This summer, we are running a series of feature articles that is slightly different to the norm. We think this is the perfect time for you (and us!) to find out more about the ESCXTRA team! What is our personal Eurovision story? Why did we want to be a part of this website? What are our favourite Eurovision songs of all-time? How can you get in touch with us on social media? Read on to find out!
Hi there! My name is Joel Artigas, I’m based in Barcelona, I’m 21 years old and I study political and administrative sciences. I joined the ESCXTRA family last summer. Check me out on my social media!
Your first Eurovision memory?
I have to jog my memory to recall my first contact with Eurovision, but it probably was Marian van de Wal’s ‘La Mirada Interior’. I still can picture the 9 yo me stumbling upon it by luck and falling in love with the show. Even though my family was never a huge fan of the contest we usually watched it and with the passing of time I got deeper into the Eurovision bubble.
Your Eurovision journey?
From 2005 to 2007 I watched the contest like any child would. It wasn’t until 2008 when I followed the Spanish national where Rodolfo Chikilicuatre won and all that drama that followed that I got into it. It was also that year when I discovered the contest’s official YouTube channel, what led to countless hours of binge viewing everything I could find. From that moment on, there was no going back.
From that day on my obsession increased exponentially and Moscow 2009 (in my taste one of the best years regarding musical quality) was the catalyst for that madness to go completely wild. Despite my disappointment for Alexander Rybak’s popular victory, the world of Eurovision websites was already thriving and what used to be my small May based hobby turned into a whole experience that lasted almost half a year.
In 2011 my addiction reached unprecedented levels. Even though most of my favourites crashed on their nights, that year still remains one of my top 3 favourites. I have watched the three shows more than 20 times with different commentaries. However, it wasn’t until 2012 when I decided to get started in the national finals season, and what better starter for me than Melodifestivalen 2012. Since that year I’ve tried to follow every national final I physically can.
Why is Eurovision special to you?
I like to believe music has always defined who I am, and in a certain way, I consider that it has carved my personality and my conception of the world. As a person who loves music and who has been interested in other cultures, languages and geopolitics, the love for Eurovision came naturally.
Of all the hobbies I could come across by luck, Eurovision was the best one possible. Finding something that managed to marry the two things I am most passionate about in such a fabulous and entertaining way definitely changed my life.
Being a teen who felt like he was swirling in a maelstrom of madness and boredom, Eurovision was one of the main things that made me tick. Even though nowadays university and other commitments keep me pretty busy, it definitely keeps life interesting and feels like an open window with fresh air.
What attracted you to ESCXTRA?
Sometimes you just need new projects that motivate you and change the perspective you have at that moment and ESCTXRA came at the right time. Last summer when I ended the second year of university I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life and I really wondered if I was doing something that actually made me happy.
During that existential crisis, I casually stepped into a tweet on my timeline asking people to join the ESCXTRA team, which I had been following for almost four years. I discovered the website through the Livestream back in 2012 and I had been following both since then. The positive vibe that I always got from watching the team almost every day they were live made me want to apply even though I had no hope at succeeding, and here I am!
And finally, your top 5 Eurovision song of all-time?
To be honest, I’ve never made an all-time top 5 because I don’t want to be mad for missing one of my favourites (which I surely will), but here you have it:
5. Anne-Marie David – Tu Te Reconnaîtras
4. Željko Joksimović – Lane Moje
3. The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm
2. Loreen – Euphoria
1. Yohanna – Is it True?
Yohanna was robbed in 2009, and I’m sure I am not the only one who feels the same way. ‘Is it True?’ is the best song that has ever been performed on that stage, surrounded by that magical atmosphere, perfectly sung and harmonized by Yohanna and those amazing backing vocalists. The song is pure emotion and class. Eight years later it still manages to make me emotional and give me goosebumps like the first time I heard it. And come on, Hera Björk was one of the backing vocalists, it couldn’t get any better than this!
I would also like to make a special mention to my favourite Eurovision performance of all time. It may not be the best song, but I still get carried away by Iveta Mukuchyan’s LoveWave every time I watch it.
Stay tuned for the next part in our Meet the ESCXTRA team series. On Sunday we will meet Tom! Remember you can share your Eurovision stories with us in the comments section below or via the comments sections on our Facebook page @ESCXTRA. We would love to hear them!