“We are music Olympians” – Czechia’s Eurovision hopefuls Vesna get ready for Tuesday’s big night


This Tuesday evening will see Czech girl band Vesna represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals in Liverpool and, if the band is successful, a subsequent final round later in the week. Vesna will be performing the song My Sister’s Crown and have been tipped as one of the favourites to advance into the Saturday’s Grand Final by the BBC. I caught up with the lead singer of the group, Patricie Fuxová, and asked how they are feeling ahead of the big night.

“The feelings are very intense I would say. It is a mix of emotions. There is excitement, enthusiasm and I also often feel very proud about the path that we have walked as a band since our beginnings up until now. Sometimes there is nervousness too. So it really is a mix of emotions.”

What is your benchmark? Reaching the finals, or are you counting on winning?

“For sure, this is our mind-set. We are really happy to be part of the process. However, since the betting odds are in our favour and the BBC has also put us as one of the top 10 finalists we are trying to use this as a mind-set to really make it into the final. We would definitely be very grateful and we just want to take it that way.”

Vesna - My sister's crown ( Official Music Video )

You will be representing with the song My Sister’s Crown, which is perhaps a rather topical song given the current situation in Eastern Europe. You will be singing in English, Czech, Ukrainian and Bulgarian. Could you tell me about it?

“Yes, it could be one of the reasons. Namely, that the song creates really strong emotions.

“Basically, the whole idea of the song, of what I am singing in Czech, is not to stand in a corner, which in Czech means don’t let yourself down. Don’t let yourself be in the position of an underdog. That’s why we also try to be confident because, as women and when we were growing up, we were often told at the [music] conservatory: “Oh, you shouldn’t do this”, or: “Oh, this could be too much”, or: “Be careful with expressing yourself so that you don’t hurt anybody’s feelings”.

Vesna | Photo: Tom McEnchroe,  Radio Prague International

“I just feel that perhaps we take all of these things so much into consideration that we kind of stop being authentic, stop being free.

“So with this song we really didn’t want to stand in a corner and we wanted to embrace the position of being strong, feeling strong and being empowered. This is the message of the song.

“And, yes, we did want to support not just individual people, but also countries or communities that may feel like underdogs, limited or surprised. Ukraine is definitely the nation that we wanted to support the most because it is facing such a difficult situation right now.”

There was also criticism directed at this song, claiming that the sisterhood narrative was similar to that used by Russia towards Ukraine in the past. How do you counter such claims?

“Ukraine is definitely the nation that we wanted to support the most because it is facing such a difficult situation right now.”

“When you ask about sisterhood all I can think of is that we come from the context of the Czech Republic where we ourselves were under oppression for so many years. Of course the situation is not the same, but we come from the position where we as women can feel empathy and the need to support Ukraine.

“I understand that it might be sensitive wording in another context. However, speaking as a Czech, especially with our band performing at various concerts in support of Ukraine and Czechia being one of the top countries that supported Ukraine, I can say that it comes from a very honest standpoint.”

So, as far as I understand, kind of like a sisterhood of Slavic countries…

“Women. A sisterhood of women supporting each other. The very same concept that we have in our band. Despite the differences that we see when someone is having a hard time we just try to support each other. I understand the concept for a band can be different in the international context, but it is the emotion of empathy, solidarity and just care and love that comes from the heart of artists.”

Vesna - Morana (official video)

You’re representing the Czech Republic, you won the Czech qualifiers. It’s not usual for bands and music artists to compete against each other by representing their countries. What does it feel like to represent you country as an artist?

“It isn’t typical. It does feel like the Olympic Games in music and we often joke that we are music Olympians. However, when we travel to different countries for pre-parties and we perform, all of this pressure goes away very naturally because all of the contestants are beautiful artists, amazing people and music is not about competition, right.

“It does feel like the Olympic Games in music and we often joke that we are music Olympians.”

“So I understand that we have something like this contest to be entertained and in the end somebody wins, all the other people lose. But in the end it isn’t about the trophy. Rather, it’s about the impact that the song has and this our motivation. I don’t like competitions myself, but the thing that a song can be heard and that it can have a positive impact on society is the reason why we joined the competition.”

If you were to win, then according to tradition, the next city to host the Eurovision Song Contest would probably be Prague. Why would Prague be a good city to host the Eurovision finals?

Vesna | Photo: Tom McEnchroe,  Radio Prague International

“It would be a great city for the whole Eurovision community because Eurovision has never been in Prague and the Czech capital is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I am not saying that because I live here, but because it always ends up in one of these preference lists.

“I think that it would be a great opportunity for the Czech Republic for Prague to become an active Eurovision city because we can see that the history of Eurovision in other countries is longer. People are definitely more involved there and perhaps it is time to involve the local crowd too. We would be so, so proud to host Eurovision or even a pre-party here in Prague.”

And, of course, it is a city with a great musical tradition, isn’t it?

“Yes and we can also see this when we perform in other countries. Usually, when we walk on the street here people don’t recognise us, but when we were in Spain, or Israel it happened to us many times that when we were on a beach or in a café people recognised us and wanted to take pictures with us. We were like: ‘Wow, this is huge.’ In the world it’s super huge. 200 million people watch Eurovision and I think it’s the biggest competition in the world to be honest.”

Vesna - My sister’s crown (Acoustic version)

Vesna will be performing in semi-final 1 of Eurovision this Tuesday in the Liverpool Arena from 9pm Central European Summer Time. They will be among 15 contestants trying to get into Saturday’s Grand Final. The other semi-final round is set to take place on Thursday.

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