Friday March 28, Hind, the Dutch Eurovision representative 2008 with Your heart belongs to me, gave an excellent performance in the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam. The venue has this night club look and relaxed atmosphere that made Hind shine and sound bright. With her excellent new band, she delivered around 10 songs. Hind's music is not easy to be put in a box. At the moment, it's a mix of pop, Maroccan, Spanish and jazz and she fuses it to Crosspop, a name she used for her latest cd. Check it out here.
A few days earlier my Flying reporter Robert got a chance to have an interview with Hind where he asked her to look back on her Eurovision adventure. What does she remember from 2008? Who was nice? Who was doing something naughty? Would she do it again? What does she think of Ilse & Waylon's song? And should artists try it more than once? Read it all here:
Hind, what have you been doing since Eurovision 2008, it's been six years?
I have been doing a lot! Mostly music. After Eurovision I released my third album, but not in the usual way. It was funded by donators via website Sellaband. It was something very new back then and for me it was a very interesting way to create an album as it also brought me closer to my fans. It was a challenge and I was a bit afraid as everyone could see the amount of money collecter with the meter on the site...
This was of course something very new then but the music industry has changed so much the last few years....
That was the main reason I wanted to something different as the record labels don't have budgets anymore to produce cds thanks to illegal downloading and so many have had to merge together to survive. It's sad but that's how it is now and we found a way to produce this album. It also got a lot of media attention and I raised 40.000 euros in 11 days! It was the biggest tsuccess ever on Sellaband. And I was able to produce the album CrossPop. I went to London to write and record it with Steve Power who produced the most succesful albums of Robbie Williams. It was a dream come true for me. It all took about a year.
Do you do a lot of live gig?
Yes, all the time, every week. Mostly in the Netherlands but since a year I have my band and we tour a lot in Germany, too. After the album it was important for me to find someone to guide me; I can sing and write songs but I need a good management, too. So, I changed the whole team around me and since a year we have been working on new songs and trying to get international exposure as well. That takes time...
So is Germany your next step?
Oh it doesn't really matter. If the song is good it doesn't matter where it hits, the Netherlands, Germany, England.... If my music is success I'm happy, it doesn't matter where! But the most important thing is to have a good song.
Do you write a lot of your songs?
Well yeah, I started writing songs when I was 17 years old but I had no experience and I had to learn how to do it. I started writting for real after my first album when I got more secure and I had the feeling I needed to have something more of myself in my songs. So I started co-writing. I don't play any instruments so I need someone next to me who plays guitar or keyboards or makes beats with computer and I can sing along.
So you don't read notes either?
No! I do everything with feeling and intuition. Sometimes I wake with a melody in my head at night and I take my phone and record it, or on a plane.... that's how I work. And you never know when you have a good song, how it will turn out. Sometimes when you listen to my demos they are completely different from the original tracks. But that's the nice thing about music!
Going to your Eurovision experience. Going to Eurovision, Belgrade and representing your country? How do you look back at it now?
Well, when they asked me to go and represent the Netherlands as they did ask me, I was actually very honored. But at the same time I was thinking what if I have to sing a song I don't like? So I told them it's very important for me that it's my own song. So I got the freedom to create my own song and find the team around me so it was very comfortable for me and I was very happy. I saw it as a new challenge and a new experience in my music career. We worked for half a year around the song and the act, the outfit because that's also very important in the Eurovision. I enjoyed it very much!
Do you recall any of your collegues out of 2008 Eurovision who impressed you or you had more contact with, someone you clicked with?
Yeah, the only one I remember is Vania Fernandez from Portugal. Wonderful voice. She had a lovely fado song and when we met we had a very nice time, I loved her. But for the rest.... You know, everybody's on theirselves, concentrating... I remember the one who won! The guy from Russia, I remember he was... before he went on the stage he was coming out of the toilet, and he had still something on his nose. Ha ha ha, I was just like What's going on here? And I heard he bought a beat from Timbaland and that Russia spent like millions on that act. And he won. For me that was like the moment I realized this is not about the music anymore, it's only about which country has the most money to win the Eurovision! That was for me very disappointing to see...
You felt it wasn't fair...?
It wasn't fair! That guy didn't sing any notes right, they were all flat. That is frustrating when you work half a year seriously for an act and you think you may have a chance. And you believe in it. I wouldn't have started this Eurovision song contest if I didn't believe I have a chance. Also because the Netherlands hadn't been doing so well.
So you were hoping to change that?
Yes! I was hoping to get at least to the final. Yeah, it was very disappointing. It always is when you don't win a game. When I go into a game I'm always concentraed and give 100% of myself.
How long did it take to recover from that?
One evening! Ha ha ha, yeah. C'mon. It's no good to feel sad or cry for a long time. I saw how it was and for me it was a real realization. I saw it as a new adventure, a learning experience. For me it was the best way to work with a professional team, also in international way. I was enjoying it very much, the big stage, the lights, the sound.... people that were watching. Yeah, I'll never forget it.
So the day after it was over. Too bad but I go on?
Yeah.... But the main reason I don't like Eurovision anymore is you have sing with a tape! No live orchestra, it's such a waste! We are talking about music here. This is the biggest music festival in Europe so why not go back to old days and perform with the same band? I'm missing that.... and I was performing my song the next day with the Dutch Metropole orchestra and I even enjoyed it then more than the day before. Seriously, I'm a musician!
Do you still perform the song sometimes?
It's been a long time actually....
What does the song mean to you today?
It was the first love song I wrote so it means a lot to me. I have a lot of memories of the song.
Your style has also changed over the years, you've got new influences. Could you see yourself doing a new version of it? It's a very beautful song...
Yes! Definately. I'd love to play it again, you remind me now. Make a funky arrangement out of it. That would be interesting.
Do you still follow Eurovision?
Of course. Every year. If I am home I always follow it. Last year I only saw the Dutch participant.
What do you think now with Anouk and Ilse De Lange taking part...
I think it's a good change! On the other hand I think it's a good way of changing because of the fact the Netherlands didn't do well lately, Anouk changed it a lot.
Maybe she was also lucky that she went to the final. If she didn't maybe she wouldn't have changed it...
I know. I think it was good they asked her to do it as she got the final, thanks to that we have a new chance again. I'm very curious how Ilse and Waylon will do.
How do you like their song?
Yeah, I expected more out of it, to be honest. Because they are both great artists and great entertainers but this is a little bit on the safe side. Especially I expected Waylon to do more in the song with her vocally, you know. They have two beautiful voices, you get more out of them. It's a safe choice! Maybe it's a bit boring.....
If you hadn't been in Eurovision yet and were asked now, would you have chosen the same song now?
No, a different one, a more commercial one. The chorus should be easier, more sing-a-long... that's what I learned!
Would you consider doing it again?
Because you are on a different path now?
No, nothing to do with that. I did it already. It was a great experience and now I'm gonna do something else.
But now you would be experience, you would know better....
Yeah, but... it wouldn't bring me anything more. I think. If you do Eurovision you should do it once. But that's my opinion.
Ok Hind, thanks very much for this interview.
You're welcome! And see you in the concert on Friday!