Back in February this year Georgia selected Anri Jokhadze to represent them at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in neighbouring Azerbaijan. Since then, the song has seen a drastic overhaul and now we finally have the chance to speak to the Joker himself about his career, his song and what representing Georgia means to him.
escXtra: Hello Anri, thanks for taking some to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you on winning the Georgian National selection back in February and becoming the Georgian representative in Baku!
Anri Jokhadze: Thank you so much.
X: Firstly, would you be able to introduce yourself and tell us a little about your career so far?
A: Anri Jokhadze, Singer, Composer, director. I think it’s not the full list of my abilities.
X: What was behind your decision to enter the Georgian National Selection this year?
A: As there was no male participant from Georgia in Eurovision Song Contest history, I thought that there was no alternative besides me. That’s why I participtated in national selection and my intuition has worked.
A: The song is about celebration, about strong person in general, a little bit lonely person, in Georgian text there is some melancholy as well. This is the person who doesn’t show his tears, but thinks about you, how to make happier every minute of your life. The song is decided in musical genre, the hectic which is in my song gives an added value to concert version. The song had highly charged effect when I performed in several places.
X: How did you come to work with the team behind your entry “I’m a Joker”?
A: We listened to each other attentively. This is the very important in a team work.
X: Between being selected and being released in its final version, “I’m a Joker” went through quite a drastic change. Can you tell us a little bit about the creation of the final version?
A: It had drastic change and it still changes. You will listen to the final version in the Final. This is because of limited time, but I’m sure everything will be ok.
X: You had a rather creative stage performance in the final, will you be keeping this theme for the final in Baku or will you be working on a new routine?
A: I don’t think I had creative performance at all. This was not very good performance in my life. But I think I will have one of the best and the most impressive show in the Final in Baku.
X: This was not your first experience with Eurovision after being a backing singer in 2008 and trying out in 2009, what does representing Georgia at Eurovision mean to you?
A: You have a great responsibility when you represent your country in such contest as Eurovision. For me it means that it begins and ends in great PR for singer. May be nothing will happen but it’s very good promotion when millions of audience is watching you and remembers you.
X: Are you a Eurovision fan, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs?
A: Sure I’m fan of Eurovision. My favourite songs were different in different times. There were many good songs in Eurovision history, but unfortunately they don’t become hits.
X: Unfortunately you had to pull out of the Eurovision in Concert event in Amsterdam, but have you attended any other promotional events since your victory?
A: Unfortunately I had to make choice between visiting Amsterdam and Baku and I chose Baku. I was first participant who visited Crystal Hall and took part in its building. I drove tractor, I was sweeping and cleaning, helping the guys to offload the bricks and etc. I think I had very important visit, and thanks to my intuition, that I made the right choice and chose the visit to Baku.
X: When you’re not singing, what do you do with yourself?
A: I’m listening to others.
X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?
A: Many thanks to them who read my interview to the end and to those who‘d like to support me in Eurovision. I will use my slogan: Do what you wanna do and make the life of others happier.
Anri will perform ‘I’m a Joker’ as song number 12 in the second semi-final this year. You can hear the newly released Eurovision version below.