Conchita reveals more about her exciting new radio concert and all things Eurovision...
With Eurovision soon underway in Lisbon, starting with the semi finals being shown live on BBC4, Austria’s 2014 winner Conchita talks about her upcoming Radio 2 concert, Conchita lookalikes and some of the struggles she’s had to endure….
WOTV: Tell us about your new concert, Friday Night Is Music Night: Conchita! on Radio 2, which is to be broadcast on May 11th?
Conchita: “I sang numbers that were special to me at the Palladium accompanied by the BBC concert orchestra. Judy Garland famously sung at the Palladium and I sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the same stage. It took us two years to come up with the whole set list and concept. I wanted to challenge myself.”
WOTV: Who were in the audience?
Conchita: “There were many Eurovision fans, and obviously so many boys! I love that and you know I love my gays so it was really a fabulous crowd, it was good fun. Also there were many people I know from along tmy journey, so I got a standing ovation just for walking on!”
WOTV: You’re very well loved and so well regarded…
Conchia: “Thank you for saying that. I don’t consider myself as a really big thing but I’m working on it! I’m not that confident as many people would think, I’m really when it comes to… I’m really not that secure when it comes to that because I could slaughter myself by rewatching what I do.”
WOTV: Which singer inspired you?
Conchita: “Yes. I grew up listening to Shirley Bassey. She taught me how to sing I think.”
WOTV: It’s nearly four years ago that you won Eurovision. Can you believe it?
Conchita: “It’s insane and what I’m so thankful for is that four years in the music business I have some kind of relevance. I’m still so busy.”
WOTV: How do you find the people from your Austrian village now Eurovision has made you so famous?
Conchita: “You know it’s bittersweet to go home to be honest, especially to get a forced hug from someone who knew me in school when they weren’t my friend. I’m probably a little hard on those people because I knew them for such a long time and that’s why it’s not just nice to go home if I’m honest. It’s not like they’re enemies but many didn’t get what I was from a very young age. You know I was the little boy ice-skating, trying to do pirouettes, and everybody was like what is he doing? I went to kindergarten in a dress and all that stuff too and I’m so thankful for my parents because they were just like, let him roll with it.”
WOTV: Do you see lots of Conchita lookalikes?
Conchita: “Oh I love Halloween and carnival time when there are so many Conchita lookalikes. It’s the easiest look you can pull off, just buy a wig, don’t shave for a week, done.”
WOTV: How long does it take to transform from Tom to Conchita?
Conchita: “Well in the beginning it took me quite a while because I had more make up on and it took quite a while, because it was more theatrical and feminine than it is now. But it can be done in 30 minutes. I always do it myself, as feel like I know my face the best and I know how I want to look.”
WOTV: Are clothes still a big passion for you?
Conchita: “Oh I love fashion. Actually that’s my profession, so that would be my job if I wasn’t on stage. I’d make dresses and clothing so yes obviously this is a huge part of my life and when it comes to fashion and style I started out being very feminine so loved the dresses and the gowns and the high heels. But I’ve been there and done that so I’m not really into that anymore, so I really try to find basically my own style because I created Conchita and it was a very specific look. I’m still obviously Conchita and it’s a brand and I get that but I really think I’m morphing into an artist, I’ve now found my own style, my own music style.”
WOTV: Do you get recognised as Tom?
Conchita: “Oh no and I love it! And the thing is when I’m not working, I’m a party animal so I really don’t need anybody to see me dancing on the bar at 4am. I think you have to live your life to the fullest. I’m a hard worker but when I have days off and when I’m on holiday I’m loose!”
WOTV: Are you going to this year’s Eurovision?
Conchita: “I’d love to go to Lisbon if it will fit into my schedule. My grandmother grew up there so I’d love to go with her! And as it was first Portugal win last year, it’ll be massive and amazing.”
* Conchita’s concert, Friday Night Is Music Night: Conchita!, is on Radio 2, Friday May 11, 8pm
* The Eurovision Semi Finals are on BBC4, Tuesday and Thursday
Maim image: Dominic Steinmann/REX/Shutterstock, Conchita in Vienna: APA-PictureDesk GmbH/REX/Shuttertock