Diane Warren: “How Could I Say No to Andrew Lloyd Webber?”

Diane Warren, award winning songwriter, and composer and lyricist of the United Kingdom’s song for Moscow, It’s My Time, took time out of her busy schedule to answer questions exclusively for EuroVisionary.

How did you get into songwriting?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember.  I listened to the radio when I was young and read every liner note and every credit for every song that was out there.  I even had my Dad get me a subscription to Billboard when I was very young.  I have always written and I always knew that was what I was meant to do.

Have you ever watched the Eurovision Song Contest?

I have never seen a contest.

What were your initial thoughts when Andrew Lloyd Webber made his ‘proposal’?

I was excited. Andrew is a legend and I never write with anyone but, how could I say no to Andrew Lloyd Webber? It was an honour.

How did he sell it to you?

I knew about Eurovision but didn’t know the history of the UK’s recent losses and I knew that I couldn’t make them do any worse. I got what he was trying to do and was happy to be a part of it.

Will you go to Moscow for the Contest?

Yes I am going. I wouldn’t want to miss it.  

What was the idea behind the theme of It’s My Time

It was a song about being in that perfect place in life and taking charge and making it. It could apply to both the artist singing it or to the country it is for.

How long did it take to write?

We actually wrote the song in a little over two hours. Andrew had written something he thought was the chorus and while it was beautiful I felt it was more of a verse and I started singing something that felt more like a chorus to me. We had two great parts to the song that fit perfectly together. 

One of the Your Country Needs You programmes showed yourself and Andrew writing the song together. Is this how it really happened?

Yes, we very much wrote together.

What was it like collaborating with him?

He is a brilliant writer and I like to be a part of the musical ideas and the lyrics. That was what happened and it was organic for us.  

When you came to the UK to see the potential singers of the song, did you have a favourite?

I always loved Jade.  I knew she had the singing ability, looks and attitude to be a star. I do think that she will be a star.

Did you listen to any previous winners of the contest to get an idea of what makes a winning song, or did you write the song with a clear mind?

I am not too familiar with prior winners of Eurovision. We just wrote the best song we could for the UK winner.  

Specifically about the lyrics, were they written with a non-English speaking audience in mind?

Not necessarily. The song was written to appeal to everyone. I think it does and has all the markings of a standard. It’s My Time is an anthem for anyone’s life.

Will you have anything to do with It’s My Time if it is rearranged or changed in any way?

After the song is out in the world, I welcome and am sure Andrew would welcome all kinds of interesting and creative versions of the song. That is what makes a song a standard.  

What question haven’t I asked you that you would like to have been asked?

Think we “covered” it, no pun intended!!


Diane Warren’s official site

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