Like all of us, VICTORIA did not exactly have the 2020 she signed up for. The Bulgarian pop star was supposed to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. Although the Bulgarian broadcaster invited her back, Eurovision rules dictate that she can’t send in her song ‘Tears Getting Sober’ again and has to find another one for next year. The pop star, born Victoria Georgieva, decided not to wait to share new music until then. She releases her new single ‘alright.’ and spoke to A Bit of Pop Music about the creation of the track and video, following her gut feeling in her music and her take on the new rules for Eurovision 2021.
VICTORIA explains how ‘alright.’ was created during a writing camp for Eurovision. “When we wrote it we were quite tired of it all. Not of the songwriting itself, but of writing under the pressure and everything around Eurovision”, she underlines. “We decided to have a little fun and just write something and that was how ‘alright.’ was born. I was so happy when I heard it, because I really wanted to record something different.”
Her ethereal new single with a subtle and contemporary production has a universal message. “The story behind the song is actually very accurate these days while we are dealing with the coronavirus, but we wrote it before all that happened. The main message is that everyone experiences dark times and has inner demons, but that everything is going to be alright in the end. The song is meant as a reminder to be free and strive for happiness. I hope people feel like everything will be fine when they hear it.”
For the music video, VICTORIA, who had her breakthrough in the Bulgarian version of X Factor in 2015, worked with production company Four Elementz and director Victoria Karakoleva, who also created the visuals for ‘Tears Getting Sober’. She explains that the concept shows the fight of someone trying to leave behind their dark past, portrayed by a light and dark character.
INTERVIEW CONTINUES UNDER VIDEO
‘I feel some pressure to make something even better, but it makes me work harder’
Although she is fully focused on new music now, VICTORIA did not hide the fact that she wasn’t happy with the decision to not let this year’s artists keep the same song for next year’s contest. “I was very disappointed, because I really believe in ‘Tears Getting Sober’ and so did a lot of people who heard it. It became one of the favorites, so I do feel some pressure to come up with something even better next year, but it makes me want to work harder on new music at the same time.”
After the initial disappointment, VICTORIA started to realize that she still managed to touch people’s hearts with ‘Tears Getting Sober’ which gave her some closure after the cancellation of the contest. ” I really felt the love of the people who messaged me about the song. For me that was the most important part, because I wanted to connect with people through ‘Tears Getting Sober’. I’m really happy it seems to have worked.”
What next year’s entry is going to sound like is still a mystery for VICTORIA herself too, as she wants to follow her gut feeling. “What is most important to me is telling personal stories and conveying those emotions. When I have a good feeling about a song and I really believe in it, that gut feeling is usually right. I can’t say now what type of song it is going to be, but ideally I’ll have a few songs in different styles and tempos to choose from and I will go with whatever I feel is the best one.”
Just before speaking to VICTORIA, the organisation of Eurovision announced some changes in the rules; in 2021 backing vocals on tape will be allowed for the very first time, as opposed to earlier editions where all vocals had to be performed live on stage. She wasn’t aware of the changes yet and took some time to let it sink in. “I think that’s a good decision”, she starts carefully. “If you have a song with many vocal harmonies, like ‘Tears Getting Sober’, only five backing vocals wouldn’t be enough, because they can’t recreate the whole harmony. It is good to have the option to have those pre-recorded”, she continues, only to conclude: “This is actually really good news!”
INTERVIEW CONTINUES UNDER VIDEO
‘I don’t mind it if people compare me to the biggest artist in the world right now’
While you might think VICTORIA would be hesitant to release any killer songs before the contest next year, she is actually planning to release an album in the fall. “I can’t wait to release it because I wrote so many songs both last year and this year”, the singer, who released her first single in English, ‘I Wanna Know’ last year, explains. She adds that she continues doing writing sessions online for now, hoping that she can meet with her co-writers in person in Bulgaria soon again.
On the style of the record she shares that it will be ‘pop, but with darker sounds and also some groovy songs’. “I don’t want to be just a pop artist but show I can do different styles.” Comparisons of her style to that of Billie Eilish do not bother her. “I don’t mind it when people compare me to the biggest artist in the world right now. She is an inspiration to me, but it is not just her. There are so many artists that I feel inspired by, like Jessie Reyez, Tori Kelly, Dua Lipa, Finneas, Ed Sheeran and so many others.”
On the subject matter of the tracks, she states that every single one of them was written from personal experiences and there is one in particular she is excited to share. “It is directed at the people who judge me and it has a message to people in general to love each other more instead of judging each other.”
VICTORIA’s ‘alright,’ is out now. An album will follow later this year and she will represent Bulgaria in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021 in Rotterdam.