Congratulations on the end result. When I won the National Final in January, I got a lot of criticism. Did you expect popularity here in Liverpool?
“Of course you hope to get a good response. After Eurosong, the national preliminary round, I quickly felt: I’m going to take part in it. I used criticism as motivation. I wanted to prove myself and show what I was worth. All out of national pride: we will make the Belgians proud. That was the feeling The real I felt. A few weeks before the live shows I felt a turning point. It was great to feel Because of you Live.
“Reactions on the internet helped me piece together my actions. I kept reading everything until I could mark the i and cross the t. When I read several times the call to let someone Walk on ducks On stage, I knew it was the right element.”
He. She Walk on ducks It comes from the ball culture – competitions with different categories on the platform – which is associated with the LGBTQIA + community. Your business is built around this. How important is this subject to you?
“The industry used to be very homophobic. When I performed as Stephen in the early years, I had to hide my sexual orientation. Gustav grew up as a manifesto against that line of thought. The older I got, the more politically I expressed myself as an artist. We have many accomplishments.” In Belgium, but there are still some shadows.As long as there is, I must continue to express myself.
“I basically wanted to tell a positive story at the Eurovision Song Contest. My song is about The chosen familyor your close friends. For many LGBTQ+ people, this is an important aspect of their lives. So is mine. The female singers on stage are literally mine The chosen family. So we don’t lie during the act. Also drag queens on screens, ballroom part… I want to show Europeans who are not familiar with LGBTQIA + the truth: these people are exactly themselves and on top of that they are having a great time on stage. ”
How do you think this message got into the living rooms?
“I’ve heard a few stories of people who walked out because of the song. They literally felt seen and supported. The Eurovision Song Contest was also my sanctuary in this area. Seeing a trans woman win Dana International when I was a 17-year-old boy gave me so much joy.
“The Eurovision Song Contest was and still is a kind of punk. It shows things that aren’t always covered in the mainstream perspective. That it can be shown in this way is great. For me, acts like this were often a bullying on the back.”
“I hope Europe will now also embrace the message that I can give that feeling to others. Then a big part of my mission has been accomplished. The fact that the response is good gives me a glimmer of hope about where we are in the world right now. So finishing in the top 10 is a good sign.” Our whole act came straight from the heart, it made perfect sense to me.”
I’ve been to the Eurovision stage before as a background singer. You are now here just like Gustav. How do you feel?
“Simply wonderful. This time I was allowed to convey my vision to the delegation. You took the whole game very seriously because you just want to do well. Before that I was a little afraid of the competition. Sometimes you have to think tactically and strategically. Everyone has an opinion about you too, but that’s part of it.
“Looking back, I liked it a lot more than I thought. As long as you’re in the right mindset. Admittedly, I wouldn’t hesitate to be involved with upcoming releases. Help write songs or put together the acting. I’d definitely like to.”
Your Eurovision adventure is now over. Aren’t you afraid of falling into a black hole?
Some of the previous Belgian entries had already warned me about this. Sennek and Geike tell me that the clamor of the Eurovision Song Contest is usually followed by a very quiet period.
“But I think it will still be busy enough for me. Some performances are already planned. We are also starting rehearsals for a new live show in July. I am also giving singing lessons to students who are going to have a singing exam soon. Since I’m in the Eurovision Song Contest, this has to be made up.” Lessons. So I certainly won’t be bored.”
“Friendly communicator. Music trailblazer. Internet maven. Twitter buff. Social mediaholic.”
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