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“It hurts me every time when I sing it”

With the final of the Ukrainian selection tomorrow we spoke to Jamala who is one of the favourites to win the contest. We spoke about what brought her back to the contest, the emotions she feels performing the songs and the importance of Ukraine participating in the Eurovision Song Contest.

You won the first semi final of the Ukrainian selection. The response to your song since has been huge. did you ever expect the song to be such a talking point within Ukraine but also abroad?

I didn’t think about how huge the response could be. I’ve just wanted to tell this story, to show my song to Ukrainian listeners. I haven’t expected that international media talk about my song right from the semi-final and it’s very nice of them.

Eurovision fans will know you from your participation in the 2011 selection, after that you said you would probably not compete in a selection again. What was it that made you think that this year was the right time to compete?

The right time has come because I’ve written the song that’s really important for me. By the way, I’ve written it more than a year ago, and decided to take part in competition just a week before semi-final. I’ve realized that Eurovision is the best place to present this song to the world.

Your song “1944” has a lot of meaning behind it for you but also a lot of Ukrainians, what do you feel when you perform the song on stage?

It hurts me every time when I sing it. I feel a big responsibility. Though it’s very personal for me, I sing on behalf of all Crimean Tatar people, because every Crimean Tatar suffered because of deportation.

Creating the future we should remember our roots, where we came from

The song has been listened to and viewed over 500,000 times now online. What does it mean to spread the message of your song to so many people?

It’s an important thing that needed to be done. I hope that much more people will hear this song very soon.

What would it mean to take “1944” and the Crimean Tatar language to the Eurovision Song Contest this May?

I hope that 1944 will be interesting for European people. I would be proud to bring Crimean Tatar language to the Eurovision stage and use it to represent my country.

How important do you feel participating in the Eurovision Song Contest is for Ukraine currently?

During the last two years we have a lot of attention from European media because of the revolution, annexation and the war in the East. So it would be good to invite attention to Ukrainian music. It will help to show Ukraine from the different side.

Finally do you have a message for your fans and the readers of

Creating the future we should remember our roots, where we came from. If you really respect and venerate your family, your own culture and history, you learn how to respect other cultures. It’s the way we could make this world better.

We could build a future
Where people are free
to live and love.
The happiest time.

We wish Jamala the best of luck tomorrow night, you can take a listen to “1944” below:

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