András Kállay-Saunders became famous through his participation in the Megasztár talent show, and while working on his career, he soon discovered his love for the Eurovision Song Contest. In his third attempt, he finally won the Hungarian national selection A Dal in 2014 with Running. The song has a very strong message and a personal link to Kállay: "I wrote this song about a childhood friend of mine, and people I have met with similar stories throughout my life. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I wrote this song about their experiences and everything that they went though. I would like to raise awareness to this topic."
András Kállay-Saunders was born on January 28, 1985 in New York City to Hungarian model Katalin Kállay and American soul-singer and producer Fernando Saunders. Autumn of 2009, Kállay decided to visit Hungary to reunite with his mother as well as spending quality time with his grandmother.
During his visit, he noticed a TV commercial urging talented singers to audition for the nation’s talent competition Megasztár. Kállay finished fourth in the contest but gained a life-changing experience. He realised the doors were opened toward making a life-long dream come true with hard work and dedication. He went on to sign with Universal and permanently resided in Hungary.
Climbing to the top
In 2012, Kállay entered the Hungarian Eurovision national selection show A Dal, but he unfortunately came short of the finals. During this competition, he developed a pride towards one day bringing the big stage to the country that opened doors to his dream. In 2013 he entered A Dal again with his single My Baby and reached 2nd place. He still had the desire to represent Hungary in Eurovision and wasn’t going to give up trying just yet. While having many songs to his arsenal, Kállay felt it was time to show Hungary a deeper song and chose to send Running, a song inspired by a childhood friend, who grew up dealing with domestic violence and child abuse. Kállay wanted to give children and people in this situation hope. After great success throughout, Kállay ended the competition with the dream of showcasing his talents throughout Europe by representing Hungary in the Eurovision Song Contest coming true. He enjoys this accomplishment with a great deal of gratitude for his family, friends, fans, peers, and Hungary for the love and support that helped him along the way. He now looks forward to winning the hearts of people around Europe on Eurovision and making his country proud.
A sad but important topic
András Kállay-Saunders shares the story behind his Eurovision entry: "My song Running is based on a true story. I wrote this song about a childhood friend of mine, and people I have met with similar stories throughout my life. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I wrote this song about their experiences and everything that they went though. I would like to raise awareness to this topic. This is not your typical love song, but we must not forget that this is something that happens every day, all across the world. I would like for children to know that they don't have to be afraid to ask for help. I am very happy that not only do I get to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest, but my message will reach each and every person that will be watching Eurovision."
No rules and boundaries in music
"I write most of my songs while walking on the street, or taking a shower. All of my songs are about things that I have experienced in my life, or people close to me. I get inspiration from many things, all the way from a smile, to the tears of a homeless man on the subway. The beautiful thing about music is that you can write about anything, there are no rules or boundaries to the way you express yourself", Kállay-Saunders explains. "The Eurovision song contest is a great way to bring different countries and cultures together. I love hearing all the different styles of music across Europe all on one stage. It was always a big dream of mine to represent Hungary, I guess you can say I am the happiest person alive right now."
András Kállay-Saunders also has a message for his fans: "I just want to say thank you to everyone who believes in me and supports me... I will never forget that without you guys I would not be living my dream. I am very grateful and thankful for all of you. I hope I can bring great music to your ears, and touch many hearts with my music. I love you all!"