The Armenian delegation came to the Wiener Stadthalle early today to prepare for their second rehearsal. The country is being represented by Genealogy, the most international band in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. It consists of Essaï Altounian from France, Tamar Kaprelian from the US, Stephanie Topalian from Japan, Vahe Tilbian from Ethiopia, Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian from Australia, and Inga Arshakyan from Armenia.
Essaï Altounian was in a sunny mood today: "Everytime I am on stage I feel good because the stage is my place - I love to spread the energy and love with the people." He also explained the meaning of the color purple in the stage costumes of the Armenian act: "It's the color of hope of the Armenian culture. It means something deep for us. It's neither dark nor bright, it's the color of the roots and of the future. So it perfectly symbolizes the history of the Armenian people."
Inga Arshakyan has been on the Eurovision Song Contest stage already in 2009, together with her sister Anush. "The feelings are the same - I am extremely excited once again. The only difference is that right now we are six artists and back then I was with my sister. I was scared in the beginning because I didn't know them but now we have already become one big family. Right now I feel more confident because we are a bigger family now, and that makes us stronger."
Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian is an opera singer, so the Eurovision Song Contest is a new experience for her: "We are still working out the sound levels. Also the microphone placement is something new for me because I generally don't work with a microphone." She has quickly warmed with performing on this stage though: "I love it! Armenia's song is so universal, the message is universal, and also the appeal of the music is so universal because it draws from all the different genres. It has pop and rock, soul, Armenian folk music, classical music - something for everybody."
"2015 is important because it's the year of the diaspora"
In the press conference, a journalist from Wales asked Mary-Jean, who has Welsh roots, if she had taught her fellow band members any words in Welsh language. "I told everyone to say Llanelli - and Vahe is best at it", she replied, laughing.
One journalist from the US wanted to know why the year 2015 was important for the song and its message. "It's the year of the diaspora, and we are all members of the diaspora. It's been a great learning journey for me to get to know my roots", Mary-Jean replied.
Head of Delegation Gohar Gasparyan finished the press conference by announcing that a new song by Genealogy would be launched today at 15:00. So stay tuned!