Rykka to compete in finals of 2016 Eurovision Song Contest
Swiss-Canadian singer will represent Switzerland in one of world's most watched non-sporting events
Surrey-native Rykka will be competing in the finals of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Switzerland.
The B.C. born singer and songwriter, who has Swiss roots, said it felt "like a miracle" beating out five other finalists during the country's national competition on Saturday.
Eurovision is considered one of the world's most watched non-sporting events. Previous notable competitors include ABBA, Julio Iglesias and Celine Dion — who won in 1988, also representing Switzerland.
Despite singing for more than a decade, Rykka said the moment of her big win still came as a shock to her.
"I didn't really understand. It was just like exploding and imploding at the same time," said the singer clutching her heart during an interview with CBC from Zurich. "It was so crazy."
Between the energetic audience and multiple cameras, Rykka said she was fortunate she was able to remain calm during her performance.
"Performing for cameras instead of just the people, it's really different for me," she said
"It's really nice to have such a cool adventure and explore all these different things."
Her winning song, The Last of Our Kind, was written for Eurovision with three other songwriters who also have West Coast roots while she was in Vancouver.
Since the age of 15, she's travelled regularly between Surrey and Switzerland.
In 2013, Rykka performed at CBC Vancouver's summer concert series, Musical Nooners. Later that year, she took home a cheque for over $100,000 as the winner of the Peak Performance Project.
Rykka says she is now focused on touring around Europe trying to garner votes before the Eurovision finals which will be in May in Stockholm.