Italian-Eritrean singer Senhit made her musical debut on the stage in Germany, landing starring roles in blockbuster musicals such as The Lion King, Rent and Fame, touring with the shows throughout Europe.
In 2011 she represented San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest. More recently, Senhit has been developing her pop act with a number of collaborators from around the world.
PM: Hi Senhit, how are you doing?
S: Very good, I’m just getting ready for my show in London at the Tabernacle – very excited!
It’s been six years since you represented San Marino in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. How did life change for you since appearing?
I still have fans that follow me from that time. Even this morning I heard from a guy from Venezuela who is in London and heard about the show. It was great for me as a solo artist, I was so shocked and surprised at how big it is. If someone asked me now if I wanted to do Eurovision I would do it immediately.
What can you tell us about your new single, ‘Living For The Weekend’?
It’s a dance song that I wrote with Brian Higgins (of Xenomania). It’s very upbeat! In Italy we worked with a rapper called Marrakesh, so he features on the Italian version. It’s all about how it’s important to enjoy yourself at the weekend.
If you promoted a club night, what would your dress code be?
Super casual. No suits & ties!
You said recently on Twitter that sunshine is the best medicine. How do you cope in the winter months?
It’s not just about the weather – the sunshine is in YOU!
To-do list, or spontaneity?
When I’m working or on stage I prefer to be spontaneous. I have a list of things I need to do, but it’s only in my head, so if it changes, I won’t be freaking out. In fact, generally in life I prefer to be spontaneous.
You have performed in many musicals, including Hair, The Lion King and Fame. How did you get into theatre?
When I finished my diploma/studies, my mum heard that there were auditions for a new musical in Italy, but we had to keep it secret from my father because he didn’t want me to follow this path. The audition went really well, and then I realised that this was my destiny. All of the things that come together in a musical: acting, singing, it’s beautiful. I never had an agent, it was all word of mouth – very natural. I still have many good memories of that time.
Twitter or Facebook?
Actually I prefer Instagram. I like pictures and I like to share without talking about all the intimate details people sometimes share on Facebook. But of course, I use them all!
What one thing can you not do without in the studio?
It’s so important to me to be by myself for a moment before I perform in the studio. I also prefer not to eat before! I have one specific microphone that I use in the studio and I can’t use any other mic.
What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to you on stage?
During my time in the musicals, I fell over a few times, more than I can count! When I performed in The Lion King in Germany, I once accidentally sang in Italian! That caused some confusion in the audience!
Madonna famously wore an ‘Italians do it better” t-shirt in the video for her ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ single. Do you agree with that sentiment?
Yes absolutely, YES!
• ‘Living For The Weekend’ is out now on Panini Records