Miss Brandi Russell:
First of all how are you doing?
Right now im really busy, performing and finishing up my first solo album that will be released in January, and trying not to stress out too much about the Dutch choices for the ESC-- (im not that great at waiting...haha). But its a great ride im on at the moment, so its really incredible times. :)
Now lets make like an introduction to the ESC world, who is Brandi Russell? tell us something about you and you career.
Well- I grew up in the USA- in what you might call a "white trash" ghetto neighborhood. Music and performing saved my life and helped me escape from the life many thought I was destined to live. I started off performing leading roles in musical theater in America, and then moved to The Netherlands in 2005, where I, three years later, won the SBS Dutch televised talent show Popstars.
I sang lead in a kids oriented popgroup called RED, of whom the first single reached number 1 in the Dutch hitless. However, I wanted to write my own music and felt like I wasn't being true to myself as an artist. So, one year later, I broke free to go solo.My first solo single, Broken Doll, was a dance-pop hit that stayed in the Dutch Top 100 charts for two months. Ive had the opportunity to perform for some amazing events, such as the openings act for A Night to Remember, an 80’s pop concert with artists such as Rick Astley, T’Pau, Nik Kershaw, Paul Young and Marc Almond, Tour de France, the Ride for the Roses, Lego World, the Miss Nederland Finale and various GLBT Events, such as Koninginnedag aan de Amstel and Stockholm Pride 2011, where I was an official artist.
Currently, Im working on my first solo album to be released in the beginning of next year, where i've had the honor of working with some of the best in the business, such as Emil Hellman – one of the founders of the famous Cherion Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and producer of artists such as Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Ace of Base, George Michael and Agnes Carlsson; Peter Hägerås, producer of artists such as Taylor Dayne with the hit song “Facing a Miracle” for the Gay Olympics 2010, Eric van Tijn – jury from the Dutch Idols and X-Factor – and Jochem Fluitsma –Dutch power duo- together they produced 40 number 1 hits -; Bruce R.F. Smith – who has written diverse number 1 hits for artists worldwide (from the US to Europe to Japan) and many ESC hits, and Alan Glass who has sold millions of records and has written for older and newer artists such as Kenny G, Earth Wind & Fire, Sheena Easton, Jennifer Holiday, Lighthouse Family, Aretha Franklin, Caught In the Act, en Liberty X, Udo, Jocelyn Brown, No Angels –and many others.
This year TROS made an open call for songs cause there will be a National final next year, what made you want to participate? and what are you expecting from all this?
Being a part of the ESC has been a dream of mine since I moved to The Netherlands in 2005 and saw the ESC for the first time. I just LOVE the glitter and glamour and the fact that for one time in a year, all of Europe can come together, celebrate, and become one! I just think its so amazing, and it would be a great honor to be involved with something I believe is so meaningful.
As far as The Netherlands, I believe that we have to open our minds up to what the rest of Europe wants to hear, instead of what popular is in the Dutch cafes, and because my music is created by so many international hearts and minds, I believe that it has the best chance of bringing our country finally back into the finale.
How many songs did you submitted? and if you can tell us who are the composers, the style of the songs and how are you preparing the performances?
I have submitted four songs. haha! I just couldn't decide- so I thought- let them decide! But there have been over 100 songs submitted, so I have to keep hoping that at least one of my songs will make a big chance. I am working with the choreographer Roy Julen, who is the head choreographer of So You Think You Can Dance and the first Dutch dance film Body Language, and have recently arranged styling from the famous American designers The Blonds (who have designed for stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Nikki Minage, Adam Lambert, Sex and the City). With these amazing people onboard, I cant imagine how it could be any better!!
DRUG OF OBLIVION (dance / pop)
Miss Brandi Russell
Bruce R.F. Smith
SOMETHING TO ME (ballad - think in the style of Bleeding Love)
FALLING THE HARD WAY (dance / pop)
The Netherlands have failed to enter in the final since 2005, what do you think about this?
To be honest, the last few years did not surprise me that much. There hasn't been that much surprise or glitter and glamour that the international audience expects in the ESC. However, I did think that Hind did a great job and should've come a bit farther than she did.
This being said, however, I am also aware that my music and style is typically "un-Dutch"-- so I am wondering how big my chances are of being chosen to participate in the National Finale....
The Toppers, Sieneke and 3js were the last 3 representers of The Netherlands in Eurovision, if you remember their songs and performances, can you give us your opinion about them? what was wrong with those songs that Europe didnt vote for them?
Well, I think this is an obvious answer. These are acts and artists that are very popular in the cafes in The Netherlands, who have thousands - millions of fans. But its something that people here have grown up with. These artists have fully booked schedules here in The Netherlands. But- because I also come from another country- I do understand why it doesn't work on an international stage. If you don't grow up with these artists or this kind of music (like the song Sieneke sang)- you just don't understand it.
I think that the people who have chosen the music representing The Netherlands the past few years have chosen what the Dutch people like, and have not taken into consideration what international ears want to hear. That has been the problem I think. I wonder if it will change this year. I hope so- we have done our very best to get the best team together to create an amazing package together that could be an unstoppable force at the ESC, but it has to first be accepted by the Dutch public, and I'm bracing myself for a difficult challenge. :)
What can you bring to the Eurovision world?
Im ready to bring back some traditional diva glamour- American style showmanship and a passionate, emotional performance that touches your soul. The whole package- with a combination of cultures to make the most wonderful international package!
And if I cant go for The Netherlands, then I'd definitely be open to representing another country. :) This music has the chance to win....
Do you have a message to the Eurovision fans?
Its great to meet everyone reading this- and I do hope that I will be able to represent The Netherlands. I want to reach out you all and get to know each and every one of you!!!!
You can help- by following me on Twitter: missbrandiruss or "liking" my Facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/missbrandirussell and the best way is to send a "tweet" to help my campagne to @TROS, @songfestival -- petition for Miss Brandi Russell to represent The Netherlands in the ESC!!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!
Thanks to Miss Brandi Russell and i really hope to see her in the line up of the Dutch National Final.