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Interview: Isaiah
Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent
Isaiah is one of this year's youngest Eurovision Song Contest entrants. The Australian representative only rose to fame down under last year when he soared to victory on The X Factor. Just a few months later he is about to perform on one of the biggest international stages with a song written by the same team as one of last year's stand out songs - Sound of Silence. We caught up with him to find out a little bit more.

For those not in the know, tell us a little about yourself...

My name is Isaiah and I grew up in a small country town in Australia. I am an indigenous Australian and have 11 brothers and sisters. My Dad has raised my brother and I since I was little and he was the one who really kicked off my singing career, taking me to lots of local singing competitions. In 2016 I won The X Factor Australia and the last six months since then have been completely crazy!

What appealed to you about entering Eurovision?

I've always loved Eurovision and have been watching it since Jessica Mauboy was the first Australia guest a few years ago. I love the glitz and the outrageous costumes and I guess just the party atmosphere of the whole thing. It has always looked so fun - I can't believe I'm going to see it in person!

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How did you feel when you found out you would be representing Australia?

I was sitting on the lounge room floor drinking a can of coke when my manager told me I had been selected. To be honest lots of people ask me how I felt at that moment but I can only say completely numb. I didn't even really believe it and I thought someone had made a mistake!!

Your song is called Don't Come Easy, tell us about it...

"Don't Come Easy" can be interpreted as a love song but for me the song represents a little bit of my journey. There was nothing easy about my childhood but I think it's really important for people to know that no matter where you come from you need to strive for better. That really the message that I want to portray from the song.

What is the best feedback you have received as yet?

My song has had nearly 1.5 millions views on Youtube - that's the best feedback anyone could have!!! I also got a personal letter from the Foreign Minister of Australia wishing me luck!!!

Have you listened to your competitors yet? If so, which is your current favourite?

I have listened to lots of the songs and my favourite is the Dutch Girls. I love the sound of their voices together and the song is really nice.

Have you spoken to any past entrants? If so, what advice have they had?

I've spoken with Dami Im, who represented Australia in 2016, and she gave me lots of great advice. I guess the best thing she told me was to focus on getting sleep and rest in the lead up to the contest as it is really intense when it all starts. She also said to make sure that I forgot about the pressure and really tried to enjoy the moment - it's definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I am determined to make sure I really enjoy it all.

What is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time?

I love Conchita Wurst and the song "Rise Like a Phoneix". That is definitely my all time favourite entry because the song is just so good and she put everything into the performance.

What do you hope to achieve with your appearance at Eurovision?

I just want to make Australia proud. If I can come away at the end and have people say "Isaiah did a good job" then that would make me happy. Everything else on top of that is just a bonus.

What is success for you in the contest?

Success for me in the contest has already happened. I'm just a 17 year old from a small country town in the middle of Australia and I'm going to the Ukraine to represent Australia at Eurovision - that's success right there.

Lastly, if you could duet with one past entrant, who would it be?

Well funny enough I just did a tour with Jessica Mauboy and I was lucky enough to do a duet with her every night of the concert, but I'd love to sing with Dami or Conchita that would be cool.
Interview: Isaiah, 19th April 2017, 9:30 AM