Greece has selected Victor Vernicos Jorgensen as the act to represent the nation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at the Liverpool arena.
16-year-old singer-songwriter who is of Greek-Danish descend, born in Athens, is the youngest Greek act ever to compete.
Victor with a deep, unique vocal-timbre is performing his introspective song about stress and anxiety.
“What They Say“, a song that oozes a mid-tempo ballad flair, also delivers an optimistic message to encourage those struggling mentally to overcome stress. Victor wrote it as a 14-year-old boy.
He released a song “Hope It’s In Heaven” at the age of just 14. Victor was then signed to Royal Music and 25/7 Management. Last year, Victor released his official debut song as a professional artist “Fake Club”.
Victor was taught piano at the age of 4-years-old, with vocal and guitar lessons which followed. Victor then went into music production and has been writing his own songs since he was 11. He has been editing the production of his own music and in attendance of Music Technology classes.
With his rehearsals under way for Liverpool at the M&S Bank Arena, Tony Neophytou caught up with Victor to learn a little more…
You’ve stepped onto the Liverpool Arena. What’s it like performing on stage?
I love the Liverpool Arena. It is amazing, the M&S Bank Arena!…
You’re of mixed heritage, half-Danish, half-Greek, born and bred in Marousi, Athens and you speak quite good English, at home which language prevails?
We speak both English and Greek, not much Danish. I speak more Greek with my mum; my dad has been living in Greece for 25 years. when we’re all together we speak English. In Liverpool we speak English… (Tony: are you learning Liverpudlian?) I am trying too (laughs).
You have a unique vocal fibre and it’s a mature voice. After playing your song to fellow colleagues without revealing your age, they were completely astounded to know you are just 16…
It’s a huge compliment. I am working on the voice, I’ve always thought my strength was song-writing, and it’s come to the stage (voice) its likeable at least, and people like the fact its deep and I’m young, that’s cool.
“What They Say” is a self-penned song. You’ve stamped your personality and authenticity and honesty on the song.
I write and produce my own songs. I wrote this song when I was 14 years old. it is truly one of the most open and honest songs I have ever written. I try to write my songs with honesty and that’s the most important part for me, and that’s why I think it has a stamp on it and my personality comes because of the honesty. I mean we are all unique, and when you’re honest that uniqueness comes out because you allow it too.
(Tony) The lyrics have a great depth about anxieties, and stress you felt once. The introspective song is fusing intense feelings, melancholy, frustration, angst and finishes with optimistic undertone…
It was about my first ever experience with anxiety when I was 13 years old and that was my understanding reality. I got overwhelmed by the feeling of anxiety hit me, the fear of responsibility of fear in my heart. Because managers from the US and UK started to get involved. It was a lot of responsibility to take on at such an age, and in that moment, I picked reality, it was a defining moment where I understood it was reality, you get what you give out. In that moment, I picked is it going to be reality or stay anxious or stay at home, no it’s not going to happen, and two and years later I’m at Eurovision.
It is a liberation of the end of it. The song is a monologue, and I can feel it in the second verse. It’s like ranting to your best friend and I when I get on that stage, I’ll be ranting to let go of my fears and getting on the biggest stage in the world and actually becoming an artist. My goals are huge. It’s going to be a defining moment and with all my strength finally let go of everything, I think. I hope. Honestly, it’s going to be the best experience.
I just put it all together in my head right now, as we’re speaking. I really feel it honestly. Now you’ve really helped me to clear my head… (Tony Neo: that’s what I am good at conversation), you’re good, I am not surprised. I understood that from the first moment we spoke… you’re amazing man!
(Tony) I instantly liked it from the first verse, “Late August” it’s because 26th August, it’s my birthday. August, it’s the eight-month, too, lucky number eight.
Late August… that’s really cool I’ll send you a happy birthday on the 26th of August. Ooh that was smart… yes, we are coming up in the second semi-final, we are performing eight place and yes “late August”, so I hope we’re not going to be late. I guess that’s the lucky number…
Konstantinos Rigos is responsible for the stage concept, and it’s quite creative. There’s youthful exuberance with bits of choreo, digital selfies and Greek alphabet letters, on the graphics. Victor, you move quite a bit on stage...
The staging is to show my athleticism because I do sports (not to show I am sporty), but to express the song to bring that energy forward, because I have a lot of that energy. I mean it’s the release we talked about before when it comes to balancing the vocal and the movement. We have 100% sat that down. It is all about technique and the voice. It is counting your breath.
With Eurovision I am learning to be a better performer every day. Eurovision is honestly turning me into the best version of myself when it comes to an artist. No matter what, Eurovision is a really great experience and it’s given me a lot to think about and practice on.
You are studying online from a London school, is that right?
Minerva’s Virtual Academy I love that school it has honestly given me a lot of flexibility and freedom to do what I need to do Eurovision and music in general. I stopped going to physical school and started going to this school in September (last year). I have gained 20 to 25 hours per week on music. and I wouldn’t have made that change to (online schooling) to do Eurovision.
LGR wishes you and Greece, the best of luck, in the competition.
You can follow Victor on instagram @victorvernicos.
Greece competes in Semi-Final 2 on Thursday, May 11th. Victor is #8 in the running order of 16 countries.