1 – Dear Loïc, first of all our congratulations to you for being selected as the Belgian representative at Eurovision 2015! What do you feel now, becoming a Eurovision contestant?
I am feeling good. I do what I like so I am feeling good. I am just someone who sings and that’s all. Of course I am a Eurovision contestant but first I am a singer.
2 – Were you a big fan of Eurovision? Have you listened to the other contestants, any favourites so far?
Honestly, not really. I just knew the name of the contest. So when I was selected for it I learned about it and now I think it’s a great concept to make a huge show like that where a lot of European countries can make a show together and have fun together so I think it’s a great idea, a great concept.
I didn’t listen to the others. I made that decision because I don’t want to stress and have pressure. I know “Rhythm Inside” is different, it is not a typical Eurovision song. I don’t want to listen to the other songs because I don’t want to compare my work with the other artists and suddenly have a huge stress.
3 – How do you go from winning The Voice to representing Belgium at Eurovision? How did you get the message that you have been chosen for the contest and what was your first reaction to it?
I finished second at “The Voice Belgique”. After that I signed my contract with Sony Music. And one day in August I think the RTBF (the national French speaking broadcaster) contact Sony Music to know if I was interested in participating at the ESC and after Sony called me. At first I didn’t say yes right away. I said “ok I have to think about it”. I thought a lot about that proposition. I was a completely new artist without songs, style, or pictures, without anything and I wanted to be sure we had time enough to realize everything we had to do. That’s why I didn’t said yes directly.
4 - Can you describe your entry “Rhythm Inside”, and what is the message behind it?
“Rhythm Inside” is different. It is something powerful, very clean in musical sounds. It is pure. The universe of the song is dark. I mean in my head I see “Rhythm Inside” as something dark. Not as something bad. It is just the colours I see when I hear “Rhythm Inside”.
The message behind it is “we are all the same”. For example in the same street we can have a beautiful skinny girl and next to her we can have a big woman but as beautiful as the skinny girl. “Rhythm Inside” tells that story: “We are different, we have different personality and we are different person but inside everyone has blood and a heart. Everyone is human. You can be rich, pour, we are all the same.” Being different is not a reason not to walk in the same direction hands to hands. We have to help each other because we are humans and yes of course there are rich man, pour man, skinny or big people but that is not important. Everything is going to be fine and easier if we walk on the same way.
4b – Can you describe your entry “Rhythm Inside” in one sentence?
“Rhythm Inside” is about what we are, about who everyone is; it’s a message to people that says: “we are all the same”.
5 – Would you like to introduce yourself? How is Loïc, what do you do beside singing, tell us something more about your life and career, how do you spend your free time,…?
I am Loïc Nottet, I am 18 years old. I am a perfectionist. Maybe too much. I am someone that is ambitious and who likes challenges and who doesn’t like to lose challenges and fights. I mean I am not going to be happy if I lose my own project, if I mess my song or my video or my performance. I don’t want to lose challenges against myself. I am not someone that likes competitions, I don’t care about that. I just want to sing as better as I can and do my work like I want and share something with the audience and just have fun.
On my free time I dance a lot, I write novels or poetry. Weirdly I really hate reading books but I like writing them. It must be about the creativity you have to have when you write. It is not the same with reading. I am someone that is really nervous so I have to do something every time. I can’t stay sit on my chair and look through the window. I have to do something with my hands and feet.
I really like music and I need it to be fine in my skin. I really need dance and drama too. I need art in general. I would like to make a career in music and if it’s possible I would like to share my music with France, maybe England too. It’s crazy to think like this but I need it. If I just stay in Belgium it would be a huge defeat for me.
6 – You made it to the second place at “The Voice Belgique”. Do you think that the selection for the ESC is a second chance for you?
I don’t think it is a second chance for me to win something. It is a second chance for me to share something more with the audience.
7 – What type of performance are you going to give at Eurovision? Are you going to use new technologies or keep it simple? Are you going to dance? Is a choreography planed?
Something very bright, minimalistic and pure, clean, very robotic movements. There will be surprises. I am going to keep it simple but modern with new technologies. I think it’s going to be something new for Eurovision.
8 — Can you introduce the people who will be backing you on stage in your Eurovision performance?
It won’t be dancers but backing vocals. “Rhythm Inside” is a really complicated song and I needed a lot of voices for it and the main rule on ESC is that everything that is sang in the song has to be sing in real for the show. So “Rhythm Inside” needs a lot of voices so I needed a lot of backing vocals. Another rule is that there’s a limited number of people allowed on stage (6) so I had to choose if I wanted dancers or backing vocals and I think it was better to have backing vocals rather than dancers so I took backing vocals and tried to include the idea of dancers with the backing vocals.
I don’t know the whole team yet. I know one of the backing vocals. He casted the others that are from London. I have to trust him. I am impatient to see how they sing and perform.
9 – You are only 18 and have just started your career, how does it feel to have the opportunity to sing in front of dozens of millions of people? Do you feel the pressure already?
It’s a great opportunity to sing in front of a lot of people like there will be at ESC and it’s a better opportunity when you can choose everything about your performance, when you can choose what you want inside the screens, what you want for the choreography, the clothes, the make-up and everything like that. It’s a huge opportunity to sing in front of a lot of people to start your career and that you can choose everything so it is really you.
I don’t feel the pressure yet but only because I don’t think about it for the moment.
10 – What do you do to prepare for the ESC? How does your schedule look like? What is the most difficult for you in Eurovision preparation, what do you feel you need to practice more?
I do a lot of meetings with Sony Music and the national broadcaster, the RTBF. We gather and meet often to talk about the performance on stage. It is the way I prepare for Eurovision. A lot of meetings and a lot of creativity. I off course rehears my song few times a week.
I think the most difficult for me is to work with other people. I am someone that is used to work alone and I like it. I have my own ideas. So it’s difficult for me to work with a team. When I am sure about something I am sure about it and no one can change my mind. With the ESC, I learn something new. We are a team.
11 – Why singing in a foreign language and not in your mother tongue?
Because I have been in love with English since I was a child and every music I listen to is in English so it inspires me to do the same.
12 – Can you talk about your influences in music?
My influences in music are: Sia, Florence and the Machine, Lorde, London Grammar, Hurts and I also really love Queen.
13 – And if you could sing any songs at the contest, which one would it be and why?
Elastic Heart (Sia) I think because it’s a powerful song and it means so much to me. The lyrics matches a lot with who I am and it’s like a fight that Sia has with herself and like I have also.
14 – If I may ask more personal questions, are you still studying?
Not right now. For the moment I got my High School diploma last June and now I just decided to stop studying to make music. Maybe in several years, I will start school again to study something related to art.
15 – A lot of contestants are coming from singing competitions like The Voice, is it the main or easiest option you have now in the music industry to be discovered or heard?
I think it’s easier because that kind of show pushes new artists on the stage and it’s easier for us to meet a good audience and have a lot of viewers in a short amount of time. I think the visibility for an artist is the thing that is the most difficult to have and that kind of show makes it possible.
16 – What is your goal/aim for the ESC?
My goal is to have more experience and to meet a big audience. I would like to meet some new artists and new persons with whom I could collaborate.
17 – Do you have a message you would like to address to your fans?
Be who you are and try to enjoy life even if it’s not easy every day.
18 – Do you already have plans for after the ESC (singles, albums, tour, other…)? Are you already working on something?
Not really. I wish to do an album one day but I don’t know when. Maybe next year or in 2 years or…
19 – Can you tell us the story behind the creation of “Rhythm Inside”?
I was alone in my room around midnight something like that and I just begun to play with my piano and suddenly I found cool chords. After I tried to sing on it and I found the melody of “Rhythm Inside” and the song was born like that.
I knew that I wanted to talk about what hurts me. I really take care about equalities so I just wanted to talk about that in my song because I think it is important for an artist to say what he thinks and to make people react on it.
So I contacted BJ Scott that I knew from The Voice to put words on my ideas and I think she did it great.
20 – It is quite an unusual track for the Eurovision, how was it decided to work in this particular style?
It is not a particular style, it is mine. I didn’t wanted to do the ESC with something that doesn’t matches with me. I wouldn’t like to go on stage with something that doesn’t speak to me. It’s like lying to your fans and your public and it’s not cool. You have to be honest and everything will be fine. I didn’t work “Rhythm Inside” with the goal to win the Eurovision Song Contest. I worked on it as a single and something you would hear on the radio.
21 – Everyone is asking about the words “rapppabab” and “rompanpan”. What’s your understanding of it?
Rapapabab means the heart beating.
22 – Can you tell us more about the music video: its creation story and its meaning?
Creation: we went to London because we saw great pictures on a website of an artist from London called Joshua Brandon, so we contacted him to work with us on pictures first of all and after we talked about the video.
Meaning: I wrote a story with white people, black people and red people. The white people mean what the society would like us to be like be skinny, no revolution, etc, perfect persons. And the black people means the difference. It doesn’t mean something bad. For example, it is not because a girl is big that she is not as beautiful as the skinny girl or a fashion model. It is not because you are a boy that you cannot dance for example. Or because you are a girl that you cannot fight in the army. The red means that finally everyone is the same inside. Of course we are different, we have different personality and culture but inside we have the same things: a heart, blood and that’s all that matters.
23 – Did you ever been in Vienna before?
No, never. I saw Vienna with movies but I’ve never been there. I heard we drink tasty coffees there so I am impatient to taste them.