Thursday, October 15, 2015

Moldova: Exclusive! Interview with Sunstroke Project and Lidia Isac "Our new single 'Not Giving It Up' will be out on 26.10.2015"

Sunstroke Project & Lidia Isac (© Join Us on Eurovision)
Sunstroke Project represented together with Olia Tira Moldova at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song "Run Away".  


Sunstroke Project & Olia Tira - "Run Away" (Eurovision Performance)


Band members are Anton Ragoza (Violin & Composer), Sergey Ialovitsky (Vocals) and Sergey Stepanov (Epic Sax Guy). We had the chance to talk to the guys from Sunstroke Project and Lidia Isac about their Eurovision experiences 2010, their role at the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna and the brand new single "Not Giving It Up", which will be out on 26th of October. Read our interview with them below to find out what they had to say...


Hello everyone, How was it to be back at Eurovision this year in May in Vienna?
Sergey: It felt very good. It was very special, because we were not there as artists. We were there as journalists. We wanted to try something else. To tell a different story. For us it’s was very special. The atmosphere was perfect. The organization in Vienna was perfect. 

It’s already five years ago since you participated at the Eurovision Song Contest. With Orio Tira and the song “Run Away” you represented Moldova 2010 in Oslo. It was one of the most party songs in that year and very popular. What happened after Eurovision as you you returned to Moldova?
Sergey: A lot of things happened :) We wrote new songs and recorded new albums. The most important thing for us was that a lot of Eurovision fans are still writing us and telling us how much they like our music and that they want us to come back to Eurovision someday. For us it’s important that people like us, that they like our music and what we do :))
Anton: Our song was #1 in 10 radion stations in Russia. After that we had a better contract in Russia and America. That was great :)

You did a lot of collaboration with different artists like Deepcentral or for this years Moldovan national selection with DJ Michael Ra. What makes it special for you to work with other artists beside doing your own stuff?
Sergey: Well the thing is to write something interesting, to write something special. We got a lot of things from them and we gave a lot of things from us. In music business it’s always a good thing to make collaborations. They have their own fans and we have our fans. So for both sides it’s a win situation. These fans are celebrating to our music together :-) 
Anton: Sunstroke Project means we are always open to new talents. Talents as DJ Michael Ra or Ora Tira. We try to write something interesting which fits for both of us. 

In Vienna you were together with Lidia Isac. In the Moldovan national selection this year you were in a battle… Lidia you participated with two different songs in the competition. One as solo artist and one with the Glam Girls...
Lidia: Yes that’s true :-) and I also did the backing vocals for Sunstroke Project. 

Are you planning to collaborate as artists?
Anton: Well.. we had worked a lot together and we are planning to release a new album very soon..  Maybe after our new album we will collaborate with Lidia. Who knows, maybe we do something for Eurovision next year.. ;))

Will the new album a international release?
Anton: Yes. In May this year we opened our own label Ragoza Music. We release our songs in America, Belgium.. Of course we will release it on iTunes and on Spotify. So it will be possible for everyone to listen to our music :-) Our new single "Not Giving It Up" will be out on 26th of October. It's already possible to pre-order on iTunes: 


What's the story of "Not Giving It Up"?
Anton Ragoza
Anton: This song is a bit out of the Sunstroke Project's regular repertoir. Because of the tendencies in the world's house music culture we have decided to try to compose an unusual single for us. The song is dedicated to my beloved wife. Sergey Stepanov and Sergey Ialovitski helped to finish the job. It's a very lyrical track with a wonderful solo brought to you by the great Epic Sax Guy. We've tried to step aside from the standard songwriting forms and instead of the second couplet we've made a 30-sec sax solo. The good chorus is easy to be remembered. The young and perspective artist Michael Ra helped us to finish the arrangement of the song. Very soon you'll be able to enjoy our work, as we release it on our label Ragoza Music end of this month.

In this years pre-selection in Moldova you had two songs. One of them was “Lonely” and the other one was the collaboration with DJ Michael Ra and the song “Day After Day”. Why you had chosen two songs for the selection and not only your favorite?
Sergey: It’s a very interesting story. We wrote two songs, “Lonely” and “Day After Day”. I do like “Lonely”. The Epic Sax Guy liked “Day After Day”. Than we thougt “Ok, let’s chose those two songs and the jury has to decide…”.  It was like this, we sung two songs and the jury said: “Ok guys, we like both songs - you decide which song you want for the final…”.  and we said “WHAT?!” …the plan was that you don’t have to decide.. ;) 
Epic Sax Guy
Epic Sax Guy: ..than we decided “Day After Day” because it’s in Europe a very popular music style. 
Anton: We think "Day After Day" is more mainstream. 





...let’s go back to Eurovision 2010.. You collaborated with Olia Tira. Can you tell me more about that?
Sergey: We had a very good producer but we didn’t had a good promotion. Olia Tira is a good artist with a good voice and we wanted her in our group. We wanted to collaborate with her, that’s the short story :-)

If you look back.. what was the most exciting moment in Oslo?
Sergey: Well.. we had a lot of exciting moments ;-)) 
Anton: Everytime we went to private parties of Macedonia or Serbia we just made party together. It was so much fun for all of us :-) Norway in 2010 was a very good time for us. 

..and the weather was quite good in that time. Normally you have a lot of rain in Norway... 
Sergey: …yes that’s true. We had luck with the weather and we had a tradition. Every time we are coming to  other countries it’s always good weather. A lot of guys said “Please come to us, we want good weather..” :)))

Did you had any worse moments in Oslo?
Sergey: I think the worst thing was as we heared that we had a bad position as final result. 
Anton: We just ended on 23rd place in the Eurovision final. For us it was a big surprise. But that’s Eurovision – anything can happen..

This year you were not as artists in Vienna. How would you describe the difference to be at Eurovision as artist and to be there as journalists?
Sergey: The thing is that we want all the time to try something else to try something special. First was we were there as artists. For us it’s better to be on stage as artists. We are just simple people like everybody. And we like Eurovision. We like everything what happens with Eurovision . The stage, the press center, the atmosphere, the parties, the people and the friendship.. THAT’S Eurovision :) All countries come together, they meeting each other, they chatting..  That’s the most important thing in Eurovision. Not just the stage.. That’s why we wanted to be here again. 
Epic Sax Guy: Eurovision Song Contest is perfect celebration of live musicians. 
Sergey: We have a lot of friends from 2010.. A lot of artists, journalists and fans and if we meet them they all the time asking us to come back to Eurovision someday :-)
Epic Sax Guy: It was glad to see them again and to talk to them. That’s a good feeling if you remember guys from five years ago. 
Sergey Ialovitsky
Sergey: As blogger we had to do a lot of videos and we did interviews with the contestants. It was very difficult and had nothing to do with relaxing.. For us is better to sing :-) Have you seen on our youtube chanel? We really have to say: Bloggers and Journalists – THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your job. You all are doing a very difficult job. Without you we all would be nothing! That’s very important that everyone knows this. Journalists help us – thank you for that! :-)

How did you liked Eurovision 2015?
Lidia: I liked it very much. It was a very different thing to what I did before. Last year I participated in a very important contest – “New Wave Contest”.  I thought it’s the biggest contest. But than I came to Vienna and saw that the Eurovision Song Contest is much bigger.. It was a new experience and I think the next stage I will make in my music career will be Eurovision :-) I will participate in the national selection in Moldova again next year. To be in Vienna was a good chance to prepare myself this year for next year :-)

..so it was a warm-up for you?
Lidia Isac
Lidia: ..yes it’s my warm-up ;-) I checked everything and saw how it worked and what I have to take care.. To meet people, talk to the journalists.. 
Sergey: ..and we will help her ;-)
Lidia: YES! ..and I’m very glad for that :)))



What do you think about this years contest and the staging?
Lidia: Well, as I joined the first rehearsals it was for me like a big concert ;-) there were a lot of people in front of stage and it felt more like a concert and not like a rehearsal. That was great. :-)
Segey: The stage was just wonderful. Eurovision is very different every year and it’s not every year the same level. It grows up every time. 

Did you had any favorites in this years competition?
All together: "We're going to ra-pa-pa, ra-pa-pa, We're gonna ra-pa-pap tonight" We like the entry from Belgium very much. “Rhythm Inside” from Loïc Nottet was very special.  
Lidia: After that I liked very much “A Million Voices” from Russia. And I liked also very much “Heroes” from Sweden. The guy who won this years contest :-) 
Sergey: In my opinion she should have won the contest. Polina was the best.  
Lidia: This year it was very difficult who could win. Some years ago there was Loreen. Everyone did know that Loreen will win the contest. This year it was much more difficult to say. 

What do you think about the Australian participation in this years contest?
Sergey: Well.. Australia is a little bit outside of Europe ;) But I like the voice from Guy Sebastian. He’s a very good singer.  
Lidia: I don’t think it’s a problem. Because the slogan for this year was “Building Bridges”. The main thing was to create bridges with all people. So why not to build a bridge from Europe to Australia :-)) I think it was a very good thing. ..and who knows, maybe “Eurovision” become someday “Worldvision Song Contest”.. ;))

Do you have a personal message for our readers?