Where are they now? Liselotte Östblom (Limelights)18 July 2014 at 15:18 CEST
“If course I remember Junior Eurovision since it was one of the greatest moments of my life,” says Liselotte, who still has fond memories of the competition. “The excitement of rehearsing our song in the empty stadium, the fun of being there with the TV-team and our families, the beautiful snow and of course the "moment" when we went on stage and sang our song- how nervous I was before but while standing there and singing to the camera I just felt such calmness and joy and I could really enjoy it to its fullest!”
As part of Limelights, Liselotte performed together with Anna Jalkéus who were almost together since birth! “We met as babies, We invited each other to our first birthday, or maybe it was because of our parents being friends... Haha!” jokes Liselotte. “Then we went to a school in Stockholm where there is choir on the schedule everyday together and we became best friends. It was natural for us to write music together since we were such great friends and a competition in school made us write ‘Varför jag’”.
What was the meaning of the song? “We wanted to write a song with a deep meaning, not only about love as many songs are, so we wrote a song about bullying and a lonely person who wonders why everyone ignores him/her,” she explains. “At school many people experience that- but they are silent about it. Luckily, we weren't chosen to compete in our school so we applied to the Swedish JESC instead. I've always dreamed about entering Eurovision since I was very young so when we saw that you could send in your song we really wanted to do it- but I could never in my dreams imagine that we would be accepted and later win! It's still a sweet surprise when I think about it, haha!”
After their return from Junior Eurovision, Limelights toured extensively across Sweden. “We were released on a single and on the Swedish Preselection CD - so every weekend for about a year we were out in all of Sweden for promotion tours, singing and signing CDs. We also did another performance on TV, and on the spring we won another song-writing competition with a song that I wrote,” says Liselotte. “But after that, we decided not to continue and honestly, it was a good decision for us and to have a normal life as a teenager. It's very important not to become a product at a young age.”
“Anna and I have been following each other musically; after the choir school we went to a music high school (Södra Latins gymnasium) where other famous artists have gone like Carola, Danny Saucedo and Dirty Loops,” continues Liselotte, when asked about what the girls are up to now. “Today we are studying jazz vocals on The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, but I'm one year below so it's great to follow each other’s journeys even though now We are doing very different things with our voices and Music! Anna plays the harp and composes amazing pop-tunes!”
What Did Junior Eurovision teach Liselotte? “I learned after JESC that I didn't want to go after the commercial music industry because of the experiences I made, so I continued to do my thing and develop my singing in mainly soul and jazz, which later has led to also singing Hip-Hop and Gospel and all kind of styles! I've played with my own band Ever Say Ever on different venues in Stockholm, I love to do backing vocals for other bands, collaborate with musicians on recordings and I also sing with a big band.”
She continues: “I'm a jazz student at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, so I am very serious in developing my talent as much as I can and at the same time pursue a solo career. Just now I am travelling back from a jazz-gig in Nice (France) and next week I'm about to go compete in music again in Shure Montreux Vocal Jazz Competition in Switzerland. That will be a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to it. I haven't released anything yet but I update my Soundcloud with new music that I write and perform so if you are interested in hearing my sound of today please go in and listen!”
Thinking back to Junior Eurovision, the result that Limelights achieved was third last. What adive would Liselotte give to other acts who don’t place as highly as they imagined? “That's a great question and I'm thankful that I can answer it because it was something we really were dealing with; not because we felt sad but the newspapers wrote about us that we were a catastrophe in Lillehammer. We were like "what catastrophe are you talking about"? We were so happy with our performance and actually very proud of our song, so no one can take that away for you. We all knew before that it is so hard to compete in music, because everyone has different taste, so for every point we received we were thankful. If you put your trust in other peoples judgement, you are easily disappointed and hurt. But no one can take away what you feel inside, and our motivation to compete in the first place was never to win, it was to share the message of our song and hoping that it would mean something to someone. It did so we actually won the best prize! (People still approach me today and tell me that it was their favourite song.) You'll never know what will come in the future!”
Would Liselotte recommend Junior Eurovision if someone asked her for advice on taking part? “Of course I would say "Go for it!" Since it's been a huge experience for me and has helped me a lot to find my own way in music. Even today, people are commenting our song on YouTube how this song helped them to survive the day as an "outsider", and that they get strength from this song. It brings tears to my eyes of thankfulness for us that we write such a song! I would encourage children that want to enter to be yourself! Don't try to be the stars you see on MTV- you are amazing as you are. Musically, you have the opportunity and responsibility to write a song that could change someone's life and express good things. I really wish there could be more songs that touches your heart in JESC.”
And finally, ten years on from her performance, Liselotte still remembers you, the Junior Eurovision fans! “I love you all! Whatever dream that is in your heart- follows it! I did that, and more and more I see today that it is a result of small choices I made to follow my dream even as a child,” she says. “I can see the bigger picture now, and I am so grateful. So, dare to dream big dreams and go after them no matter what other people say about you- your life is so valuable and when you have hope other people find hope too!”
A special message!
Liselotte has also recorded a special video message for you, the Junior Eurovision fans, check it out: