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Karl William Lund fell in love with Braşov. The british, impressed by the Golden Stag

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Karl William Lund, the artist who represented Britain at the Golden Stag 2018, give an exclusive interview to exclusivNEWS.ro. The artist has only words of praise for Romania and the TVR team that has organized the Golden Stag International Festival in Brasov impeccably. The city under Tampa conquered the British artist.

We publish the interview in english with the british artist Karl Lund.

exclusivNEWS.ro: How did you find out about the Golden Stag?
Karl William Lund: I’m good friends with Olivier Vanhoutte who represents Alexander Rybak. Initially he asked me to attend the festival to network with the acts and their managers as I write songs for other acts but he later persuaded me to apply as a participant. After being initially hesitant due to the need to sing a song in Romanian, it has always been an ambition of mine to sing in another language so after some encouragement from Olivier, I decided to apply!

exclusivNEWS.ro: What expectations did you have with the participation in the Golden Stag?
Karl William Lund: I did some research on the competition and knew it was going to be a big deal as it was the first time in 9 years the festival had taken place plus it was the 50th anniversary of it. But nothing quite prepared me for the size of the stage and the amount of work that had gone into the preparation. As soon as I touched down in Bucharest airport, the branding and advertising was everywhere! That alone made me raise my game.

exclusivNEWS.ro: How were the 8 days spent in Brasov?
Karl William Lund: Luckily we had enough free time to be able to explore some of the many things Brasov has to offer. I absolutely love food and trying different cuisines so I made sure I visited 2 different restaurants per day. My favourite had to be ‘Sub Tampa’ which was located at the foot of the great mountain and served traditional Transylvanian food that looked like a work or art. Their Aperol Spritz were pretty good too! I didn’t have too many late nights though as I wanted to focus on the competition. I’m quite sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity so it was quite a challenge on my voice and I had to make sure I didn’t go too crazy that week! We also visited Dracula’s Castle which was an amazing experience.

exclusivNEWS.ro: How long did it take you to learn the song in Romanian?
Karl William Lund: It took about 3 weeks intensely. Luckily I have some Romanian friends in the band I used to play in during my time working with Carnival Cruise Lines so they helped me with my pronunciation.

exclusivNEWS.ro:  Do you like Romanian? How hard was for you to learn romanian?
Karl William Lund: It’s a very interesting language and it was quite challenging initially but the song I chose ‘Vino Mai Aproape’ while it is a contemporary song, the lyrics had a very classic romantic feel to it. A simple yet wonderful love story which a very catchy melody. Which has a very catchy melody***.

exclusivNEWS.ro: How was the orchestra playing?
Karl William Lund: That was what I was most excited for. That first rehearsal was quite an unbelievable feeling. The studio version of ‘Vino Mai Aprope’ has a rock/pop feel to it so I was very intrigued to see what the arrangement would be like. They are such a monstrous force to have behind you so I was trying to take all of that in whilst focusing on singing. It was such an honour to work with Andrei Tudor and it was something I will never forget. Not many people can say they have sung with a live orchestra so it is something I made sure I cherished every second of.

exclusivNEWS.ro:  Did you have favorites among your competitors? If you were in the jury, who would you have awarded the Golden Stag trophy?
Karl William Lund: There is no doubt that Olivier Kaye deserved first place. He chose a very well loved Romanian song and the audience reaction alone was undeniable. He got cheers at the beginning, mid way through and at the end! I was also hugely impressed by Antonia from Macedonia. Having a voice like that at 17 years of age bodes well for her future. I hope we see more of both of them in the future.

exclusivNEWS.ro: Olivier has declared to exclusivNEWS.ro that he would have given you your Golden Stag trophy.
Karl William Lund: Really? Bless him, that is so sweet of him.I am truly glad he thinks that.

exclusivNEWS.ro: Are you disappointed that you did not win award a Golden Stag?
Karl William Lund: Absolutely not. From when I arrived I didn’t expect to win because, let’s just say people knew people. But there were a lot of talented people there also and some very worthy winners. I was pleased not only with the fact that I performed with the orchestra but that I was one of two performers who wrote their own song (Ryan from Ireland being the other).

exclusivNEWS.ro:  Did you have any emotions on the stage when you played the songs in the Golden Stag contest?
Karl William Lund: Yes, Miracle has a very personal story behind it. My brother-in-law was battling lymphoma cancer back in 2015 and watching him stay strong for his young family really inspired me to finish ‘Miracle’. I started writing it in 2012 but never finished it. My brother-in-law was the missing link and his strength and eventual recovery was our true miracle.

exclusivNEWS.ro: How do you think about the organisation of the festival?

Karl William Lund: Yes, it was a little manic at times but a festival on that large scale and with so many performers, it is never going to flow smoothly. I have a lot of admiration for Ana (NR. Marciuc) and all the crew who managed to pull it altogether.

exclusivNEWS.ro: Do you plan to come back to Romania again?
Karl William Lund: I am already planning a trip to visit Romania again, especially Brasov. Being completely honest, it was never a place that I had a burning desire to visit but I am so glad I did. I feel that I didn’t even scratch the surface of all the places to explore in Brasov so I promise you I will be back. I fell in love with it, especially the food and the ambience.

exclusivNEWS.ro:  What’s next for Golden Stag? What are your plans in music?
Karl William Lund: My focus at the moment is on songwriting. I have 3 of my songs on Martin Fitch’s upcoming album. (He represented Poland in 2010 and was in their national final in 2017) I also have two songs that I am submitting for Eurovision in 2019 and have approached a few delegations who are interested already which is good news. In terms of performing, I worked for Carnival Cruise Lines during 2016/2017 and would love to do another stint at sea. I found this to be an amazing way of combining two of my favourite passions; performing and travelling. It allowed me to really work on my craft and it continues to open more opportunities for me.

exclusivNEWS.ro:  Do you want to collaborate with artists from Romania?

Karl William Lund: Absolutely. My Romanian song was originally by the band Bere Gratis. I was very grateful to have met the lead singer, Mihai whilst in Brasov. I have listened to a lot of their material and they have really wonderful melodies. It would be an honour to collaborate with them and to improve my Romanian! He is a big Freddie Mercury fan like myself.

exclusivNEWS.ro:  Olivier was extremely excited when he received the first prize. He was speechless. What did you say in the bakstage after the festivity?

Karl William Lund: I told him he absolutely deserved it. He won those prizes on talent alone and he is very humble also.

exclusivNEWS.ro: Do you want to work with him on a song?
Karl William Lund: Yes we are already in discussion about that but for now, it will remain a secret!

Credit foto: George Grădinaru

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