Rotterdam 2021πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ Bulgaria

πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ VICTORIA: “”Growing Up Is Getting Old”, was the right choice for Eurovision.” [INTERVIEW]

Eurovision month is officially here, and that means ESCXTRA continues their chats with this year’s artists. Our editor Bente had the opportunity to sit down with VICTORIA from Bulgaria, who is performing “Growing Up Is Getting Old” in the Second Semi-Final on May 20. This interview is extra special, though: while our other interviews have been virtual, VICTORIA the Bulgarian Eurovision team invited a journalist from ESCXTRA to Bulgaria to do an in-person interview with VICTORIA! On this weekend trip, I got to visit the beautiful cities of Sofia and Plovdiv and spend time with fellow journalists and team Eurovision Bulgaria, thank you!

This interview was undertaken with negative COVID-19 tests from all participating parties and following all regulations in Bulgaria. We want to thank the Bulgarian delegation and the Bulgarian Ministry of Travel for this special opportunity. Watch the interview below:

The magical creation of “Growing Up Is Getting Old”

Despite being VICTORIA’s 2021 entry, “Growing Up Is Getting Old” was actually written in 2019 at a songwriting camp in Bulgaria. VICTORIA explains that:

“I was feeling down at the moment, and I wanted to write a song that gives me hope. We had a session with the team and I was like ‘I wrote a note yesterday, can I show it to you?’. And my other songwriter heard the start of “Growing Up Is Getting Old” and she was like, ‘Oh my god this is actually so good!’ We were sitting with the team, seeing what we can do, and I wrote some other notes and that was half of the song at the time. It was a very, very magical moment, because we made it in like 5 hours.”

VICTORIA describing the creation of “Growing Up Is Getting Old”

VICTORIA explains that “Growing Up Is Getting Old” was even created before “Tears Getting Sober”, her Eurovision entry from 2020. She says that after the cancellation of the 2020 contest, including the rule that new songs must be submitted, she struggled a lot in the beginning with finding new music that would compare to “Tears Getting Sober.” Eventually, she returned to “Growing Up Is Getting Old” and realized how to tweak and improve it into the song we all know and love now!

Personal connections

“Growing Up Is Getting Old” is a song which describes an emotional journey from childhood to becoming an adult and realizing that getting older is inevitable. When asked about the meaning of the song for her, VICTORIA explained that

“It means that however hard life can be, because life is hard sometimes, when you face life as a grown-up person it can be quite difficult. When you are a child, you want to grow up so fast, you say ‘I wanna be a grown up, I wanna do all these things and be on my own.’ And then when you have to face life, it can be hard to do all those things alone. It is very personal for me, because I was thinking about my family when I was writing it. I really love them, and I wanted to show them that I love them. It is so important to show your family, siblings, and closest friends that you love them every day, and to not waste your time. And also to love yourself, because people are worth saving, and you just have to keep moving. That’s life.”

VICTORIA on the meaning of “Growing Up Is Getting Old.”

With such a personal song, it may feel strange for an artist to open themselves up and share their story with a large audience. VICTORIA says that for her, she does not feel strange about sharing her story with people, because she likes to show both the good and the bad side of life. Most people try to hide their pain and struggles, and VICTORIA wants to tell people about both good and bad things, the most important thing is to have a message.

Selecting the right song for Eurovision

Fans who have kept an eye on national finals and preselections most likely heard about Bulgaria’s selection process. VICTORIA’s EP ‘a little dramatic’ featured 5 songs, all of which were potential songs for Eurovision 2021. When asked about the selection process, VICTORIA shared that:

“It was very hard, because it was my first EP and all of the songs are mine. I really am a part of every song, and you can choose only one from all of your songs, all of your babies. In the end, it was a battle between “Growing Up Is Getting Old” and “Imaginary Friend”. It was really hard, but me and my team, and also the stage directors, were like “Growing Up Is Getting Old” has the best message out of these songs, which is really important with the difficulties from last year in mind as well. I am really happy with the choice we made, and I think it’s the right choice.”

VICTORIA on the song selection

Creating a song oftentimes also means creating a music video, which for VICTORIA was special as well. She had the idea in mind for a long time and the director (conveniently also named Victoria) loved it right away! One of the characters in the music video is a young girl who represents a younger VICTORIA, and she explains that they connected right away. For the shot where they hug each other, they sat there for approximately 2 hours to get as many good angles as possible. Watch the music video below:

ESCXTRA wants to thank VICTORIA and her team for this interview opportunity! It was a pleasure to visit Bulgaria and get to know the Bulgarian Eurovision team over the weekend.

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