Ruth Lorenzo is one of five acts competing to represent Spain in Copenhagen. :: SUR
The former X Factor finalist talks exclusively to SUR in English as she aims to represent Spain at this year’s Eurovision
Murcia-born Ruth Lorenzo wowed millions of viewers in the UK week after week on X Factor when she belted out hits such as ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’.
But now the 31-year-old Spanish diva - who reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 series that was eventually won by Alexandra Burke - has her sights set on European domination by bidding to compete in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
And despite having ‘a name’ in Britain, Ruth will not be singing for the United Kingdom, instead aiming to represent her native Spain.
She is one of five acts being considered for Spain’s entry at the 59th annual competition which this year takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The final decision will be made in February following a ‘sing-off’ to be shown on national broadcaster, TVE1.
I want them to ‘get it’
Ruth confirms to SUR in English that she will be hoping to win the leg in Spain with her self-penned track, ‘Dancing in the Rain’, and that she will perform it in both Spanish and English.
“This song has such a positive, uplifting message that I want as many people to understand and feel it as possible. I want my mum to ‘get it’, my nephews and nieces to ‘get it’, the whole of Europe to ‘get it’… So I will sing the verses in Spanish and the choruses in English - something I did a lot on X Factor,” she tells this newspaper with an infectious chuckle.
“‘Dancing in the Rain’, which came to me while I was in a pizza restaurant in London and going through a really tough time with a record label, is about moving forward, about getting up after knockbacks, and believing in yourself. When the rain comes pouring down on you from above, you’ve got to keep on dancing!”
Almost as a way to illustrate the point that she “lived every word’ of this track, later during the interview, Ruth describes how she nearly did not make it to the ‘bootcamp’ stage of X Factor.
“I got through the first few rounds of auditions and went back to see my family in Murcia. I was on the beach and I got a phone call from someone on the show who told me that as I didn’t live in the UK and have all the paperwork and other bits I needed I couldn’t go through to bootcamp, even though otherwise I would have. I was absolutely gutted but said ‘thank you and goodbye.’
“Driving home from the beach, I looked at myself in the rear view mirror and thought to myself, ‘Don’t be such a flipping coward and go and fight for your dream.’
“So, I called the show right back, demanded to speak to the top producer and told him I could get all that I needed if he would reconsider, even though I didn’t know if I really could.
“He said, ‘Ruth, if you can be in my office in London at 1pm tomorrow with all the documents, including a National Insurance number, you’re in!’
“And somehow I managed it - it all came together - which is incredible considering just how much ‘red tape’ is involved with these things. I was in his office at 1pm in London. I guess, at that time I pushed myself to keep on dancing in the rain.”
Ruth Lorenzo is a prolific songwriter in both Spanish and English - “sometimes the words come in one language and in other moments they pour out in the other” - and has written tracks for artists all over the world including a Spanish boyband, an American jazz artist and pop star Dannii Minogue, who was her X Factor mentor.
“It’s an amazing, overwhelming experience to hear your words being sung at a concert by the fans of other artists!” she explains.
But while song-writing is something she is “consistently compelled to do”, and has written much of her soon-to-be-released debut album, performance is also “a major part” of who she is.
“I love being on the stage as you and the audience connect directly with the songs. To my mind, what makes a good performer is being personal with the audience and truly being yourself on stage - whether that stage is in a pub, at the O2 Arena or at the Eurovision ceremony.”