Natalie Horler, front woman and singer for German dance trio Cascada, speaks with DW about her preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö - her chance to represent all of Germany, she says.
DW: You're well known not just in Germany but in many European countries. So what made you decide to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest?
Natalie Horler: The decision was to take part in the national preliminary round for the Eurovision Song Contest. And we won it. So we've just earned this thing, so to speak. For me, it's a very, very big honor to be able to participate. Going on stage for an entire country is a lot of pressure. But it's also very, very special.
It took some time for the German media to warm up to you. At first, there were suggestions that the song "Glorious" was plagiarized. Did that upset you?
Yeah, of course. Anything negative upsets anyone, I think. After all, I'm just flesh and blood. But you just have to pull through. It's a very superficial job, and there's baggage that goes along with that. People don't really know you personally. That's not really an excuse. But it does explain things. So you just have to keep on going. And I'm very happy right now that we're getting such a warm welcome.
Your two bandmates are not going to take the stage with you at the Song Contest in Malmö. Why not?
Because they're also generally not with me on stage. We're going to do that in typical Cascada fashion. My girls do the back-up singing. That's how we do it.
That's your onstage support. In addition, your mother and your sister are coming to Malmö to offer moral support. Do they usually go along when you perform abroad?
Not at all (laughs). No joke. I think I can count on one hand how often they have seen me on stage in nine years. I just do my job, and they work and study. But this here is of course a very special thing. They love to support me. And I'm really thrilled even if I won't be able to see them in that arena. I'll know they're there.
You're from Bonn, where Deutsche Welle is also located. So I know very well that it's a small, quiet city on the Rhine. Does it get boring for you after having seen so many big cities and metropolises?
No, not at all. I think if you've been traveling around in huge cities for years, then you want a quiet little spot to come back to. I feel very comfortable in Bonn.
The tailor that made your dress for Malmö also comes from Bonn. In the German national finals for Eurovision, you even had a hand in creating the dress. Why?
It's fun. I'm always making something. I made these shoes myself. These are just things that I like to do, and I won't let anyone take that from me. But with over a hundred million viewers of the show in Malmö, I wanted a professional to do the outfit.
Clearly the biggest goal would be winning the Eurovision Song Contest. But what's your minimum goal for Malmö?
I'm trying not to think about that so much. But to be honest, I don't want to end up near the bottom. I don't think anyone wants that. That has to do with the fact that it's not just my personal performance. You want to be able to go home to Germany and say: "Hey, I did my best. And it was cool." We'll see whether it works out.
You've had a chance to hear entries from the other participants. Who do you like the most, and who are your most serious competitors?
Right now, Robin from Sweden is one of my favorites because I've seldom heard such an incredible live voice. There are a lot of very good songs this time around. I'm into the Norwegian entry, and I find Austria really cool too.
Aside from rehearsals and unavoidable press appointments, how are you preparing for your performance on the evening of May 18?
At some point, I'll try to shut my mouth because I get hoarse. And, of course, I want to sing as well as possible. Otherwise, there's not too much to prepare. The preparations have been going on for the last three months. So now I'm here for everybody.
Will there be a break after Malmö?
No, not at all. Things continue straight on from there. We're booked up through November.
Natalie Horler of the dance trio Cascada is representing Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. The finale of the world's biggest music competition takes place in Malmö, Sweden, on May 18.
Interview: Andreas Brenner / gsw