ATHENS – At only 16 years old, Greek-Danish singer Victor Vernicos is the youngest contestant that Greece has ever had in the Eurovision contest. He stated that his song, “What They Say,” was born out of a difficult period in his life and he hopes it will be inspirational.
“It is a deeply personal song that I wrote in just two days. I wrote it about six months after experiencing a period of intense anxiety. It was a revelatory experience that I always knew I wanted to write about,” he told Eurovision World.
Vernicos wrote the song when he was just 14 and said that, “It immediately became my favorite of all the songs I’ve written. I received so much positive feedback from friends and family who listened to it.”
He is receiving support from a team as he prepares for the Eurovision contest in May, which was moved to Liverpool from Ukraine after Russia invaded there. Greece hopes he can bring their first win since Helena Paparizou’s “My Number One” in 2005.
He is currently in rehearsals and working with Konstantinos Rigos, the head of ballet at the National Opera, who has twice been to Eurovision as a stage director, to perfect his moves.
He said, “We are trying to find a stage performance that best expresses the song and carries its emotion to the crowd. The biggest goal is for the song and performance to connect with the people inside the arena and those watching on TV.”
He has strong musical roots. His grandfather, Leif Jørgensen, was a professional clarinet player on his Danish side and had a significant influence on his musical path. He began taking piano lessons at age four, vocal lessons at eight, guitar lessons at ten, and started writing music at eleven.
“There will always be a bit of pressure, but I find it more inspiring than pressure. I look up to the former representatives we have had, and it helps me focus and try my best,” he said.
“I just love music and spreading it to people. Do what you love with the people you love and fight for it. I hope I can inspire people with my song,” he added. Greece will be watching and listening closely.