Kate Miller-Heidke is firming as one of the favourites in the Eurovision: Australia Decides contest. Picture: EMI
Kate Miller-Heidke is firming as one of the favourites in the Eurovision: Australia Decides contest. Picture: EMI

Kate Miller-Heidke: ‘I’m a total hypocrite’

KATE Miller-Heidke has shared how emerging from a two-year battle with post-natal depression after the birth of her son Ernie inspired her Eurovision song Zero Gravity.

In a lengthy post to tens of thousands of fans, the acclaimed singer, songwriter and performer revealed how she felt overwhelmed as a new mother and mourned the loss of her "old self".

The brilliantly over-the-top pop meets opera song, which celebrates finding balance after depression, is firming as one of the favourites in the Eurovision: Australia Decides contest on Saturday to choose our representative for the 2019 competition in Israel.

"Like so many women, the aftermath of childbirth left my world shaken," she wrote.

"The birth of my son Ernie, was lengthy and traumatic (we joke that Ernie had the biggest head circumference in the history of the hospital).

 

"There was a period afterwards when I couldn't remember who I was - my old self seemed so ill-equipped to handle the overwhelming task of protecting and nurturing this helpless, little creature.

"I was also grieving for the loss of my old identity, and this came with a powerful layer of guilt for my own selfishness."

Miller-Heidke returned to the stage eight weeks after Ernie's birth and worried about her ability to reconnect with her songs and perform them.

"I genuinely didn't know if I could do it. I thought, 'But I'm not ME anymore. How can I sing these songs?'" she posted.

The Muriel's Wedding composer said the fog of depression finally lifted after her son turned two and she had a "feeling of transcendence."

"I felt like I had been given a golden ticket. It was like how getting back to normal after explosive food poisoning feels like a treat," she wrote.

Miller-Heidke wrote the song after Australia's Head of Delegation Paul Clarke approached her to join the 10 artists competing in Australia's inaugural selection contest.

She not only wanted to pen lyrics which would resonate with a wide audience but meld her two musical loves of pop and opera.

A battle with post-natal depression inspired the singer’s Eurovision song Zero Gravity. Picture Glenn Hampson
A battle with post-natal depression inspired the singer’s Eurovision song Zero Gravity. Picture Glenn Hampson

The wildly respected and unique artist confessed she has always been a huge Eurovision fan but gets the irony of her joining the competition.

She has been "noisily" outspoken about her opposition to television talent quests such as The Voice and X Factor and even wrote a parody song called Australian Idol which was a live favourite among fans for several years.

"I'm a total hypocrite," she said, laughing after her first rehearsal for the Gold Coast show.

"But this is different. It's as much a celebration as it is a competition and the show is remarkable for its full-on eclecticism.

"Theoretically we are in competition with each other but how can you possibly rank these performances when everyone is so different?"

Miller-Heidke said all the artists, who include Sheppard, Courtney Act, Electric Fields and Ella Hooper, are all giving each other "a lot of moral support" as they rehearse ahead of Saturday night's decider.

Despite her opposition to television talent quests such as The Voice and X Factor, Kate Miller-Heidke will compete for a place in the Eurovision song contest. Picture: EMI
Despite her opposition to television talent quests such as The Voice and X Factor, Kate Miller-Heidke will compete for a place in the Eurovision song contest. Picture: EMI

She said all of them were enjoying the "creative freedom" offered by the Eurovision experience.

"You get to see the wackiest, most experimental s … at Eurovision. Songs that are so way out you would never hear them on radio in a million years," she said.

"And I love the crazy theatricality of it; I loved Netta who won Eurovision last year and her chicken noises. That spoke to me."

While there is a big campaign from her record label and fans for Miller-Heidke to win selection - and she really wants to win - Miller-Heidke told fans there is a much-loved consolation prize if she doesn't get the votes.

"Of course I'd love to win and represent Australia at Eurovision, but it's comforting to know that if I get my arse kicked it will mean less time away from my dear little Ernie - the cutest, chubbiest, funniest little guy in the world."

***SBS will broadcast Eurovision: Australia Decides on Saturday night from 8.30pm (AEDT).



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