Conchita Wurst’s debut album ‘Conchita‘ goes platinum
During yesterday’s Eurovision Song Contest 2015 preparations for semi-final 2, Conchita Wurst gave a press conference. It wasn’t the press conference itself that was interesting, however. Instead, it was what happened in the middle of it.
The presentation of another platinum award to Conchita Wurst, this time by Dietmar Lienbacher, Division Head of Sony Music Austria, her record company. (She already received a platinum award for ‘Rise Like a Phoenix‘ in December last year).
A platinum award for Conchita Wurst’s debut album ‘Conchita‘. An album that released a week ago. An album that has already gone platinum. How amazing is that?
Well, let me explain how amazing.
Austria is a country with just over 8.5 million people. It’s teeny tiny, as it has less people in the entire country than the city I live in (Bangkok – unofficially over 9 million). So, you would think with a country being that small and everyone knowing everyone (well, they kinda do), Austrian musicians would have more of a chance of being supported.
Sadly that’s not true, as the music-buying public tend to go for more non-Austrian artists when it comes to their music tastes instead. That means few Austrian musicians ever see a platinum award for their music. Even months after releasing an album.
In fact, while quite a few platinum awards have been given in Austria, as this list from Wikipedia will show you, even if an album does go platinum, it is rarely an Austrian musician that gets it.
So, to say Conchita Wurst has a platinum award for her debut album ‘Conchita‘ just six days after it released is quite astounding.
What’s even more surprising to me, is the support Conchita Wurst is obviously getting from Sony Music Austria. Not surprising that they are promoting her, as that’s part of their job, but surprising because they stand up for her and defend her as well.
Case in point, this odd interview of Sony Music Austria CEO Philip Ginthör by Format. Now, my German skills are abysmal, but thanks to Google Translate it was easy to figure out the ‘digs’ the Format interviewer kept making at Conchita Wurst’s expense.
Complaining about Conchita taking a year to release an album, asking if Sony’s expectations of her had been met, but with this comment in particular rubbing me the wrong way:
Format: “You mentioned in interviews repeatedly that you hope someday to find the next “Falco”. Conchita is apparently not.” (And all I could think was, here’s an interviewer that has done nothing but basic research on Conchita Wurst, and obviously has no imagination. Because if they did, they would understand the incredible opportunities she has had over the last year due to her talent and personality. Opportunities Falco never got in a 20-year career. And opportunities that are going to keep paying off for her in her music career for years to come).
Sony Music Austria’s Philip Ginthör‘s reply?
“We are in the entertainment business, and for us people and stars are therefore important. Stars like Conchita, who are also available for something else, for more than their music. Conchita is a work of art with a worldwide appeal.”
And that right there made me think Sony Music Austria gets her and understands, if they allow her to have the time she needs, she and her team have a plan for her that is going to assure superstardom.
After all, Conchita Wurst is ‘The Little Engine That Could”. The person who will persevere no matter what obstacles she has to overcome, and the person who, because of her lovely personality and amazing talent, is winning over more and more people every day.
Sure, it may take her a little longer to get her Grammy than it did someone like Sam Smith, and most of that is because of the dress, the beard, the lashes, and the wig — in other words, other people’s ignorance and bigotry. But, she’ll get there. I’m convinced of it.
And a record company that knows that, and stays the pace with her, will only be the winner.
I hope it’s Sony Music Austria.
Meanwhile, do watch the video below, and the part of Conchita’s press conference yesterday where she’s given her platinum award. Because what made me laugh so hard I had tears, was that split second where she went from ‘shock’ that she’d just been given a platinum award, to realizing the assembled photographers were all frantically taking pictures. And she immediately clicked into position, ready for her close up and posing like a pro.
That’s my girl. Always thinking one step ahead.