Lisbon 2018

From IKEA to Lisbon: Belgium’s Laura Groeseneken talks all things Eurovision

On Thursday evening, Belgium became the first country to reveal their participant for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest! Flemish broadcaster VRT announced that Laura Groeseneken, also known by the pseudonym SENNEK, would be heading to Lisbon next May! Following the revelation, Laura has spoken to VRT about Eurovision and how her selection came to be.

“I had to think for a moment”

For the past few years, Laura has been collaborating with well-known musician Piet Goddaer, also known as Ozark Henry. Eurovision would be a major step for Laura to take centre stage:

“When VRT asked me to go to Eurovision, I had to think for a moment. Such participation has a big impact. In recent years, I always stood behind Piet on stage but now I would be at the front. Before you take that step, you must be sure. Thanks to my experience with Piet, I’m sure I can do this. He is a good mentor.”

“Once again Eurovision is a song contest”

Furthermore, Laura and her family have always been fans of Eurovision.

“Every year I watched my uncle Eddy compiling his compilation CDs, he’s definitely coming to Lisbon! I really love the songs that have won the contest in recent years. This was what gave me the extra push to do Eurovision. Now, it is once again a real song contest. My favourite song is 1944, Jamala’s winning song for Ukraine last year. I like pop songs too. I like listening to the work of Scandinavian pop princesses, so I’m currently crazy about Sigrid’s Don’t Kill My Vibe!

“I would like to write my song myself”

Laura has yet to choose her song for Lisbon. In addition, she has yet to decide whether to participate under her real name or under her pseudonym SENNEK. Nevertheless, Laura has chosen to sing in English.

“In the coming months, I want to work hard to find the correct song. I would like to write it myself, but I will not immediately decline songs from others. I do not know yet what kind of song I will create. It can be a ballad but I just want to be in love with the song. I also want to act within the act, but I do not dance!”

“Maybe I’m going to be SENNEK, but that will depend on the song. Perhaps another name will come out of the air. But I’ll sing in English. In Dutch, my voice does not sound so beautiful.”

“I thought my boss would think I was announcing a pregnancy!”

At the moment, Laura only works part-time as a musician. In her other career, Laura works as a visual merchandiser at IKEA in Zaventem. She thought her boss thought she was going to announce a pregnancy upon revealing her Eurovision secret!

“When I informed my boss of my song contest adventure, I secretly thought that she thought I would announce a pregnancy, but it was something different! She is very happy for me and my parents are happy too after an initial surprise. A normal response, I think. They are completely behind me.”

Are you happy with Laura’s selection by VRT? What type of song do you think she will perform in Lisbon? Let us know in the comments below!

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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