Last February, Kate Miller-Heidke became the first Australian Eurovision representative chosen in a national final. She won the hearts of the juries and televoters alike with her opera and pop cross-over ‘Zero Gravity’. A Bit of Pop Music spoke to Miller-Heidke about the story behind ‘Zero Gravity’, the other competitors in this year’s contest and the changes in the staging for Eurovision.
Can you take us back to the moment you wrote ‘Zero Gravity’ and tell us what happened?
“I was trying to write a song for Eurovision and for about a month, I wrote four or five really shitty songs. At one point I was talking with my partner Keir Nuttall, who is also my songwriting collaborator, about a metaphor that could anchor the song and also would give me the permission to go into this crazy operatic territory. We talked about the idea of gravity and zero gravity which resonated with me as I just came out of a depression following the birth of my son. I used that metaphor to anchor the idea of weightlessness and a weight coming off your shoulder, of transcendence.”
How did you feel when Australia chose you to represent them?
“It was such a surprise. It was overwhelming and a huge honour, but also a big responsibility. I am quite nervous to be honest!”
How are the preparations going? Are you planning on changing the staging for Eurovision?
“Yes, we are planning to change the performance we did in the national final quite drastically. We are currently working really hard on it and it is going to look completely different, but of course I can’t give away the details yet!”
What do you think about your competition in the contest this year?
“I have listened to them all and there is some really great songs in there. My favourites are the ones you probably wouldn’t hear on the radio. For example the Icelandic song by Hatari, but also Norway’s ‘Spirit In The Sky’ and Tulia from Poland. I love the songs that surprised me in some way!”
What is your first memory of the Eurovision Song Contest?
“I used to watch it a lot growing up as they did broadcast it in Australia, but I really remember when Lena won for Germany with ‘Satellite’. I was in London at the time and that was when I really caught the Eurovision fever.”
If you had to choose one Eurovision song to cover, which one would you choose?
“I was actually thinking of doing a ballad version of Hatari’s ‘Hatrið Mun Sigra’. I will have to translate it to English though, because I am not too sure how well my Icelandic would go!”
Check out the acoustic rendition of ‘Zero Gravity’ Kate released!