In the next article of our series finding out 'Where are they now?', we catch up with Noni ten years after he took part in Junior Eurovision!
Ten years is a long time, but after a whole decade Noni still has incredibly happy memories of taking part in Junior Eurovision! "Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about this event after such a long time," he told us, happily. "The Junior Eurovision experience meant a lot to me, it positively marked my entire career. Eurovision means progress and a struggle to overcome your own limits so that you can reach a whole new level. I’ve learned a lot of useful things during that period, things that helped me ever since. I was a bit overwhelmed back then, singing in front of thousands of people and being watched on TV by probably millions!"
But what made him take part in the competition in the first place? "It was all due to my mentor, Cornel Fugaru, whowas like a second father to me," explains Noni. "I thank God for having him as a teacher; he was the one who pitched me the idea of participating in the contest, he even helped me write the song for it."
Noni’s fourth place finish has never been beaten by a Romanian Junior Eurovision entrant, but it could have been even better. "I was really surprised by the result and really happy to represent Romania as well,” he recalls. "The silly thing is that I was actually in the third position and the last vote was cast by Romania, who placed me in the fourth position. My own country did that to me, haha! Anyway, I’m proud to have been there and I’m glad that I’ve got to make a lot of friends amongst the participants."
"Soon after the contest ended, my voice started changing, so I had to stop singing for a few years. I didn’t get to work on music too much during high school,” says Noni, but recently he has had some very good experiences in the music world. "I’ve had the opportunity of being signed to a record label recently, Sindrum Media, which is like a second home to me now. Besides singing, I’m also writing songs together with my colleagues (Shatyr, Criss Yann, Danni Ionesco). I find myself lucky to have met people like this, they confide in me and keep me motivated. Since joining this team, I’ve come up with a bunch of songs, the most popular of them being ‘Easy to love – featuring Shatyr’, which is now played in a big part of Europe and South America!"
Are there any new releases to come soon? "I am currently working on my album, it will come out by the end of the year, and this month I will also release a new single, called 'No te puedo olvidar'," says Noni, who is also finishing his studies. "I do combine music with studying though, I’m in my last year at the University, so it’s going to be all music starting next year!"
Ten years ago, social media was pretty much unheard of, and the internet was still in its infancy, so keeping touch with singers from 2004 wasn’t as easy as it would be now. "Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of my colleagues there since 2004. We were all junior students, internet wasn’t as spread as it is now, so it was difficult for us to keep in touch," says Noni.
Romania has not taken part in Junior Eurovision for the past four editions, despite hosting the competition in 2006. Noni thinks they should return. "I consider that Romania should keep taking part in the contest. It’s a really unique experience and other kids should take advantage of it. They all have a chance to express themselves and get their music across. Good luck to all those who wish to participate!"
And finally, what does Noni want to say to all of the Junior Eurovision fans who still remember him 10 years later?
"I thank you all for supporting me and for appreciating our efforts! I would like for us to keep in touch, you can find me on facebook at /nonimusic! Keep your spirits up at all cost :) !"
But that’s not all - he also has a greeting for you!
You can follow Noni on Facebook (click: here), and of course we’ll let you know about his upcoming releases.