The band Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in Tel Aviv in May. The indie-pop band, formed in 2013 by the singer and guitarist Albert Černý, garnered the most votes in the Czech national round, leaving behind seven other finalists. I spoke to Lake Malawi’s frontman about their success and I started by asking why they decided to take part in the Eurovision contest:
“We decided to take part because of the song, ‘Friend of a Friend’. We got really excited about it as soon as I played the demo to the rest of my band in the car. I kept listening to it over and over again until my girlfriend said: You should do something about it. You should give Eurovision a try.”
Can you tell me a bit more about the song?
“The song is about a friendship, about the theory that it’s enough to have three or four friends to reach anybody in the whole world. So if a friend knows someone and that person knows someone, you can possibly reach anyone you dream of. So in that sense ‘Friend of a Friend’ is about that.
“But on the other hand is also about those people we come across in our lives that we are no longer in touch with. And these friends of friends are really important, even though we tend to forget about them.”
Is this song different from the rest of the songs that you are playing?
“I think ‘Friend of a Friend’ is a bit different from the rest of Lake Malawi material, because it is happier. And to me this is a good thing. It’s also the first song I ever wrote with somebody else.
“We have two other writers: One is a keyboard player currently playing with Chinaski and the other is a Polish producer. We wrote it together at a song-writing camp, so that’s how it happened.”
What does it mean to you, winning the Czech national round?
“It’s a huge honour for us. It’s a huge honour that our fans believed in us and that we got the support of people all around the country and our families of course. They all voted and they all made us the Czech representatives at Eurovision 2019.
The semi-final of Eurovision is set to take place in Tel Aviv in May? What will you do in the meantime?
“In the meantime I am going to start taking signing lesson, because I need that and because the sing is fairly demanding in terms of breathing and intonation. So I’ll start with that and we will think about the show, about the staging, about how we want this to work out.
“And then there is a series of special Eurovision events in different cities all across Europe like Madrid and London where we will perform with Lake Malawi trying to find some international fans which we really need to succeed in the final.”