Conchita Wurst won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 for the song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix”. She visited Hong Kong to help promote the launch of Austrian Airlines direct flights from Hong Kong to Vienna. We got a chance to sit down with her and talk about gay rights, Hong Kong and her music.
Dim Sum: In Hong Kong, we do not have laws to protect LGBT people. What is your message to Hong Kong kids who feel or look different from the others?
Conchita: Well, first of all, I think it’s really important to give yourself a little time you know. Because once you realize you are different in any kind of way, you know that it is going to be difficult, right? And that’s okay. It is okay to have a difficult time and I promise everybody that it will get better. You have to be a little patient with yourself and with your surroundings. That’s the first piece of advice I can say from a personal point of view. I’m from Austria and I won the Eurovision Song Contest for a very conservative country. I did not believe in the fact that I could win and secondly, that they actually sent me but people can change. You have to trust that people can change and things get better.
Dim Sum: Same sex marriage is still not allowed in Hong Kong. Can you tell the Hong Kong public why same-sex couples should have the right to get married?
Conchita: It’s not just in Hong Kong but also in the whole world that I just don’t get it. The fact that equality is not happening yet is something I basically don’t understand because we are not taking anything away from other people. For me, society would be perfect if we don’t have to talk about sexual orientation, color of your skin, your religious beliefs, where everybody’s treated equally. That is a huge thing we have to achieve. Of course, I feel sorry when I come here and hear things like that because obviously, I wanted it to be different. The only thing we can do is be proud of ourselves, to talk to people. Sometimes, you have to educate people because they don’t know better. And this is what I did. I basically told everyone my story, some people got it, some didn’t.
Dim Sum: How do you feel about Hong Kong?
Conchita: It’s my first time visiting here and I’m living in this fabulous hotel room. Everything is just so beautiful and it’s so exciting that I’m allowed to be at this beautiful party to sing for the Austrian Airlines launch. You know, as I said on stage, I really mean it, you know I can compare to other airlines, this is really a good one. They are so nice to let me stay a bit longer (in Hong Kong) to do a little sightseeing, to do a little shopping.
Dim Sum: Are you excited about speaking at Chinese University of Hong Kong?
Conchita: That is a huge honor because I think that is a huge deal for them that we can talk about LGBTIQ rights and issues so openly. That is something I am looking forward to.
Dim Sum: What is the most difficult part of being Conchita?
Conchita: Actually, there is not really something difficult about it if I’m honest. Sometimes, the high heels are hurting or the dress is not that comfortable but that’s about it. I really don’t want to whine about it because I have a fabulous life and I really enjoy every minute of it. It’s so fun. Still in my head, it’s dressing up and I love it.
Dim Sum: Are you working on your second album?
Conchita: I do work on new music so that’s very exciting for me as well. I don’t have a release date yet (for the new album) but Plan A would be in Spring 2017.
Dim Sum: Are you working with any musician for the second album?
Conchita: I do work with mainly songwriters and producers because at the first record, I was not involved in writing the songs. This is what I want to change for this one and I did and I worked with some really big names in the business which I can’t say now but it was so intimidating and overwhelming as well, to work with people who have created the hits in the past decade. I hope we come up with good things.
Dim Sum: Who would you like to perform with?
Conchita: Cher, obviously. That would be great.
Dim Sum: How do you feel about working with great designers like Karl Lagerfeld and others like him?
Conchita: That’s the thing, I am so privileged I can do so many things and meet so many interesting people. When it comes to Karl Lagerfeld or Jean Paul Gaultier, those big fashion names, it’s just so beautiful and inspiring to see that any age, I mean really respectfully, Karl is at a certain age but he is such a creative mind and actually like a little child on set, trying things out. And that is so inspiring that you don’t have to stop. You can be your own creator of your own world forever and this is something that people tend to forget, especially when they get older and they are not allowed to do certain things. That’s just not true. You can live a fabulous life until the day you die.