Nadine Beiler was born in Innsbruck on the 27th of May, 1990. Her first performance on a big stage came in 2006 at the ORF Starmania casting show, where a little girl with a great voice won against 2,500 candidates, and later went on to prevail over all other contesters during the finals in January 2007. Following her victory Nadine’s music career progressed at a rather slow pace.
Since you can’t suppress talent for too long, however, Nadine joined the competition for the Austrian preliminaries for the Eurovision Song Contest in autumn 2010 - and what a brilliant comeback it was! On the 25th of February, 2011, viewers once again crowned her victor at a major prime time show, where she sang The Secret Is Love, for which she also wrote the lyrics.
Last Friday, Nadine took her time to talk to Eurovision.tv in between her rehearsals for a performance she had in Innsbruck, in front of thousands of policemen! Read our interview below.
"Europe will be suprised that we're not sending a joke entry this time"
Eurovision.tv: In just three weeks, the rehearsals for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest will start. How do you feel right now? Do you already know how exactly your stage performance will look?
Nadine Beiler: It still feels quite far away, I must say. I’m still busy with so many other things, as we are currently recording my new album. But the Eurovision concert in Amsterdam will of course give me a first glimpse of what will happen in Düsseldorf. It’s still like a new world for me, and I’ve yet to get the feeling.
Eurovision.tv: What memories do you have about the Austrian national final? Have you been confident to win, or was your victory a surprise for you?
Nadine Beiler: Well, it was already in 2007 when I won the talent show Starmania, and after that not much was to be heard from me, so I was actually were curious and excited to see how many people would still remember me and vote for me. Of course I thought I could win, everyone in a competition has to think that because otherwise there would be no point to participate. But in the end, I was very happy and surprised that it turned out to be such a clear victory.
"Starmania involved weeks of rehearsing and performing in several shows, and in the national selection, there was just one show, and then you’ve suddenly won!"
Eurovision.tv: Has your experience from Starmania actually helped you on the way to the Eurovision stage?
Nadine Beiler: The funny thing was that, in the national final, I performed in the same studio, on the very same stage as back in 2007 for Starmania. And of course it’s an advantage if you know the stage and have performed in front of the cameras already. On the other hand, it was kind of a strange feeling for me, as Starmania involved weeks of rehearsing and performing in several shows, and in the national selection, there was just one show, and then you’ve suddenly won!
Eurovision.tv: How did the national media and your colleagues react to your victory?
Nadine Beiler: Well, there have been discussions going on among the viewers, but the press has been very positive in general. I really feel that they are supporting me.
Eurovision.tv: You already met some other Eurovision Song Contest representatives even before the big Eurovision concert in Amsterdam. What kind of experiences and advice did you share?
Nadine Beiler: I met Lena at the Wok WM, a TV competition on German TV, and I also met Mika Newton while she was visiting Vienna. They are both such nice people, we had great talks, and I can’t wait to rock the stage together with them in Düsseldorf. Mika even invited me to Ukraine to perform my song there before the Eurovision Song Contest.
Eurovision.tv: The last time Austria was represented in the Eurovision Song Contest, back in 2007, Eric Papilaya came second-last in the Semi-Final, and after that, Austria dropped out for three years in a row. Does this recent history put you under particular pressure to succeed?
Nadine Beiler: No, absolutely not. Probably the whole Europe is expecting another joke entry from Austria, and they will be surprised that we actually have a quality song in Eurovision format this year. So, I already have this point (laughs)
Eurovision.tv: Does the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in another German-speaking country actually mean anything special for your participation?
Nadine Beiler: Of course. When last year Stefan Raab took over the German national selection, and Lena even went on to win the contest, people in Austria said that, if the Germans can do it, we should be able to do it as well. And that situation actually proved lucky for me, as already last year a colleague had asked me why I wouldn’t participate in the Eurovision Song Contest, but of course I was lacking an opportunity back then. But when our national broadcaster ORF and the national radio, OE3, teamed up to find the Austrian Eurovision representative after three years of absence from the contest, I was really happy to get this opportunity. And now there is a considerable Eurovision hype going on in Austria, especially after all those years without participation.
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Eurovision.tv: Your career as a pop star started already at a very young age, when you won the talent show Starmania. How have you and your musical style changed since then?
Nadine Beiler: Well, what has changed? I grew older, obviously. Though I didn’t grow much - maybe one centimetre (laughs). I would say that I learned a lot about the showbiz, and it helped me to watch it from a distance for some time. But now I feel I’m more ready for a career, and I have to admit to myself that, at sixteen, I was still too young for it. The main thing is that, back then, I was forced to record an album which wasn’t my musical style at all, and I really couldn’t identify with it. I had to sing schlager songs in German language, even though I had been singing in English for all my life. Now, I am really happy that I have the opportunity to go on stage with a self-written song and to record an album where I’m involved in the songwriting and production too. I think that’s precisely what every artist likes to do.
Eurovision.tv: You wrote the lyrics to The Secret Is Love yourself. Was that your first experience as a songwriter?
"When I was fourteen, I sent several songs of mine to a record company, but as I found out just recently, probably no one ever listened to them."
Nadine Beiler: Actually I wrote my first song when I was just seven years old (laughs). When I was fourteen, I sent several songs of mine to a record company, but as I found out just recently, probably no one ever listened to them (laughs). Anyway, I’m not new to songwriting and I’ve always enjoyed it.
Eurovision.tv: Which personal hopes and expectations do you connect to your participation in the Eurovision Song Contest? Are you aiming for an international career?
Nadine Beiler: The Eurovision Song Contest is the best promotion platform for musicians obviously, being the biggest music show in the whole world, watched by more than a hundred million viewers every year. Of course I hope that some people will notice me and that I’ll have a few fans abroad after the contest, too. And it would be great if I could really reach a good placing and then get an opportunity to release my album internationally.
Eurovision.tv: Austria and Germany share a sad chapter of Eurovision history - the two countries are famous for not giving each other any points. Do you know a way out of this dilemma?
Nadine Beiler: (laughs) Yes, that’s a strange phenomenon indeed. I actually found it very nice of Stefan Raab when he invited me to perform during the Wok WM, which took place here in Innsbruck, and he also said he would be very happy if both Austria and Switzerland would reach the Final in Düsseldorf. For me, it’s only a playful rivalry, just like in football. But, of course, like everyone else, I am extremely curious to find out how many points we will exchange this time, as there is so much tradition behind this question already.
Eurovision.tv: We surely keep our fingers crossed that you will get many points in the end, not only from Germany. Thanks for taking your time for this interview, and the best of luck to you in Düsseldorf!
Austria will be represented in the Second Semi-Final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, to take place on May 12th.