Exclusive: Australia’s Dami Im talks Eurovision and “Classic Carpenters”

With the Eurovision Song Contest just around the corner, music fans all around the world are getting excited for the festivities. In particular, Australia will be extra revved up, as it is entering the competition for only the second time! The nation has enlisted the powerhouse vocals of 2014’s X Factor champion, Dami Im, to lead it to victory this year.

We were lucky enough to have a chat with the incredible songstress during her busy schedule: from Eurovision, a new album and a new tour, it’s fair to say the Australian has one hell of a year ahead of her.

Have a read of what Dami had to say about it!

 

CM: First off: Congratulations on becoming Australia’s representative at Eurovision 2016, Dami! Are you a big fan of the contest? Did you watch Eurovision growing up?

DI: I am so thrilled and honoured to be representing Australia at Eurovision this year in Stockholm. I have always loved watching Eurovision with my school friends. I was so excited when Australia was invited last year to compete for the first time! We always wanted to join the fun so we’re super thrilled that we were invited. 

Are you feeling the pressure to compete at the standard that Guy Sebastian set last year for Australia? 

Guy is one of Australia’s most amazing artists and to follow his footsteps is an honour and also a big pressure. Especially since he did so well last year by coming 5th in the competition. Australia was given the Wild Card last year to go straight into the Finals whereas this year I have to go through the Semi Finals so there is that added pressure.

Exclusive: Australia's Dami Im talks Eurovision and "Classic Carpenters" 1
Dami on stage after her Eurovision announcement, alongside Eurovision veteran, Conchita Wurst, and Australia’s first contestant, Guy Sebastian!

How surreal is it to be able to perform on the world stage? 

It is still so hard to believe that I will be performing on that stage for the whole world to see. For any artist, this is as big as it gets.

When did you initially begin working on your Eurovision single, “Sound of Silence”, and how long was that process?

As soon as I knew I was going to be in Eurovision, I asked my team DNA (David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii) who has written my very first single ‘Alive’, to write a song for me. They are one of the greatest songwriters in Australia, if not in the world and when I heard Sound of Silence for the first time, I knew it was going to be THE song for Eurovision.

You also released a music video to accompany “Sound of Silence” and we love it! Over 2 million other people can agree. Are you surprised at all at the great reception?

YES! I can’t believe it gained over 2 million views in just a couple of weeks. I’m just so over the moon and thankful for the positive comments on my song and my video.

What message or story were you trying to convey in your single? 

‘Sound of Silence’ is about the loneliness you feel being away from someone you love. It’s also about feeling disconnected because these days we live in a world where it is easy to be connected every minute of the day but along with this connection you can feel alone and isolated.

Exclusive: Australia's Dami Im talks Eurovision and "Classic Carpenters" 3
Dami Im stuns in her new single, “Sound of Silence”.

More exciting news for your fans: you announced that you are going on tour in the second half of this year! Which songs are you most looking forward to performing live?

I’ll definitely be performing Sound of Silence, (probably at every show I do for the rest of my life, haha) and songs from my upcoming album, Classic Carpenters,  as well as some of my past hits such as Super Love and Gladiator.

Have you started planning the stage setting yet? 

I want my performance to be interesting and spectacular to watch for the viewers, but also want to ensure I connect with the audience in an intimate way. I am working with a team of amazing people to help me create that through stage design, movements and costume. Stay tuned!

 What can fans look forward to if they’re going to one of your shows?

I want my shows to be all about the beauty of music. I’m going to be performing with my band and my back up singers and maybe playing some other instruments as well so it will be an exciting mix of voice and instruments.

On top of the Eurovision news, a new single, a new music video and a new tour, you also announced your new album, “Classic Carpenters”! How long has the album been in the works?

I’ve been working on this album since last year.

Tell us a little bit about the album and the inspiration behind the album title.

I’ve always loved The Carpenter’s music which is timeless and so beautiful, this is a very special project for me. I will then commence my first national Australia tour in July which I am so excited about!  If you are in Australia you must come and say hello!

Exclusive: Australia's Dami Im talks Eurovision and "Classic Carpenters" 4

Which Eurovision song are you most excited for everyone to hear? Why?

There are some incredible contestants this year, a few of my favourites that I have come across so far…

1. Sweden’s ‘If I Were Sorry’ by Frans. It is so catchy and I like how it’s a bit folky as well. I love Frans’ voice, too.

2. UK’s ‘You’re Not Alone’ by Joe and Jake. I love that it’s such an upbeat song and also the fact that one of them plays the guitar.

3. Spain’s ‘Say Yay’ by Barei. It’s such a cool song that makes me want to dance! I love the video clip with all the dancers on the street.

The music industry is a difficult industry to break into. What are you most grateful for since beginning your music career?

I began my musical journey playing classical piano when I was young, then started singing in my bedroom when I was 13! My biggest break came as a singer when I won The X Factor Australia 2013, and another highlight was touring Australia with John Legend as his support act… that was incredible.

As the first ever Asian winner of “X Factor”, do you feel like you’ve set a precedent for other people of colour to break boundaries in the entertainment industry?

I don’t usually think about this but sometimes I have people from various backgrounds come to me. They say thank you for representing them in the mainstream media and I’m reminded that I’m making a difference by reminding people that they are a legitimate part of the Australian society.

You began your passion for music as a jazz and gospel singer. Do you think you’ll return to those genres of music in the near future? 

Every experience from the past makes me who I am today and same goes with my music, Everything I have done in the past has an effect on the music I make today.

How incredible has your Dami Army been in your career thus far? 

Dami Army have been so amazing all these years. They have been supporting me every step of the way and have been a huge part of the milestones from becoming the winner of the X Factor to making my songs reach platinum on the charts to now going to the world stage at Eurovision. I feel like they will be with me for a very long time and all I can do is to do my best and make them feel proud.

We’re certain your fanbase will continue to support you, along with the rest of Australia. From CelebMix: good luck at the Eurovision Song Contest this year and we can’t wait to hear your new album, Dami!

Thank you :D

 

Now we can’t help but sit in front of our television screens and wait for Dami’s debut on the world stage. She’ll be performing her Eurovision song at Semi-final 2, so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

Watch Dami’s official music video for her Eurovision single, Sound of Silence, which has now reached over 3 million views!

What do you think of our interview with Dami Im? Tweet us at @CelebMix or comment below!

Written by Uyen