Croatia will be taking part in the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Mižerja performed by Klapa S Mora. The decision of the track was taken by an internal panel of professional judges following an external call in which the broadcaster, HRT had already decided to go down a traditional route opting to send a klapa to the international spectacle. It is worth noting that the genre is a heritage, also recognised by Unesco, which in turn is a specialised agency of the United Nations. An official video to accompany the entry was officially published last night.
Mižerja, written by Goran Topolovac who hails from Duga Resa is supporting the tourism of Croatia in general with the video somewhat keeping the traditions alive. Marko Škugor, Nikša Antica, Leon Bataljaku, Ivica Vlaić and Bojan Kavedžija are all from different parts of Croatia and therefore makes their coming together even more interesting. They were actually selected by Maestro Mojmir Čačija and re-worked into the group they have become through producers Nikša Bratoš and Dragan Brnas who created the final version of the track. The balkan nation has never won the Eurovision Song Contest with their best result at this point in time still being a fourth place finish in 1996 and 1999 courtesy of Maja Blagdan and Doris Dragovic. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Croatia in this years' international spectacle.
A professional panel of individuals from the music industry have been engaged by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com to listen to all of the competing entries in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmö, Sweden. The tracks are supported by biographies, other music from the respective performers involved along with a background on the participating country. The formal introduction of each entry continues. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Croatia will be performing in slot number four (4) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. HRT, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Mižerja written by Goran Topolovac and performed by Klapa s Mora, a group made up of Marko Skugor, Ante Galic, Niksa Antica, Leon Bataljaku, Ivica Vlaic and Bojan Kavadizija.
Klapa singing is a traditional Croatian form of vocal music originating from Dalmatia, in southern Croatia. In December 2012, UNESCO inscribed klapa singing on its list of world intangible heritage of Europe. This year Croatia has formed a special klapa for the Eurovision Song Contest made up of singers who are young, but rich in experience. Marko Škugor was born on October 25th, 1989. He had a lovely childhood in Dubrava, near Šibenik where he lived with his parents and two younger sisters. Ante Galić was born on September 3rd, 1987 in Split. He grew up with his mother and spent a lovely childhood filled with the usual mischief, football and basketball. Nikša Antica was born on May 9th, 1976 in Split where he had a happy childhood living with his parents and his younger brother. Nikša completed his entire education in Split, where he also earned a law degree. He came to Karlovac when he married a local girl, and now considers this his home town.
Leon Bataljaku was born in Zadar on June 13th, 1980. He had a happy childhood, which he shared with his younger sister. Ivica Vlaić was born on July 12th, 1979 in Šibenik. He grew up with his parents and a younger brother. He graduated from high school and entered the Faculty of Maritime Studies, but didn't get a degree there because he started working for the Croatian Army. Bojan Kavedžija was born on June 14th, 1973 in Zagreb. He spent a happy childhood with his parents and his sister. He graduated from high school for tourism management, but never worked in his field of expertise. One summer on the Murter island he met five girls who sang and danced in a folklore group. Goran was born on 29th June 1975 in Karlovac. He lives and works in Duga Resa, where he went to school. He graduated from elementary music school in Karlovac, where his instrument was the piano.
Internal selections have somewhat become extremely common in recent years with the focus of the participation put on promotion rather than the actual selection of the track. Croatia is one of the countries which is seeking to return to the final and in order to carry out this task, they have enlisted a completely different type of entry. As a matter of fact, Mižerja is known to be a Klapa, a traditional form of music which is part of the nations' heritage and recognised even by Unesco. When one does look back at past results, the country has been somewhat unlucky and despite finishing in third place within the semi-final back in 2008 with the song Romanca performed by Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents, they could only managed twenty-first position in the final and indeed, Croatia continued their trend of not making the top ten. The last time that they reached that position was in 2001 at the hands of Vanna with the song Strings of My Heart.
Croatia will be the second ex-Yugoslavian country to perform during the first semi-final noting that Slovenia will be performing in the third slot hence why the review was published yesterday. The history of both nations is somewhat similar and as a matter of fact, Croatia has failed to make it through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest for the past three years, despite having extremely high hopes in 2010 when represented by the group Feminnem and the track Lako Je Sve as well as last year, in 2012 when Nina Badric took to the stage with the beautiful ballad entitled Nebo. The tracks finished in thirteenth and twelfth place respectively. Croatia is one of the nations yet to win the international spectacle despite reaching their best results in the nineties, finish in the top ten on five occasions including top number four finishes coming in 1996 with Maja Blagdan and her song Sveta Ljubav and in 1999 with the track Marija Magdalena performed by Doris Dragovic.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Magnus Kaxe: Man-band with pop-opera ambitions. Sounds like a Eurovision song from 1987 or a musical song from the same decade. This is not my cup of tea. I rather go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea of my own.
Lina Eriksson: I think these charming gentlemen will have a hard time making it through the semi. Extra credit when singing in native tounge but this charming, oldschool song is a little bit too oldschool.
Matt Mercieca (Muxu): Very ,very good harmonies, but song is super out-dated, and gets a little boring after a while, the instrumental breakdown….. why? che miseria…but love the harmonies
HRT, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest has been rather unsuccessful in recent years with the past three entries, two of which were selected through a public competition failing to get through to the final of the esteemed music event. This year, albeit keeping in line with an internal selection, the song was decided by a professional jury with the request from the broadcaster being a traditional genre, more commonly known in the area as Klapa. Whether this will prove successful is unknown but it is definitely different and representing a heritage which goes back hundreds of years.
Croatia will be competing in slot number #4 within the first semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden with the track Mižerja performed by a group of tenors known as Klapa s Mora. The meaning behind the title in itself is quite simple because they are all from cities near the sea and therefore when translated it would read out Klapa from the Sea. Earlier today, the National Croatian Tourism Board unveiled two videos to promote the country with Mižerja but whilst one is in the national language, the other one is in English and bears the name Hard Times rather than Misery as one would have expected. The official preview video will be published on the 11th April. You may also download the ringtones of the track either in English or Croatia through the official website of the broadcaster. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news.
Nina Badric was internally selected by HRT, the Croatian broadcaster to represent the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, banking on her popularity in the Ex-Yugoslavian states but there were quite a couple in the same semi-final and the votes swayed in different directions whilst things did not look up initially following vocal issues including surgery for the performer. Ultimately, the song she performed entitled Nebo finished in twelfth place within the semi-final. 2013 is set to be a completely different year because, they will be going extremely traditional in their choice by virtue of selecting a Klapa. As a matter of fact, the performers are being selected but the track has already been commissioned, and written.
The chosen entry seems to have been entitled Mizerija which as you might have guessed translates into Misery or Sadness, therefore giving the idea of an emotional track. The songwriter is Goran Topolovac who comes from the town of Duga Resa. More details about the performers as well as the track will be revealed in the coming weeks. HRT has been thinking about the process for quite some time and in order to be sure of the specifications, they also have a reserve entry bearing the title Cili Svit Za Bili Cvi. The best result for the country was a fourth place achieved in 1996 and 1999 with Sveta Ljubav and Marija Magdalena. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the Croatian entry in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
In recent years, Croatia has not managed to come out with positive results at the Eurovision Song Contest despite sending some extremely beautiful songs including this years' entry Nebo by Nina Badric which could only manage twelfth place in a semi-final brimming with talent from the Balkan block with votes which were evenly distributed. In fact, whilst the likes of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and FYR Macedonia went through, Croatia and Slovenia were the ones to miss out. The state broadcaster, HRT has decided to completely reinvent their selection process and instead of hosting a particular internal or national final, it seems that they will be vying for a traditional sound, one known as klapa. One has to be honest in pointing out that going traditional has fared well in the past considering that Balkan countries play to their strengths.
HRT are currently accepting tracks which are in a traditional klapa form from Croatian artists who are sixteen or older by the time of the Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place in Sweden following the victory of Loreen with the track Euphoria. An appointed jury of three members will then listen to the submitted entries and will be choosing the best track to represent Croatia. Once the song has been chosen, the artists will then be confirmed so, it might not be the case that the ones singing on the demo have to be the ones performing at the Eurovision Song Contest. The broadcaster promises the recording of a video clip for the selected entries and also a possible promotional tour in various countries. Applications could be send in to the broadcaster together with an application letter and written consent of the involved writers until the 25th December. One particular song in this genre competed in the 2010 national selection as you can see below and ultimately finished in sixth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes possible.
When the running order was drawn there were gasps for the way that two neighbours have been drawn back to back due to the fact that they have extremely similar genres in the entries that they presenting for this years' Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan. The country which will be performing in the tenth position in the second semi-final is Croatia, who are bringing about some of their best vocal talent to the competition in the form of Nina Badrić who has decided to perform the song Nebo which she both penned and composed the music to actually making her one of the few singer/songwriters in the competition.
Performer: Nina Badrić