on stage in Baku during your song?
Anri: It is already known that I will play the piano; this detail is in the video too, this will be one more creative thrive that gives strength and pride to the artist. It's great when people can see that you aren’t just an artist who sings but can also play well on the piano. So there will be creative elements and I promise we'll light the fire.
Eurovision.tv thanks the Georgian Public Broadcaster GPB for organising and translating this interview, and we wish Anri the best of luck in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest!
Do you want to find out more about Anri Jokhadze and his Eurovision entry? Then check out his official participant profile on Eurovision.tv!