ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Montenegro


It has become customary for the editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #16, we catch up with Montenegro (RTCG) who will be represented by Sergej Cetkovic and the song Moj Svijet co-written with Emina Sandal.

His talent was noticed so he became one of the best students in piano classes, in the primary and as well in the secondary music school “Vasa Pavic”. During the day, at school, he played Bach, Mozart, Schubert, and at night, at home, he played Peter Gabriel, Beatles, Joe Cocker. Sergej was definitely “infected” with pop-rock sound, therefore three years later in 1989 his official musical career started with the band “Burning Heart” in which he played keyboard and sang back vocals. Five years later, in 1994, he sang in a full capacity in the band “Amphitheatre”, where he began as a keyboardist and back vocal and he later became the lead vocal. Four years later, in 1998, Sergej begins his solo career by appearing at the summer pop festival “Sunny Skale” in Herceg Novi, where he sang the song You Were A Rose. 

Early in the new millennium, driven by his musical feeling, Sergej announced a new sound in our pop music. His first album Kristina was published by “Goroton” in 2000. New musical tendencies, which were felt in the sound of his compositions, were accepted even prior to the official appearance of his CD. That summer at the prestigious Budva festival called “Song of the Mediterranean”, Sergej sang the song Hours, Days, Years and was well received by the audience and the critics. In addition to the above mentioned song, the following songs I Will Stop The Time, Wake Me Up, City were included on the first album made by the author himself who set a “new sound” so the songs topped all the charts and became the most popular songs of the year. 

Carried by the good feeling that his musical formula is verified by the enormous number of fans of the new pop sound, two years later, in 2002 Sergej released his second studio album Be Like Water, published by “Goroton”. With his performances in 2003 at the Mediterranean Festival in Budva where he sang I Exist As Well, which is still the ultimate hit, and a year later at the festival “Eurovision – Euro song Monte Negro” where he sang I Can Not Forgive You he confirmed the position of his musical direction. Next year, in 2005, he released his third studio album When You Need It published by the record company “City records”. This album break all records, both in circulation and the audience: songs Look Into The Darkness, Damn You, The Ring On The Table for two years were in the top of the charts in all the countries of former Yugoslavia.

With his fourth album, Half Of My World published in 2007 by “City Records”, Sergej Cetkovic definitely placed his music disc into the history of pop music in the Balkans. The fifth CD 2 Minutes published by “City Records” and “Aquarius Records” was released in the year when this well known musician celebrates a decade of work on Balkan music scene. After ten years of professional career singer and composer Sergej Cetkovic can boast the success of the artist and the businessman, the qualifications for top pop star. This fact supports figures, which are related to album sales (CD), visitors at concerts or any other parameter that is taken into account when the music industry is concerned. Montenegro are yet to find success in the international event with an 11th placing in the semi-final achieved in 2009 still their best result.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 73%

Martin Isherwood: Good voice Feels like it should be Ireland’s entry   Great sounding song and production with flavours of ”You raise me up’. 

Deo Grech: Here goes my bias again. I have to declare that this entry hits all the right keys to earn my respect!  Ethno-ballads are amongst my all time favourites. So this follows close on the heels of ‘Lane moje’ (Serbia 2004), ‘Lejla’ (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006), and ‘Nije Ljubav Star’ (Serbia 2012), amongst others.   It’s downside might be that it is far too predictable. However, with an elegant presentation on stage this will surely soar high towards the finals.

Stano Simor: A ballad, which in modern design doesn’t forget to decorate a national tradition.There is emotive text, which supports the melody and great voice of Sergej Cetkovic. I believe that “Moj Svijet” will have a place in the final.

Matt Mercieca: Sounds like a nice song production is really nice, I wish I knew what he was saying but either way its a beautiful song.



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