Representing Eurovision 2017 for Switzerland was Timebelle, a pop trio who were a sextet when they attempted to enter Eurovision 2015, but failed to do so having placed second in the finals of the Swiss national selection.
Switzerland won the first Eurovision edition back in 1956 with Lys Assia's song "Refrain" and then the 1988 edition with Canada's Céline Dion and her song "Ne partez pas sans moi".
Switzerland were runners-up in 1958, 1963 and 1986.
Sadly Switzerland did not win Eurovision 2017, which was won by Portugal. However we still spoke to Timebelle about their Eurovision experience.
Timebelle, firstly how does it feel performing at the Eurovision Song Contest?
"It's a great honour and privilege to represent Switzerland at Eurovision. We see it as a great opportunity to meet extraordinary talented people, producers, performers, show-business people who we can learn so much from."
Switzerland has won Eurovision twice, will you make it three?
"I think we have [made] good changes to get to the final. However, it all depends on many things that we cannot control ourselves."
Surely this has to be your biggest performance to date? Who would you liken your music to?
"Our aim is to make Switzerland proud again. It would be fantastic if we went to the final (Sadly they placed 12th in the semi-final). Ideally it would be to get a good spot or even win. But the most important thing, at the end of the day is to able to look at yourself in the mirror after you've finished your performance and say "hey, you did a great job, be proud.""
Is it easy being a musician in Switzerland (what challenges are there)? After Eurovision what plans have you got?
"We are already developing an idea that we had 2 years ago and is growing on us more and more every day. After Eurovision is over and we will be able to focus on our further projects we are absolutely planning on releasing this track as soon as possible."
Another Eurovision hopeful, this time it's Switzerland entry Rykka who faces the questions about her career, Eurovision chances and the like. Although she was born in Canada, she eventually stayed in the Alpine nation after her album 'Straight Line' was released back in 2010. Since then she has gone on to release four albums in title, and now her biggest challenge awaits.
As Rykka looks ahead to her inaugural Eurovision performance at the second semi final, GMA wants to stress that only ten countries can progress from each of the two semi-finals and join the big 5 (UK, Italy, Spain, France & Germany) plus Sweden. The last time Switzerland won the Eurovision Song Contest was way back in 1988 with Celion Dion, and where was Celion born? CANADA. Can lightning strike twice?? Last year Switzerland failed to qualify for the final, so Rykka will almost certainly want to avoid the same fate - perhaps even going on to win Eurovision for Switzerland for the third time!
Some may question Switzerland's choice because of Rykka not being born in Switzerland, but some will recall that Katrina & The Waves represented the UK and they're American! Besides, Rykka's heritage hails from Switzerland through her grandfather. So surely representing Switzerland must be a huge honour for her? Well obviously it is:-
"Being part of Eurovision is such a special adventure! It means a lot to me because Eurovision connects so many great people. It’s so amazing to meet so many amazing people who are connected to Eurovision in some way. Also, I’m so proud to represent Switzerland because it’s really in my heritage and I love it here so much."
So how has she prepared for this momentous occasion? Well Rykka remained focused and dedicated to the task in hand, saying she always aims to think about the positives, however as she went on to explain that at the ESC 2016 – Die Entscheidungsshow competition she didn't worry about winning, because for her it was about "having a great time because everyone backstage was so wonderful and it felt like family". However, she is working on improving her stability and health through strengthening her voice up by harking back to her early days where she "first started singing professionally... making everything strong from the ground up", this includes her mental state; clearing her head.
Obviously she's excited about being there, but she doesn't seem phased by the big occasion expressing that she's ready to give it her best shot and hope for the best, whilst making it a truly special moment in her life. She goes on to explain her feelings about how Switzerland is celebrating 60 years since hosting and winning it:-
"I don’t think there is a formula. I think there is a place for everyone, and that maybe some things work better at a certain time than others. That doesn’t mean that something is better or worse for eternity, just maybe at that particular second in time. Of course it would be absolutely amazing to win ESC and it would also come with a huge responsibility. One that I am capable of accepting and thriving in. I’m absolutely up for it and imagine it all the time, I’m big into visualisation."
Check out her chosen song 'The Last of Our Kind' below:-
Speaking of her single 'The Last Of Our Kind', you might be asking what is behind the title? Because well all songs have a meaning right? For Rykka it's about being yourself, standing on your own two and showing that you care about others in your life:-
"The message of 'The Last Of Our Kind' is to always stand up for love above all. Stand up for yourself and for people and other beings who can’t stand up for themselves. Standing up for love also sometimes means to go against your own ego and really search to find the truth."
Post-Eurovision Rykka is releasing her new album (of which we presume the song 'The Last Of Our Kind' will be included on) and touring with her band. Rykka signed off our interview with her with the following message:-
"I want to thank everyone for their amazing support! It’s such a dream to share this crazy experience with all of you. Sending love out to everyone!"
Eurovision Semi-Final dates:-
#1 - 10th May
#2 - 12th May
The ESC 2016 Final is on the 14th May.
The Alternative music interview page features interviews from Eurovision entries to other non-metal music entities.
Eurovision Song Contest