Jamie-Lee knows what she wants. DW spoke to a relaxed German candidate for the European Song Contest before the young woman left for Stockholm.
DW: How are you feeling, just days away from the great ESC adventure?
Jamie-Lee Kriewitz: I'm totally looking forward to Stockholm, and for things to finally start. These past two months, I've constantly answered questions about what I expect it will be like. Now, I want to actually experience it and can hardly wait for this one crucial performance. I am totally looking forward to the atmosphere in the concert hall and to see how I'll be ranked. I'm ready to get going.
Half a year ago, you were just a school girl. Then you won the season's final of "The Voice of Germany" casting show, won the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and you've launched your first album. Do you ever feel like pinching yourself to see if you might, after all, be dreaming?
It's not really become real for me yet, everything is just flying by. Back when I won "The Voice," I didn't really realize that I'd won that casting show either. And it hasn't quite sunk in that I am representing Germany at the ESC, I guess it'll take a few months before I really get it. And I'm glad I haven't yet realized it, actually, because if I had, the pressure would be so much greater.
Can you recall the moment you won the competition to represent Germany at the ESC?
I was totally relieved. Knowing that people like me and trust me with this task is an incredible feeling. It's a huge honor. On the heels of "The Voice of Germany," it was the next big success, and it made me so very happy.
Does competition spur you on?
I've only started to feel competitive since the German national final. I won't name names, but my first meeting with two of the other candidates didn't go well, they weren't nice to me. That motivated me to do better than they did. I told myself: you have to succeed, you just won't put up with this.
Meanwhile, "Berlin"- your first album - has been released. Are you happy with it?
I'd say it's perfect. I love to listen to emotional, melancholic music with a certain atmospheric depth. That's what I wanted my songs to reflect, too. It turned out just like I wanted it to. The album is incredibly sentimental, and you can really "feel" the emotion in these songs. I've always had songs that accompanied me in certain situations.
You've been singing in a gospel choir for the past five years. What do you like about singing?
I started singing when I was eight or nine years old - I used "Singstar" on my play station! That's when I realized I sang well, I was just better than the others. So I just kept on singing, and at some point, I couldn't go a day without it. It totally relaxes me and distracts me from other things. When I'm alone and singing, I'm in a world of my own. It makes me very happy that I can make my own music now and that other people are crazy about it, too!
It's not just your voice that's striking, but also your outfits that look like Japanese manga comics. What's the fascination there?
I dress in the Decora Kei style. That's an attention-grabber for sure, and it's cool. I always loved looking different from others. And this style is so positive. It's childlike and casual and makies people smile. That's what I really like about it.
Will your outfit help you at the ESC?
Wearing that kind of an outfit on state certainly gives me a feeling of security. And I know people won't easily forget me in it and against the backdrop that goes along with it. At the ESC, that can only be to my advantage. I have to feel comfortable. I'd never go on stage in an outfit I don't like. I love these outfits, and I love standing out, being looked at. In general, I've noticed the audience thinks it's interesting, so they'll really look at me and listen to me sing.
What do you expect at the ESC?
I hope I'll have fun, that I can enjoy it and won't just be pushed around all the time. I'd like to talk to other candidates, perhaps even form friendships. I would like the evening to be one big music party rather than a competition. The audience should celebrate each and every one who goes on stage. It's incredible that I'll have such a huge audience. Last year, 200 million people watched. That's an audience many an international star doesn't have. It's mega that I get to perform to such an audience.
What are your plans for after the ESC?
International feedback would be cool, perhaps resulting in performances. Even if I were to win the ESC, it's a lot of work to keep everybody talking about you. But I think I can do it.
Interview Hendrik Welling / db
Jamie-Lee Kriewitz is Germany's contestant at the Eurovision Song Contest on May 14.