Greek-Canadian pop artist Katerine Duska was selected internally to represent Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest of 2019 in Tel Aviv. The country did not reach the top 10 anymore after 2013 and only qualified for the final once in the past three years. Duska is going to try her absolute best to change this with her powerful pop song ‘Better Love’. She discusses her competition, the message behind her song and the pressure of doing Eurovision.
Can you take us back to the moment you wrote ‘Better Love’? What was the process of creation like?
“The creation took place over a period of time. I started working on a track with indie pop artist Leon of Athens who created a chord progression that I started tweaking and we both came up with some melodies. Then I wrote the lyrics and we went to London to record in a studio with songwriter and producer David Sneddon (Lana Del Rey, Hurts), who also had input in the lyrics and melodies. It was a collective process that we spent a lot of time on.”
What message do you want to get across with the lyrics to ‘Better Love’?
“I wanted it to be a powerful and hopeful message. For me it is all about not having to follow social norms and conventions, while embracing your true self. For me that is the definition of ‘better love’. If you can achieve that love for yourself, you can also establish it in your relationships. I want the song to work as an invitation and embrace for everyone to feel better about themselves and the people in their lives. It is a never ending journey but we all deserve this ‘better love’.”
The music video for ‘Better Love’ has loads of striking visuals. Will your stage show in Tel Aviv be in a similar style?
“We will definitely create an aesthetically similar world for the performance, but there will be differences. We are going for a more mature, evolved look. It is going to be a natural progression of the music video.”
Greece was very successful in Eurovision between 2004 and 2011, but not as much in recent years. Do you feel pressure to deliver a good result for your country?
“I do feel pressure, but that has more to do with the expectations that I have myself. I try not to think about other people’s expectations. I totally want to make my country proud and give back to the people who have supported me so much. The most important thing for me however, is to be able to be proud of what I present on stage. If I can achieve that, I will be OK with any result.”
What do you think of the competition you are up against this year?
“I try not to see them as competition and just want to enjoy the experience as a big music festival. I personally think 2019 is an incredible year for Eurovision, the best in a long time. There are many good songs in the competition and I honestly have a new favourite every week. I definitely love the Dutch song by Duncan Laurence. ‘Arcade’ is incredible and very close to my musical style and genre. I wish him the best of luck, because he is amazing!”
Do you have a favourite Eurovision song from past years?
“I really love Salvador Sobral’s winning song from 2017. I view his performance as a game changer. Of course Eurovision is a versatile show with room for everyone and every genre, but in this era it is often based on huge productions. Sobral’s performance was one that hardly seemed to use a budget. It was just him and his voice and interpretation of the lyrics. He poured out his soul. That is the power of music and it was beautiful to see.”
You grew up in Canada. Did you find out about the Eurovision Song Contest when living there?
“Unfortunately we weren’t aware of the contest growing up, but Eurovision will be broadcasted in Canada this year, which I am very happy about. I definitely learned more about it in Greece as the people go mad over Eurovision! It is the biggest event of the year after the final of the soccer world cup I would say! There is no way to miss it!”
Can we expect an album from you after Eurovision?
“Releasing new music will definitely be my priority. It would have come out whether I would have done Eurovision or not, because it was my plan for 2019 anyway. I have demos and preproduction for an album ready, so it is not finished yet, but it won’t be too long!”