Annet Artani: “I deserve a second chance”

Annet Artani interview

The Swiss German speaking broadcaster SRF once again uploaded all the songs it received on its video portal for everyone to listen. As per usual, SRF’s pre-selection is filled with former Eurovision participants and this time Daria Kinzer (Croatia 2011) and Annet Artani (Cyprus 2006) entered the race. We spoke to the latter one and found out where she has been for the last seven years and whether ESC 2006 was a positive experience or not.

Annet, 37, has Greek roots but she lives in USA where she also began her career. One of the absolute highlights of it was her cooperation with Britney Spears. Her hit ‘Everytime’ was written by Annet together with her – before that, Annet had been Britney’s backing vocalist.

– After that I moved to Greece and started my recording career there, and eventually touring all of Europe and Australia. After my ticket to Eurovision in 2006 with Cyprus, I began flying back to the US and Canada working with different producers and wound up signing to Ultra Records (Tiesto, David Guetta) in NYC. I released my first maxi single “Alive” and began my radio tour.

– After deciding I wanted to change my musical style, I went back to my musical roots and started writing an album with my songwriting partner Eric Nicolas from when i was 18, our first single went viral on YouTube called “Mouthful of Me”.

Annet describes herself as ‘an honest, open and warm person’.

– I try to find good in everyone I meet. I would rather look at the bright side of things, than think negative. I also love animals and rescue them, get them medical attention and then find them homes. I believe all beings have souls and should be loved.

2006 result was a disappointment

Annet was invited by the Cypriot broadcaster to compete in their national final which she won despite being ill at the time. Annet says that the 2006 contest did leave her mainly good memories despite not being able to reach the final.

– Singing in the Olympic Stadium, being Greek, was one of the greatest moments of my life. I will never forget walking on that stage thinking i was going to throw up and die, and then it all changed the minute i started to sing.

– I traveled to 14 countries and got to see how other people live, meet some amazing people, and made some historical moments. I was the first Cypriot representative to go to Turkey and I was banned from their national television channel. However, Sibel Tüzün, who represented Turkey that year, invited me herself and treated me like family and we got to perform on the biggest shows together. I made a friend for life.

But unlike her friend Sibel, Annet wasn’t one of the lucky ten to qualify for the final from the semi-final. Here she partly blames the alleged voting problems.

– I received messages from so many people on my website saying they tried to vote but the lines were not going through and they weren’t able to. It made me think something very unfair happened. I wish i knew the truth, but either way, you cannot change the past. I hope and believe that people are decent and that if I make it there again, the voting lines will be open with no problems. I feel like i deserve a second chance.

She finished 15th in the semi-final after receiving a total of 57 points. 12 came from Greece and 10 from Monaco.

Entering the Swiss pre-selection wasn’t planned

Annet has sent ‘You Got What I Need‘ to the broadcaster and now it is up to the online voters and the internal jury to decide whether she qualifies for the next step or not. The song was written in Norway by Annet together with the British Andrew Bullimore and Michael Angelo. In fact, it wasn’t written for Eurovision and not even to be performed by Annet.

– We wrote this song to maybe give it to a girl group in the UK but fate had it that it was meant to be in Eurovision – we hope so atleast! I started thinking of an old 80s song by Bizmarkie, with the same title, and we started playing with the idea. And being that i am in love right now, I started thinking about how i got together with my boyfriend. So in my head, I was writing my part of the lyrics for him.

But why is she trying to get to represent Switzerland?

– What i love about Switzerland is that they welcome anyone to join and submit music. In history, Switzerland has always been known to be a peace keeper, neutral. I love the idea of representing a country that supports talent, no matter where its from and whose history is full of peace and equality.

‘Eurovision must not become too serious’

– I think Eurovision is evolving and will always be something fun for everyone to see. The day it all becomes too serious, it will become boring. Part of being European is about being open and free with yourself, and Eurovision expresses that exactly. As someone who is both a US and Greek citizen, I would love to be an ambassador of Eurovision to the US and show them how we rock the stage in Europe. I think its time they knew!

Annet’s future plans are well planned and Eurovision is only one of the projects she is working on right now. New music is coming and she is also acting in a short film called ‘Rojita’. It will be released in spring.

– I am about to release a film as the lead actress, and I’m working on my next video and single since the first one was such a success. I just signed with a huge music publisher in the UK called Notting Hill Music Publishing and I will also be traveling the world writing music for myself and other artists.

The online voting on the website of SRF is open between November 4th and 18th. Each user has four votes to give away. Also a jury, named by the broadcaster, will vote for their favorites so that they have another 50% stake of the outcome. Nine songs qualify for the ‘Expert Check’ and eventually SRF will have three entrants competing in the national final.

Annet can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube