Trijntje Oosterhuis: “This year the timing felt right.” [Interview]

The month of May is just around the corner, but to get through the final bits of March and all of April, we’ve done some interviews with the people we want to get to know before Eurovision 2015: The artists!
First up, we’re proud to announce we had the opportunity to speak to Dutch entrant Trijntje Oosterhuis. She was one of the first to announce her songs, way back in December: Can Walk Along make it three consecutive finals for The Netherlands? Read what Trijntje had to say below! First of all, congratulations on being the Dutch entrant for Vienna! How are you preparing for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest? Is the excitement building?
Trijntje Oosterhuis: Thank you! I’m very excited to join the Eurovision contest this year. My preparation is to work out, have a good night sleep and be in good condition when the contest starts.
X: You’ve been successful since the 90s, with Total Touch and afterwards solo in many genres. Why did you decide that 2015 was the right year for Eurovision? Did you ever consider Eurovision with Total Touch?
T: Being a professional singer for a long time, more than 20 years, I thought it was an honour to once join this contest. I’ve been asked a few times before, but it was never the right moment. This year the timing felt right. I’m very proud to represent my country!
X: Who’s your biggest musical inspiration? Is it someone you’ve worked with in the past, such as Burt Bacharach?
T: Working together with Burt Bacharach was a dream. He even wrote songs and special arrangements for me, which was such a big honour. I also had a lot of opportunities to perform with great artist like Andrea Bocelli, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie, Coolio, Ivan Lins, Incognito, Khaled, Salomon Burke, Candy Dulfer, Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans, Bobby McFerrin and Ronan Keating. I am so grateful I got the chance to share music on stage with these talented and inspiring people.

X: What was your first reaction when AvroTros asked you for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest?
T: Happy, this year’s timing felt good.
X: You were one of the first artists to reveal the song for Vienna. Why did you decide to release it in December?
T: The premiere of the song was on the show ‘The Voice of Holland’ and this felt like a good moment for introducing the track.

The Ladies of Soul: Trijntje, Glennis Grace, Edsilia, Berget Lewis and Candy Dulfer Source: Ziggodome
The Ladies of Soul: Trijntje, Glennis Grace, Edsilia, Berget Lewis and Candy Dulfer
Source: Ziggodome
X: You’ve been surrounded by Eurovision lately: Together with Glennis Grace and Edsilia Rombley in Ladies of Soul, your brother Tjeerd Oosterhuis composed Edsilia’s 2007 entry, you’ve worked with Anouk on your latest music and you worked together with Ilse DeLange on The Voice of Holland. Which of those people had most influence on you when you had to decide upon Eurovision participation? Did they give you some good advice?
T: They all had a part in it. I talked with them about their Eurovision participation, during music projects we did together or over coffee at the kitchen table. They all told me their lovely, enthusiastic stories about their great experiences. I got the advice to stay calm and enjoy the ride as much as possible. Before you know it, it’s over.
X: After disastrous years for The Netherlands in Eurovision, Anouk and The Common Linnets have turned things around with two consecutive top 10 places. Does that increase pressure or responsibility for you?
T: No, I don’t feel pressure. Of course Anouk and the Common Linnets did such a great job and I’m very proud of them. But I try not to compare myself with them. I’ll just give the best I can.
X: Another question about pressure: We’ve seen many vocalist collapse under the pressure of Eurovision, fantastic singers missing note after note. You’ve been called one of the most gifted singers in The Netherlands. How do you handle pressure on your voice?
T: A lot of sleep and many vocal exercise beforehand.
Anouk in Malmö: Not just a singer, also a composer! Source: NRC
Anouk in Malmö: Not just a singer, also a composer!
Source: NRC
X: How did you end up choosing Walk Along for Eurovision? Is it true you just went through Anouk’s music library?
T: Yes, Anouk is a great singer but also an amazing songwriter. There are so many hidden treasures in her library.
X: We’ve seen singer-songwriter, small kind of songs with Anouk and The Common Linnets. You’ve done something completely different.  Did you ever consider following the trend and doing a ballad?
T: I was searching for songs in her library and this song felt instantly right.
X: The why-y-y-y-y bit in your song is probably the most talked about bit of your song in the Eurovision world. Was it that specific bit which made you choose Walk Along for Vienna, because that’s what people will definitely remember after your performance?
T: The song felt fresh and catchy to me and I hope that people will remember a positive contribution to the contest.
X: Is it true that Hans Pannecoucke will once again do the staging for the Dutch entry?  How are your staging plans coming along?
T: We are at the moment in the creative process, so no hints about that yet.
X: Have you already decided who your backing vocals will be?
T: We are at the moment in the creative process and we keep that to ourselves a little bit longer.
X: Foreigners seem to struggle with your name quite a bit. Could you, to end this discussion once and for all, explain to us how to pronounce your name?
T: Maybe it helps if you pronounce it like Train-cha?
Sandra Kim, Trijntje's favourite Eurovision winner! Source: Europopmusic
Sandra Kim, Trijntje’s favourite Eurovision winner!
Source: Europopmusic
X: What do you expect from your experience in Vienna?
T: I expect a lot of great positive energy and I’m really looking forward to see the other entries perform and get inspired by their contribution.
X: Are you a Eurovision fan? Do you have a favourite all time Eurovision song?
T: Yes I’ve been watching since I was a little child. Sandra Kim with J’aime la Vie in 1986 is my favourite memory. I was thirteen at the time and I was very impressed by her performance at such a young age.
X: Finally, we’d like to thank you for this interview! Do you have a message for the readers of in Europe and beyond?
T: Keep on spreading your love for music! would like to give a massive thanks to Trijntje Oosterhuis for answering our questions and we’d like to wish her the best of luck in Vienna with her entry Walk Along! You can watch the official video for her Eurovision song below!

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