In most of us there is a "Fighter"
What do you find most fascinating about the idea behind Special Olympics?
At Special Olympics people who are mentally impaired show what they are capable of. Unfortunately, they are still often underestimated. The World Winter Games are all about social acceptance and inclusion and this is a beautiful and very important message. Everybody deserves to be treated with respect – this is incredibly important to me. And of course, I have the utmost respect for the athletes here at Special Olympics.
What is the message of the official Special Olympics song which you will present/presented at the Opening Ceremony?
The song goes out to everybody to stand up and show their strengths. Nobody is perfect; but it is important that you keep fighting and even if you lose some of the fights, you have to say: “Now I am really going to try!” I am hoping that the people here at Special Olympics are proud of what they have already achieved. I think that deep down, most of us are fighters! All athletes have to work hard, of course also here at Special Olympics, and I very much admire their ambition and will power. So, the message of my song is not only directed at the participants of the World Winter Games 2017 but to everybody. It is meant for everybody whose has had a difficult start but who don’t give up and who, in the end, are rewarded.
Are you going to watch some of the races as well or will you only be around at the Opening and Closing Ceremony?
Unfortunately, my schedule is completely full. I am in the middle of producing my new album and preparing my tour in autumn. But maybe I will make it to some of the races between rehearsals. And if not, there is always the internet ;).
A lot of people find it difficult to meet people with intellectual impairments – how do you experience that?
I find it not difficult at all! Because I am taking every person that I meet exactly like they are – with all their strengths and weaknesses. Once you stop thinking in norms the whole time you can experience people much more openly and less prejudiced. Also, seriously: if you´d been working in show business as long as I have then almost everything human becomes “normal”.
What do you think, what impact do your performances and your songs have concerning intellectually impaired people?
Well, I wouldn´t want to overstate my role in this regard. I am a musician and music is primarily supposed to entertain. But if Special Olympics got more attention because of me and my music or if some people actually find the strength to stand up and be exactly who they are, this would be pretty amazing.
What can your fans expect from your new album?
Definitely a lot of new songs . But seriously, I can´t and won´t give away too much yet; we´re still in the middle of producing it. But one thing is certain: if my fans enjoy listening to my new album only half as much as I enjoyed producing it, I have definitely reached my goal.