One of the most successful countries in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest is definitely Serbia having won on their debut in 2007 with the track Molitva performed by Marija Šerifović but this was followed, by another two top ten achievements, the most recent coming last year at the hands of Željko Joksimović with the song Nije Ljubav Stvar finishing in third place. This year, RTS has decided on hosting an open national final, the first in almost four years which will see fifteen (15) entries competing for the right to represent the Balkan nation at the esteemed competition taking place in Malmö, Sweden.
The broadcaster received a total of one hundred, seventy one (171) submissions and had to narrow them down directly to the performance stage, with a semi-final taking place prior to the final selection round in order to make sure that both the jury and the public will select their entry out of a number of tracks which deserve their respective result. The semi-final has been scheduled for the 2nd March whilst the final will be taking place on the 3rd March. In the final round of the selection, there will be just five (5) acts competing to represent Serbia. Below you could see which entries made it through with their respective songwriters. The performers of the tracks will be revealed within the next couple of days.
- Moja Svetlosti - Igor Terzija (Filipovic / Savic)
- Što Prolazim - Dusan Zrnic (Bojic Mrden)
- Za Tebe Živim - Kristina Savic (Borisavljevic / Savic)
- Savršen Kraj - Aleksandra Dabic (Maric - Carli)
- Usne Kadifa - Vanja Gnjapic i 'Kal (Ristic / Milanovic Marika)
- Tren - Zarko Stepanov (Ivan Ilic)
- Svetla Pale Se Za Nas - Kesnija Kocetova (Kocetov / Kocetova / Malbasic)
- Blagoslov - Maja Nikolic (Paelinck / Nikolic)
- Spas - Dusan Svilar (Durasevic - Mahoni / Savic)
- Ruža Od Baruta - Ruza od Baruta (Milosavljevic)
- Anđeo S Neba - Maja Odzaklijevska (Burovac / Buljan / Kon)
- Halo! - Marija Mihailovic (Cuturilo / Jankovic / Tanaskovic)
- Ljubav Je Svuda - Radulovic, Bozovic, Jovanovic (Milosevic / Tucakovic)
- Magija - Sky'z (Sky Wikluh)
- Duga U Tvojim Očima - Aleksandra Jankovic (Petrovic)
In the last couple of years, Serbia have been encountering a bit of a difficulty when it comes to their performances at the Eurovision Song Contest and the results have not been so encouraging noting that they managed to reach the final in the last two years but nevertheless it was not the brilliant end result due to mid-table performances. This time round they have decided to select both their singer and song internally and the decision by RTS, the Serbian broadcaster went towards someone who already experienced the competition in the best possible way with a number of top five results as well as a compere in the form of Zeljko Joksimovic.
Our team including Juergen Boernig and Garrett Mulhall had the time to catch up with the performer; Zeljko Joksimovic and he spoke about a number of issues including his performance in this years' Eurovision Song Contest, his former runner-up finish, his role as a composer and a host. He has experienced the competition in a large number of roles and therefore, he clearly enjoys speaking about the past. Serbia of course won the competition in their first year as an independent country with Marija Serifovic and her entry Molitva and the following year, they continued the trend of success by virtue of reaching the top ten. They will be hoping to get the success of the first two years whilst Zeljko also has a record to defend this time round.
In this years' Eurovision Sogn Contest, there are a number of stellar names from the Balkan nations such as that of Zeljko Joksimovic who seems to be the most famous and popular to come out on top in the long run. He will be representing Serbia having already done the honours for the former Serbia & Montenegro back in 2004 with the song Lane Moje which reached the runner-up position just behind Ruslana and her Wild Dances. This time round, he is presenting a song entitled Nije Ljubav Stvar and he finds himself as one of the favourites with the bookies, putting him in fifth place.
Zeljko along his accompanying band have just released an official music video in the run up to the competition including Nenad Mahmutovic, the winner of the Serbian version of Got Talent. His creativity is genius because he does songs in sign language and the outcome of the song is just beautiful. The video carries one general message which says Jezici su razliciti, poruke su uvek iste which when translated into English states The languages may differ, but the message remains the same. Serbia will be competing in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest alongside Malta and Kurt Calleja. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Our critics for the second semi-final of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest were announced yesterday and a guest star from the local music scene will also be reviewing the entry for Sweden in the absence of Magnus Kaxe who is of course a leading Swedish songwriter. Kicking off the second evening this year will be none other than Serbia which is quite ironic noting that Montenegro is opening the first semi-final just two night before that. The former Yugoslavian nation has had a much better record than their counter-part but in the past two years, they have had to suffice with mediocre placings despite the submission of great songs to the event. They will be hoping that it will chance this year with Željko Joksimović, an artist who is somewhat of a trump-card. He will be performing the song Nije Ljubav Stvar written alongside Marina Tucaković and Miloš Roganović.
Željko Joksimović was born on the 20th of April, 1972. in Belgrade, Serbia. At 12 years of age, he won the prestigious First Accordion of Europe award at the music festival in Paris. He attended the University of Musical Arts in Belgrade and is one of rare musicians who knows how to play 14 different instruments. His professional music career has continuously been on the rise. During the 1990's he achieved consecutive success at the Belgrade Spring festival as a composer. In addition to performing, Željko also composed music for theatre productions. The defining year in the career of Željko Joksimović was 2004. when he won the national song contest for Serbia and Montenegro with the song Lane Moje.
After many years, Serbia and Montenegro got their representative at the prestigious Eurovision Song Contest, where he finished in second place in the Final. The success at the Eurovision Song Contest changed the direction of Željko's career. This is proven by the results that he achieved in the following years. In December of 2005 Željko's fourth album sold over 500.000 copies. In terms of quality, this album represents a big step forward in his career - during this period Željko also ventured into composing music for films.
The Eurovision success repeated once again in 2006, when his composition Lejla for Hari Mata Hari, the representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina won third place. September of 2007 was marked by the sixth regional Balkan radio festival in which 22 pop stars from the region competed. The Grand Prix was won by Željko for his hit song Devojka. At the most prestigious music festival in Serbia, Beovizija in 2008, he composed the winning song Oro, performed by Jelena Tomašević. It was this song that represented Serbia, the host of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008.
Serbian Broadcasting Corporation and the EBU gave Željko the role of the host of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Belgrade along with Jovana Janković. Jelena Tomašević and the song Oro Finished in sixth place in the Final. Serbian broadcaster RTS revealed the exciting news that Željko Joksimović would once again represent his country on the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan 2012. Željko has been given complete control over the Serbian entry. He will both compose and perform the entry, which was presented to the public for the first time in a show on Serbian television in early 2012. This will be Željko's fourth attempt at winning the competition.
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
- A 4:30 minute song compressed into 3 minutes. The ethnic and orchestra sounds remind me a little bit of the soundtrack from “The lords of the rings”. Interesting arrangement structure which nicely builds up to the triumphant ending. The artist has a great voice and the Serbian language fits well to the song. A very good start indeed, hence eight (8) points.
- Beautiful song with so much feeling, I love his voice and this song will make me cry.....the harmonies are wonderful, full of strength and power, I think one of the best songs of this years contest...I believe that the maximum ten (10) points are in order.
- This is yet another bombastic and close-to-perfect Balkan ballads, and we have heard a few of them in the last few years. Coming from Željko, I would have expected a bit more here. It is good, but not Lane moje-good, still thought eight (8) points.
Performer: Željko Joksimović
Composer: Željko Joksimović
Authors: Marina Tucaković and Miloš Roganović
Song: Nije Ljubav Stvar
History of the Nation
Since the dissolution of the nation known as Serbia & Montenegro, it seems that the former has managed to take away some of the priceless gems in a numerous amount of industries including music and tennis for example but let's stay on the music side. The culture seems to have been transcended well onto Europe. Upon their initial participation as an independent country, they managed to finish at the top position with Marija Serifovic and her track Molitva. The positive results would go on even onto the following year in fact with Jelena Tomasevic taking up the role with yet another beautiful Balkan ballad written by Zeljko himself finishing in sixth position. Their luck seemed to be running out especially when they failed to qualify from the semi-final in 2009 with Cipela performed by Marko Kon & Milan Nikolic but then performances from Milan Stankovic in 2010 and also Nina in 2011 saw them make the finals and reach decent mid-table positions.
Željko Joksimović enters the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the tendency to achieve a strong result and most of the fans of the event expect him to do so especially after presenting his entry Nje Ljubav Stvar in a specially designated show aired on RTS earlier this year featuring a number of tracks which he co-wrote including a number of former entries for the Eurovision Song Contest including those for Serbia & Montenegro in 2004, Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2006 and also Serbia in 2008, the same year in which he had hosted. This time round, he is ready to take the nation back to the top and is receiving ample support for a number of former participants.
In recent weeks, escflashmalta has been working very closely with RTS having presented an exclusive interview with Željko Joksimović, the first which he gave to an online foreign media and honestly it was an honour. We spoke about a number of issues but the idea that struck most is the fact that he is so proud to be doing the event once more with a song which he truly believes in. The language barrier does not seem to be an issue to most people who have now also heard it in English under the title Synonym. Nevertheless, the promotional campaign continues as he has just recorded a brand new version in Russian with the name Lyubov Ne Veshch (Love Is Not a Thing) and also plans to record more versions in the coming days. We would like to wish Serbia and of course Željko the very best of luck as he competes alongside Malta in the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
It is always a privilege to speak to some of the most entertaining individuals in the music industry and this is because, some professional personnel can end up teaching about things which might not have been heard of before hand. Some acts do not require a lot of introduction due to the fact that they are already extremely well known with a stunning background in this evening and this is the case with the next interviewee who has already represented his country as a singer, a songwriter and a host when the music competition moved there a couple of years back. I am speaking about Željko Joksimović whose talent seems to grasp the attention of quite a hefty amount of people around the whole continent who are proud to call themselves fans of the artist. He was chosen internally by the Serbian broadcaster, RTS and will be hoping to bring back a result which will stun the nation, one which will be extremely favourable putting the country where it should have been in recent years.
Looking through your biography, one can easily note that success has come to you at a relatively early stage in your career by virtue of finishing at the top of the competition during the 'First accordion of Europe', a festival held in Paris, France. This would be the beginning of a masterful career which would also see you win in other countries throughout the years. Just two years after graduating from the University of Belgrade with a degree in music, you were offered your very first recording contract with a privately owned label. Most of the records released became hits in a number of countries which used to make up the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. What were your thoughts when given such an opportunity to release your material and did you always have creative control over the published songs?
I was very proud and happy when I was appointed to be Serbian presenter for this year Euro vision Song Contest. It is unique and beautiful responsibility to be at the Eurovision stage once again. If I understoodyour question, about the creative process during making this year Song for Baku, the answer is yes, of course that I had creative control during whole process of making off. The text for the poem was done by Marina Tucakovic and Milos Roganovic for Serbian and Ljilja Jorgovanovic for English version. They all are very respective authors but we did everything together. To be honest with you, this part was very important and we spent a lot of time for right words for the composition that I made.
Serbia and Montenegro made their respective debut in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 and their selection was conducted publicly through a showcase entitled 'Evropesma' which was contested by twenty-four participants, from both sides of the country. At the end of the evening, there was a general consensus between both the jury and the voters at home that 'Lane Moje' would be the best representative on such a joyous occasion and thus, you were sent to the event where you qualified first in the semi-final before missing out on victory to Ruslana and her song 'Wild Dances'. What do you recall of the experience eight years ago and would you have done anything differently?
I am still having having beautiful memories of Istanbul till today along with the way that Lane Moje had been presented. It was my first time at Eurovision Song Contest and it felt like big flow, everything that was happening there was amazing. Yes, from this point of view, I would probably do something different, but in the same time I think that in that case maybe I would not be here this year.
Despite the performance in 2004 being the only one as a soloist, you would return to the Eurovision Song Contest on a further two occasions, starting with 2006 having presented the song 'Lejla' performed by Hari Mata Hari for Bosnia & Herzegovina which finished in third place. It was a great experience surely, one which gave you the courage to pen yet another track in the form of 'Oro' sung by Jelena Tomasevic which would rank in sixth position. Both the songs had particular sounds which are very traditional but what were your thoughts about the respective results and what inspires you to write such songs?
The song 'Lejla' as well as song that I made for Jelena are still very popular songs so therefore I am proud of them. You can always say that they could be better in the final rankings, but that is it, we can not change it now. My inspiration comes from life itself, it is not easy to explain in words how it is happening. It just happens and then you start that creative process, and repeat it for million times.
Following the split of Serbia & Montenegro, it seems that Serbia has become a commanding nation in music by virtue of going onto win the Eurovision Song Contest on their first try as an independent nation noting that Marija Serifovic managed to top the leader board with the song 'Molitva'. Many people still comment that it is one of the most beautiful songs ever to be presented at the renowned competition and one of the reasons for that is surely the fact that it was performed in Serbian. This language seems to be highly regarded but what makes it such a special one in your opinion?
It is good song, presented in right moment for Eurovision and it is still hit. The Song language is very important and we had big dilemma nowadays about the language for the song “Nije ljubav stvar” or as in English version “Synonym”. After long talks we decided to stick with Serbian as many people just think that you can explain your emotions better on your native language
Serbia started off extremely well in the Eurovision Song Contest but lately, their results have somewhat reached the mid-table having even faced non-qualification back in 2010 after Marko Kon and Milaan failed to make it through to the finals of the competition with the song 'Cipela'. Nevertheless, there has been renowned vigour by the broadcaster by inviting some of the most notable songwriters to present singers and songs in a public competition yet this time round they decided to make an internal selection coming up with your name noting that the public had been asking for your return for quite some time. What do you think went wrong in recent years and how do you intend to change that course?
Eurovision Song Contest is a live competition and it has its ups and downs. You also had several well-known composers in recent years. The things are not so black and white as it might seems. I strongly believe that my composition this year as well as some others are very strong and quality compositions that will raise the course that you were talking about. For the Eurovision Song Contest the most important thing is definitely the Songs that will be presented and the organization of the event that I believe that will be fantastic this year.
The importance of the Eurovision Song Contest within Serbia has been proven time and time again with astonishing viewing figures published by RTS, the respective broadcaster. Apart from taking part both as a composer and a performer, you have represented the country as a host of the event when it came to Belgrade, Serbia back in 2008. Looking back through the years, did you believe that you were going to get the nod to host such a prestigious showcase and on a slightly personal note, did you know that you would end up becoming the life partner of your co-host, the beautiful Jovana Jankovic?
It was my pleasure. I think that Eurovision gave a special image to whole my career. I love to say that Eurovision gave me a lot personally as well. I am willing to give something back to it this year and I think that with the song “Nije ljubav stvar” I will do something good.
A couple of weeks ago, the anticipation to listen to the song that you will be presenting at the 2012 Eurovison Song Contest was silenced when you released the track 'Nije Ljubav Stvar' which is a track which fuses the elements of the traditional pop culture along with balkan elements. Throughout the years, you have worked with a number of lyricists though you have chosen to work with Ljilja Jorgovanović this time round. What could you tell us about the choice of this song and the team behind it and how should the people expect it to be presented during the semi-final of the esteemed music event?
Ljilja made lyrics for English version and Marina Tucakovic together with Milos Roganovic done the text for Serbian version that will be presented at the stage on May 24th. I have big and very experienced group that will join me in Baku. The names are Ksenija Miloseevic, Olga Vulovic,Milos Nikolic, Dusan Alagic, Dragan Krstic. Some of them were with me during my Eurovision Contest in the past and you have to believe that we shall all made fantastic show, a new one which you will enjoy.
Would you like say anything to your fans and our readers at www.escflashmalta.com?
Thank you for supporting Serbia and my song. I wish Kurt Calleja and his song 'This Is The Night' all the best during the first semi-final and hope that we shall together meet in finals in Baku, Azerbaijan.