Ann Sophie experienced quite an unusual road to the Eurovision Song Contest when she finished second in the German preselection, but the winner decided he didn’t want to go anymore. The soulful pop singer was chosen instead with her song ‘Black Smoke’ and will fly the German flag in Vienna. This week, she launched her debut album Silver Into Gold. Enough reason to have a chat with the stylish and charming Ann Sophie.
You finished second in the German preselection after the winner backed out. Did you, if only for just a second, doubt you still wanted to go to Eurovision?
No, I didn’t really have any doubts. Honestly I was so confused that I couldn’t think clearly. It all happened so fast and then they asked me to sing again and I was like: what?! I thought, oh my god, I can’t hear anything and now I have to sing and I didn’t realize what was happening. I didn’t know what to do, but in the end I was very happy with the outcome.
You entered the competition as a wildcard just like Elaiza, the winners of last year. What triggered people to vote for you as an unknown artist?
I’ve been asked this question before, but I find it really hard to answer. I can’t look into other people’s heads and see why they voted, but they seem to like the song ‘Jump The Gun’ and obviously the red jumpsuit I wore at the wildcard concert. Anyway, I am very grateful for their decision.
‘Black Smoke’ is a soulful popsong. Is that the main style on your debut album Silver Into Gold?
Yes, definitely. All of the tracks have a soulful vibe. For example the track ‘Black Smoke’, I didn’t write it myself, but I interpreted the song in the way I felt it. To me, that soulful style just felt good and it suits the sound of my voice. I can’t wait for everyone to hear the other tracks.
In all your recent performances you looked very stylish, whether it was a red jumpsuit or a white blazer. What are you planning to wear in Vienna?
We are not sure yet, but we are trying out all sorts of things. The most important thing is that I feel comfortable wearing it and that everyone on stage, including the backing singers, is on the same page in that sense.
How do you prepare for the big night these last few weeks?
Honestly, I take it day by day as there is so much happening at the moment. I’m really busy at the moment so I don’t have much time to think about the 23rd of May, which is a good thing, because if I would probably die, because I’m so nervous. I try to take it all in and perform and have fun as much as I can. I meet all kinds of great people and that for me is already the best preparation.
Are you getting nervous especially when you think about the results?
I just try not to think about it in that way, because it creates so much pressure. I always think you are at your best when you are having fun, so that is what I am trying to do.
Do you have any favourites out of the other participating songs?
I try not to point out anyone because everyone is so unique and special and have their own thing going on. The whole show in Vienna will be absolutely great and I am sure the audience will have a lot of fun. I couldn’t decide who I would vote for, so it will be difficult for the people at home.
If you could cover one song from the history of Eurovision, which one would you choose?
Oh my god, I don’t know.
(Somebody around us screams ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’)
Oh yes, ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, hell yes, I would do that one!