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Dalal: Deen is a friend for 20 years, but it is our first song together

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on December 22, 2015 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

 

"In the disco" was the sound of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2004. The sound of next years isn't known yet just the fact that Bosnia & Herzegovina will return and that the broadcaste already selected the three names, who will representing the country. Dalal Midhat Talakić, Fuad Backović-Deen and Ana Rucner are the three. Fuad Backović-Deen was the singer of the entree in 2004 and already has eurovision experiences. Ana Rucner is a known cellist.


Eurovision on top had the chance to speak to Dalal and get to know this talented singer and we are very proud to show you the special greetings Dalal send to all our readers.

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1. Dalal - would you like to present yourself to our readers? Who is the person Dalal?

I am a singer, songwriter and a proud mother of a 6-year old girl called May.


2. What is the story behind the nomination of you three?

We were internally selected by our country’s national broadcaster BHRT. While Deen and I were recording our albums we came across a great song which sounded like Eurovision. During the process of creating the song we came to the idea that we need amazing Ana Rucner to do live strings.


 

 


3. How did you get the information and what was your reaction?

I was very happy and proud. It is a great honour to be chosen to represent our country in the World’s greatest music contest.


 

 

4. You will sing together with Deen, who already has eurovision experience. What did he tell you and which recommendation did he give you?

Deen and I have been friends for 20 years, but this is our first song which will be recorded together. He is like a brother to me, and it means a lot to have someone who you love and trust in this project. His Eurovision experience is a great advantage for the whole team.


 

 

5. What were your musical highlights so far?

I was the singer and songwriter in group Erato for ten years and we had two albums, it was a great experience, but now I am working on my first solo album. As a solo artist I released two singles, “Gdje sam ja” in 2014 and “Bombon” in 2015.

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Apart from pop music, I love to sing soul, r’n’b, jazz and gospel. I was the part of the International day of Jazz concert in Sarajevo, invited performer of the British National Anthem on UK Armed Forces Day and Queens Birthday party.

 

I represented my country on the International Festivals - MELFEST in Macedonia and EuroVideo Grand Prix in Albania. I had the honour to perform at the welcoming concert for the visit of Pope Francis in Sarajevo where I sang famous hymn “Amazing Grace”.


 

6. Which link do or did you have to Eurovision?

I am a great fan of Eurovision and since my childhood I have been watching it every year with all members of my family.


7. What do you think can Eurovision bring to you as artist?

I am very grateful on the fact that people understand my music and enjoy my singing for 16 years. Eurovision is a great opportunity for singers and songwriters because people from all over the World can hear your music. Eurovision is the dream come true. And I hope for the best.


8. Do you already have any idea of the song you will sing and your performance?

The song is ready, but we are still working on details and shaping it.

9. What is your favorite of the bosnians entries of all times? And do you have any Eurovision evergreen you like?

Fazla – “Sva bol svijeta” because it was our first Eurovision entry, and Hari Mata Hari and “Lejla”. Toto Cutugno – Insieme.


  

10. Which targets do you have till, during and most important after Eurovision?

At the moment my first priority is our song and performance on Eurovision. I am recording my first solo album in studio Tempo, and my producer is Almir Ajanovic, the author and producer of our Eurovision song. We are also working on my first single in English.

 

11. You are one of the first announced artists. Do you think it is an advantage?

I believe in destiny, and some things are just meant to be. I think it is an advantage, especially because Bosnia and Herzegovina is back after three years.


12. What would you do, if you would win for the first time for Bosnia the song contest?

I would be overwhelmed with happiness and pride if Eurovision contest came to Sarajevo, capital of B&H, for it would create an atmosphere of optimism and enable lots of young people new chances to work for such a massive event and also the extraordinary opportunity to express their various talents. In addition it might attract many people to visit our country and see its breathtaking sights for the first time.


Thank you Dalal for the sweet XMAS Greeting and the interesting interview. Wishing all the best for the preparations for Eurovision.


Eurovision on top will follow Dalal and her colleagues on her way to and in Stockholm.

Stay tuned!


Pedro de Almeida


 

 

#ESC2016 #EOT weekly report #7: Balkan is back and 43 or 44!? - a record year!

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on November 28, 2015 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The last weeks were with less news, but when there have been news like for example the one about Germany's announcement of Naidoo it turned fast into a scandal.


But this week was once again one of the weeks the eurovision fans like. Some announcements of participants of good old known former artists. Also a record participation of countries at the 61st edition of the eurovision song contest next year.


And as always a lot of news during the week, but you won't miss any one of them reading our weekly report. Just read our report and get a summary about the most important facts.


1. Returns in 2016: Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Ukraine will be back!


2. A known face for FYR Macedonia in Stockholm


3. Bosnia & Herzegovina will send a trio with one known eurovision artists aswell


4. Will it be a new record? At the moment 43 confirmed nations




1. Returns in 2016: Bosnia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Ukraine will be back!


Bosnia was the last time in 2012 (Baku) at the contest and missed during the last years in due to financial issues. But with the support of a new sponsor the national broadcaster BHRT announced the return in 2016.


Croatia had the last participation in 2013 (Malmö;) missed the final and missed afterwards two times at the contest. But in 2016 also Croatia will be back, so the news of HRT.


Bulgaria just hosted successfully the junior eurovision and last years second place and because Italy passed the possibility to host the junior to the second placed. Perhaps this was one of the reasons for the national broadcaster BNT to return to the contest.


Ukraine is one of the most successful nations at the contest and participated for the last time 2014 in Copenhagen, the year when the conflict in the home country began. NTU now announced also the return of Ukraine, what was kind of little surprise as there was a lot of doubts, if it would be a priority to this country to join the contest, having to handle so much challenges in the own boarders. But there is no doubt that Ukraine will enrich the contest!


2. Kaliopi will return to eurovision and sing for FYR Macedonia


 

It was in 2012 (Baku) that Kaliopi sang for FYR Macedonia and it was the best qualification ever for this eurovision country making the 13th place.

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FYR Macedonia started in 1996 to participate and was represented by the same Kaliopi, just the result was worser, making the 26th of 29th place.


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So it will be the third time for the very known and famous Kaliopi.

Eurovision will let you updated as soon as there will be any details about the song.


3. A trio with one eurovision experienced artist is the bosnian mix for 2016


"In the disco" was the sound of Bosnia & Herzegovina in 2004. The sound of next years isn't known yet just the fact that Bosnia & Herzegovina will return and that the broadcaste already selected the three names, who will representing the country.

Dalal Midhat Talakić, Fuad Backović-Deen and Ana Rucner are the three. 

Fuad Backović-Deen was the singer of the entree in 2004 and already has eurovision experiences. Ana Rucner is a known cellist. 

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Eurovision on top will follow the further announcements of the national broadcaster and inform you as soon as there will be details about the song and the performance.


4. Will it be a new record!? - 43 or 44!?


This week the EBU announced the participation of 43 countries, what would be the old record, which already was reached in 2008 and 2011. But there are still rumors in the internet that perhaps there will be one more country joining (Slovakia!?) and finally make 2016 to the contest with the new record of participating countries.


Here the list of the actual confirmed countries:

 

 

  • Albania (RTSH)
  • Armenia (AMPTV)
  • Australia (SBS)
  • Austria (ORF)
  • Azerbaijan (İTV)
  • Belarus (BTRC)
  • Belgium (VRT)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHRT)
  • Bulgaria (BNT)
  • Croatia (HRT)
  • Cyprus (CyBC)
  • Czech Republic (ČT)
  • Denmark (DR)
  • Estonia (ERR)
  • Finland (YLE)
  • France (France Télévisions)
  • FYR Macedonia (MKRTV)
  • Georgia (GPB)
  • Germany (NDR)
  • Greece (ERT)
  • Hungary (MTVA)
  • Iceland (RÚV)
  • Ireland (RTÉ;)
  • Israel (IBA)
  • Italy (RAI)
  • Latvia (LTV)
  • Lithuania (LRT)
  • Malta (PBS)
  • Moldova (TRM)
  • Montenegro (RTCG)
  • The Netherlands (AVROTROS)
  • Norway (NRK)
  • Poland (TVP)
  • Romania (TVR)
  • Russia (RTR)
  • San Marino (SMRTV)
  • Serbia (RTS)
  • Slovenia (RTVSLO)
  • Spain (TVE)
  • Sweden (SVT)
  • Switzerland (SRG SSR)
  • Ukraine (NTU)
  • United Kingdom (BBC)

 


A week with a lot of news, but just the beginning of the eurovision season 2016.


Just keep turned to Eurovision on top and get the weekly update about all important facts.


Pedro de Almeida

#ESC2016 #EOT weekly report #3: a week of NO's - Bosnia, Croatia and Portugal OUT for 2016!

Posted by Pedro.Eurovisionontop on October 10, 2015 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome once again to our new and weekly report about the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

 


This week was a bad week for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest with three countries refusing the possibility to join the 61th contest in Stockholm:


• Portugal’s NO to 2016 and the promise for 2017


• Bosnia & Herzegovina doesn’t return 2016


• Croatia close not to return either


 

1. PORTUGAL

It’s the fourth time that Portugal doesn’t participate in their history of more than 50 at the contest. Interesting is the fact that out of this four times, it is the third one where Sweden is the host.


Already in 2000 (Stockholm), 2013 (Malmo) and now again in 2016 (Stockholm) Portugal decided not to participate. If it is just a happenstance or any deeper coincidence in that fact isn’t known.


Officially the national broadcaster just said that the budget next year will be needed for the big sport events, like the Olympic games and the UEFA Eurocup in France, for which the Portuguese national soccer team just qualified this week.


Portugal is one of the longest participating countries without a victory. And the last time that Portugal was on stage for the grand final was in 2010 in Oslo.


In the last years didn’t bring a huge success to Portugal, this for sure is one of the reasons why the Eurovision Song Contest lost public interest.


At the same time the RTP made a public promise to return in 2017 with a better preparation and a new concept. Something they already said in the past but didn’t bring changes the Europeans where able to see.


In honor & memories of the all Portuguese entries Eurovision on top wants to share the most successful Portuguese entree ever.


1996 – 6th place:

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2. BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Also in due to financial problems the national broadcaster BHRT informed that there will be no return in 2016 to the contest.


They are just looking for a sponsor, but it looks so that it won’t work for 2016.


2012 was the last participation of this former Yugoslavian country. They started 1993 and just missed 1998 and 2000 the qualification.


In honor & memories of the all bosnian entries Eurovision on top wants to share the most successful entree ever.


2006 – 3rd place:

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3. CROATIA

The national broadcaster HRT seems also not to return to the contest.


Also Croatia as a former Yugoslavian country had their debut at the contest in 1993 and had their last participation at the grand final in 2009.


Due to the missing participations of some Balkan countries there can be one country having a advantage out of this: Montenegro.


The last years, when less Balkan countries participated turned into the most successful years for them.


In honor & memories of the all croatian entries Eurovision on top wants to share the most successful entree ever.


1996 – 4th place:

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1999 – 4th place:

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Don't miss to read the upcoming weekly reports to get your quick update about the ESC2016!


Pedro de Almeida

 

25 years of Regina

Posted by Eurovision On Top on July 23, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Regina, the rock band that represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a special concert which will be held in Sarajevo on July 31, 2015.


 

One of the most famous rock projects from former Yugoslavia, Regina started their second life in 2005 with an artistic maturity to even greater success than before being the opening act for Rolling Stones in 2007 and gracing the Eurovision stage in 2009 achieving one of the best Bosnian results ever (9th place among 42 entries).


 

The special concert has been heavily promoted in Bosnia and Herzegovina with several posters all over Sarajevo. In a concert that will a kind of "The Greatest Hits Live", "Bistra Voda" is expected to be in the set. Recall it now below.

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Since 2009 Regina have been extremely successful in our website, both in album reviews and in the weekly chart "EOT-TOP 20". For instance, "Kad Poludimo", taken from the album with the same name, spent 11 weeks on the chart back in 2012 to a peak at #5. It reached #51 on the "Annual Chart 2012".


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"Kalimero", taken from the upcoming album, spent 11 weeks on the chart in 2014 to a peak at #2. It reached #15 on the "Annual Chart 2014" with 1532 votes. Actually it went on in 2015 and managed to reach the #1 in January. So probably it will be featured on the "Annual Chart 2015" as well.

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Exclusive Interview: DINO MERLIN

Posted by Eurovision On Top on July 14, 2015 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Participating just for the sake of participating does not make sense


The guest for our new interview is Dino Merlin, one of the most successful artists not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but all over the former Yugoslavia. Through this conversation you'll have the opportunity to get to know a little bit better the man who during his last tour performed in front of more 700 000 people and the artist that throughout 2014 had his videos constantly featured on our weekly "EOT-TOP 20" as a demand of our readers.


 

 

1. Your career began over 30 years ago with the band Merlin. What do you remember about touring with Merlin and what do you still keep from them in your work in 2015?

 


A lot of things have changed since then, however some things never change. I would say that the songs I have been writing ever since I began writing were a result of the things that happened in my life. They were and still are like records of my emotional and intellectual history. Now, as much as then, a smile or a grim can have a profound effect on a song I am writing. Of course different musical influences formed me during the time and it is hard to name them all, but Merlin was certainly one of them.


 


2. By looking up your career, yours isintrinsically connected to the recent history of Bosnia & Herzegovina since you wrote the first national anthem of Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you wrote the first Bosnian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest and more recently you released the song and the video "Ruža" as a support to the flood victims in the Balkans (including Bosnia and Herzegovina). How is Bosnia and Herzegovina an inspiration for you as an artist and how do you renew this inspiration over the years?


My help is relatively small compared to the generosity and audacity people had helping others in desperate times for Bosnia. Everybody helps in ways that he is best suited for - I write songs.

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3. Unfortunately we cannot talk about Bosnia and Herzegovina without talking about a very recent dark period, the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995. That period is in line with the beginning of your solo career. How did such a horrific part of History changed you as an artist and what is the role of art, especially what is the role of music in such sad moments?


What happened in the war is horrific, and most of the people who did not experience war firsthand probably cannot comprehend the extent of such a tragedy. Unfortunately, for most people, the war in Bosnia was just yet another piece of bad news featured on the TV screen. The recovery is slow and will still take a long time. Tragedies unfortunately are slowly forgotten to the detriment of people who will feel the consequences for longer that they must.



4. Talking about the Eurovision Song Contest, you composed the first Bosnian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, "Sva bol svijeta" (1993), as well as providing the lyrics with Fahrudin Pecikoza. Back in 1993 how important was for Bosnia to be in Millstreet, Ireland?


Eurosong 1993 was a great moment for our country as it was our first time that we were able to participate in such an international event as an independent state. Our team had to virtually escape from Sarajevo in the shadow of the night, fly with a helicopter low above the sky in order to escape enemy radars and then cross the border to Europe. We had a tremendous amount of support from countries we had visited, especially in Ireland. The Irish are one of the friendliest people I know of.

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5. You returned to Eurovision in 1999, not only as a composer but also as the main artist together with Béatrice, performing the song "Putnici". What was the concept behind it and did it catch you by surprise the extremely positive reaction, including high marks from distant countries such as the 12 points from Ireland?

 

In 1999 there was for the first time a nation wide election of a song which would represent Bosnia in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Authors submitted their work and I was invited by a couple of colleagues to take part as well. I had a song in mind and I wanted to do something special so I met up with Beatrice and a couple of her friends from France. We performed together in what was a historic event for Bosnia. The last time I saw her we performed again the song Putnici during the presentation of Love in Rewind in early 2011 in Sarajevo.



6. Still on your participation of 1999, it is known that "Putnici" was not the first choice to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina. Did it somehow bother you or were you afraid that that somehow Europe would see you as a second choice of your country?


It was a close competition, but the song which finished above ours was disqualified and ineligible to represent our country. It was an odd moment for everyone involved, but I accepted the chance to go with no second doubts. I had a wonderful time in Jerusalem with Beatrice back in 1999 - it was a kind of adventure since the song itself (“Putnici”/”Travelers”) was not a “typical” Eurovision song but it was great fun and we had a good score. In the end we came in 6th in Jerusalem which was the best place we as a country have achieved by then and even today it is the 3rd best result we have ever achieved in the competition.

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7. You returned to Eurovision 12 years later, in 2011, to defend "Love in Rewind". Once more Eurovision had changed a lot. In 2011 it was so much bigger having two semifinals. Artistically, in your opinion, what is better about the current Eurovision and what is worse?


I know that the ESC has been labeled many things, including that, but to be honest I don’t think about it in such terms. I am a songwriter who makes songs for a living and for me the ESC is a musical event that enabled me to present my song to millions of people. When I was writing it I did not make any calculations – I did not tailor it to any category of people, country, or region… Some people calculate with various things and factors. And, indeed, it may happen that some “blocks” of countries vote for some other countries but if your song is not good, you will not be able to make a great result.



8. In 2011 your participation was another great success. You didn't win but "Love in Rewind" was the song that received the most set of 12 points in the final, more precisely 5 sets, coming from Austria, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland. But now let me ask you the following: weren't you afraid to flop in a contest like Eurovision?


I am a songwriter who lives for his songs and, like any artist, I am happy whenever I present a new song of mine to the public. I was very happy with the positive feedback the song received from ESC fans across Europe and things like that push me forward even more. Instead of feeling afraid I was excited because I was representing my country for the second time. With “Love in Rewind” I was going to present a song which I felt had to be performed in front of such a big auditorium that only the ESC could provide.

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9. You decided to present your second Eurovision entry in English. Why?


That was not the first time I was singing in a foreign language – in Jerusalem the chorus was in French and I have also sung bits and pieces in English, German and Arabian on some of my previous songs. 'Love In Rewind' was actually originally written in English and that was the main reason why it was performed in English. We all know that, in the context of the ESC, the target group is simply much bigger if you sing in English. But, more importantly, I think that the story the song told is universal and since English is the lingua franca of our time, I felt that it deserved to be told in a language that the majority of people would understand.



10. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been absent from Eurovision for 3 years now. As a musician and as a former participant do you think that Bosnia and Herzegovina should return to the contest?


It is a shame to waste any opportunity to represent and promote your country, but given the circumstances in Bosnia and Herzegovina it is perhaps better not to represent our country than representing it badly. I think it is a good thing to participate in the ESC but only if you have a good song. Participating just for the sake of participating does not make sense for me.

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11. Your new album "Hotel Nacional" comes six years after "Ispočetka". What took you so long to release a new full-lenght?


Partly because I do not like to rush when I am working on new songs, partly because I do not have the need to release new albums that often, and partly because I have been working on a lot of other projects during the past years which were very demanding. The tour for the album “Ispočetka” lasted almost 4 years and we held hundreds of concerts across the world which took a lot of energy. In the meantime, new songs were emerging and I needed exactly that amount of time to know which of these new songs were ready for the new album. Hence, the album “Hotel Nacional” has eleven new songs of which the title song has two different versions. All the other songs which I made during this period will wait for another chance. The way I do albums is a bit complicated. Often it is a really tough process, but I simply cannot do it differently. I never rush and I only release an album when I am satisfied with the job done. You know, when I release my songs, then they stop being only my songs. They forget their own path which is almost certainly going to last longer than my own.



12. What are the main concerns / fears/ goals before releasing a new album for an extremely successful artist like Dino Merlin, who has a long career?


What I do as a profession comes somewhere from within and I do not worry much about what is expected from me. After I have finished a song, the first thing I think about is what the song will sound like in 10 or 20 years from now. I love my job, maybe too much, and when you do something that you love that much, you do not think about obstacles or possible problems. The only thing guiding you is this inner voice. During that process my audience means a lot to me, but I do not perceive it as a concern, problem or pressure that they are eagerly anticipating the new album, I look at it as a challenge and as a great responsibility.


 


13. "Hotel National" has been a smash. I also know that besides Bosnia you are performing in other countries, for example, you recently held a big concert in Slovenia, inLjubljana. Do you see any difference between the response you get in live concerts in Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia or anywhere else you perform?

 

Not at all. We perform wherever there are people willing to watch us perform and promoters ready to fulfill all of our production requirements. In the region we usually perform in big arenas and stadiums. During our last tour we performed in front of a total of more than 700.000 people. In this regard we are perhaps unique in this part of the world.

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Carlos Carvalho for Eurovision On Top (June, 2015)