“It would be my way to say thanks to Belgium, they gave me a home, a job, a life and a future” – Yass [Interview]

Just one more day to go until the 2nd Semi-Final of Belgium’s Eurosong gets under way, and we’ve been talking to more of the artists competing.
Yass will be performing his song “Need You Tonight” and here is what he had to say to escXtra:
escXtra: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today Yass, and congratulations on reaching the Eurosong semis!
Yass: Thank you!
X: What is it like being one of the Belgian Eurosong semi finalists?
Y: it feels awesome to even be considered to represent Belgium in Copenhagen!
I’m really excited and full of energy…
X: How did the opportunity to enter Eurosong come about?
Y: When my manager told me there was going to be a national Eurosong selection I was immediately interested! So I’ve made a video as asked by the production, and … here I am, now in the Semi Finals!!
X: For your audition you performed a guitar accompanied version of L’oiseau et l’enfant (Marie Myriam, 1977). Why did you choose this particular song?
Y: Well, that’s a funny story, we had to cover a ESF song out of all the years and while searching for the right song for me I came accross L’oiseau et L’enfant and it was very surprising because I didn’t know it was a ESF song but it’s a song my mother always sang to me when I was little… And even I through my whole life sang that song a lot… So i didn’t have to look any further, it was the perfect song for me to bring.
X: What have you been doing so far to prepare for the live show on Sunday?
Y: Lot’s of rehearsals by myself, vocal exercises,  running every night etc…
Searching for the perfect look, creating an act around my song together with a really talented Choreographer, dancers, team… It’s been pretty busy 😉
X: Can you tell us about your song “Need You Tonight”?
Y: Well, the truth, my song is about the shitty side of life… how difficult and rough life can be and how fast things can change… And change yourself, it’s a song for everybody who had it rough and struggled true life but somehow made it to whatever they are today… Need you tonight is for those moments you think deep down that nobody cares when you need them the most… If you want something, don’t wait for it, go out and get it !
X: What can we expect to see, the stage performance?
Y:I’m not going to say a lot about my stage performance 😉 wouldn’t be fun to watch anymore but I can tell you that I will sing my heart out and show people that I’m not just a singer…
X: Who do you think will be your biggest competition on Sunday night?
Y: My biggest opponent and competition is definitely going to be me, myself & I, sounds Familiar? 😉
No but really, I’m a real perfectionist and it’s never good enough, I always have to improve myself and proof to people that I’m worthy to represent Belgium and about the others candidates, I will watch their show as if I’m at a concert that I bought a ticket for…
X: You previously participated in The Voice of Flanders and made it to the semi-finals! How was that experience for you?
Y: It was live changing for me… If I see where I came from and where it got me?? Damn, never would of thought I’ll made it to the semi final! I learned so much during this amazing experience, not only in music but as a person, It made me realize that this was really what i’ve been working for all these years …
X: And you released your first single “Far Away From Home” last year, which is very catchy! How was the public reaction to it?
Y: That’s a crazy story, I went to the studio by myself to record this song and it wasn’t even finished yet when a couple of weeks later I heard my song on the radio !! It was unreal to walk in the supermarket and heard my own song on the radio… My impression was/is that people liked it because I had a lot of positive reactions… It also made into the Belgium chart … And that for a Demo!!
It opened a lot of doors aswell, because of this ‘lost demo’ I got my first record deal!!
X: Can you tell us a bit more about you and your music career so far?
Y: Well, my name is Smaali Yass and I’m almost the youngest out of nine brothers and sisters 😉 Originally I’m from the South of France -Born and Raised-
When we were little we had it rough – I’ll spare you the details, I would be talking for hours- But to make a long story short, when I was 5/6 years old my mom couldn’t take care of all of us and we were placed in foster care, when I was 15 I went back to my mom … It was difficult adapting again and nobody followed me in what I wanted to do… Dance, Sing, Draw… They said I didn’t have a future in that field, so the day after I became 18, I took my backpack and went to Paris to follow my dream and to find people who did believe in me, I lived on the street for a while and survived by singing/dancing doing a lot of auditions… Till I came out at Club Med world in Paris, they offered me a job and gave me a chance, I developed myself better in dance and became one of the dancers of the Show… As maybe you know Club Med also has resorts all over the world and so I had the opportunity to travel to some as them as Choreographer… In my last season in the Dominican Republic I got to know my Wife who was/is from Belgium and at the end of the season, now about seven years ago I moved to Belgium with her…
I lost my heart in this country, people received me with open arms and I’ve never felt like a stranger! It was also my wife that signed me up for The Voice and the rest of the story you already know hè…
Resumé is that I can really say that my Wife saved my life and nine months ago our lives got blessed even more with the birth of our beautiful little princess called Nina.
And about my career, Still working hard on it!!
X: What would representing Belgium at Eurovision mean to you?
Y: It would mean a lot to me! In the first place It would be my way to say Thanks to Belgium, They gave me a home, a job, a life and a future… It would be an honor to do something back my way… true music…
And second… which artist doesn’t want to stand on the biggest stage of Europe??
X: Do you have any message for your supporters and escXtra readers?
Y: My only message is that no dream is to crazy or to big!! Don’t listen to people who tell you it isn’t possible… Nothing is impossible if you want it really really bad!!
I really hope that people are going to like/love my song, I’ve  putted my heart in it to tell my story, a story of which I think a lot of people can relate themselves to…
And one last thing…. Keep Chasing Your Dreams 😉

Thank you so much to Yass for the interview, we wish you the best of luck tomorrow!
To find out more, and to follow Yass on his Eurosong journey, follow him on twitter and facebook.

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