INTERVIEW: Krista Siegfrids talks Eurovision fans, UMK, and K-pop!

ESCXTRA caught up with Krista ahead of her performance at Eurofest

Friday night saw the 7th birthday of popular London club night, Eurofest, and a high-energy performance from Krista Siegfrids. I caught up with the Finnish singer before the event.

Krista, welcome to London. You’ve recently been touring a lot in places such as Dubai. Does travelling and performing in different locations change the way you approach a performance?

Yeah, a little. It’s always a different audience. Sometimes you have an audience that is really loud and wild, and sometimes you have an audience that are listening and taking it in all in a different way. So yeah, always trying to feel the audience, what kind of types there are. But I know tonight’s Eurofest audience is probably going to be wild and loud.

You’re going to have people at the front of the stage who are absolutely loving it.

I love that! I love when they are singing along. I really enjoy that.

Krista on stage at Eurofest

I ask about changing a performance because you were the Finnish entry at Eurovision 2013 in Malmo, and famously made the bold choice to kiss another woman on stage at the end of your performance of “Marry Me“. Did you feel any pressure to not do the kiss or to ‘tone it down’?

No. The funny thing is I didn’t feel pressure. Everyone kept asking me about it and I know that some people really didn’t like it. But we were a really cool group, you know? We were like “yeah we are the young people from Finland and this is what we think and this is how we’re going to do it!” And we weren’t taking any sh*t from anybody. So we had a great attitude and I’m really proud of it. We did it out of love. We didn’t try to be provocative. This is just love and it’s supposed to be like that.

So what’s on the horizon for you? Have you got any new music coming out? And are you able to tell us anything about a possible involvement in UMK 2019?

Oh my God! [laughs] Everybody has been asking me about it. The only thing I can say is that there is going to be a press conference on the 29th January and then you’re going to know more. So I can’t tell you anything about that, but I have been doing lots of television shows in Finland and of course hosting UMK for many years. And I’ve been hosting other television shows as well. I do a lot of gigs in Finland and also around in the world. So we’ll see what happens. I did my own show at Teatteri Forum in Helsinki this Autumn and it was really nice – I loved that. I should do some music for myself as well. I’ve been writing music but I’ve been giving away my songs all the time.

I was going to ask you about that. You have a co-writing credit on the song “Bingle Bangle” by K-pop group, AOA. Do you have a love for K-pop and how did you get involved in that project?

Oh it was so crazy! True story. We wrote this song 3 years ago with almost the same team we wrote “Marry Me” with. It was for myself and I thought I really like this song. It was very catchy. But then I felt like I didn’t want to do it and I went to Melodiefestivalen to do all those things in Sweden. So I said “let’s give this song away” and we had someone who, I don’t know what the word is in English, but they make a contract and this person tries to pitch the song to different artists.

Oh like an agent or promoter?

Yeah like that. We got a phone call saying that we found the perfect group for this song. We were like “that sounds fun” and we were told it was a big girl group from Korea, AOA. I went and I checked them out found out they were huge! They wanted the song and it was their first come back single and first single from the album. It was number 1 on many lists in Korea so that was huge to me! It was such a random but funny thing. I hadn’t had any K-pop releases before that. I wrote songs for people around Europe but not anything that big.

AOA – K-pop girl group

When writing songs, do you have a process or a set way of doing things?

Yeah, quite the same way. I always write with somebody because I hate being alone. I hate doing things alone. So I’m really a team player. Then we sit with a producer and I say “Okay, I have an idea with a melody like this” or “I want to write a song about this theme” but we always start from somewhere. Sometimes it can be a lyric and I say that I want to do something with this and we just start brainstorming.

What is the next step after tonight? Where are you flying off to?

Next I’m going back to Finland because I have work there, and soon you will find out what that is.

You’re obviously successful in Finland, so how do you find the fans at home? What do they mean to you?

Well they mean a lot to me because without them I couldn’t do anything! And I’m always going to be so grateful to Eurovision, to UMK, and to “Marry Me” because when that happened, everything changed for me. I was nobody before that and when I won the Finnish national selection at UMK and went to represent Finland at Eurovision, everything changed for me. All of a sudden I had a career, gigs, I had everything. I’m so grateful for that.

Well you’ve kind of got a gig for life! You’re attached to Eurovision and you’ll never get away from that now.

And I love it! I’m not trying to get away from it. I’m just embracing it and want more. I really like the Eurovision bubble (people call it) because it really feels like a happy bubble. It makes you happy. You just want to be a part of it. And that’s why I’m always very happy every Spring before it starts. It’s just like, yes! That’s what it’s all about. When people ask me about Eurovision, people who don’t know anything about it, I tell them it’s just the best thing ever. You should come to a Eurovision party or a Eurovision club so you can see all the love and energy that’s there because it’s the best.

Krista performing “Marry Me” at Eurovision

Would you do Eurovision again? If the opportunity arose?

The thing is, I love Eurovision. That’s no secret. I would love to do it again but everything needs to be right. It needs to be the right song, everything needs to feel right, and with the right team. You know, stuff like that. So I would love to but I’m not the one who gets to decide, but yeah, I would love to do it!

Yes, bring it back to Finland!

Yes! But it’s funny because lots of people ask me if I want to go to Eurovision again. I think they probably feel it, that I love this Eurovision thing. So maybe one day. I need to start making songs for myself and stop giving them away! Maybe I need to focus a bit more on that now but it’s hard. I like to try new things so that’s why I’m like, so now I’m going to do Eurovision, and now I do television shows, and now I write songs and send them to Korea! I’ve always done a lot of things. It’s good but it’s also sometimes bad because it’s so hard to just focus on one thing.

But I suppose having vast experience helps you as a writer?

Yeah, I suppose that too. I think it’s just the way I am so I just need to embrace it and learn from it.

Well, thank you so much for your time. Have a blast tonight at Eurofest.

I’m sure we’ll find out what Krista is up to next very shortly : ) In the meantime, keep an eye out for announcements on the next Eurofest event in March!

Matt Baker

As a writer with the Eurovision disposition it was only inevitable that I should find myself merging these two interests. If it wasn't Sonia singing "Better the Devil You Know" that got me hooked on Eurovision, then it was the Gina G banger "Just a Little Bit". The 90's is where it all started for me, who knows where I'll end up!

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