Germany is gearing up their preparations for Unser Lied für Liverpool 2023. As artists look ahead to the national final, which takes place on March 3rd, Angus speaks with René Miller for an interview. He is vying to represent Germany in Liverpool with his song “Concrete Heart”.
Thank you for the opportunity to interview you! For many Eurovision fans, this will be their first introduction to you. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hello, I’m René Miller, a singer-songwriter from Berlin. I moved to the city five years ago from southern Germany to pursue my dream of becoming a musician. Over the years, I’ve dedicated myself to songwriting and have had the privilege of writing songs for other artists, such as “Breaking me” by Topic, “Control” by Zoe Wees, “Good Morning Sunshine” by Michael Patrick Kelly, and “You” by The BossHoss and Isle Delange.
While writing for others has been an amazing experience, I’ve always wanted to focus on my own music. In 2020, I took the leap and started releasing my own songs.
As an artist, you can find my passion for music in everything I do. For me, the process of creating music is one of the most fulfilling things in life. I pour my heart and soul into every song, and performing live is the ultimate reward and fun for me.
I hope that my music speaks to people and brings them joy. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Before we continue, let’s start with a quick icebreaker by just asking if there is one thing about yourselves that not many people know about?
I used to be painfully shy when it came to singing, but performing in front of people helped me break out of my shell. Now it’s all I want to do for the rest of my life.
Let’s move on to Eurovision. You will be participating in Unser Lied für Liverpool. Can I start off by asking, what made you want to participate in the German selection?
That is a very good question! Let me take you back to the early days of my musical journey.
As a kid, I was immediately captivated by the Eurovision Song Contest. It was like watching magic unfold on stage with the incredible array of musical styles and genres on display. I was only 11 years old when I picked up my guitar and started playing and singing Max Mutzke’s “Can’t Wait Until Tonight.” That song ignited something inside of me, a passion for creating music, that would connect with people.
Years later, I wrote “Concrete Heart” with the hope of sharing my own personal story with the world. I believed it was the perfect fit for the German selection and had the potential to leave a lasting impression on audiences.
Over the years I had the chance to work with some amazing Eurovision veterans, which inspired me in so many ways. I knew I had to give it a try to make my dream a reality.
I’m determined to make a real impact with my music, to reach people’s hearts and minds with every note and every lyric. It’s not just about winning the competition, it’s about connecting with people on a deeper level and showing the world what modern and powerful singer-songwriter music from Germany can truly sound like.
You are competing with the song “Concrete Heart”, what would you say is the song about?
“Concrete Heart” is a song that came from a place of raw emotion and pain. It tells the story of a toxic relationship, and the journey that I went through to heal and move on from after a crushing break-up.
Through the lyrics, I express the hurt, anger, and frustration that comes with being in such a situation, but also the hope and strength that eventually emerged. It’s a powerful reminder that no matter how difficult things may seem, we have the resilience to rise above them and come out stronger on the other side.
But this song is not just about my story. It’s about giving voice to those who have experienced similar heartache and letting them know they are not alone. “Concrete Heart” is a glimpse of hope and strength, a reminder that music has the power to heal and bring people together. I am so excited to share this song with the world, hoping to give comfort, inspiration, and a sense of community to those who need it most.
How did writing the song go? And is this how you usually write music?
Writing “Concrete Heart” was such a different journey. I wrote this song in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. As this was a challenging and drowning time for all of us, it was also challenging to still write songs.
One day I had this melody stuck in my head and the first lyrical Ideas, so I reached out to my friend Mike Needle, who lives in London. We hopped on a Facetime call and started writing the lyrics together. This was something we both had never done before, but it worked.
One night, we were working on the final lines, but I had to be quiet since my parents were sleeping. So, I took my phone and ran out into the forest, hoping not to wake up any creatures in the dark.
There I was, in the middle of the forest, phone in one hand, frantically scribbling lyrics with the other. It must have been a sight to see! But in the end, it was all worth it because we created “Concrete Heart”.
Is there anything you can share with us about what we can expect from you on stage at Unser Lied für Liverpool?
I’m super excited about my upcoming show in Cologne on March 3rd. This time, I’ll be performing solo, and I’m pumped to share my own spin on “Concrete Heart.” I want to bring out all the raw feelings that came with the toxic relationship that made me write the song. It’s going to be a powerful performance!
Competing in a National Final has given you a lot of attention and new fans in Germany and across Europe and beyond, how has the experience felt so far?
Absolutely unreal! Competing in a National Final has been an incredible experience for me, and I am blown away by the stories people share about how they connect with “Concrete Heart.” The attention and new fans from not just Germany have been amazing, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my music and the story of this song with a wider audience.
What would it mean for you to win Unser Lied für Liverpool and go to Eurovision?
Representing Germany on the Eurovision stage is something that seems too good to be true for me. As a 11-year-old, I could never have dreamed of such an incredible opportunity. To perform on such a grand stage, surrounded by music lovers from all over the world, and bring my personal touch to Eurovision would be an absolute honor. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
Do you have any favourite Eurovision entries or memories?
As a German musician, Lena’s iconic win in 2010 certainly ranks as one of the most memorable Eurovision moments for me, but I also have a personal connection to Max Mutzke’s performances, as he inspired me to pursue music as a child.
However, more recently, Duncan Lawrence’s breathtaking performance of “Arcade” truly captivated me, demonstrating the pure magic that can be created, when exceptional songwriting meets an incredible live performance.
Who are your musical inspirations?
My musical inspirations are the ones who have deeply impacted my life and continue to inspire me to this day. Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, and John Mayer have not only soaked me in into their world of songwriting and storytelling, but they have also given me the drive to continue creating and expressing myself through music.
What songs of yours, written or performed by you, would you recommend to people who like “Concrete Heart” and want to listen to more of your music?
“If you loved “Concrete Heart,” you won’t want to miss my latest releases “Standing In His Shoes” and “Out Of Goodbyes.” These tracks continue the story of “Concrete Heart” and bring their own special touch to the mix. I’d be very happy to hear your thoughts after you’ve given them a listen, so don’t hesitate to reach out on my socials and let me know what you think!
You have played football semi-professionally, and have had great success behind the scenes as a songwriter. What have you learned from those experiences that you think will help you at Unser Lied für Liverpool?
I think there is many things, I have learned throughout the years, that have helped me prepare for Unser Lied für Liverpool. First of all, working with a team in football taught me the importance of communication, trust and collaboration, which are also crucial elements in music and preparing a show. Without my team, he show, the song and everything around it would never be even close to what we will see on the 3rd of march.
As a songwriter, I’ve learned to channel my emotions and personal experiences into my music, and I believe this will help me connect with the audience and deliver an emotional performance on the Eurovision stage. Overall, I feel grateful for these experiences as they have prepared me for this exciting journey ahead.
And that brings us to my final question. Is there any message you would like to give to the people reading this interview?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this interview and learn more about me. I hope my music can bring some joy and inspiration to your life, and I look forward to hopefully seeing you all in Liverpool.
I want to remind everyone that we are all in this together, and it’s important to be kind and compassionate to one another.
And of course, a special shout-out to Eurovision Site for giving me the platform to share my story with the world. Thank you all and stay healthy!
About René Miller
René Miller is a 28 year old German multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from the south of Germany who currently lives in Berlin. He started playing the trumpet and the guitar age 11, and later also started on the piano. As a songwriter, he won the German Songwriting Award in 2018. His writing credits include the song “Typical” by superstar DJ Steve Aoki and Zoe Wees’s huge hit and debut single “Control”. Since signing with Warner Music, he has released a number of songs of his own, including “Standing In His Shoes” and his Unser Lied für Liverpool entry “Concrete Heart”. The song is written by René Miller and Mike Needle, who has worked with artists such as Niall Horan, Rag’n’Bone Man, and Calvin Harris.
Germany’s Eurovision Journey
Germany has been part of Eurovision since the beginning, debuting in 1956. Their debut entries were Walter Andreas Schwarz’s “Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück” and Freddy Quinn’s “So geht das jede Nacht”. Germany has appeared at every Eurovision since except for 1996, which means they have been at more contests than any other country. They have a long history of success in Eurovision, finishing in the top 3 an impressive 13 times. Germany has won the contest twice. Nicole won in 1982 with her song “Ein bißchen Frieden”, taking home 161 points in the process. Their second win came in 2010, when Lena scored 246 points with her song “Satellite”.
Germany’s most recent Eurovision entry was Malik Harris’ “Rockstars”. As Germany is part of the Big 5, they automatically qualified for the Grand Final. In the Final, the song received 6 points and finished 25th in the Final.
What do you think of our interview with René Miller? Do you think “Concrete Heart” could represent Germany in Liverpool? As always, let us know what you think by commenting below. Also, be sure to follow “That Eurovision Site” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok as we prepare for Eurovision 2023!
News Source: That Eurovision Site
Photo Credit: Max Klein